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Canaan is a town in Grafton County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 3,909 at the 2010 census. It is the location of Mascoma State Forest. Canaan is home to the Cardigan Mountain School, the town's largest employer.
The main village of the town, where 524 people resided at the 2010 census, is defined as the Canaan census-designated place (CDP), and is located at the junction of U.S. Route 4 with New Hampshire Route 118.
Chartered in 1761 by Governor Benning Wentworth, the town was named after the hometown of many early settlers, Canaan, Connecticut, which had been named by Puritans for the biblical land of Canaan. It was settled in the winter of 1766-1767 by John Scofield, who arrived with all his belongings on a hand sled. The land was filled with rocks, making agriculture difficult. The town constructed a broad road for its main street on a stretch of level land.
In 1828 attorney George Kimball helped organize building the town's Congregational church. He was among the New England abolitionists who founded Noyes Academy in March 1835, one of the first schools in the region to admit students of all races.
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