Concord, New Hampshire
Concord, New Hampshire
—  City  —
The New Hampshire State House as seen from Eagle Square.

Flag

Seal
Location in Merrimack County, New Hampshire
Coordinates: 43°12′24″N 71°32′17″W / 43.20667°N 71.53806°W / 43.20667; -71.53806Coordinates: 43°12′24″N 71°32′17″W / 43.20667°N 71.53806°W / 43.20667; -71.53806
Country United States
State New Hampshire
County Merrimack
Incorporated 1733
Government
 – Mayor Jim Bouley (D)
 – City Manager Thomas J. Aspell, Jr.
 – Legislative body City Council
Area
 – Total 67.5 sq mi (174.9 km2)
 – Land 64.3 sq mi (166.5 km2)
 – Water 3.2 sq mi (8.4 km2)  4.78%
Elevation 288 ft (88 m)
Population (2010)
 – Total 42,695
 – Density 632.5/sq mi (244.2/km2)
Time zone Eastern (UTC−5)
 – Summer (DST) Eastern (UTC−4)
Area code(s) 603
FIPS code 33-14200
GNIS feature ID 0873303
Website www.concordnh.gov

The city of Concord /ˈkɒn.kərd/ is the capital of the state of New Hampshire in the United States. It is also the county seat of Merrimack County. As of the 2010 census, its population was 42,695.[1]

Concord includes the villages of Penacook, East Concord and West Concord. The city is home to the University of New Hampshire School of Law, New Hampshire's only law school; St. Paul's School, a private preparatory school; New Hampshire Technical Institute, a two-year community college; and the Granite State Symphony Orchestra.

Contents

History

Downtown in 2005

The area that would become Concord was originally settled thousands of years ago by Abenaki Native Americans called the Pennacook.[2] The tribe fished for migrating salmon, sturgeon and alewives with nets strung across the rapids of the Merrimack River. The stream was also the transportation route for their birch bark canoes, which could travel from Lake Winnipesaukee to the Atlantic Ocean. The broad sweep of the Merrimack River valley floodplain provided good soil for farming beans, gourds, pumpkins, melons and maize.

On January 17, 1725, the Province of Massachusetts Bay, which then held jurisdiction over New Hampshire, granted it as the Plantation of Penacook.[3] It was settled between 1725 and 1727 by Captain Ebenezer Eastman and others from Haverhill, Massachusetts. On February 9, 1734, the town was incorporated as Rumford,[4] from which Sir Benjamin Thompson, Count Rumford would take his title. It was renamed Concord in 1765 by Governor Benning Wentworth following a bitter boundary dispute between Rumford and the town of Bow; the city name was meant to reflect the new concord, or harmony, between the disputant towns.[5] Citizens displaced by the resulting border adjustment were given land elsewhere as compensation. In 1779, New Pennacook Plantation was granted to Timothy Walker, Jr. and his associates at what would be incorporated in 1800 as Rumford, Maine, the site of Pennacook Falls.

Concord grew in prominence throughout the 18th century, and some of its earliest houses survive at the northern end of Main Street. In the years following the Revolution, Concord's central geographical location made it a logical choice for the state capital, particularly after Samuel Blodget in 1807 opened a canal and lock system to allow vessels passage around the Amoskeag Falls downriver, connecting Concord with Boston by way of the Middlesex Canal. In 1808, Concord was named the official seat of state government,[6] its 1819 State House the oldest capitol in which legislative branches meet in their original chambers. The city would become noted for furniture-making and granite quarrying. In 1828, Lewis Downing joined J. Stephens Abbot to form Abbot-Downing Coaches.[7] Their most famous coach was the Concord Coach, modeled after the coronation coach of King George III. In the 19th century, Concord became a hub for the railroad industry, with Penacook a textile manufacturing center using water power from the Contoocook River. Today, the city is a center for health care and several insurance companies. It is also home to Concord Litho, one of the largest independently owned commercial printing companies in the country.

Geography and climate

Aerial view of downtown Concord (looking east)

Concord is located at 43°12′24″N 71°32′17″W / 43.20667°N 71.53806°W / 43.20667; -71.53806 (43.2070, −71.5371).[8]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 67.5 square miles (175 km2). 64.3 sq mi (167 km2) of it is land and 3.2 sq mi (8.3 km2) of it is water, comprising 4.78% of the city. Concord is drained by the Merrimack River. Penacook Lake is in the west. The highest point in Concord is 860 feet (260 m) above sea level on Oak Hill, just west of the hill's 970-foot (300 m) summit in neighboring Loudon.

Concord lies fully within the Merrimack River watershed,[9] and is centered on the river, which runs from northwest to southeast through the city. Downtown is located on a low terrace to the west of the river, with residential neighborhoods climbing hills to the west and extending southwards towards the town of Bow. To the east of the Merrimack, atop a 100-foot (30 m) bluff, is a flat, sandy plain known as Concord Heights, which has seen most of the city's commercial development since 1960. The eastern boundary of Concord (with the town of Pembroke) is formed by the Soucook River, a tributary of the Merrimack. The Turkey River winds through the southwestern quarter of the city, passing through the campus of St. Paul's School before entering the Merrimack River in Bow. In the northern part of the city, the Contoocook River enters the Merrimack at the village of Penacook. Other village centers in the city include West Concord (actually north of downtown, on the west side of the Merrimack) and East Concord (also north of downtown, but on the east side of the Merrimack).

The city's neighboring communities are Bow to the south, Pembroke to the southeast, Loudon to the northeast, Canterbury, Boscawen, and Webster to the north, and Hopkinton to the west.

Interstate 89 and Interstate 93 are the two main Interstate highways serving Concord, and join just south of the city limits. Interstate 89 links Concord with Lebanon and the state of Vermont to the northwest, while Interstate 93 connects the city to Plymouth, Littleton, and the White Mountains to the north and Manchester to the south. Interstate 393 is a spur highway leading east from Concord and merging with U.S. Route 4 as a direct route to New Hampshire's seacoast. North-south U.S. Route 3 serves as Concord's Main Street, while U.S. Route 202 and New Hampshire Route 9 cross the city from east to west.

Concord, as with much of New England, is within the humid continental climate zone (Köppen Dfb), with long, cold, snowy winters, very warm (and at times humid) summers, and relatively brief autumns and springs. In winter, successive storms deliver light to moderate snowfall amounts, contributing to the relatively reliable snow cover. The dampness is compounded by frequent (occurring 20 times per year) plunges to 0 °F (−18 °C) at night, though thaws are frequent, with a few days per winter above 50 °F (10 °C).[10] Summer can bring stretches of humid conditions as well as thunderstorms, but rarely extended periods of 90 °F (32 °C) or above, with 11 days breaching that mark.[10] Freezes begin early (late Sept) and cease late (late May) in the season, and even summer nights are crisp.[10]

Monthly daily means range from 20.1 °F (−6.6 °C) in January to 70.0 °F (21.1 °C) in July. Temperature extremes have ranged from −37 °F (−38 °C) in February 1943 to 102 °F (39 °C) in July 1966.

Air quality

According to Scorecard.org, Merrimack County ranked in 2002 among the top 10% dirtiest in terms of air pollution, with a total release of 2,830,473 pounds (1,283,881 kg) of toxins, compared to 543 pounds (246 kg) in neighboring Belknap County. The top chemical pollutant release was hydrochloric acid at 2,300,000 pounds (1,000,000 kg), followed by sulfuric acid with 340,000 pounds (150,000 kg) released. The majority of toxins, 2,746,211 pounds (1,245,660 kg), were released in the neighboring town of Bow at the Merrimack Station power plant.

The New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services has put an air quality forecast page on their website. In comparing scorecard.org and the NHDES pollutant forecast, there has been an improvement in air quality from 2002 to 2011.

Demographics

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1790 1,747
1800 2,052 17.5%
1810 2,393 16.6%
1820 2,838 18.6%
1830 3,720 31.1%
1840 4,897 31.6%
1850 8,576 75.1%
1860 10,896 27.1%
1870 12,241 12.3%
1880 13,843 13.1%
1890 17,004 22.8%
1900 19,632 15.5%
1910 21,497 9.5%
1920 22,167 3.1%
1930 25,228 13.8%
1940 27,171 7.7%
1950 27,988 3.0%
1960 28,991 3.6%
1970 30,022 3.6%
1980 30,400 1.3%
1990 36,006 18.4%
2000 40,687 13.0%
2010 42,695 4.9%
Old Post Office in 1910

As of the census of 2010,[13] there were 42,695 people, 17,592 households, and 10,052 families residing in the city. The population density was 632.5 people per square mile (244.2/km²). There were 18,852 housing units at an average density of 293.2 per square mile (113.2/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 91.8% White, 2.2% Black or African American, 0.3% Native American, 3.4% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.4% from some other race, and 1.8% from two or more races. 2.1% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 17,592 households out of which 26.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 41.3% were married couples living together, 11.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 42.9% were non-families. 33.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.26 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the city the population was spread out with 20.7% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 28.0% from 25 to 44, 28.2% from 45 to 64, and 13.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39.4 years. For every 100 females there were 98.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.9 males.

As of the 2000 census, the median income for a household in the city was $42,447, and the median income for a family was $52,418. Males had a median income of $35,504 versus $27,348 for females. The per capita income for the city was $21,976. About 6.2% of families and 8.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 9.3% of those under age 18 and 5.4% of those age 65 or over.

Government

Concord is governed via the mayor-council system. The city council consists of 14 members, ten of which are elected from single-member wards, while the other four are elected at large. The mayor is elected directly every two years.

New Hampshire Department of Corrections operates the New Hampshire State Prison for Men in Concord.

Media

Newspapers

The Concord Monitor (daily)
The Concord Insider (weekly)
The Hippo (weekly)

Radio

WKXL 1450 AM (News Talk Information)
•WNHN-LP94.7 FM (Classical music)
•WEVO 89.1 FM (Public radio)
WJYY 105.5 FM (Top 40)
WWHK102.3 FM (Talk radio)
New Hampshire Public Radio is headquartered in Concord.

Television

WPXG-TV (Channel 21) (Ion Television)
•Concord TV Public-access television cable TV station

Sites of interest

Capitol sign in 2005

Concord has many landmarks and other tourist attractions.

The New Hampshire State House, designed by architect Stuart Park and constructed between 1815 and 1818, is the oldest state house in which the legislature meets in its original chambers.[citation needed] The building was remodeled in 1866, and the third story and west wing were added in 1910.

Located directly across from the State House is the Eagle Hotel, which has been a downtown landmark for nearly 150 years. Presidents Ulysses S. Grant, Rutherford Hayes, and Benjamin Harrison all dined here, and Franklin Pierce spent the night here before departing for his inauguration. Other well-known guests included Jefferson Davis, Charles Lindbergh, Eleanor Roosevelt, Richard Nixon, and Thomas Dewey.[citation needed] The hotel closed its doors in 1961.

South from there on Main Street is Phenix Hall, which is the building that replaced "Old" Phenix Hall, which burned in 1893. Both the old and new buildings featured multi-purpose auditoriums used for political speeches, theater productions, and fairs. Abraham Lincoln spoke at the old hall in 1860; Theodore Roosevelt spoke at the new hall in 1912.[citation needed]

Walker-Woodman House, built in 1733–1735, as it appeared c. 1908

North on Main Street is the Walker-Woodman House, the oldest standing house in Concord.[citation needed] It was built for the Rev. Timothy Walker on North Main Street between 1733 and 1735.

On the north end of Main Street is the Pierce Manse, where President Franklin Pierce lived in Concord before and following his presidency.[citation needed] The mid-1830s Greek Revival house was moved from Montgomery Street to North Main Street in 1971 to prevent its demolition.

Beaver Meadow Golf Course, located in the northern part of Concord, is the oldest golf course in the state of New Hampshire.[citation needed]

The SNOB (Somewhat North Of Boston) Film Festival, started in the fall of 2002, brings independent films and filmmakers to Concord and has provided an outlet for local filmmakers to display their films. SNOB Film Festival became the catalyst for the building of a downtown independent film theater called Red River Theatres that opened in 2007. The SNOB Film Festival is one of the many arts organizations in the city.

Other sites of interest include the Capitol Center for the Arts, the New Hampshire Historical Society, which has two facilities in Concord, and the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center, a planetarium named after Christa McAuliffe, the Concord teacher who died during the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986.

Education

Concord has many different schools. Most of its public schools are run by the Concord School District, except for Merrimack Valley High School, which covers the Penacook area and several towns north of Concord. The only public high school in the Concord School District is Concord High School, which has about 2000 students. The only public middle school in the Concord School District is Rundlett Middle School, which has about 1500 students. Concord School District has many different elementary schools, the largest of which is Broken Ground Elementary School. Broken Ground serves grades three to five. Students heading into Broken Ground come from either Eastman Elementary School or Dame Elementary School. Other public elementary schools in the Concord School District include Kimball School, Walker School, Beaver Meadow Elementary School and Conant Elementary School.

Concord has two parochial schools, Bishop Brady High School and Saint John Regional School.

Other area schools include Concord Christian Academy, Parker Academy, Trinity Christian School, Shaker Road School, and St. Paul's School.

Concord is also home to the University of New Hampshire School of Law, New Hampshire Technical Institute, the Franklin Pierce University Doctorate of Physical Therapy program, and a branch of Hesser College.

Notable inhabitants

References

  1. ^ United States Census Bureau, American FactFinder, 2010 Census figures. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
  2. ^ Lyford, James; Amos Hadley, Howard F. Hill, Benjamin A. Kimball, Lyman D. Stevens, and John M. Mitchell (1903) (PDF). History of Concord, N.H.. Concord, N.H.: The Rumford Press. pp. 65. http://www.onconcord.com/books/lyford/lyford_vol1/LyfordV1chapt1.pdf. 
  3. ^ Lyford et al., p. 107
  4. ^ Lyford et al., p. 147
  5. ^ Moore, Jacob (1824). Annals of the Town of Concord. Concord, N.H.: Jacob B. Moore. pp. 31–34. 
  6. ^ Lyford et al., p. 324–326
  7. ^ Lyford et al., p. 339–340
  8. ^ "Topo Map: Concord, New Hampshire, United States 01 July 1985". The National Map. U.S. Geological Survey. http://msrmaps.com/map.aspx?t=2&s=12&lon=-71.538056&lat=43.206667&w=600&h=400. Retrieved 2008-06-09. 
  9. ^ Foster, Debra H.; Batorfalvy, Tatianna N.; and Medalie, Laura (1995). Water Use in New Hampshire: An Activities Guide for Teachers. U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Geological Survey. http://nh.water.usgs.gov/Publications/nh.intro.html. 
  10. ^ a b c d "Climatography of the United States No. 20: CONCORD MUNICIPAL AP, NH 1971–2000" (PDF). National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. February 2004. http://cdo.ncdc.noaa.gov/climatenormals/clim20/nh/271683.pdf. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  11. ^ "Climatological Information for Concord, United States". Hong Kong Observatory. http://www.weather.gov.hk/wxinfo/climat/world/eng/n_america/us/concord_e.htm. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  12. ^ "Monthly Averages for Concord, NH". The Weather Channel. http://www.weather.com/outlook/health/fitness/wxclimatology/monthly/graph/USNH0045. Retrieved 2010-09-26. 
  13. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data, Concord city, New Hampshire". U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder. http://factfinder2.census.gov. Retrieved September 16, 2011. 

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