Dorchester is a town located in Western New Hampshire in the Dartmouth/Sunapee region of the state. It is situated in central Grafton County and encompasses a total area of 45.2 square miles, .6 of which is water. As of the 2010 United States Census, Dorchester was home to 355 people.
The land that comprises Dorchester was originally granted in 1761 by Governor Benning Wentworth. It was named in honor of Dorset, a small town in England. The grantees failed to settle the area and, in 1766, it was regranted to a new group of settlers who also failed to settle on the land. In 1772, Governor John Wentorth granted the town a third time and incorporated it as a town. Settlement began not long after.
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A little more than 1 percent of Dorchester’s total area is made up of water. The town includes parts of the South Branch Baker River and the Indian River, and it lies in both the Connecticut River and the Merrimack River watersheds. Its highest point is at Smarts Mountain, where the elevation reaches 3,190 feet above sea level. The town of Dorchester is served by New Hampshire Route 118 and Interstate 93.
Dorchester is governed by an elected Board of Selectmen. The town has no police department, and it shares a volunteer fire and emergency medical services with the nearby towns of Canaan, Rumney and Lyme. The town is the top employer in the area, and local children attend schools in the Mascoma Valley Regional School District, which also serves Canaan, Enfield, Grafton and Orange.
For recreation and entertainment, Dorchester residents can take advantage of the town?s museums, fishing and hunting areas, snowmobile trails, bicycle trails and cross country skiing opportunities. The town is also within close proximity of the Ragged Mountain ski area in nearby Danbury.