Meredith, Lake Winnipesaukee, New Hampshire
Meredith is a town in Belknap County, New Hampshire, USA. The population was 6,241 at the 2010 census. Meredith is situated beside Lake Winnipesaukee. It is home to the Stonedam Island Natural Area and the Winnipesaukee Scenic Railroad. Meredith is the site of the annual Great Rotary Fishing Derby.
The primary village in town, where 1,718 people resided at the 2010 census, is defined as the Meredith census-designated place (CDP), and is located at the junction of U.S. Route 3 and New Hampshire Route 25 at the head of Meredith Bay on Lake Winnipesaukee.
Meredith was first known as Palmer's Town in honor of Samuel Palmer, a teacher of surveying and navigation who laid out much of the land surrounding Lake Winnipesaukee. In 1748, it was one of the first towns to have a charter granted by the Masonian Proprietors. Many grantees were from Salem, Massachusetts, so Palmer's Town was renamed New Salem. It was settled in 1766 by Jacob Eaton and Colonel Ebenezer Smith, then regranted in 1768 by Governor John Wentworth and named after Sir William Meredith, 3rd Baronet, a member of Parliament who opposed taxation on the colonies.
Farmers grew corn, wheat, rye and potatoes, but the area became noted for apple orchards. The outlet of Lake Waukewan provided water power sites, and by 1859 Meredith village had a sawmill, gristmill, shingle mill, blacksmith shop, harness-maker's shop and tannery. Situated at the outlet of Wickwas Lake, Meredith Center had a sawmill, gristmill and blacksmith shop. Connected by the Boston, Concord & Montreal Railroad in March 1849, the town became a summer resort. Passengers also arrived from the Alton Bay depot aboard steamboats, the most famous of which was the original SS Mount Washington, launched in 1872. Meredith remains a popular tourist destination.