The Town of Lovell is located in Oxford County, overlooking the White Mountains of New Hampshire. First settled during the American Revolution, it was incorporated in 1800 as ‘New Suncook’, later changed to ‘Lovell’ in honor of John Lovewell. It is a town consisting of ‘neighborhoods’: Lovell Village, Center Lovell, North Lovell and West Lovell (don’t know what happened to East Lovell, or South Lovell…). It covers an area of 47.89 square miles, of which 4.74 square miles are water, and the 2010 census listed a population of 1,140. In the summer, the population increases probably 3-fold, as the town’s seasonal residents return to enjoy the beauty of the area.
Kezar Lake is the largest body of water, and ponds within the watershed are Bradley, Cushman, Heald, Trout, Horseshoe, and Farrington. The major streams that feed Kezar Lake are Great Brook, Cold Brook, Coffin Brook and Boulder Brook. Kezar Outlet drains the lake from Lower Bay into the Saco River.
Lovell is governed by three elected Selectmen, who meet weekly, a Planning Board, which meets monthly, a Code Enforcement Officer and others (see Town Government). True to its early roots, the Annual Town Meeting, at which warrants are raised before the residents of Lovell for the election of officials, town business affairs, and expenditures of money, is held on the first Saturday of March.
(The following is Courtesy of the Lovell Historical Society)
While we have limited information on events of the period between 1774 and November 15, 1800, when New Suncook became incorporated as the Town of Lovell, we know that life was not easy for these early settlers. The first shelters were very primitive cabins with an open hearth where the daily meals were prepared. The early families subsisted on a very limited variety of foods with much of it being freshwater fish and wild game, which was abundant in the area, along with berries and greens in season. Other foods, such as corn, beans and pumpkins were raised as soon as land was cleared for planting. Establishing and organizing a new Town in the “wilderness” involved much work on the part of the Proprietors and Settlers as well. Mills, schools and churches were built to meet the needs of the residents. By the late 1800’s, the natural beauty of Lovell came to the attention of people who came here from urban centers to visit, and another “industry” came into being. Lovell families opened their homes to “Summer Boarders,” and Summer Hotels were built to accommodate guests.
Eventually, these people began building cottages as summer homes, and today, some of these same families have become permanent residents of Lovell. Others have come to Lovell to escape the fast pace and perceived lack of security and personal safety in large urban areas. While the population of Lovell has fluctuated over the centuries, it remains a relatively safe and very pleasant rural area. Were some of those early settlers and proprietors to return to Lovell, it seems as though they might be well pleased with the traditions and values that have been preserved throughout the years.