Bow, New Hampshire

Coordinates: 43°07′55″N 71°32′57″W / 43.13194°N 71.54917°W / 43.13194; -71.54917
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Bow, New Hampshire
Bow Center School (1894)
Bow Center School (1894)
Official seal of Bow, New Hampshire
Location in Merrimack County and the state of New Hampshire
Location in Merrimack County and the state of New Hampshire
Coordinates: 43°07′55″N 71°32′57″W / 43.13194°N 71.54917°W / 43.13194; -71.54917
CountryUnited States
StateNew Hampshire
  • Bow Mills
  • Bow Center
  • Bow Bog
 • Board of Selectmen
  • Michael Wayne, Chair
  • Christopher Nicolopoulos
  • Matthew Poulin
  • Angela Brennan
  • Eleana Colby
 • Town ManagerDavid Stack
 • Total28.55 sq mi (73.94 km2)
 • Land28.17 sq mi (72.96 km2)
 • Water0.37 sq mi (0.97 km2)  1.32%
597 ft (182 m)
 • Total8,229
 • Density292/sq mi (112.8/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
Area code603
FIPS code33-06500
GNIS feature ID0873548

Bow is a town in Merrimack County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 8,229 at the 2020 census,[2] up from 7,519 at the 2010 census,[3] an increase of 9.4%.


The town was granted by the authorities of New Hampshire to Jonathan Wiggin and others in 1727, and was originally 9 miles (14 km) square, covering nearly all the territory granted to Ebenezer Eastman and others by the authorities of Massachusetts two years previous, under the name of "Pennacook" (now Concord). Massachusetts claimed to hold authority over a large portion of the territory of New Hampshire for many years, until the final boundary line was established in 1741, giving New Hampshire more territory than it had ever claimed. These complicated lines of the two towns coming from two different authorities were not settled decisively till after the final separation of the two colonial provinces. The government of New Hampshire gave Bow the preference in its grant of 1727, and did not recognize the title of the Pennacook grantees, and in the bill giving a charter for the parish of Concord, it was worded as "taking a part of the town of Bow," etc. Although Concord was granted and surveyed before Bow, its final organization was 38 years after it. Bow gained a victory over Concord in its original title; still it was obliged to yield over two-thirds of its territory to Concord, Pembroke and Hopkinton, establishing their final boundary lines at different times, from 1759 to 1765.[4]

The town's name comes from its establishment along a bend, or "bow", in the Merrimack River. The first census, taken in 1790, reported 568 residents.[5]

In 1874, the Concord Railroad passed along the eastern border of Bow.[4] It is now the New England Southern Railroad.

On September 28, 2019, hundreds of climate activists protested in Bow against Merrimack Station, one of the last remaining coal-fired power plants in New England. 67 people, who carried buckets signifying their intent to physically remove coal from the site, were arrested by state police.[6]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 28.5 square miles (73.9 km2), of which 28.2 square miles (73.0 km2) are land and 0.39 square miles (1.0 km2) is water, comprising 1.32% of the town.[1] The highest point in Bow is Picked Hill, at 915 feet (279 m) above sea level, in the southern part of town. Nearby Wood Hill and Brown Hill also top 900 feet (270 m). Bow lies fully within the Merrimack River watershed.[7] The Merrimack River forms the northeastern border of the town.


Historical population
U.S. Decennial Census[2][8]

At the 2000 census there were 7,138 people in 2,304 households, including 2,045 families, in the town. The population density was 254.3 inhabitants per square mile (98.2/km2). There were 2,330 housing units at an average density of 83.0 per square mile (32.0/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 97.79% White, 0.13% African American, 0.10% Native American, 1.04% Asian, 0.29% from other races, and 0.66% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.49%.[9]

For the 2015-2019 period, the median household income was $122,230. The per capita income for the town was $48,900. About 2.0% of families and 1.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.6% of those under age 18 and 4.2% of those age 65 or over.[10]

Of the 2,304 households 49.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 81.0% were married couples living together, 5.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 11.2% were non-families. 8.6% of households were one person and 3.6% were one person aged 65 or older. The average household size was 3.10 and the average family size was 3.28.

The age distribution was 32.6% under the age of 18, 4.4% from 18 to 24, 27.3% from 25 to 44, 27.2% from 45 to 64, and 8.4% 65 or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 99.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 93.7 males.


Bow is a part of New Hampshire's 2nd congressional district, and is currently represented by Democrat Ann McLane Kuster (D-Hopkinton). In the New Hampshire Senate, Bow is a part of New Hampshire's 16th State Senate district, currently represented by Democrat Kevin Cavanaugh (D-Manchester). In the New Hampshire House of Representatives, Bow shares multi-member district Merrimack 23 with the neighboring town of Dunbarton, and Democrats currently hold 3/3 seats of the district.[11]

Like many suburban communities in southeastern New Hampshire, Bow historically leaned Republican. Over the past decade Democrats have improved, with Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden greatly exceeding their statewide margins of victory in the town.[12]

Bow town presidential vote[13]
Year Democratic Republican
2020 59.1% 3,256 39.4% 2,167
2016 52.1% 2,570 42.9% 2,119
2012 51.0% 2,504 47.9% 2,352
2008 53.4% 2,585 46.0% 2,227


In 1997, Bow built its first high school, Bow High School, along Turee Pond. Bow Memorial School (the middle school) and Bow Elementary School are located on Bow Center Road, less than a mile from the high school.



Two New Hampshire State Routes and two Interstate Highways cross Bow: NH 3A, NH 13, Interstate 93, and Interstate 89.

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ a b "2021 U.S. Gazetteer Files – New Hampshire". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved December 13, 2021.
  2. ^ a b c "Bow town, Merrimack County, New Hampshire: 2020 DEC Redistricting Data (PL 94-171)". U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved December 13, 2021.
  3. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Bow town, Merrimack County, New Hampshire". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Archived from the original on February 12, 2020. Retrieved December 16, 2013.
  4. ^ a b Article in Statistics and Gazetteer of New-Hampshire (1875)
  5. ^ "Schedule of the Whole Number of Persons Within the Several Districts of the United States..." (PDF). U.S. Census. 1793. Archived (PDF) from the original on July 13, 2018. Retrieved June 7, 2018.
  6. ^ Ropeik, Annie (September 30, 2019). "Dozens Arrested at Protest Outside New England's Largest Coal Power Plant, in Bow, N.H." New Hampshire Public Radio. Retrieved September 30, 2019.
  7. ^ Foster, Debra H.; Batorfalvy, Tatianna N.; Medalie, Laura (1995). Water Use in New Hampshire: An Activities Guide for Teachers. U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Geological Survey.
  8. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  9. ^ "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved January 31, 2008.
  10. ^,dracuttownmiddlesexcountymassachusetts/HSG650219
  11. ^
  12. ^ "NH-SOS - 2020 Election Information". Retrieved August 29, 2021.
  13. ^ "NH-SOS - 2020 Election Information". Retrieved August 29, 2021.

Further reading[edit]

  • Bundy, David A. (1975). 100 acres more or less: The history of the land and people of Bow, New Hampshire. Phoenix Pub.

External links[edit]