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Incorporated in 1727, the town of Gilmanton was first called Gilmantown, named for the Gilman family. Twenty-four members of the Gilman family had received grants in the new town, along with other families related to the Gilmans. Located in Belknap County, Gilmanton was once the second largest town in New Hampshire, after Portsmouth, but several parts of the town broke off to form independent municipalities, such as Belmont and Gunstock Parish (Gilford). The town includes the unincorporated villages of Gilmanton Corner and Gilmanton Ironworks. Several prominent people were residents of Gilmanton, including William Badger, the 15th governor of New Hampshire, H.H. Holmes, a serial killer, and Grace Metalious, the author of Peyton Place, who reportedly patterned much of her book on Gilmanton.



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