In 1774, the Massachusetts General Court granted New Suncook Plantation to the officers and soldiers (or their heirs) who fought on May 8, 1725 during Father Rale's War against the Sokokis Abenaki Indians at Pequawket (now Fryeburg). First settled in 1777, the community had 85 inhabitants by 1790. New Suncook Plantation would be incorporated as a town on November 15, 1800, renamed after Captain John Lovewell, the fallen expedition leader.
The Kezar River provided water power for industry. In the 19th century, mills produced spools, long lumber, shooks, axe handles, ox goads, carriages, sleighs, harness, cabinet work and coffins, and boots and shoes. Good soil helped farms prosper. Following the Civil War, the Portland and Ogdensburg Railroad connected to Fryeburg, and tourists discovered the beauty of Kezar Lake. Inns and hotels opened, and the town remains a summer resort.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 47.89 square miles (124.03 km2), of which, 43.15 square miles (111.76 km2) of it is land and 4.74 square miles (12.28 km2) is water. Lovell is drained by the Kezar River, a tributary of the Saco River. Kezar Lake is a significant lake within the town.
Lovell is crossed by State Route 5. It borders the towns of Stoneham to the north, Waterford to the east, Sweden to the southeast, Fryeburg to the southwest, and Stow to the west.
Kezar Lake has good habitat for smallmouth bass, white perch, chain pickerel, rainbow smelt, lake trout, and land-locked Atlantic salmon. There is a public boat launch area at the north end of the lake in North Lovell, and another at the narrows south of Center Lovell.
This climatic region is typified by large seasonal temperature differences, with warm to hot (and often humid) summers and cold (sometimes severely cold) winters. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Lovell has a humid continental climate, abbreviated "Dfb" on climate maps.
As of the census of 2010, there were 1,140 people, 477 households, and 339 families residing in the town. The population density was 26.4 inhabitants per square mile (10.2/km2). There were 1,227 housing units at an average density of 28.4 per square mile (11.0/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.4% White, 0.4% African American, 0.3% Native American, 0.4% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.1% from other races, and 1.5% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.9% of the population.
There were 477 households of which 28.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.7% were married couples living together, 8.4% had a female householder with no husband present, 2.9% had a male householder with no wife present, and 28.9% were non-families. 25.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 2.83.
The median age in the town was 49.8 years. 21.9% of residents were under the age of 18; 4.7% were between the ages of 18 and 24; 15.6% were from 25 to 44; 38.3% were from 45 to 64; and 19.5% were 65 years of age or older. The gender makeup of the town was 48.7% male and 51.3% female.
As of the census of 2000, there were 974 people, 393 households, and 275 families residing in the town. The population density was 22.6 people per square mile (8.7/km²). There were 1,218 housing units at an average density of 28.2 per square mile (10.9/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 98.97% White, 0.10% African American, 0.21% Asian, 0.10% from other races, and 0.62% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.92% of the population.
There were 393 households out of which 29.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.5% were married couples living together, 6.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.8% were non-families. 23.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 2.92.
In the town, the population was spread out with 24.0% under the age of 18, 5.0% from 18 to 24, 25.8% from 25 to 44, 29.7% from 45 to 64, and 15.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43 years. For every 100 females there were 102.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 107.9 males.
The median income for a household in the town was $33,365, and the median income for a family was $40,833. Males had a median income of $29,375 versus $22,279 for females. The per capita income for the town was $17,089. About 8.7% of families and 12.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.1% of those under age 18 and 9.8% of those age 65 or over.The Brick Church for the Performing Arts
Lovell Historical Society & Museum
Sucker Brook Preserve
Center Lovell Inn
Abraham D. Andrews, politician and physician
Abraham A. Barker, US congressman
Eastman Johnson, artist
Charles H. Kimball, architect
Stephen King, writer
Marcellus Stearns, 11th governor of Florida (buried in Center Lovell Cemetery)
Rudy Vallee, singer