Hanover is a town along the Connecticut River in Grafton County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 11,260 at the 2010 census. CNN and Money magazine rated Hanover the sixth best place to live in America in 2011, and the second best in 2007.
The main village of the town, where 8,636 people resided at the 2010 census, is defined as the Hanover census-designated place (CDP), and is located at the junctions of New Hampshire routes 10, 10A, and 120. The town also contains the villages of Etna and Hanover Center.
Hanover was chartered by Governor Benning Wentworth on July 4, 1761, and in 1765–1766 its first European inhabitants arrived, the majority from Connecticut. Although the surface is uneven, the town developed into an agricultural community. Dartmouth College was established in 1769 beside the Common at a village called the Plain—an extensive and level tract of land a mile (1.6 kilometers) from the Connecticut River, and about 150 feet (46 meters) above it.
At one point in its history, the southwest corner of Hanover was known as Dresden, which in the 1780s joined other disgruntled New Hampshire towns along the Connecticut River that briefly defected to what was then the independent Republic of Vermont. For a time, Dresden was capital of the republic. After various political posturings, however, the towns returned to New Hampshire at the heated insistence of George Washington. One remnant of this era is that the name Dresden is still used in the Dresden School District, an interstate school district serving both Hanover and Norwich, Vermont—the first and one of the few inter-state school districts in the nation.
While it is likely that the name "Dresden" derived from Dresden in Germany, it has also been suggested that it could derive directly from the old Sorbian word drezg ("forest") or Drezd'ane, for an inhabitant of a forest.