History (see directly below) | More Manchester
Street (downtown) scene, Manchester NH, circa late 1800's
city of Manchester is located on the banks of the Merrimack River
in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire. Prior to receiving its
final name of Manchester, the city had other names starting with
Nutfield, Tyngs Town, then Harrytown [Old Harry's Town]
and Derryfield. Manchester was settled in the early 1700's, and
was originally incorporated in 1752, by the name of Derryfield.
In 1810 it received its present name of Manchester, and was incorporated
as a city in 1846. Manchester has been called "Elm City of
New England" and the "Queen City of New Hampshire."
and Geography of Manchester NH
According to the 1817 Gazetteer: Manchester "is bounded
N. and E. by Chester, S. by Londonderry, and W. by Merrimack
river, which separates it from Bedford
comprising an area of 15,071 acres, 550 of which are water. Massabesick
pond lies partly in this town. Amuskeag falls and MGregores
bridge are on the Merrimack between this town and Goffstown. Blodgets
canal is cut round the falls on the Manchester side. Through the
lower part of the town Cohass
brook flows from Massabesick
pond to Merrimack river, and a canal is projected for the
purpose of making this canal navigable for boats, rafts, etc.
Manchester has 1 meeting house, several mills, and a cotton and
current geography of Manchester -- lies in the eastern part of
county, and is bounded as follows: On the north by Merrimack
County, on the east and south by Rockingham County, and on the
west by the towns of Bedford and Goffstown.
a Walking Tour of Manchester NH - this page at the Great Manchester
Chamber of Commerce provides a walking tour brochure in PDF format,
called "Manchester On Foot."
The Merrimack River
"The Indians tell us of a beautiful river far to the south
which they call the Merrimac." These words are to be found
in a report from Pierre
du Guast, Sieur de Monts, the Hugeunot founder of Port Royal,
to the French Government. They were written in 1604. He never
saw the river of which he was the first to write the name. In
July of the following year his fellow countryman, Samuel
de Champlain, sailed into the harbor at the mouth of the Merrimac
(Riviere du Gas).
Manchester and its Native People
Similar to many other New England communities, the territory later
known as Manchester was originally occupied by Native Americans,
in this case the Namaoskeag
Indians, a tribe subject to the Penacooks
[PDF file] , who dwelt around Amoskeag
Falls. The banks of the 54-foot waterfall at Manchester's
Amoskeag Falls was a favorite fishing ground for these tribes
for thousands of years. During the fishing season it was the residence
of the great chief Passaconaway,
and a rendezvous for all the tribes that acknowledged him as sagamore
(or chief). Once source states that John
Eliot, an early Christian missionary to the native people,
preached at Amoskeag Falls, and that after Passaconaway converted
to the Christian faith, a Native American church and school were
built here (possibly on the east side of the falls, but no records
word "Amoskeag," written variously, Namaske, Namaoskeag,
Naumkeag, Naimkeak, Naamkeke, and Nimkigmeans the fishing place,
from Namaos (a fish) and Auke (a place). A second source indicates
that this term meant "A great fishing place."
of these native tribes had left the area by 1725 when the European
settlers began to arrive. Probably forty years elapsed between
the time that the Native People left and before the first permanent
First European Settlers:
The early history of Manchester cannot be told without including
New Hampshire history. Towns along the New Hampshire coastline
were first settled in the 1600's. Not until 1760, an event that
ended the long struggle with the French and their Native American
allies, did the settlement of inland and upland portions of New
Hampshire begin in earnest. Not only was the menace of Native
American hostility at last removed, but the colony's population
had finally grown sufficiently to sustain an advancing frontier.
As late as 1732, after over 100 years of English occupancy, New
Hampshire's population was only 12,500. This changed dramatically
after 1760 -- between the years of 1760 through 1775 eighty-nine
new towns were chartered and 19 others were subdivided.
group of Scot-Irish settlers were the first to arrive in the area
now known as Manchester, New Hampshire. They left their homes
Ireland, and arrived in Boston, Massachusetts August 4, 1718
to start a new life. Of these five shiploads of people, sixteen
families left Haverhill MA for Nutfield NH. Their first grant
was secured from the Massachusetts Bay Company. Later on, doubting
the right of Massachusetts to the territory, and considering the
"Wheelwright claim" valid, they obtained a deed of the
section from the Wheelwright heirs.
They obtained from John, the grandson of Rev. John Wheelwright,
a deed dated October 20, 1719, which conveyed to them a tract
of land ten miles square, in what was known as the "chestnut
country" from the abundance of its chestnut trees, which
also gave the name of "Nutfield" to Londonderry.
Nutfield was the first inland settlement in the Merrimack Valley
and originally included what are now the Town of Manchester, Hudson,
Windham, Salem and Derry (the oak grove). In 1741 a section was
lost on the southern boundary to form Windham and Hudson; Derryfield
(later named Manchester) was incorporated in 1751 and Derry became
a separate Town in 1828.
According to "The history of Londonderry : comprising the
towns of Derry and Londonderry, N.H.," by Edward L. Parker;
Boston: Perkins and Whipple, 1851, (on page 423) "Those who
first composed the settlement [of Londonderry NH], were the following
sixteen men and their families namely--James McKeen, John Barnett,
Archibald Clendenin, John Mitchell, James Sterrett, James Anderson,
Randal Alexander, James Gregg, James Clark, James Nesmith, Allen
Anderson, Robert Weir, John Morrison, Samuel Allison, Thomas Steele
and John Stuart.
June 21, 1722, they established a charter for the Township
of Londonderry. Later, several portions of the Town were subdivided
into parishes and other towns. Their first minister, James
MacGregor, preached his first sermon in the new settlement
underneath a large oak on the east side of Beaver Pond.
1722 the first white people settle in the limits of current day
Manchester: John Goffe Jr., Edward Lingfield and Benjamin Kidder,
on Cohas Brook near Goffe's Falls.
MacGregor was the first man of the Londonderry colony to visit
the Amoskeag Falls, and was ever afterwards entitled, by a regulation
of the town, to the first fish caught there each spring. The Scotch-Irish
claimed the land clear up to the falls, and some of their number
settled on the neighboring territory long before the conflicting
claims were adjusted. These squatters constituted the embryo of
the future town of Derryfield. The region was at that time known
by the not very flattering name of Old Harry's Town. (Harrytown
was a strip of land between the old line of Chester and the Merrimack
river, a little over a mile wide and eight miles in length, extending
from what is now Hooksett to Litchfield, and on which the mills
of Manchester later stood).
Brief Existence of Tyngstown:
In 1727 Major Ephraim Hildreth, Capt. John Shepley, and others,
soldiers under William Tyng in the famous "snowshoe expedition"
of 1703, petitioned for and obtained from Massachusetts legislature
a grant of land "between Litchfield and Suncook on ye Easterly
Side Merrimack River." This was supplemented by a smaller
grant on the north side of the Piscataquog. The tract on the east
side of the Merrimac was to be six miles square, "exclusive
of Robert Rand's Grant and the three Farms pitched upon"
by Hon. Samuel Thaxter, John Turner, and William Dudley, Esq.
Thaxter, nine years later, sold his farm to Archibald Stark, the
father of Gen. John Stark. Two hundred acres of land "at
the Most Convenient place of Amoskeag Falls" was also reserved
by the state.
the conditions of the grant, the grantees were to settle their
tract of land with sixty families within four years. Each family
was to have a house eighteen feet square and "seven feet
stud," and four acres cleared and plowed and stocked with
English grass fit for mowing. It was further required that they
should lay out three lots, "one for the first minister, one
for the ministry, and one for the school..." The incorporators
of the township lived in the vicinity of Dunstable, Groton, and
Chelmsford, where the preliminary meetings were held. The minutes
of these meetings, written in a handsome hand, were kept by Joseph
Blanchard, clerk. The first meeting held at the home of Benjamin
Bancroft, in Groton, November 28, 1738, and a year later the 2nd
meeting was held at the house of Isaac Farwell, inholder of Dunstable,
where they voted to build a meeting house. These early settlers
of Tyngstown lost these claims when the boundary dispute of the
area was not in their favor, and they surrendered the grant, with
only a few of these families remaining in the area (the
rest removing to Wilton, Maine in April of 1751). The Tyngstown
meetinghouse was burnt to the ground from a forest fire.
Incorporation of Derryfield
In August of 1751 the predominantly Scots-Irish in the area requested
incorporation of the township of Derryfield. This petition was
granted and the town of Derryfield was officially incorporated
September 3, 1751, and the first town meeting was held
at John Hall's Inn (on the current Mammoth Road) three weeks later.
John Hall was elected the first town clerk, and John Goffe, William
Perham, Nathaniel Boyd, Daniel McNiel (McNeil), and Eliezar Wells,
selectmen. The second meeting was held at the same place twelve
weeks later. [John Hall lent his name to a section of the city
and an elementary school, i.e. Hallsville; John Goffe lent his
name to the nearby town of Goffstown and a section of Manchester
known as Goffe's Falls].
The location of the Derryfield Meeting house was greatly disputed
(for many years), but it was finally built in Derryfield Centre
(on Mammoth Road). [More history of
the Derryfield meeting house and cemetery]
was an area that included the south-west part of Chester, part
of Londonderry and 8 square miles of Harrytown (35 miles in all).
The north part of Harrytown, called Henrysburg or Henrysborough
was left ungranted, but was annexed in 1792. The name of Derryfield
is said to have been given to the new township because the people
of Derry had been used to pasture their cows within it.
Villages in Derryfield and Amoskeag
The community had several villages which arose from geographical
circumstance, viz.: Piscataquog, Amoskeag, Manchester Centre,
Goffe's Falls, Bakersville, Hallsville, Janesville, Youngsville
and Towlesville. Amoskeag was named from the falls--"the
place of much fish;" Piscataquog from the river--"the
place of much deer;" the Centre because it was the original
town. Goffe's Falls obtained its designation from Col.
John Goffe, who settled there in 1734, but took the name of
Moore's village after the Goffe farm and mills passed into the
hands of Capt. Samuel Moore who married a daughter of Col. Goffe.
The place is now known, however, as Goffe's Falls. That name was
originally given to the falls in Cohas brook, but is now applied
to the rapids in the Merrimack just above the brook's mouth. Bakersville
was so called from being built upon the farm of the late Joseph
Baker. Hallsville was named for Joseph B. Hall, once a large real
estate owner in that vicinity; Janesville for Mrs. Jane Southwark,
wife of Taylor M. Southwark, whose maiden name was Jane Young
and who inherited the land there; Towlesville for Hiram Towle
who owned the territory on which the settlement stands; Youngsville
for the Youngs who dwelt there. The last five were built upon
land beyond that which was included in the Amoskeag Company's
purchases, and for many years were separated from the compact
part of the city by woods. Hallsville and Janesville once had
their tavern and stores, but by 1895 they were all only localities,
their identity slowly lost in the city's expansion. Manchester
Centre, Amoskeag and Piscataquog had been each the center of business
and enterprise. Of these the Centre was entirely with a railway,
but Piscataquog, though no longer at the head of navigation on
the river, became a thriving village, while Amoskeag was a manufacturing
area. Goffe's Falls, as well as the two latter places, supported
stores of its own, and the Cohas brook supplied water power for
hosiery, crash and cassimere mills. In 1895 the trains on the
Portsmouth railway stopped at Hallsville and Massabesic pond;
those of the North Weare Railroad stopped at Piscataquog; while
Manchester iteself, Amoskeag and Goffe's Falls were stations on
the Concord railway.
area of Manchester called "Piscataquog" (nicknamed "Squog"
by the locals) was part of Bedford and Amoskeag ("Skeag")
was in Goffstown before it was annexed to the city in 1853. Before
Manchester was incorporated as a city in 1846, the town consisted
of small isolated hamlets on the east side of the Merrimack River.
As Manchester grew in size and prosperity it engulfed the boundaries
of surrounding villages.
1771 New Hampshire was divided into five counties, and
Derryfield was attached to Hillsborough (named in honor of Willis
Hills, Earl of Hillsborough and a member of the privy council
of George III).
1792 a number of men formed a corporation as the proprietors
of the Amoskeag Bridge and the bridge was completed in September
of that year. It crossed the Merrimack at the foot of Bridge street
and was known as "McGregor's bridge," from Robert McGregor
who lived just across the river in Goffstown.
May 1794. Hon. Samuel Blodget begins work on a canal around
Amoskeag Falls. He lost his fortune in the enterprise and raised
money by lotteries. The canal was completed 1 May 1807. [He was
born 1 April 1724 in Woburn MA; he became a sutler during the
colonial war and Revolution; judge of court of common pleas, and
merchant; became a resident of Derryfield, near Amoskeag falls
in 1793. He died Sept 1807, and is buried in Valley Cemetery.]
In 1795 a number of citizens associated themselves to form
a social library and in 1799 they were incorporated as "The
Proprietors of the Social Library in Derryfield," when they
had seventy-eight books, but the organization was subsequently
dissolved. [SEE LIBRARY below]
Eastern portions of what we know today as the "Queen City"
was within the borders of the town of Derryfield. The First English
colonial settlement of same was around 1722 and included John
GOFFE, Jr., and his brothers-in-law: Edward LINGFIELD and Benjamin
KIDDER who erected their houses on Cohas Brook. Goffe lived on
the north bank of the brook nearly opposite the falls to which
he has left his name.
1733 John & Christiana McNEIL moved to an area than
known as Harrytown, and located himself upon what was later called
the Kidder Farm; he is said to have been the first white settler
at the Falls or upon that part of Harrytown within the thickly
settled parts of the city of Manchester. McNeil's house stood
near McNeil street, and about midway between Elm and Canal streets.
After the settlement of McNeil at Namaoskeag, the excellent fisheries
soon attracted the attention of other enterprising pioneers, and
not many years elapsed before the locality witnessed a large (for
that early era) influx of settlers, anxious to rear their homes
at the "fishing at Ammosceg." These settlers came from
Londonderry, Litchfield, Dunstable, and other towns down the river.
It is impossible at this day to tell the precise time or the order
of settlement of the different families, but among these were
Robert ANDERSON, Benjamin BLODGETT, David DICKEY, Charles EMERSON,
William GAMBLE, Benjamin HADLEY, John HALL, Thomas
HALL, Ephraim HILDRETH, Barber LESLIE, Mr. & Mrs. Michael
McCLINTOCK, Alexander McMURPHY, Jr., Nathaniel MARTIN,
William NUTT, William PERHAM, John RIDELL,
Archibald STARK and Benjamin STEVENS.
Of these early settlers nearly all were active, enterprising men,
and many were from Londonderry, and were of Scot-Irish extraction.
1735 Massachusetts granted also a tract of land on the east
side of the Merrimack, three miles wide and extending from Suncook
to Litchfield, to Major Ephraim Hildreth, John Shepley and other
soldiers who had fought the Indians in 1703 under Captain William
Tyng, in whose honor the place was named Tyngstown. It included
the old Harrytown and was the sixth grant within Manchester's
limits. Major Hildreth, in 1735 or 1735, built upon the Cohas,
a little east of Harvey's mills, a saw-mill, the first mill of
any kind in Manchester. A settlement grew up there, and a meeting-house
was built in the vicinity which afterwards was destroyed by sparks
from burning woods.
the French and Indian War, which began in 1746 and ended in
1748, the settlers took a worthy part, building a fort at
the outlet of what was later called Nutt's
Pond [the body of water near the current 'Precourt Park' off
South Willow Street], a place central to the three settlements
at Amoskeag, Goffe's Falls and Webster's Mills. At the latter
part John McMurphy and his son Alexander had built in 1742
a sawmill, with some idea that iron ore might be mined in that
to one source] "The Seven Years' War, between the British
and the French, began in 1754 and lasted until 1761, and in it
the men of Derryfield bore a prominent part, the "Rangers"
under command of Col. John Goffe, Capt.
Robert Rogers and Capt. John Stark, being especially noted. It
is a curious fact that Col. Goffe's men, dressed in odd clothes,
wearing their hair long or tied in queues, their head protected
by woolen nightcaps, suggested to Dr. Shackburg, a surgeon in
the British regular army, the writing to a tune called "Nankey
Doodle," which had come down from Cromwell's time, a song
in derision of these nondescripts, changing "Nankey"
to "Yankey" and thus originating the title of the later
French and Indian War
During the French and Indian War, which began in 1746, the settlers
of Amoskeag took an active part and a fort was erected at the
outlet of what became known as Nutt's Pond. There were soldiers
from this town also in the French War in 1755, this locality sending
three companies. These were commanded by Captain GOFFE and Captain
MOORE, of Derryfield, and the other by Captain ROGERS, of what
Captain GOFFE's Roll was as follows:
John GOFFE, Captain; Samuel MOORE Lieutenant;
Nathanial MARTAIN, Ensign; Jonathan CORLIS, Sergeant; Jonas HASTINGS,
Sergeant; John GOFFE, Jr., Sergeant;
Thomas MERRILL, Clerk; Samuel MARTAIN, Corporal; John MOOR, Corporal;
Joshua MARTAIN, Corporal; Benjamin EASTMAN, Corporal; Benjamin
William BARRON, John BEDELL, Aaron COPPS, Daniel CORLIS, Ebenezer
COSTON, Caleb DAULTON, William FORD, Joseph GEORGE, Stephen GEORGE,
Thomas GEORGE, Benjamin HADLEY, John HARWOOD, Obadiah HAWES, Amaziah
HILDRETH, Robert HOLMES, Nathan HOWARD, Jacob JEWELL, William
KELLEY, John KIDDER, John LITTELL, William McDUGAL, Thomas McLAUGHLIN,
Daniel MARTAIN, Ebenezer MARTAIN, Joseph MERRILL, David
NUTT, Robert NUTT, James PETTERS, Aaron QUINBY, John ROWELL,
Josiah ROWELL, Jacob SILLIWAY, Nathaniel SMITH, Benjamin VICKERY,
William WALKER, David WELCH, David WILLSON, John WORTLY, Thomas
WORTLY, Israel YOUNG.
MOOR's Roll was as follows:
John MOOR, Captain; Antony EMARY, Lieutenant; Alexander TODD,
Ensign; Matthew READ, Sergeant; Thomas READ, Sergeant; James MOOR,
Sergeant; William SPEAR, Sergeant; Ezekiel STEEL, Corporal; Samuel
McDUFFY, Corporal; John RICKEY, Corporal; John SPEAR, Corporal;
James BALEY, Edward BEAN, James BEAN, Samuel BOYDE, William CAMPBLE,
Mark CARE (or KARY), Edward CARNS, Robert COCHRAN, John CRAGE,
John CUNNINGHAM, Robert EDWARDS, Thomas GREGG, Theophalas HARVEY,
Thomas HUTCHINGS, Michael JOHNSON, Robert KENNADE, William KENNISTON,
Barber LESLY, James LIGGET, John LOGAN, Alexander McCLARY, John
McCORDY, Nathaniel McKARY, Robert McKEEN, John McNIGHT, Samuel
MILLER, John MITCHEL, Robert MORREL, James ONAIL, James OUGHTERSON,
Joshua ROWLINGS, Robert SMITH, Esa STEVENS, Daniel TOWORD, David
VANCE, Robert WAWDDLE, John WELCH.
The following, mostly from this neighborhood, were at the battle
of Lake George, and were subsequently known as the "Rangers:"
Robert ROGERS, Captain; Richard ROGERS, Lieutenant; Noah JOHNSON,
Ensign; James ARCHIBALD, Sergeant; John McCURDY, Sergeant; James
McNEAL, Corporal; Nathaniel JOHNSON, Corporal; James ADISON, William
AKER, Elisha BENNETT, John BROWN, Matthew CHRISTOPHER, James CLARK,
Isaac COLTON, William CUNNINGHAM, Charles DUDLEY, Rowling FOSTER,
John FROST, James GRISE, John HARTMAN, James HENRY, Timothy HODSDASE,
John KISER, John LEITON, Samuel LETCH, William McKEEN, Piller
MAHANTON, James MARS, John MICHEL, James MORGAN, David
NUTT, Jonathan SILAWAY, James SIMONDS, Pileh SIMPSON, Nathaniel
SMITH, Benjamin SQUANTON, Joshua TITWOOD, Simon TOBY, John WADLEIGH,
James WELCH, William WHEELER, Philip WILLS, Stephen YOUNG.
1765 the first tax list was published (as Derryfield)
- SEE LIST (Txt file)
List 1766 of Derryfield NH (from History of Manchester)
- TXT file
1773 Archibald Stark (the father of the Revolutionary hero),
John McNeil and John Riddell (as the name was spelt) went from
that town to occupy lands near the Falls, Stark settling upon
the "Stark place," McNeil upon the "Kidder farm,"
and Riddell upon the "Ray farm." These were the first
known white settlers near Amoskeag Falls.
settlers of note include, John MOOR, son-in-law of Col.
John Goffe. John Moor fought in the French & Indian
War, and also was a Captain in John Stark's regiment at the beginning
of and during the Revolutionary war.
In March 1776, TWO sets of town officers were elected,
at different times on the same day, resulting in great confusion,
and a petition being sent to Governor Benning Wentworth to settle
the matter. As a result the state government issued a document
voiding both sets of town officers, and requiring a new town-meeting
and election in August of 1776. [See History
of Manchester, Part 3 - Txt file]
Samuel Blodgett - Canal Builder
Samuel BLODGET(T) was a merchant and manufacturer who developed
a canal and lock system that helped to open the trade to the Boston
and Concord areas. In 1793, Samuel Blodget decided to build a
canal that flowed around the Amoskeag Falls. By going through
this canal, boats could safely sail down the Merrimack River.
This canal was completed in 1807 at a total cost of $50,000 after
a persistent effort by Blodget which involved lottery funding
from both New Hampshire and Massachusetts. It took a boat 5 days
to come up from Boston to Concord. The boats were powered by rowing
or poling up the river. The current of the river was used to get
back to Boston.
Growth of Manchester
The Amoskeag Mill companies were instrumental to the growth of
Manchester, not only acting as a magnet to its growth, but also
providing the early services, such as stores, fire and police
to the early city. It is reasonable to state that without the
mills, Manchester would not have grown to be as large and prominent
as it is today.
Amoskeag Cotton and Woolen Manufacturing Company [archived
link] was founded in 1809 by Mr. Benjamin PRICHARD, in
an area then known as a section of Goffstown. At first, there
were no looms and cotton and wool were woven in local homes. Weavers
earned 30¢ per day.
original name of Derryfield was changed in 1810 in honor of the
already booming mills of Manchester, England (see next paragraph);
a larger mill was built in the 1830's within Manchester city limits,
modeled somewhat after complexes in Lowell, Massachusetts.
13, 1810, when the population of the town was six hundred
and fifteen, [one source says 113 people] the town chose Thomas
Stickney, John G. Moor and Amos Weston as a committee to petition
the legislature to change the name of Derryfield to Manchester.
The new name was chosen in compliment to Judge Blodget, who had
said the town would become "the Manchester of America."
Mr. Weston became the mayor of that city.
Also in 1810, the largest tax payer was Isaac Huse, and
his tax was $16.30. The town clerk was voted $5 for one year's
service, and the three outgoing selectmen were paid respectively,
$13.75, $12.25 and $10.25 for their time and services the last
1815 the town was allowed to be represented by itself,
instead of being classed with other towns, and March 12, 1816,
Isaac Huse was chosen as the first representative.
March 1816, First representative from Manchester, Isaac Huse,
year 1821 is remarkable for the first known murder committed
by a citizen of Manchester and recognized by the judicial authorities.
On the fourth day of October of that year Daniel D. Farmer of
Manchester murdered a worthless woman of Goffstown named Anna
Ayer, by striking her on the head in a sudden fit of anger. He
was arrested and committed to jail, and, by the court at Amherst
in October, was found guilty and sentenced to be hung. The sentence
was carried out on January 23, 1822.
1822 the Amoskeag Cotton and Woolen Manufacturing Company
was sold to Olney ROBINSON and expanded. In 1830 it was bought
by Boston financiers and reorganized.
- post office: on the completion of Mammoth road -- the old stage
route from Lowell to Concord.. a post-office was established at
the "Centre" and Samuel Jackson, was appointed postmaster
by president Andrew Jackson. Daily, as the stage came by from
the north or south, the contents of the mail-bag were examined
and letters for the office were taken out and those to be mailed
were forwarded. In February 1840, a new post office was established
in Duncklee's block, and Jesse Duncklee was appointed postmaster
by President Martin Van Buren. The name of the office at the Centre
was changed to that of Manchester Centre office, but soon afterwards
Mr. Jackson resigned and the office at the Centre was discontinued.
Upon the completion of the town hall in 1841, the post-office
was removed to that building. When the town hall burned in 1844,
the office was removed to to other locations.
- President Andrew Jackson and his cabinet pass over Mammoth Road
in Manchester on their way from Boston to Concord, and dined at
White's Hotel in the northern part of Londonderry.
1834 the road passing by the meeting house was improved
(by court order) to provide a more direct route from Concord to
Lowell, and named Mammoth Road.
26, 1839, it was voted to establish a system of police
and a board of health, and to take measures for protection against
fire. The "new village" as the settlement upon the Company's
last was called, was allowed to nominate the fire-wards. The latter
organized and bought a fire-engine called "Merrimack No.
1," and the first engine-house was built on Vine Street.
There was already in town an engine which was owned by the Stark
Mill. In 1839 also the first police officers were appointed --
four in number.
September 24, 1839, Jeremiah Johnson, a member of the Manchester
Rifle Company, was killed in a general quarrel by Elbridge Ford.
The latter was tried the next year, found guilty of manslaughter
and sentenced to the state prison for five years, but was pardoned
at the end of three.
Amoskeag Representative, the first newspaper printed in
Manchester, was established by John Caldwell and its first number
issues Friday, October 18, 1839, its publication being
continued weekly thereafter. Its name was changed to that of Manchester
Representative January 22, 1841. The paper was sold, December
7, 1842, to Kimball & Currier, and merged with the Manchester
Nov 1839, First police officers appointed: Hiram Brown, Nehemiah
Chase, J.T.P. Hunt and James Wallace.
second newspaper in Manchester was the Amoskeag Memorial,
whose publication was begun Wednesday, January 1, 1840,
by Joseph C. Emerson, who was born in Weare, learned the printer's
trade at Concord, and later resided in Cleveland, Ohio. At the
commencement of the second volume, January 6, 1841, its name was
changed to that of Manchester Memorial. Joseph Kidder became
its editor February 17, 1841, at which time he sold to Mr. Emerson
of the People's Herald, and assumed the double title of Manchester
Memorial & People's Herald until June 5, 1842, when the
latter half of the name was dropped. Ownership again changed and
on September 6, 1844 the name was changed to the Manchester
1840, the Granite bridge was built.
1840 the Lowell Street Universalist Church, the First Baptist
Church (which stood on the corner of Manchester and Chestnut streets
until it was destroyed by the fire of 1870), a wooden chapel on
Hanover street for the Second Methodist Episcopal society, and
Granite Bridge were built; the Amoskeag Insurance Company was
started; "The Memorial" newspaper, and the "Manchester
Workman," a campaign paper was established by J.C. Emerson;
the town was divided by the selectmen into nine school districts;
Elm, Bridge, Lowell, Concord, Amherst, Hanover, Manchester, Pine
and Chestnut streets were laid out as far as they extended upon
the Company's land. The population was 3325.
earliest fire of much consequence was May 14, 1840 which
destroyed the Amoskeag Company's mill upon an island in the river
at Amoskeag Falls, which was built for a machine-shop, and was
used subsequently for the manufacture of tickings and was known
as the "Island Mill."
The old town farm was bought in 1841 of Moses Davis for
four thousand dollars. It contained one hundred acres and was
situated upon Bridge street near the Mammoth Road. In 1846
there were added to this farm of about one hundred and thirty-five
acres, situated upon the Mammoth road and adjacent to the old
farm. It was formerly the property of Capt. Ephraim Stevens Jr.
and passed from him into the hands of the Hon. Frederick G. Stark,
who sold it to the city for six thousand dollars. The poor, who
had been kept on the Davis farm, were moved in 1846 to the building
which is now used as a poor-house and house of correction and
which was a large tavern when the stage-coaches ran daily over
the Mammoth road. On the old farm is an unused pest-house and
a pound. A new pest-house was built of brick in 1874 upon the
old farm near the Mammoth road.
1841 the first town meeting was held in the "new village"
in a hall on Amherst Street. The same year a town-house was built
on the corner of Elm and Market Streets at a cost of seventeen
1842 the Episcopal society built a wooden church, then
known as St. Michael's, on the corner of Lowell and Pine streets,
at which spot Grace Church was later built.
26, 1842, W.H. Kimball and Joseph Kidder, issued the first
number of the Manchester Democrat, a weekly newspaper.
1844 the Antheum was established, as a former chapter of
the Social Library in Derryfield -- that had existed in
the town from 1795 to 1833 (the use of which was restricted to
members) and was located in the Patten Block on Elm Street next
to the City Hall. The Manchester Antheum collection was officially
transferred to the city on September 6, 1854, as a free public
library for all of Manchester's citizens. When the library's collection
outgrew that facility, the City erected a new building for it
on Franklin Street, on a lot given by the Amoskeag Manufacturing
current Library building was constructed through the generosity
of the president of Amoskeag Paper Mill, Frank Pierce Carpenter
who offered to construct a library building in the memory of his
wife Elenora Blood Carpenter (who died in January, 1910). This
building, located on Pine Street (between Concord and Amherst
Streets), was opened on November 18, 1914.
August 12, 1844, fire consumed the "townhouse"
(or city hall) which included the post office, printing-office
and stores on the lower stories.
Manchester Bank, chartered by the state in December 1844,
was organized in 1845 with the following directors: Samuel D.
Bell, Hiram Brown, Jacob G. Cilley, Isaac C. Flanders, Walter
French, William C. Clarke, and Nathan Parker. James U. Parker
was elected president at the annual meeting in July 1845. The
bank began operations September 2, 1845 in Patten's building.
Patten's building was burned February 5, 1856, and the bank was
moved to Merchant's Exchange, on the corner of Elm and Market
streets later occupied by the Manchester National Bank, which
succeeded the business and location of the old Manchester Bank
[and was organized April 1865].
to 1845, the Manchester
Fire Department was staffed by volunteers. In 1845, a Board
of Fire Engineers was established, taking the place of the old
fire wards with Daniel Clark appointed as the first Chief Engineer.
At the annual town meeting held on March 10, 1845, it was voted
to pay firefighters 10 cents an hour for actual service at fires.
1845 the City Hall was built at a cost of $35,000, after
the plans of Edward Shaw of Boston. After the city charter was
approved in 1846, the first election occurred on August 19, when
there were four candidates for mayor: Hiram Brown, a Whig; William
C. Clarke, a Democrat; Thomas Brown, who was the Abolition
candidate; and William Shepherd. 1170 votes were cast and Hiram
Brown who received 579 lacked 17 for the majority. A second election
took place in September with four candidates--Hiram Brown, a Whig;
Isaac C. Flanders, a Democrat; Thomas Brown, an Abolitionist;
and John S. Wiggin. 1144 votes were cast and Hiram Brown who received
602 was selected as the first mayor.
murder--Jonas L. Parker, who had been collector of taxes in 1844,
was enticed from his house on Manchester street late in the evening
of the twenty-sixth of October 1845, by a man unknown to
any one but Parker, on a plea that a lady wanted to see him in
Janesville on urgent business. Between the village and the more
thickly settled part of town was a piece of woods, and in them,
near what is now the corner of Manchester and Beech streets, Parker's
body was found the next morning with the throat cut and other
evidences of a murder. Most of the money he had with him was taken.
The coroner, Joseph M. Rowell, summoned a jury, consisting of
Daniel Clark, Dr. Charles Wells, and Dr. D.J. Hoyt, who made a
careful examination of great length. In 1848 Asa and Henry T.
Wentworth, brothers, who had been connected with a Janesville
tavern, were arrested in Saco, Maine, upon a suspicion of being
the murderers, but they were discharged after an examination.
In 1850, however, they were re-arrested, brought to Manchester
and arraigned, together with Horace Wenthworth of Lowell and one
William C. Clark. The two latter were discharged after a long
hearing and the others held to answer farther. At the October
term of court, however, the grand jury failed to find a bill against
them and they were discharged, and the murder is to this day unknown.
police court was established with the city and its first justice
was the Hon. Samuel D. Bell, who assumed the office in October
- A corporation by the name of the Manchester Gas-Light Company
was originally chartered. It was granted another charter, July
10, 1850. Robert Read was its first president. The works was situated
in the southern part of the city, on the western side of Elm Street,
near the Manchester and Lawrence railway. The first buildings
were begun in 1852. In 1875 the company furnished three hundred
and fifty thousand cubic feet of gas in twenty-four hours.
Sep 1846, Hiram Brown (Whig party) elected Manchester's first
mayor. 1 Oct 1846 Manchester becomes a city. [SEE
1859 Charter]. The city's population was 10, 116. Its industry
was primarily AMoskeag, Stark and Manchester Mills, together employing
1,960 people. Horse-drawn vehicles and river craft were the means
of transportation (other than walking). There was one commercial
bank (founded in 1845), and one newly-chartered savings institution.
The property valuation was $3,187,726, with 2,056 polls and the
tax list was $22,005.95.
Amoskeag Bank was incorporated by the state of NH June
24, 1848, and began business in October of 1848. Directors
were Richard H. Ayer, Samuel D. Bell, Mace Moulton, Stephen D.
Green, John S. Kidder, Stephen Manahan and Edson Hill. Its first
president was Richard H. Ayer, and Moody
Currier, cashier. This business was succeeded by the Amoskeag
National Bank in 1864.
1848: Amoskeag Bank, state bank organized for business; succeeded
by Amoskeag National Bank 1 Nov 1864.
the mills grew and prospered, they came to rely less on the local
workforce and more on labor recruited from abroad. By the 1850's
Irish family groups were replacing New England mill girls,
and many skilled weavers were imported from Scotland, Sweden and
Germany. These Scottish workers settled in an area known as McGregorville
on the west side of the river (named after Rogert McGregor who
built the first bridge across the Merrimack). The Germans also
settled on the west side of the city, in the south central area
around Granite Square, and spread out to what they termed the
"Finkenthal" section encompassing Blucher, Whittemore,
Cumberland, Thornton and Whipple Streets. Amoskeag
agents also went to Canada to recruit unskilled laborers;
in the 1850's due to depleted farmlands and poverty, thousands
of French-Canadians arrived in Manchester many settled in the
area of Common Park (now Kalivas
Park). Many of these immigrants did not speak English, and
they were determined to preserve their language, culture and religion.
St. Augustine's Parish was established in 1871, as the first French-speaking
January 1851, Mr. W.H. Gilmore started a newspaper, called
the Union Democrat. January 24, 1851, the first number
of the Union Democrat, a weekly paper was issued by William
G. Gilmore & Company. This was later published as the Weekly
Union until 1863 and it once again became known as the Union
Democrat. The Manchester Daily Union was issued in
1856 as a campaign paper, but its first regular issue was dated
Tuesday, March 31, 1863.
Oct 1851: One hundredth anniversary of the town of Manchester
- Manchester Locomotive Works started under the name of
Bayley, Blood and Company, called the Vulcan Works. In 1854 became
a corporation called the Manchester Locomotive Works, to manufacture
locomotive engines. When in full operation, it had the capacity
of turning out twenty locomotives annually, and employed seven
hundred men. The shops were located on Canal street between Hollis
and Dean streets, and occupied five acres, besides an iron-foundry
and an acre of land at the lower end of Elm Street. By 1875 the
company had turned out seven hundred and eighty-six engines.
- The Blodget Edge Tool Manufacturing Company was incorporated,
and began erection of buildings at the northern edge of the upper
canal in 1854. Its first president, in 1855, was E.A.
Straw. In 1862 a new corporation was chartered, called the
Amoskeag Axe Company. By 1875 the corporation employed sixty men
and made yearly one hundred and forty-four thousand tools--axes,
hatchets and picks.
Piscataguog and Amoskeag, parts of Bedford and Goffstown respectively,
annexed to Manchester.
In 1855 the state legislature passed an act which authorized
the governor and council to appoint a board of three commissioners,
empowered to buy a tract of land and erect buildings thereon,
to provide a "house of reformation for juvenile and female
offenders against the law." Land from a farm once the home
of Gen. John Stark, two miles north of city hall, on the Merrimack
River, Concord Railway and River Road, containing about one hundred
acres was purchased. The building was begun in 1856, finished
in the autumn of 1857 and furnished in the spring of 1858. A fire
in December 1865 nearly destroyed the building. The children were
temporarily housed in buildings known as the "Stark house"
and "Gamble House" which had stood near by since the
early settlement of the town. During their residence the Stark
house was set on fire and consumed. [See how Gen.
John Stark's house looked before the fire]
1859 Merrimack Park (originally called Park Square) at
Elm and Merrimack Streets was the scene of a firemans muster.
At that time the square contained an artificial pond that was
supplied water via a culvert from Mile Brook on Oak
Hill (the pond was later filled in). It was also known as Merrimack
Common and Merrimack Square. In 1879 when a Civil War monument
was finalized, the area was often called Monument Square. Today
it is known as Veteran's Park.
Abraham Lincoln visited New Hampshire. On March 1, 1860
he spoke to a large group at Smyth Hall in the Smyth Block on
Elm Street. Governor Frederick Smyth introduced the campaigning
Abraham Lincoln as the next president of the United States.
Mr. Lincoln, his son Robert and George Lathan stayed the night
at the City Hotel. The following day they toured two of Manchester's
textile factories, then visited the Manchester Print Works, followed
by the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company plant, where his famous
quotation reportedly originated: Young man, the hand
of honest toil is never too grimy for Abe Lincoln to clasp.
Prior to 1863 the county jail was located in Amherst NH. The new
one was built by the city of Manchester in 1863, just south
of the Valley cemetery, on a lot bought of the Amoskeag Company
and containing one hundred and eighty-seven thousand square feet.
It is a brick building and has accomodations for seventy inmates.
See the 1864 description
of business "blocks" in Manchester, and some images
of advertising from the 1864 Manchester City Directory (thanks
to my cousin Dan King).
The County Court House [Hillsborough] was built by the city in
1868, a two-story brick structure situated at the corner
of Merrimack and Franklin streets.
1870 the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company was producing not
only cotton and woolen textiles, but also railroad locomotives,
fire engines, and had made parts for the turret of the Civil War's
Monitor. Sometime around 1873, Levi Strauss started to make
their first riveted clothing, and the
demin for what was to become their famous "blue jeans"
was made at Manchester's Amoskeag Manufacturing Company. [Click
on "A Short History of Denim at the Levi Strauss & Co.
web site to open a PDF history that mentions this fact.]
1872 - The Manchester Shoe and Leather Company is organized
with Andrew C. Wallace as its first president.
23 Sep 1872: Young Women's Christian Association formed;
rooms in basement of Franklin Street Church
New Hampshire Sunday Globe was issued for the first time Sunday
morning, February 7, 1875, by Rollins & Kingdon (Ai
Rollins, S.S. Kingdon) and was the only Sunday paper in the state
at that time.
the city itself, in 1877 the first
horse-drawn public street car was used, followed by electric street
cars (trolleys). After the trolley cars were phased out, Manchester
began a public bus transportation system. A
system of express highways were built starting about 1947,
increased the accessibility of Manchester to the intensely developed
Atlantic seaboard. [Also see NH
1882 at least ten French-Canadian families made their homes
on the west wide of the River, and the area known as McGregorville
evolved into the "Notre Dame" section of Manchester.
1880, the newly developed factory shoe industry also grew
rapidly in Manchester and other southeastern New Hampshire towns,
thriving during the period 1919 to 1967.
Abraham G. Grenier, first French Canadian elected to city government.
April 1884, Rt. Rev. Dennis M. Bradley appointed bishop of
Sep 1884 Manchester
Children's Home organized. The building at 135 Webster Street
(corner Walnut) was erected in 1894, opened April 1895.
1885: the Gamewell fire alarm system (fire alarm boxes)
are used in the city.
President Rutherford B. Hayes visited Manchester; was received
by Alderman Devine, acting mayor.
- Smyth Observatory, on Smyth Road between Mammoth Road and Webster
Street was erected by the former governor of New Hampshire, Hon.
Anselm College was founded by the Benedictine monks of St.
Mary's Abbey of Newark, New Jersey. In the 1950's they
added a nursing program.
hospitals were founded in Manchester in the late 1800's:
- In 1880, a bequest made by Mary Elizabeth Elliot, in
memory of her husband, Dr. John Seaver Elliot, made possible the
purchase of the land on which Elliot Hospital is located today.
In 1890 Elliot
Hospital opened its doors on the east side of Manchester.
- In 1892, the Sisters of Mercy opened Sacred Heart Hospital.
Two years later, the Sisters of Charity of St. Hyacinthe opened
Notre Dame Hospital, accommodating 30 beds. By 1956, Sacred Heart
grew to accommodate 150 beds, and its services expanded to include
Our Lady of Perpetual Help Maternity Hospital. At the same time,
Notre Dame had grown to 114 beds and, in 1974, Notre Dame and
Sacred Heart merged to form Catholic
Medical Center. [The old Sacred Heart Hospital building
is now used as the Gov.
Hugh Gallen Apartments].
May 1891, severe shock experienced from earthquake.
Jan 1892, Areta Blood presents Bartlett place worth $25,000
to Women's Aid and Relief Society.
31, 1893, Lieutenant
Col. John F. Coughlin, who served with Manchester NH's Irish
10th Regiment during the Civil War, was awarded the Congressional
Medal of Honor.
April 1894, St. Joseph's Cathedral consecrated.
In 1896 the Manchester Historic Association was organized
at the corner of Amherst and Pine Streets with Frank W. Sargeant
as President. The current headquarters building was built in 1931.
1 Jan 1896, Manchester Historical Society organized.
8 Sep 1896, Semi-Centennial Celebration of Manchester NH
1898 the The New Hampshire Institute of Arts and Sciences
opened -- it was created from two disparate organizations: the
Manchester Art Association (founded in 1871) and the Manchester
Electric Club. In the early 1900's English language classes were
offered to non-English speaking Manchester immigrants. In 1996
the Institute was authorized by the State of New Hampshire to
grant Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees. Now called the NH
Institute of Arts, It has developed into "a nationally
accredited independent college of art, an expanded center for
lifelong learning, a cultural center for museum quality exhibitions,
an arena for the performing arts, a venue for grass roots organizations,
and a forum for the important issues of our time."
the early twentieth century, Amoskeag operated the largest cotton
textile mill complex in the world, drawing immigrant workers from
such faraway places as Ireland, Canada, Sweden, Scotland, Germany,
Lebanon, Poland and Greece. At one time 17,000 people were employed
and the company provided the chief source of income for half of
Manchester's families. For nearly a century, no new industry could
be established without Amoskeag permission and two-thirds of all
employment opportunities remained dependent upon that company.
of Polish immigrants from NH Historical Society, a PDF file]
rapid development of the interior of New Hampshire brought with
it the need for improved transportation. This was accomplished
through Turnpike Corporations which built 500 miles of toll roads
in the years 1796-1830; but the greatest improvement was the railroad,
which entered New Hampshire during the early 1840's at Nashua,
passing through Manchester on its way to Concord. The rail network
grew rapidly during the next 20 years, consisting of 661 miles
of track by the time of the Civil War. From then until 1958, the
railroad provided cheap and easy access to neighboring towns and
to Boston, Mass., and Portland, Maine.
- founding of Hesser College in 1900 by Joel H. Hesser. The first
location of Hesser Business College was at 913 Elm Street, Manchester,
New Hampshire, the former location of the Daniels and Downs Private
School, which was acquired soon after the formation of Hesser
Business College. After a second location opened at 1017 Elm Street,
Hesser Business College moved to 83 Hanover Street, known as the
Odd Fellows Building.
Electric Light merged into a new concern, the Manchester Traction,
Light and Power Company [this is the beginning of the current
Public Service Co. of NH - PSNH. SEE
some early photographs.]. In 1902 Manchester Traction, Light
& Power Company opened Pine
Island Park [PDF file]-- an amusement park with rides,
games, a roller skating rink and dance hall. A swimming area and
boating was available in Pine Island Pond. A trolley line helped
to bring larger crowds to the park. It closed in 1962.
and Richard McDonald (respectively) are born and grow up in
Manchester, New Hampshire. They later move to California where
they develop drive-in restauraunts that are franchised, and finally
bought out by Ray Kroc. The rest is food history. Dick moved back
to New Hampshire, Mac died in Riverside, California.
Park comes into the possession of the City of Manchester,
a gift from the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company. In 1949 a statue
of Ferdinand Gagnon, sculpted by Joseph Arthur Colleti was placed
here. In 1957 the park was rededicated with a column and plaque
1905 the New
Hampshire Philharmonic Orchestra was created as an amateur
arm of the Manchester Institute of Arts and Sciences, performing
as the Manchester Institute Symphony Orchestra. [In 1958 it
became a separate entity].
March 1905 - Bernice
Gertrude Blake is born in Manchester New Hampshire. She goes
on to become the first woman pilot in the State of New Hampshire,
and a noted photographer and philanthropist. In 1936 she marries
first credit union in the United States was founded in Manchester
in 1908. Originally called St. Marys Cooperative
Credit Association its name was revised in 1925 to La Caisse Populaire
Ste.-Marie, or Bank of the People, St. Marys.
[Note: for more credit union history you should visit the new
- Manchester's first steel-framed "sky scraper" was
built on the corner of Hanover and Elm Street.. Known as the Amoskeag
Bank building, today is it Citizen's Bank. In the same year, the
Athens Building which now houses the The Palace Theater (80 Hanover
Street) was built.
1915, the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company built its last
mill. In 1917 the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company had annual profits
of $1.3 million; by 1919 it had annual profits of $8 million.
April 9, 1915, the Palace Theatre opened. Built by
a Greek immigrant named Victor Charas, with the help of general
contractor Henry Macropol and architect Leon Lempert & Son,
its construction was fashioned after its namesake in New York
City, and boasted superb construction, a stunning décor,
and an interior that was cooled by fans blowing air over great
blocks of ice under the stage. The Palace was considered the only
first-class theatre in New Hampshire that was fireproof and air-conditioned.
In the 1920's many mills shut down, the beginning of a
long-term decline leading to the demise of the textile mile in
Manchester. In 1938 Amoskeag Manufacturing Company went into bankruptcy.
October 1920 -
the dirigible balloon at Pine Island park crashed into the roller
coaster structure. The airship was wrecked, and the driver,
E. J. Parker, escaped death only by remarkable presence of mind
in grabbing for the coaster frame when the collision came. It
was the first attempt at aerial flight by a dirigible in New Hampshire.
- Manchester's West High School opens as a combination grade and
high school. The first graduating class occurred June 1925. Dick
and Mac McDonald, of McDonald fast food chain fame, attended this
1923 - Alma's Tearoom was built. Run by Edward & Alma
M. (Cavanaro) Truesdale, it was located at Intersection of
Routes 3 and 28, and had a seating capacity of 230. It became
well-known throughout New England, [not only] for its delicious
homemade food but also for the cleanliness and attractive atmosphere.
They were noted for [their] orange rolls, pecan rolls, homemade
pies and cakes. They hired many women during the depression years.
She sold it in the 1950s.
- the Manchester Fire Department is now 100% motorized.[per the
1940 Manchester NH City Directory]
October of 1927 the newly formed Manchester Board of Aviation
and Recreation approves construction of an airport on an 84-acre
tract of land near Pine Island Pond. Robert S. Fogg is the first
pilot to take off from the new airport a month later, after two
1,800 foot runways are cleared. Sometime after 1938 Alan
B. Shepard, Jr. of Derry takes flying lessons here. In 1940
the airport is selected as an Army Air Corps base. In
1942 the Manchester Air Base is renamed Grenier Field [archived
link] by the War Department, in honor of Manchester native and
West High School graduate Lt.
Jean D. Grenier, who died in a training mission in 1934. In
1966 the Air Force transferred control of Grenier Field to the
municipalities of Manchester and Londonderry. In
1978 Grenier Field/Manchester Municipal Airport is officially
renamed Manchester Airport. In January of 1994 a new 158,000-square-foot
passenger terminal opened. More additions and improvements, including
a parking garage have been made since then. In 2006 the airport
was officially renamed the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.
Currier Museum of Art opened through the generosity of Hannah
Slade Currier in memory of her deceased husband, former
Governor Moody Currier. It was completed at a cost of $300,000.
4, 1929: The statue, "The
Hiker" was dedicated to veterans of the Spanish Wars,
in Hanover Square, located on Hanover and Beech Streets in Manchester,
New Hampshire. The park is now known as Bronstein
September 1933 - the lovely park formerly known as Tremont
Common, located between Pine and Union Streets, was
officially renamed Pulaski Park. The park was dedicated October
12, 1933. The statue was crafted by Lucien H. Gosselin.
J. Champagne buys his first store, on the west side of Manchester
NH at 168 Amory Street [corner Dubuque & Armory]. The store
was enlarged several times, and became Super Market No. 1 in 1946.
Within the course of 23 years, he developed his name-brand chain
from a one-man store to a business of over 250 employees and $16
million annual gross. In 1957 he sells his 6 store chain and retires.
Eve 1935 - Amoskeag
Mills closes its doors, files for bankruptcy.
February 1936 - while he was catcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates,
and surrounded by a large crowd, Manchester born Thomas
Francis Padden tossed a silver dollar about 475 feet over
the Merrimack River.
26, 1940, the park known as Park Common was dedicated as Christos
N. Kalivas Park. This park is bordered by Cedar, Lake Ave,
Pine and Chestnut Streets.
1945 Six Marines raise
the flag at Iwo Jima. One of them, Rene
A Gagnon, a Corporal in the United States Marine Corps, was
born and raised in Manchester.
1946 Josephat T. Benoit was mayor as Manchester celebrated
its centennial anniversary as a city.
In 1948 a
life-sized statue of General John Stark on a horse was installed
in Stark Park.
- nine female nursing students attended St. Anselm College (an
all-male school). In 1952 the college inaugurated their
first nursing degree program, open to both genders, with Ruth
Bagley as chairman of the Department of nursing.
- The Grenier Air Force Base was transferred to the City of Manchester
to be used as a commercial air field.
1950 the "Zimmerman House" was built. It
was designed by Frank
Lloyd Wright, and contains original built-in and free standing
furniture, textiles and landscaping also designed by Wright A
new kitchen, enlarged bedrooms and exterior facelift including
trim were added in 1899 in the Queen Anne style. This house is
currently owned by the Currier
Museum of Art, with tours offered. The Zimmerman House is
the only Frank Lloyd Wright home in New England that is open to
1951 - Michael
Kendall Flanagan is born. He grew up in Manchester New Hampshire
where he excels in several sports but especially in baseball.
He was drafted by the Baltimore Orioles in 1973, in the 7th round
of the draft. This six foot tall, left hander pitched 18 seasons
in the major leagues with the Orioles (1975-1987 and 1991-1992)
and the Toronto Blue Jays (1987-1990). He won the 1979 American
League Cy Young Award for the Orioles. He died in 2011.
28 March 1954 WMUR-TV was established by former New Hampshire
P. Murphy, owner of WMUR radio (610 AM; now WGIR). It was
the first television station in the state and aired daily newscasts,
local game shows, and movies.
city pool was built on Maple Street, and named for Samuel P. Hunt,
a philanthropist and city benefactor. Today it is part of the
Sheehan-Basquil Park complex.
1963 - John
F. Kennedy Memorial Coliseum opens. It was constructed under
the administration of Mayors Jospahat T. Benoit and John C. Mongan.
It is located at 303 Beech Street, in between Beech and Maple
streets and Auburn and Valley streets.
1967 - The Manchester, N.H.-based company, Velcro
USA Inc., manufactures its first plastic hook product in the
March 25, 1969 - A letter stating the first professional
baseball game in Manchester in 20 years was to be held in Gill
Stadium on April 22, 1969 is in this file. This was a double A
Baseball team under direct franchise from the New York Yankees.
City of Manchester web site]
1970 - approximate year that the Manchester
Drive-in Movie Theatre was torn down. It was in existence
by 1949. It was located at 777 S. Willow Street, and was torn
down for the development of a strip mall.
2, 1971 - There are numerous pieces of correspondence on X-rated
movies playing at a local theater. This was evidently a first
for the City. [from
City of Manchester web site]
1971 - McIntyre
Ski Area, located in Derryfield Park opens. McIntyre Ski School
began providing ski lessons in 1978.
1972 - Hampshire Plaza building constructed, originally
built by Public Service Company of New Hampshire (PSNH), the electric
company that serves most of New Hampshire (now a subsidiary of
Northeast Utilities). In 2012 it is called Brady
Sullivan Plaza (PDF). Located at 1000 Elm Street in Manchester,
NH, it is a landmark, 326,000 SF, 20-story office tower. It was
the tallest building in northern New England (north of Cambridge
MA) until the City Hall Plaza was built.
1973 - Manchester
Transit Authority founded. According to Wikipedia,
"The MTA is the public successor to Manchester's private
bus service, which reached a peak annual ridership of 15.1 million
in 1948, and the Manchester Street Railway that existed until
1940. The MTA was created by the City in May 1973, following requests
by the private Manchester Transit bus provider for public subsidies."
1974 - New
Hampshire Symphony Orchestra formed. It ceased operation in
August 1977 - Mall
of New Hampshire opens on South Willow Street. From 1996-1998
it was greatly expanded.
industries, attracted by Manchester's advantages of low land costs,
low levels of taxation, underutilized labor supplies, and permissive
state and local regulations came to replace the departed textile
and diminished shoe industries. The earliest of these industries
included electronics manufacturing, which first occupied vacant
textile mills; these were followed by machine building, metal
working and plastic manufacturing companies.
6, 1980 - An ordinance was issued establishing the Amoskeag
Corporation Housing District as a Historic District. December
21, 1982 The Amoskeag Manufacturing Company Housing complex
was entered in the National Register of Historic Places.
City of Manchester web site]
Dean Kamen founds a company called DEKA
Research Development Corporation, locating it in a series
of old Amoskeag Falls Millyard buildings.
1983, the Radisson Hotel at 700 Elm Street was built.
In 1984, David
Letterman interviewed Velcro
USA's director of industrial sales while wearing a Velcro
suit. When the interview was over, he launched himself via trampoline
onto a Velcro wall. In 2008 this company celebrated
their 50th anniversary.
- The Strand movie theater on Hanover Street suffers a major fire.
This building was formerly Manchester Opera House.
1989, Dean Kamen founded his non-profit called FIRST
(For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) dedicated
to motivate high school students to understand, use and enjoy
science and technology. FIRST holds an annual robotic competition
for high school teams
1992-1994 - City
Hall Plaza building constructed. Located at 900 Elm Street
(U.S. Route 3), it is a prominent landmark. Standing 275-foot
(84 m) tall, it is the tallest building in the city of Manchester,
the state of New Hampshire, and all New England cities north of
19, 1996 -
The City embarks on a $6.3 major renovation of City Hall. [from
City of Manchester web site]
1998, Manchester was named the Number One Small City
in the East by Money magazine.
April of 2000, ground was broken for a Civil Arena, later
named the Verizon
Wireless Arena which opened 15 November 2001. It is owned
by the City of Manchester. It is the largest civic arena in the
state, with 10,000 seats, and hosts family events, concerts, expos,
ice shows, and is home to the Manchester
Monarchs hockey team, the AHL affiliate of the Los Angeles
Kings. In January of 2016 it was announced that as of September
of the same year (with Verizon's 15 yr naming contract coming
to an end) it will be renamed SNHU Arena after Southern New Hampshire
University who now holds the contract.
2001 - The Verizon
Center [Civil Arena] opens its doors.
2003 - The Manchester metro area was selected as one of
Americas Best Places to Live and Work and rated
as a Four-Star Community by Expansion Management [per
Manchester NH Chamber of Commerce]
2005 - Fisher Cats Ballpark opens, located along
the banks of the Merrimack River. The stadium was designed by
HNTB out of Kansas City. The ballpark became Merchantsauto.com
Stadium in April of 2006 in a partnership with the
Singer Family and Merchants Automotive Group. On January 31,
2011 it was announced that the stadium would now be known
Delta Dental Stadium, as part of a partnership between
Cats and Northeast Delta Dental
2005 - Renesys
moves to Manchester NH. They provide products, services and easy
to use intelligence on how business communications are operating.
- Ash Street School is sold.
- The Board of Mayor and Aldermen vote
to rename the Granite Street Bridge to the Senator Judd Gregg
2008 - Hands
Across the Merrimack, a Hands Across America project completed
(a pedestrian bridge across the Merrimack River).
23, 2009 - Dedication
of the Manchester WWII Veterans Memorial, in Victory Park
April 2010 - Manchester is ranked one of the most livable
cities in the US by
- Aldermen vote to approve the construction of a $43.5 million
dollar municipal complex to house
Public Works and the Police Department.
- Manchester hosts the World's Championship Chili Cookoff (WCCC)
in October, after having been selected by the International Chili
Society. In 2010 more than 25,000 spectators attended the event.
- The Manchester Dog Park Association opens Manchester's first
dog park located on Bass Island.
2011 - Manchester voted 2nd Happiest City in the US. Manchester.
Health cited the cities low unemployment and quality of health
care as contributing factors. During the same month, Downtown
Manchester Celebrated a "retail Resurgence" with
ribbon cuttings of six new businesses that opened. In addition
to the businesses that held ribbon cuttings, two new retailers
opened a month earlier including Statement which sells high-end
European/Canadian women's clothing and Euphoria Emporium- Manchester's
first oxygen bar. The six businesses participating in the ribbon
cuttings were 36 Delux (36 Lowell St), the Mill Town Market (1053
Elm St), Vino Aromas (997 Elm St), Dancing Lion Chocolate (917
Elm St), Appcessories (941 Elm St) and Dos Amigos Burritos (931
- According to a 2011 report of the New Hampshire Office of Energy
and Planning, Manchester had a population of 109,687. The City
maintains 55 parks, two ice-skating coliseums, the McIntyre Ski
Area, the Derryfield Country Club, four municipal pools, a minor
league baseball stadium and a 10,000 seat civic arena. The City
also owns and operates the Manchester-Boston Regional Airport.
- Harvey Construction completes $9.5 million construction of new
corporate headquarters for St. Marys Bank.
11, 2013 - official ribbon cutting at the Manchester Fire
Department's new Engine
4 Fire Station, 141 Hackett Hill Road.
1, 2013 - official ribbon cutting for the Manchester
Municipal Complex at 475 Valley Street. It is home to the
Department of Public Works, the Fleet Maintenance Department
and the Manchester Police Department. The new Police station
includes expanded locker rooms, a ten-lane gun range and private
work stations. About 490 city workers are stationed here.
2013 - Hesser
College was relaunched as Mount Washington College,
incorporating an innovative national online education platform
with existing New Hampshire ground campus locations. In 2014 about
2,100 students are enrolled. The school is slated to close in
- With a population of more than 110,000 residents Manchester
is the largest city in New Hampshire. Expansion of the Manchester
airport, one of the nation's fastest growing airports, has provided
the area with numerous economic development opportunities. In
of Manchester made the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private
companies in the U.S.
18, 2014 - The Manchester City Library celebrates (year long)
the 100th Anniversary of its presence in the Carpenter Memorial
Building on Pine Street. Read:
New Hampshire: Celebrating the Manchester Public Librarys
(A history of the Manchester City Library) - Cow Hampshire blog.
In 2015 Elliot Hospital ranked
the third largest employer in the State of New Hampshire with
about 3,500 employees, behind University System of NH and Dartmouth-Hitchcock
industrial era has passed, but due to the concerted effort of
forward-thinking people, many of the impressive old mills have
been converted to restaurants and offices. Others serve as university
classrooms, and one houses a technology center. Manchester's current
community includes six colleges and universities and several leading
technology and manufacturing firms. More
than 200 diversified manufacturing firms call Manchester home.
1. The town church of Manchester by Thomas Chalmers, Manchester,
N.H.: The Jubilee Committee, 1903
2. Manchester, a brief record of its past and a picture of
its present: Manchester, N.H.: J.B. Clarke, 1875, 521 pgs.
Compendium of Historical Facts, Business & Political Index
of Manchester NH 1896
a list of historic houses/places in Manchester
LINKS TO MANCHESTER NH HISTORY