Charted in 1763, and Incorporated in 1769, the land was considered so inaccessible that the grant was enlarged making Sandwich one of the largest towns in the state. The town of Sandwich is in the Sandwich Range with seventeen listed peaks including the Sandwich Dome.
Since the town's founding in 1769, Sandwich has thrived on it's reputation for fine handcrafts. The state-wide New Hampshire League of Arts and Crafts began here in the 1920's, through the efforts of a Sandwich resident who encouraged masters and mistresses of their crafts to come and settle in the town. Sandwich is still a center of home industries: like weaving, pottery, furniture-making, and quilting, and many of the state's finest craftsmen can be found creating original works in their home-workshops.
Renowned for its fine colonial and Federal style homes, the town of Sandwich is nestled in a classic New England setting of forests and rolling hills. One of its borders winds along the shore of Squam Lake (where the movie "On Golden Pond" was filmed) and ti its north lies the "Sandwich Wilderness", crisscrossed with trails for hikers and skiers.
Celebrations and festivities highlight the year in Sandwich. Old Home Week in the summer draws many visitors and former residents to bean suppers, picnics and musical performances. Every Columbus Day weekend at the peak of autumn color, all other activities stop while everyone heads for the Sandwich Fair, a real New Hampshire country fair complete with parade, oxen-pulls, and 4-H competetions. In February, dogs and drivers from all over the country head out from Center Sandwich into the snow covered wilderness in the 60 mile Sandwich Notch Sled Dog Race.
Sandwich has a selectmen/town meeting form of government, with town and school meetings held in March. Its library and historical society are treasure troves of original documents and other information on the early history of Sandwich and the surrounding towns.
Sandwich is rich in natural beauty and historic interest, outdoor activities and cultural events year round.
Craft demonstrations, classes, art gallery exhibits, and performances of dance, theater and music, offer the arts to residents and visitors alike. Swimming, boating, biking, hiking, cross country skiing, bird-watching or just enjoying a picnic in a scenic spot are all ways to experience Sandwich outdoors.
The town is sheltered by the Sandwich Range, with seventeen listed peaks, including Sandwich Dome. Many beautiful hikes and trailheads can be found throughout the area. From the Sandwich Farmers Market all summer, Old Home Week and the Art Show on the Green in August, the Sandwich Fair in October, to “Christmas in the Village” and dog-sled racing in February, Sandwich offers something for everyone all year long.
Square in the middle of the state, nestled between the White Mountains and Squam Lake, is the picturesque town of Sandwich. Named for the inventor of the sandwich, Britain's 4th Earl of Sandwich John Montague, the town - despite its isolation - quickly became a bustling community of farms, mills, stores and traders. By 1830, it had almost 3,000 inhabitants. A half century later, the first tourists arrived by stage coach for a summer stay.
Today, Sandwich (Center, North and East) is only a third as large as it was in its heyday, but the tourists are still there, smitten by the area's spectacular beauty and the town's quiet charm.
The roadless area designated off limits to logging in New Hampshire's White Mountain National Forest is wild, home to old-growth timber, bobcats, pine martens, boreal chickadees, rare plants and even unconfirmed sightings of the Canadian lynx.
From Elbow Pond in Thornton to the adjacent Sandwich Notch Range, then almost forming a circle around the Pemigewasset Wilderness, the area includes Beech Hill near Kinsman Mountain, Cherry Mountain, Dartmouth Range and the Kearsarge area.Under President Clinton's policy no roads can be built in these areas, preventing them from being logged. About 45,000 of the 780,000-acre forest is affected.State Forester Phil Bryce says the roadless areas have not had adequate New Hampshire analysis or monitoring to inventory exactly what is there.
Some land outside the roadless acres may be better for biodiversity, Bryce says, while others may may have better soil for cultivating trees.But some conservationists say there is more than enough data showing these places are special.
Long before Clinton announced his plan, three conservation groups issued a report advocating the land plus other parcels shoudl be off limits to logging.The Wilderness Society, Appalachian Mountain Club and Conservation Law Foundation described the designated parcels as the epitome of lands worth protecting.
Those areas now protected under the roadless plan include the Sandwich Range, just north of Holdernesss Squam Lake. The area was abandoned by settlers and logged heavily in the early 1900s.The Old Sandwich Notch Road, barely passable via four-wheel-drive vehicles in the summer, is a snowmobile and skiing corridor in winter.
The forest is mostly spruce, fir, birch and beech.With much of the surrounding area declared wilderness, a federal designation that prohibits logging or motorized vehicles in the area, offers hiking opportunities on Snow's Mountain, Mount Chocorua, Square Ledge, Mount Mexico, Scar Ridge and Sandwich Notch/Flat Mountain.
The land is also home to moose, bear, spruce grouse and nesting peregrine falcons. Elbow Pond, in the southwestern corner of the forest, was proposed for wilderness designation in 1973. A study at the time saw the land of about 4,500 acres just north of the Hubbard Brook Research Forest in Thornton as a good place to protect.
The area is home to five rare plants and is not far from existing logging jobs. Cherry Mountain near the Carroll-Whitefield-Jefferson area extends east. Dartmouth Range is vast and varied. It has no maintained trails. Mount Deception and Mount Dartmouth are not as tall as the nearby Presidential Range, but are favored by bushwhackers.
About 8,500 acres are roadless. The threatened pine marten is believed to live here. Kearsarge, near Jackson and North Conway, contains stands of old growth. Before the roadless designation, 80 percent of the 14,798 acres were subject to future road construction. It is on the north edge of the Wild River watershed and contains brooks populated by eastern brook trout. The rare three-bird orchid can be found there. Beech Hill, near Kinsman Mountain, is 22,271 acres of contiguous wilderness bisected in places by a power line. To the west of Franconia Notch, it is rugged and full of boulders. Ten miles of the Appalachian Trail run through this area.
The Bicknells thrush, golden crowned kinglet and long-tailed shrew live there. Alpine gardens with dwarf blueberry, Labrador tea and mountain cranberry are found, especially atop Kinsman.
There are also hundreds of acres of old-growth forest near Cannon Mountain, just outside the area's boundaries.