Enfield, New Hampshire

Enfield, New Hampshire
Enfield Shaker Museum

Enfield, NH is located just east of Lebanon and is centrally located in the Upper Valley. Home to the Enfield Shaker Museum, Mascoma Lake and a nice scenic portion of the Northern Rail Trail, Enfield is the place to be. With all the local goings-on, there’s always something to see or do.

The Town of Enfield, New Hampshire

History of Enfield

Chartered in 1761 by Governor Wentworth, Enfield was named by settlers from Enfield, Connecticut. Enfield didn’t always hold this name though. In 1766 the town was renamed Relhan, after Dr. Relhan – who was an ambassador curative medicine at the time. However, following the Revolutionary War, the town was renamed back to its original, and has since been named Enfield.

Enfield quickly became a village full of agriculture and manufacturing. Industries centered in the Enfield area included, throughout the years, furniture mills, a tannery, several different machine shops, a woolen textile mill and a clothing factory. Everything from furniture to brooms and spinning wheels were manufactured in Enfield. Built in 1849, the Shaker Bridge was constructed in order to speed up delivery or products to the railroad on the other side of Mascoma Lake.

Shaker Village, Enfield, N.H, from Robert N. D...
Shaker Village, Enfield, N.H, from Robert N. Dennis collection of stereoscopic views (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Enfield Shakers

Residing along Mascoma Lake, Enfield Shaker Village and Museum still stands and is a popular pit-stop for tourists passing through. Established in 1793, “Chosen Vale”, which is now home to a beautiful newly constructed neighborhood, was home to several Shaker “families”. Shakers didn’t have families in the traditional sense because they practice celibacy, so their families consisted only of those who joined the religion. As the Shaker community grew, they encouraged the railroad to pass through Enfield.

The Great Stone Dwelling House is the former shaker dormitories. It is a large stone building which you can’t miss if you’re driving Rt 4A through Enfield. This was home to the men and women of the Shaker Village. In expression of their worship, the Shakers would sing and dance and earned them the name “Shaking Quakers”, which became “Shakers”.

Things To Do

Residents and visitors of Enfield, NH are welcomed by an abundance of outdoor activities. There is something for everyone to enjoy year round. Boasting 3000+ acres of conserved land and more than 15 miles of shorelines along the Mascoma Lake and other bodies of water, you’ll easily find plenty of nature to explore.

Grab your boat, canoe, kayak or (when in season) ice fishing gear and set out for a relaxing afternoon on Mascoma Lake, or grab your lawn chair and enjoy the community beach. Boat launch and beach are both located on Rt. 4A. Lace up your boots and hit the easy to walk 2.5 mile Kluge hiking trail. Pack a picnic basket and plan a trip to the Enfield Shaker Museum where you can discover what life was like at Shaker Village.

Enfield, NH Mascoma Lake Recreation
Mascoma Lake in Enfield, NH (Photo credit: flickr)

Sling your fishing pole over your shoulder and hit one of the area rivers to see what kind of fish you can catch (fishing license can be obtained at the town hall). Take a walk, ride your bike or hop on your snowmobile and hit the Rail Trail where you’ll see all sorts of sights and wildlife. Drive around town in the Fall and spy all the wonderful Scarecrows that the residents and the Enfield Village Association display throughout town.

Enfield residents and visitors also enjoy other local social events and activities like the Farmers Market, which takes place during the warmer months. Hit the farmers market for the best local produce in town! Enjoy a show at the Shaker Bridge Theater or one of the area museums. Where ever you turn, there’s always something to do in Enfield.

Join the town for Enfield Old Home Days! Events and activities ranging from cook offs, concerts and ice cream socials to reenactments, sailing on Mascoma Lake, car shows, breakfasts, dinners and community dog walks – you wont want to miss all the fun! There’s certainly something for everyone to participate in, from kids to adults and adults that act like kids, too – everyone is welcome and will have fun! Enfield Old Home Days typically takes place in late July (near time of the town wide yard sale too!). Keep an eye on our Facebook Page for event times and updates!

Home in Enfield

Enfield, NH is a great place to live. Centrally located in the Upper Valley, Enfield is just a 15 to 20 minute drive from the economic epicenters of Lebanon and Hanover, NH. With an abundance of recreational activities, lots of sprawling acreage and median home prices coming in at about $170,000 – Enfield is an affordable and beautiful place to live.

There are housing options that range from apartment homes and condominiums to lakeside homes (vacation homes too!), mountaintop homes overlooking the valleys below and small town neighborhoods that are perfect for a growing family. Enfield is a great place to live, relax and enjoy life – whether you’re raising a family or ready to retire – Enfield, NH is a wonderful place to live.

Enfield Town Website »