Effingham was originally called Leavitt's Town (not ever confused with Levittown - the iconic suburban towns in Pennsylvania and Long Island, NY).
Its namesake is founder, Captain John Leavitt, who was the son of a prosperous innkeeper in Hampton, NH. The community is in the southeastern corner of Carroll County
along the Ossipee River, traversed by Routes 153 and 25, and bordered in the southeast by Province Lake.
Effingham was the home of New Hampshire's first "normal school," or teacher training institution. Other local history is found in the Lord's Hill Historic District
, which was added to National Register of Historic Places
in 1985. The historic district includes 21 buildings in Georgian, Federal and the Colonial Revival styles. The historic area is located along the border of the Congregational Church property on Route 153.
The community goes all out for the Christmas season, hosting many local events. The Prodigal Brewery
calls Effingham home, as does Cloverleaf Farm
, a bio-dynamic organic farm featuring an herbal apothecary. You may also find Ye Old Sail Shop
worth a visit while in town.
Province Lake, 1,400 acres, feels quite unspoiled and there are ample opportunities for swimming along Route 153.
Nearby Parsonsfield Seminary
founded in 1832, is now a popular artistic & cultural center and event facility, and is reportedly the residence of a small child's ghost.
Dining in town seems limited to Boyle's Family Market, 41 Route 25, but more dining, and lodging are available in neighboring Ossipee
and East Wakefield
. Effingham does have a great campground though - Province Shores Campground
is located directly on Province Lake and while it's targeted at seasonal campers, it does offer trailer rentals, trailer sites and tent sites along with the usual campground amenities. They also offer boat slips.
For a little history and an architecture review, a stop in Effingham is time well spent.