Hopkinton is a town in Merrimack County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 5,589 at the 2010 census. The town has three distinct communities: Hopkinton village, mainly a residential area in the center of the town; Contoocook, the town's business hub, located in the north; and West Hopkinton, within the more agricultural portion of the town. The town is home to the Hopkinton State Fair, adjacent to Contoocook village, and to the historic Contoocook Railroad Depot and the Contoocook Railroad Bridge, the oldest covered railroad bridge in the United States.
The town was granted by Colonial Governor Jonathan Belcher in 1735 as "Number 5" to settlers from Hopkinton, Massachusetts, who renamed it "New Hopkinton." First settled in 1736, colonists were required to build homes, fence in their land, plant it with English grass, and provide a home for a minister, all within seven years. The community would be incorporated in 1765 by Governor Benning Wentworth. Built in 1789, the Congregational Church has a Revere bell. The legislature met in Hopkinton occasionally between 1798 and 1807. In 1808, the town competed for the coveted position of state capitol, but was defeated by nearby Concord.
A substantial portion of the town in the north was named "Contoocook Village" for a tribe of the Pennacook Indians who once lived there. Due to its position along the Contoocook River, it became a center for water-powered industry, particularly lumber and textiles. The Contoocook covered railroad bridge in the village is a remnant of the Boston & Maine Railroad and is the oldest covered bridge of its kind still standing in the United States. Next to the bridge is the Contoocook Railroad Depot, one of the original railroad depots for the Concord and Claremont Railroad.