Initially settled in 1777 within the town of Gilmanton, Gilford became incorporated on June 16, 1812. Gilford is different from surrounding towns because it originated as a farming settlement, with pastures being cleared as early as 1762. The construction of the Lake Shore Railroad brought many tourists, so residents built additional floors onto their homes and began offering lodging. Visitors flocked to the area to enjoy the beautiful Belknap Mountain Range, scenic roads and hiking trails, and the beaches and boat docks on Lake Winnipesaukee. Kimball Castle atop Locke's Hill is a focal point that has been viewed by generations of people traveling to Gilford and is noted for being one of the most haunted places in the state. The town remains a sought-after destination, with many people returning generation after generation. The historians of Gilford continue to work diligently to preserve the town's village, historic treasures, and past.