Wakefield is a town located in Eastern New Hampshire in the Lakes region of the state. It is situated in the Southern part of Carroll County and encompasses a total area of 44.7 square miles, 5.3 of which is water. As of the 2010 United States Census, Wakefield was home to 5,078 people.
The land that comprises Wakefield was originally home to local Native American tribes. During Father Rale’s War, the area was attacked and, years later, settlement began by colonists from nearby Somersworth and Dover. In 1749, the town was granted by John Mason, originally taking on the name East Town. It was officially incorporated by Governor John Wentworth in 1774 and given the name Wakefield, in honor of a town near Wentworth Castle in England. In its early years, Wakefield had a booming lumber industry and was home to several sawmills, gristmills, shingle mills and more.
Nearly 12 percent of Wakefield’s total area is made up of water. It includes parts of Pine River, Branch River, Province Lake, Pine River Pond, Belleau Lake, Balch Lake, Sandy Pond, Lovell Lake, Union Meadows, Lake Ivanhoe, Great East Lake and Horn Pond. The town’s highest point lies at Long Mountain, where elevation reaches 1,110 feet above sea level. Over the years, Wakefield has been called home by many notable people, including NHL player Freddy Meyer and U.S. Congressmen Joshua G. Hall, Harry Libbey and William Nathaniel Rogers.
Wakefield is governed by an elected Board of Selectmen. The town boasts a full-time police department, a full-time and volunteer fire department and municipal emergency medical services. Top employers in the area include Longmeadow Hardware, Lovell Lake Food Center, Badman Family Practice, Poor Peoples Pub and Knotty Pine Restaurant & Tavern. Children in the area attend the Paul School, located in town, for grades kindergarten through eighth. For ninth through 12th grades, students attend Spaulding High in the nearby town of Rochester.