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“A Portrait in Granite” was the description of Alton by historian Barton M. Griffin. With its five mile frontage along the Alton Bay shoreline and bordering the Town of New Durham; Alton was originally part of New Durham Gore a name derived from its rocky terrain carved into the mountains, more specifically Mt. Major. First settled in the middle 1770’s, the early settlers were successful after eight petitions to the Court to change the name to Alton in 1796, and in March of 1797 the Incorporation Ceremony took place. Three Selectmen were elected to oversee the business of the Town. The 1790 census showed 445 residents in Town. The Town is in Belknap County and envelopes the southeastern point of Lake Winnipesaukee and includes the southeastern side of Wolfeboro Harbor and all of the largest islands in the southeast end of the lake. Alton contains 63.9 square miles of land area and 19.3 square miles of inland water area.

The last census reports 4,852 residents. And according to statistics from the NH Employment Security, there are over 226 employees working within municipal services and the schools. The Town budget in 2003 was $4,297.509. During the years that followed Incorporation, citizens concentrated on proving their Town a worthy community. Roads were built, land was cleared and the first Meeting House was erected. By 1840 the Village of Alton in the center of Town finally came “into being”. Today there are over 87 miles of town maintained roads and there are State highways Route 140, and Routes 28 and 28A and Route 11. The nearest interstate is approximately 21 miles to either Rte 95 or I-93. In 1847 rail lines were established and trains began bringing passengers and freight to Alton and Alton Bay. The railroad was in existence until 1935. The railroad connected to the Lakeport Line and several stations and stops existed on the way to Laconia. Some of these smaller stations are now private homes. Our Downtown area is comprised of a cemetery, banks, restaurants, realtors, financial institutions, the Gilman Library the Community Church, Police Station, Town Hall, a medical clinic, food markets, hardware and building supply stores and Alton Town Hall. A larger and newer Cemetery is located on Route 28S, and there are many others located throughout Town. The Town is fortunate to have so many residents who are generous and civic minded. Committees have been established to revitalize the site of the Alton Railroad Station into a Community Park and other committees are working on improvements to municipal buildings and public areas and updates to the Town’s Master Plan. Graphic sourced with thanks from,_New_Hampshire

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