Holderness is a lakeside community in the foothills of the white mountains on New Hampshire’s second-largest lake. Squam Lake includes 6,755 acres of water area with 67 islands. It is blessed with abundant natural beauty that has been protected and preserved over the years. The town’s pace is leisurely, and its people are friendly. Holderness is best known as the filming location for the movie “On Golden Pond.” The area is also home to the Squam Lakes Natural Science Center, a 200-acre site with exhibit trails and animals in natural enclosures with a unique outdoor classroom for all ages. The center includes exhibit trails and features native New Hampshire animals in their natural environments. The town is conveniently located off of route I-93 and is within close proximity to Plymouth State University, founded in 1871 with an enrollment of 4,491 students on a 170-acre campus, which offers many cultural and educational opportunities. The prestigious Holderness School, founded in 1879, is located within the community. The student body of 300 is drawn from 22 US States and 14 foreign countries. Resident students attend Holderness Central School through grade 8 with an enrollment of 143 students and then move on to Plymouth Regional High School with an enrollment of 677 students. Major ski areas are within a 30-minute drive. Nearby recreation includes a town beach on Squam Lake, golf courses, restaurants, marinas, lodging, shops, bookstores, country stores, and Squam Lake Tours on Golden Pond.
A unique feature of the Squam Lakes Region is the amount of conserved land in the area. Organizations such as the Squam Lakes Association and Squam Lakes Conservation Society are hard at work protecting the region’s natural beauty.
The West Rattlesnake Mountain Trail, located off Route 113, is a popular short hike with amazing panoramic views overlooking Squam Lake. The Mount Morgan and Mount Percival trailheads are located across the road with hikes with nice views and terrain.
The history of Holderness goes back to when the Squam Lakes when a trade route for Abenaki Indians and early European settlers who traveled the Squam River to the Pemigewasset River, then to the Merrimack River and seacoast. In 1751 a petition was submitted to Governor Wentworth for 6 miles on the Pemigewaaet River, and the town was named after Robert Darcey, the 4th Earl of Holderness. However, the French and Indian War prevented settlement until after the 1759 fall of Quebec. The land was regranted as “New Holderness” in 1761 and settled in 1763. In 1816 residents voted to change the name back to Holderness.
Holderness contains 30.5 square miles of land area and 5.4 square miles of inland water area on Squam like and White Oaks Pond. The population was 2,108 in 2019, and there are approximately 1,208 housing units in town. The 2021 property tax rate is $11.31 per $1,000 compared to $13.58 per $1,000 in 2020. Tourists in the 19th century discovered the region’s scenic mountains and lakes. Before the age of autos, they would travel up the Squam River to rustic fishing camps or hillside hotels besides Squam Lake. Today Holderness remains a popular resort area where the 1981 movie “On Golden Pond” was filmed. Big Squam, Little Squam, and White Oak Pond’s shorelines are dotted with many rustic and upscale lake homes, with the protection of the shoreline and lake environment of prime importance. The Holderness free library built-in 1913 sits at the junction of Route 3 and Route 113 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Public Safety Building on Route 3 houses the fire department and police station built-in 1987. Walter’s Basin is a popular restaurant and pub located on Squam Lake next to the bridge connecting Big Squam to Little Squam. The Squam Lake Inn, The Inn on Golden Pond, The Manor on Golden Pond, The Golden Pond Country Store, and the Squam Lake Market Place are local landmarks and eateries. The Little Church Theater in town is one of many cultural theaters in the Lakes Region that offers wonderful plays and musical events throughout the region. In essence, Holderness is a very desirable rural community with breathtaking scenery and a quaint village-like going back in time. It’s a real special place.
Here’s a look at how the real estate market in Holderness has been performing over the past two years:
- In 2021 there were 33 single-family home sales. The median sales price was $440,000. The average sales price was $761,357. The lowest sales price was $175,000. The highest sales price was $3,225,000. Median days on the market was 8. Total sales volume was $25,124,800.
- In 2021 there were 12 condo sales. The median sales price was $165,000. The average sales price was $307,875. The lowest sales price was $115,000. The highest sales price was $1,375,000. Median days on the market was 4. Total sales volume was $3,694,500.
- In 2020 there were 35 single-family home sales. The median sales price was $500,000. The average sales price was $649,145. The lowest sales price was $139,000. The highest sales price was $3,400,000. Median days on the market was 12. Total sales volume was $22,720,075.
- In 2020 there were 12 condo sales. The median sales price was $125,500. The average sales price was $189,907. The lowest sales price was $107,500. The highest sales price was $650,000. Median days on the market was 10. Total sales volume was $2,278,895.
- At the present time, there are 3 single-family homes under contract where the median listing price was $799,000.
- At the present time, there are 2 condos under contract where the median listing price was $169,949.
- At the present time, there are only 3 single-family homes for sale. The median list price is $699,950. The average list price is $1,341,650. The lowest listing price is $625,000. The highest listing price is $2,700,000. Median days on the market is 28.
- At the present time, there is only 1 condo for sale with a list price of $194,900 and has been on the market for 14 days.
This article was written by Frank Roche. Frank is president of Roche Realty Group with offices in Meredith and Laconia, NH, and can be reached at (603) 279-7046. Town data was compiled by a NEREN search on 3/14/2022 at 11:00 am EST and is subject to change. Please feel free to visit www.rocherealty.com to learn more about the Lakes Region and its real estate market.