Ossipee was incorporated in 1785 after an active pre-Revolutionary War history of skimishes between Native Americans and British settlers. Captain John Loverwell built a fort near Ossipee Lake in the early 1700's, using the foundation of a former fort which was built the English built in 1650 to assist the Ossipee Indians in their war against the Mohawks.
Ossipee is made up of many small villages scattered amoung the hills. Shops filled with unusual crafts and antiques dot the country roads. Good fishing abounds in Ossipee Lake and the rivers and streams which flow into it. The adventurous can hike into the Ossipee Mountains, and there are opportunities galore for swimming, boating, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and snowmobiling.
The Town is a geologists dream, with portions of the volcanic "ring dike" from the Ossipee Mountains still visible. Much of the Town's soil is made of fine sand and gravel, left behind by glaciers after the last ice age.
Manufacturing has always been a part of the Town's history. That tradition continues with small industries ranging from a water-powered shutter factory to high tech producers of precision instruments. Ossipee businesses have access to a working railroad line. The town has developed innovative zoning regulations designed to encourage low-impact industry.
Ossipee is the county seat for Carroll County. It shares its name with the Ossipee Mountains, once a range of ancient volcanoes, which border it on the west.
Ossipee is governed by the town meeting system and administered by three selectmen who meet each week at the Town Hall.
Originally known as "Wigwam Village," and then "New Garden," the town was named for the Ossipee Indians, one of the twelve Algonquian tribes. It was once the site of an Indian stockade fort, designed to protect the tribe from the Mohawks in the west. In 1725, the Indian stockade was destroyed, and then rebuilt by Captain John Lovewell. The new fort was one of the largest in New England.
The town shares its name with the Ossipee Mountains, once a range of ancient volcanoes, which border it on the west. Ossipee is a major source of sand and gravel, transported by railroad, to Boston, Massachusetts.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 75.6 square miles. 71.2 square miles of it is land and 4.4 square miles of it is water, comprising 5.85% of the town. Ossipee is drained by the Ossipee, Pine, Beech, Bearcamp, and Lovell rivers. Ossipee Lake is in the northeastern part of the town. The highest point in Ossipee is 2,080 feet above sea level on an unnamed ridge in the Ossipee Mountains in the western part of town