Charlestown is a town located in Western New Hampshire in the Dartmouth/Sunapee region of the state. It is situated in the Western portion of Sullivan County and encompasses a total area of 38 square miles, 2.2 of which is land. As of the 2010 United States Census, Charlestown was home to 5,114 people.
The land that comprises Charlestown was first granted by Governor Jonathan Belcher in 1735. Originally named Plantation No. 4, the area was the fourth trading fort located along the Connecticut River border. Settlement of the land began in 1740, though the fort was besieged in 1747 during the French and Indian Wars. In 1753 the town was regranted by Governor Benning Wentworth and named Charlestown, in honor of British Navy admiral Charles Knowles. In 1781, the town separated from New Hampshire, joining Vermont for a short amount of time. It rejoined New Hampshire in 1783, at the insistence of George Washington.
Nearly 5 percent of Charlestown’s total area is a made up of water. The town includes Clary Brook and is part of the Connecticut River watershed. It highest point lies at Sams Hill, where elevation reaches 1,683 feet above sea level. The area is served by New Hampshire Routes 11, 12 and 12A, as well as Interstate 91. Over the years, Charlestown has been called home by a number of notable people, including actor James Broderick, Hall of Fame catcher Carlton Fisk, former governors of New Hampshire Ralph Metcalf and Henry Hubbard, journalist Richard H. Sylvester and playwright Charles Hale Hoyt.
Charlestown is governed by an elected Board of Selectmen. The town boasts a full-time police department, an on-call fire department and on-call emergency medical services. Top employers in the area include Whelen Engineering, Bomar Inc., Design Standards Inc., Connecticut River Bank, GKN Aerospace, Airgas Inc., Town of Charlestown, Student Conservation Association and Fall Mountain Regional School District. Children in the area attend schools in the Fall Mountain Regional School District, which also serves the nearby towns of Acworth, Alstead, Langdon and Walpole.)