The town of Meredith was first known as Palmer’s Town, in honor of Samuel Palmer, a teacher of surveying and navigation, who had laid out much of the land surrounding Lake Winnipesaukee. One of the first towns to have a charter granted by the Masonian Proprietors, many new settlers were from Salem, Massachusetts, and the town was renamed New Salem. In 1768, the land was regranted and named after Sir William Meredith, who opposed taxation on the colonies.
Meredith is dominated by several large bodies of water. About half of the town’s southeastern boundary with its neighbor Laconia is occupied by Winnisquam Lake, while the northern half of town lies within a peninsula, Meredith Neck, that separates Meredith Bay from the main body of Lake Winnipesaukee, giving Meredith an extensive coastline. Bear Island, the second largest on Winnipesaukee, and Stonedam Island, along with dozens of smaller islands are also part of the town.