Gilford is a town located in Central New Hampshire in the Lakes region of the state. It is situated in the Central part of Belknap County and encompasses a total area of 53.8 square miles, 14.9 of which is water. As of the 2010 United States Census, the town was home to 7,126 people.
Gilford was originally settled in 1778 and was considered a part of Gilmanton, going by the name of Gunstock Parish. Captain Lemuel B. Mason, a Revolutionary War general retired to gunstock parish in 1812 and proposed the area?s separation and incorporation. It was incorporated that year and named Guilford, as Mason had fought in the 1781 Battle of Guilford House. Due to a clerical error, however, the town was accidently named “Gilford” instead.
Nearly 15 square miles of Gilford’s area is made up of water. The town boasts a number of bodies of water, including Gunstock River and Lake Winnipesaukee. The area?s highest point lies at Belknap Mount, where elevation reaches 2,384 feet above sea level. The town is home to the Gunstock Mountain Resort, the Union Meetinghouse (built in 1834), the Bank of New Hampshire Pavilion and the Benjamin Rowe House (built in 1838.)
The town of Gilford is governed by an elected Board of Selectmen. The town boasts a full-time police department, a full-time fire department and municipal emergency medical services. Top employers in the area include Gunstock Recreation Area, Hannaford Brothers, Wal-Mart, Gilford School District, Town of Gilford, Orthopedic Professional Association, WLNH/WLKZ/WEMJ, Shaw’s Supermarket and Bank of New Hampshire.
Children in the area attend schools in the Gilford School District, which includes one elementary school, one middle school and one high school. For entertainment, Gilford residents can enjoy the town’s municipal parks, golf courses, pools, tennis courts, museums, movie theatres, performing arts facilities, youth organizations and sports leagues, campgrounds, fishing and hunting areas, boating marinas, snowmobile and bicycle trails, cross country skiing and local beaches.