The most recent published history chronicling Littleton is subtitled "Crossroads of the North Country" with good reason. Settled in 1770 on the banks of the Ammonoosuc River, Littleton has long served as a center for commerce in New Hampshire's White Mountains region.
When a dam was erected on the river in the 1790's, a sawmill and gristmill were built and stores opened nearby. Other Littleton manufacturers were turning out such diverse products as potato whiskey, potash, scythes, flannels, watches, furniture, carriages, and sleighs. That was the beginning of Littleton's industry and distinctive Main Street.
The developmental forces, still alive and well in Littleton more than two centuries later, established an Industrial Park which is one of the best in the state and is occupied by businesses that are responsible for wages in excess of $35 million and employ over 1,100 area residents. Our downtown is flourishing. The storefront vacancy rate has gone from 20% twelve years ago to a rate of 2% today.
Today, Littleton has a diverse economy thanks to the vision and determination of a group of community leaders who believed that growth and success would occur only when change and progress were planned and managed. The establishment of Littleton's Industrial Development Corp., Economic Development Task Force and inclusion in the National Main Street program were the forces that brought Littleton to be named on the list of the Top Ten Small Towns In America, and to be the recipient of the first NH Profile Community Award for preserving, protecting or promoting NH's spirit of independence. Other awards have followed, but Littleton continues to look forward and plan for its future to maintain the status of being a community with a reputation as a great place to live, visit, work and do business.