Hinsdale is a town in Cheshire County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 4,046 at the 2010 census. Hinsdale is home to part of Pisgah State Park in the northeast, and part of Wantastiquet Mountain State Forest in the northwest.
The primary settlement in town, where 1,548 people resided at the 2010 census, is defined as the Hinsdale census-designated place (CDP) and is located at the junction of New Hampshire routes 119 and 63.
Located in the southwestern corner of the state, Hinsdale was chartered in 1753. It was named for Colonel Ebenezer Hinsdale, member of a prominent Deerfield, Massachusetts family, whose mother had been taken captive in the famed Deerfield Massacre of 1704. Graduated from Harvard College, Hinsdale was ordained to become a missionary for Indians of the Connecticut River Valley. Instead, he would serve as chaplain at Fort Dummer, an important trading post on the Connecticut River, later enlisting as an officer in the army. Then, in 1742, he established Fort Hinsdale, including a trading post and gristmill, reportedly at his own expense. The town's earliest history recounts Indian assaults, raids and captivities.
Located beside the Connecticut River and connected to Brattleboro, Vermont by bridge, Hinsdale contains excellent farmland, but has been a significant center of industry as well, especially in the manufacture of paper. In a machine shop here, George A. Long built a self-propelled steam vehicle in 1875, the Long steam tricycle, for which he received one of the nation's earliest automobile patents. The oldest continually-operating post office in the United States, established in 1816, is located on Main Street.
From 1959 to 2008, the town was home to the Hinsdale Greyhound Park.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 22.7 square miles (59 km2), of which 20.6 square miles (53 km2) is land and 2.2 square miles (5.7 km2) is water, comprising 9.46% of the town. The town center, or census-designated place, has a total area of 2.5 sq mi (6.5 km2). 2.4 sq mi (6.2 km2) of it is land and 0.1 sq mi (0.26 km2) of it (2.40%) is water.
The highest point in town is Wantastiquet Mountain, at 1,378 feet (420 m) above sea level, located on the town's northern boundary and overlooking the Connecticut River and Brattleboro, Vermont to the west. The entire town lies within the Connecticut River watershed, with roughly the northwestern two-thirds of town draining into small streams that feed directly into the Connecticut, and with the southeastern third of the town draining into the Ashuelot River, a major tributary of the Connecticut.
Hinsdale is served by state routes 63 and 119.
As of the census of 2000, there were 4,082 people, 1,622 households, and 1,088 families residing in the town. The population density was 197.4 people per square mile (76.2/km²). There were 1,714 housing units at an average density of 32.0 persons/km² (82.9 persons/sq mi). The racial makeup of the town was 97.50% White, 0.42% African American, 0.20% Native American, 0.32% Asian, 0.29% Pacific Islander, 0.22% from other races, and 1.05% from two or more races. 0.47% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 1,622 households out of which 32.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.6% were married couples living together, 10.3% have a woman whose husband does not live with her, and 32.9% were non-families. 24.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.00.
In the town, the population was spread out with 26.0% under the age of 18, 7.6% from 18 to 24, 30.3% from 25 to 44, 23.8% from 45 to 64, and 12.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 94.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.2 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $36,124, and the median income for a family was $43,413. Males had a median income of $31,440 versus $23,000 for females. The per capita income for the town was $16,611. 6.4% of the population and 3.2% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 9.1% are under the age of 18 and 7.2% are 65 or older.
As of the census of 2000, there were 1,713 people, 707 households, and 431 families residing in the Hinsdale census-designated place (CDP), the primary settlement in town. The population density was 703.7 people per square mile (272.2/km²). There were 746 housing units at an average density of 118.5 persons/km² (306.5 persons/sq mi). The racial makeup of the town was 97.49% White, 0.35% African American, 0.41% Native American, 0.29% Asian, 0.29% Pacific Islander, 0.41% from other races, and 0.76% from two or more races. 0.23% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 707 households out of which 30.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 45.4% were married couples living together, 10.0% have a woman whose husband does not live with her, and 39.0% were non-families. 30.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.04.
In the CDP, the population was spread out with 25.8% under the age of 18, 8.5% from 18 to 24, 29.1% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 14.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 92.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 92.3 males.
The median income for a household is $35,417, and the median income for a family was $42,308. Males had a median income of $31,983 versus $25,385 for females. The per capita income for the town was $15,122. 10.9% of the population and 5.8% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 16.7% are under the age of 18 and 16.2% are 65 or older.Elisha Andrews, economist and educator
William Babcock, US congressman
Charles Anderson Dana, journalist, author and government official
Jacob Estey, manufacturer of reed organs
Dan Fitzpatrick, author
William Haile, merchant, manufacturer and the 26th Governor of New Hampshire
Henry Hooker, Arizona pioneer
Robert Merrill Lee, General; Supreme Allied Commander Europe
Anna Marsh, established the Vermont Asylum of the Insane (1834)