Most of the village's growth has come since 1820. The first retail store was opened by Colonel Charles Lane, then a young from Sanbornton, Daniel Fitzgerald also traded about a half-mile northwest of the present center at the junction of the Laconia Road. Stephen Greely, Samuel Cate, Perkins Gale, Ira Mooney, Asaph Evans, John Evans, Greenleaf Osgood, John S. Hill, Artemas S. Eastman, Josiah Bean, Charles E. Cate, Nicholas Garmon, Joseph Sanborn and Clough & Son have also traded at this village.
The post office was established at Upper Parish in 1823. Charles Lane was appointed postmaster. His successors have been Charles D. Ayers, Doctor Joseph Gould, Ira Mooney, John S. Hill, James K. Leonard and Miss Adelaide Johnson.
The taverners have been Samuel Cate, John S. Hill, James P. Cilley, Lieutenant Prescott Hall, C.D. Bryant and Arthur Brown.
The physicians have been Joseph Gould, Edwin Hurd, George E. Spencer, William Bucklin, Sidney Merrill and George Ingalls.
In 1834 the brick buildings of the Gilmanton Village Manufacturing Company were erected. Forty years later another large brick building was constructed by the Boston owners. This establishment was chartered in 1875 with a capital stock of $100,000. Its two hundred employees manufacture about 9600 pairs of cotton and merino hosiery each day. The complete process is done here.
Moses Sargent and later Moses, Jr. operated this factory. The heirs of Amos A. Lawrence of Boston have run the business since 1865. They have made it the pride and wealth of the village.
The shoe manufacturing business was commenced in the village on a large scale by Captain William Badger in March 1851. He sold the operation to John S. Hill and C.E. Cate in 1853. They enlarged it and prospered until all was lost to fire in the winter of 1855.
S.G. Brett hired rooms and power in the upper story of Badger's Mills in 1846 and began the manufacture of shoe pegs at the rate of nearly twenty bushels per day. The great freshet of 1852 interrupted his business, and he moved to a more favorable site.
Jamestown is the name given to a school district in the southwestern part of Belmont, near Northfield. Benjamin James established the neighborhood about 1780. Although many of his sons eventually farmed there as well, no one by that name lives in the vicinity now.
Hurricane is the name of the place between Belmont Factory village and Union Bridge Where a furious wind once uprooted trees, fences, and buildings.
Tioga is the name given to the northwestern part of Belmont, bordering Great Bay and the Winnipissiogee River. The elderly say that the name was given by Revolutionary War soldiers after they returned from a campaign against the Indians in western New York. Their encampment was near the Tioga River. The principal stream in Belmont has been called Tioga River because Loring Norcross of Boston sold the cotton mill and water power on that stream to businessmen who renamed it the Tioga Manufacturing Company. The stream was formerly called Great Brook. The Indian meaning of Tioga is "pleasant country."
Farrarville is located one and a half miles north of Belmont Factory village on the Tioga River where William Weeks had his tannery and later bought the mills and established a cotton batting factory and a new sawmill. The works were later owned by Captain N. Garmon. Since the site is near the center of Belmont, town meetings have been held in the local hall.
The mills and surrounding farms provided many tradesmen with an income during the winter months away from fields and crops.
Daybook of Philip O. Blaisdell, Gilmanton Blacksmith. (NHHS Collections)
"December 13, 1845"
Samuel Tomson to shuing oxen$1.00 Daniel ---------to shuing hors$ .45 George W. Levet to making a staple & ring$ .34 "19th" George Sanders to making chains 23lbs.$2.00 Samuel Tomson to shuing hors $ .50 "20th" Samuel J. Sanborn to shuing oxen$ .67
John E. Page and Isaih Piper posted a warrant on July 18, 1859 for the first town meeting of Upper Gilmanton, following the act of incorporation granted by the General Court on June 28. Held on August 6, the citizens of the new town elected Benjamin P. Lamprey, moderator; Nicholas D. Garmon, town clerk; John W. Wells, treasurer; and John L. Keasor, Lyman B. Fellows and Jeduthan Farrar, selectmen.
At the first annual meeting on March 13, 1860, the townspeople of Upper Gilmanton elected new town officials.
Nothing exceptional occurred at the annual meeting on March 12, 1861. At a special town meeting on October 23, the citizens voted to raise no more than $1000 to aid the families of volunteers.
At a special meeting on August 9, 1862 one hundred dollars were allocated to each volunteer who would enlist for three years in the service of the United States prior to the draft in order to meet the quota of 300,000 men. Fifty dollars were also raised for each citizen who would volunteer for nine months. On October 20 each drafted man or his substitute was allocated $300 payable after his muster into the service.
At a special meeting on December 1, 1863, two thousand dollars were raised to pay the volunteers who had enlisted to meet the President's quota of 300,000 men. The selectmen were also instructed to appoint an agent to obtain volunteers. Joseph M. Folsom accepted the task and reported on February 20, 1864 that six men had accepted the call at $585 each and another five men at $590 each.
At the February 20th meeting, $2000 were authorized to pay for volunteers to fill the February 1 quota of 2000 men. The people of Upper Gilmanton voted to hire the money, and the selectmen were instructed to raise the best men in the interest of the town.
At another special meeting on June 22, 1864, the citizens voted "that the selectmen borrow any sum, not exceeding $2000, and appropriate the same in obtaining such a number of volunteers as they may think best and at such time as they think proper to answer any call that may be made on the town by the President of the United States."
At an annual meeting on March 14, 1865, an extra tax of $6000 was authorized to reduce the town debt and to pay the interest.
At the annual meeting on March 13, 1866, it was decided after three balloting's not to send a representative to the General Court. The vote was 112 to 108.
At the annual meeting on March 12, 1867, the townspeople voted to raise $300 in addition to the sum required by law for the common schools, not withstanding the high tax rate.
At the annual meeting on March 10, 1868, another $300 were raised for the common schools above the sum required by state law. At a special meeting on May 2, the selectmen were instructed to borrow a sum of money, not exceeding $400, to procure a spur of railroad from Alton or New Durham through Upper Gilmanton to Franklin and if possible to obtain a charter. Joseph Sanborn was chosen agent.
At the annual meeting on March 9, 1869, the men voted to change the name to the Town of Belmont. They obtained the approval of the Legislature on July 5. Three thousand dollars were allocated to reduce the town debt and to pay the interest. The treasurer was instructed not to disperse any more money for the railroad. Two hundred dollars were raised above the state minimum for the district schools.
At the annual meeting on March 8, 1870, three hundred dollars were allocated above the state minimum for the district schools. Three thousand dollars were raised to reduce the town debt.
At the annual meeting on March 13, 1871, three thousand dollars were raised to reduce the town debt.
At the annual meeting on March 12, 1872, another $3000 were allocated to reduce the town debt and to pay the interest. Special meetings were held during the year to consider subscribing five percent of the town's valuation for stock in the railroad contemplated from Franklin through Belmont to Alton. No decision was reached.
At the annual meeting on March 11, 1873, fifteen hundred dollars were raised to reduce the town debt.
Nothing unusual occurred at the annual meeting on March 12, 1874.