Quality of Life
With its high quality of living, excellent property values and access to major urban centers and transportation hubs, Pelham, NH represents the best of New England all in one town. It’s this unique blend of features that support both robust business growth and a superior quality of life for residents in a quiet and relaxed setting. A hidden gem on the MA/NH border, Pelham is a quintessential NH town with an active, growing community and business center.
Local and neighboring Massachusetts residents alike find the Greater Pelham area a wonderful place to enjoy leisure time and shopping in tax free New Hampshire. Our low cost of living and excellent property values continue to attract new residents and businesses while access to quality schools, excellent healthcare facilities, and close proximity to major business and transportation centers help Pelham provide the support systems to encourage growth and development. Simply stated, once you experience Pelham, you may never want to leave.
Recreation & Leisure
Pelham is just a short drive from many of New England’s most popular attractions including the NH Lakes Region, Seacoast, the White Mountains and historic Boston. In town, you’ll also find attractions rich with history; abundant conservation and public lands; and a full roster of community sponsored activities ranging from sports and leisure to the arts and music. With a distinctive mix of history, charm and vitality, Pelham draws visitors from near and far.
Pelham offers a variety of activities and attractions for its residents and visitors. Our Parks & Recreation Department is one of the most active in the area, offering dozens of programs for children and adults, as well as sponsoring community activities for the family.
The Pelham Town Beach is active throughout the summer and early fall, and outdoor activities around town include our local golf course, hiking/walking trails, disk golf and our public skate park. Our Fish & Game is active in warm months, as well as cold, and as winter approaches our residents enjoy our many snowmobile trails as well as ice skating.
The Pelham Public Library, newly constructed and opened in 2003, includes a large selection of adult and children’s books, as well as DVDs and other multimedia selections for lending. It also offers ongoing programs for children and adults throughout the year.
Pelham’s local civic organizations include the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), the Knights of Columbus, several Scout troops, mom’s clubs and community spirit organizations. All of these organizations are highly active providing both activities and support for the local Pelham NH community.
And if you’re still looking for more to do, Pelham’s central location on the MA border makes it close to many destinations that offer fun for adults, children and families.
- Boston, MA 40 miles
- Portsmouth, NH 45 miles
- Kittery, ME 47 miles
- White Mountains 82 miles
- Cape Cod, MA 88 miles
Education & Healthcare
Pelham is surrounded by quality schools and some of the nation’s most highly regarded healthcare facilities.
Quality Education for All
Pelham provides numerous, quality choices for education from private preschools and primary schools to public schools and highly affordable higher education institutions. Serving over 2100 students in grades K-12, the Pelham School District continues to grow each year as more and more families are attracted to our tranquil and close-knit community. The majority of Pelham residents are college graduates. The district has a consistently low dropout rate and over 82% of its graduates choosing to pursue a college degree*.
Top Healthcare Facilities and Specialists
Pelham NH is close to highly regarded hospitals and medical research facilities providing state of the art care and cutting edge research in all areas of medicine. Locally in NH, the Dartmouth Hitchcock Medical Centers are nationally ranked as one of America’s Top 50 hospitals by US News & World Reports and provide world-renowned treatment in both oncology and pediatric medicine.
Lahey Clinic is easily accessed in nearby Burlington MA as are the cutting-edge cardiac facilities at Catholic Medical Center in Manchester NH and the newly renovated and updated hospitals including Southern NH Medical Center and St. Joseph Hospital in Nashua. In nearby Boston are world-renowned Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women’s Hospitals, also among the top health care facilities in the nation.
All of these outstanding medical facilities are just minutes from Pelham NH, giving our residents access to some of the best medical care available in the region and country.
History of Pelham, NH
With a rich history and bright future, Pelham is full of the quality and character sought after by those who truly enjoy the quintessential New England town without sacrificing the convenience and amenities found in larger communities. Pelham truly offers the best of both worlds.
Settled in 1722 and incorporated in 1746, Pelham was primarily a farming community until World War II. Named for British Prime Minister, Henry Pelham, the town still retains a quiet, rural character even in the midst of explosive growth in population and industry. Reminders of the town’s rich history can be found in Abbott Bridge, New Hampshire’s oldest, double-arched stone bridge; Butler Monument, honoring the town’s first settler, John Butler; and numerous homes and buildings of historic repute.
20th Century History
In 1946, the townspeople of Pelham elected to observe the bicentennial of the town in a celebration with the end of the second World War and Welcome Home to their returning soldiers. Festivities included sporting events, a parade, an anniversary ball and the planning of centennial trees that can still be appreciated in the town center.
In 1946, when the town celebrated its’ bi-centennial, the population was less than 1,000 people and the main industry was agriculture. Less than 50 years later, Pelham boasted a population of more than 10,000 residents, with only a handful of those continuing to run working farms. The Pelham of the 21st century is one of highly educated business owners and executives, as well as workers in the service industries. While working to maintain the small town character that is so loved by its residents, modern Pelham is a burgeoning community that is growing and developing in leaps and bounds.
Some of Pelham’s notable residents include Josiah Butler (1779–1854), US. Congressman in the 15th, 16th and 17th congresses, Richard M. Linnehan, NASA astronaut, a 1975 graduate of Pelham High School, Daniel Gage (1828–1901), the “Ice King of Lowell”, family for whom Gage Hill is named, Sean Caisse (1986-), stock car driver, and Ray Fox, NASCAR crew chief and owner.
REVERENCE FOR OUR PAST
The people of Pelham are proud of our history, and believe in respect for the knowledge we gain from our past. While today’s town is comprised of business owners, executives and service industry workers, we remember well the farming, quarrying and forestry trades that built the foundation of our town. We are proud of our work in reusing and restoring our historical buildings, and our appreciation for that history continues in one of our town’s oldest continuously run businesses, Harris’ Pelham Inn.
Our Historical Society, located in the original Pelham Library, offers one of the most advanced online genealogy libraries available. In 1996, members of the Historical Society and town residents worked together to form the 250th Anniversary Committee, which celebrated the history of Pelham and produced a pictorial history of the town in the book “REFLECTIONS”.