History and Genealogy of Manchester, Hillsborough County NH
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EARLY    H I S T O R Y to T O D A Y
of Manchester NH

History (see directly below) | More Manchester History Links

Elm Street (downtown) scene, Manchester NH, circa late 1800's
Elm Street (downtown) scene, Manchester NH, circa late 1800's

The 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, Tyng’s 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."

Description 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 and Goffstown, comprising an area of 15,071 acres, 550 of which are water. Massabesick pond lies partly in this town. Amuskeag falls and M’Gregore’s bridge are on the Merrimack between this town and Goffstown. Blodget’s 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 woolen factory."

The current geography of Manchester -- lies in the eastern part of Hillsborough 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.

Take 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 remain).

This 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."

Most 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 residents arrived.

The First European Settlers:
The early history of Manchester cannot be told without including some 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.

A group of Scot-Irish settlers were the first to arrive in the area now known as Manchester, New Hampshire. They left their homes in Londonderry, 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.

On 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.

Mr. 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).

The 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.

Among 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]

Derryfield 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.

The 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.

In 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).

In 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.

2 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]

Early Settlers
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.

Around 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.

In 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.

In 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 vicinity.

[According 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 song."

The 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 became Dunbarton.
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 KIDDER, Drummer;
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.
Captain 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.
Captain ROGERS' Roll
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.

In 1765 the first tax list was published (as Derryfield) - SEE LIST (Txt file)

Tax List 1766 of Derryfield NH (from History of Manchester) - TXT file

In 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.

Other 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.

The 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.

The 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.

Manchester's 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.

March 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 year.

In 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.

12 March 1816, First representative from Manchester, Isaac Huse, chosen.

The 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.

In 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.

1831 - 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.

1832 - 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.

In 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.

October 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.

On 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.

The 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 Democrat.

28 Nov 1839, First police officers appointed: Hiram Brown, Nehemiah Chase, J.T.P. Hunt and James Wallace.

The 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 American.

In 1840, the Granite bridge was built.

In 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.

The 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.

In 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 thousand dollars.

In 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.

April 26, 1842, W.H. Kimball and Joseph Kidder, issued the first number of the Manchester Democrat, a weekly newspaper.

In 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 Company. The 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.

On August 12, 1844, fire consumed the "townhouse" (or city hall) which included the post office, printing-office and stores on the lower stories.

The 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].

Prior 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.

In 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.

Another 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.

The police court was established with the city and its first justice was the Hon. Samuel D. Bell, who assumed the office in October 1846.

1846 - 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.

1 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.

The 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.

October 1848: Amoskeag Bank, state bank organized for business; succeeded by Amoskeag National Bank 1 Nov 1864.

As 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 Catholic Church.

In 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.

22 Oct 1851: One hundredth anniversary of the town of Manchester NH celebrated.

1853 - 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.

1853 - 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.

1853, 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]

In 1859 Merrimack Park (originally called Park Square) at Elm and Merrimack Streets was the scene of a fireman’s 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.

Mr. 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.

By 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 ironclad U.S.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.]

July 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

1873: "The principal occupation [in Manchester NH] is the manufacture of cotton goods. There are five large corporations, and several small ones. The largest is the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company, which, at the present time, has seven large mills running, which turn out daily thousands of yard of shirtings, tickings, drillings, ginghams, sheetings and bags. The company lately built a dam across the river at Amoskeag Falls, which is the strongest dam on the Merrimack...the same company here also, during the past year, buit a new bridge across the river, and three iron ones across the canals which supply them with water. Two of their mills have been built entirely new within three years. E.A. Straw is Agent. The next in importance is Stark Mills, Phineas Adams, Agent. The principal manufactures are bags, toweling, and white cloth. It has four or five mills running at present. The next one is the Manchester Mills and Print Works, principally engaged in making prints and woolen goods, Mr. Thompson, Agent. Next is the Langdon Manufacturing Company, William L. Killey, Agent. This company is a new one, the mills having been built only about six years. White cotton cloth is the material manufactured by them. There are, besides, several corporations of less importance, and several large carriage shops, stocking mills, etc. [Argus and Patriot newspaper, Montpelier, VT, 20 Feb 18734, page 2].

The 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.

Within 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 Turnpike History]

Around 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.

After 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.

1883: Abraham G. Grenier, first French Canadian elected to city government.

11 April 1884, Rt. Rev. Dennis M. Bradley appointed bishop of Manchester.

3 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.

1887: President Rutherford B. Hayes visited Manchester; was received by Alderman Devine, acting mayor.

1888 - Smyth Observatory, on Smyth Road between Mammoth Road and Webster Street was erected by the former governor of New Hampshire, Hon. Frederick Smyth.

In 1889 St. 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.

Several 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].

November 1890, Post office replaced with new Federal Building. Willey's Book of Nutfield, page 44, regarding the History of the Manchester Post Office: "The business of the office had assumed such proportions that it was apparent, as early as 1880, that a large and substantial bulding would soon be necessary for the safety and convenience of the postal transactions. Through the influence of Gen. R.N. Batchelder, Senator Blair, and others, and appropriation of $2,000 was secured for the construction of a federal building, to contain the postoffice and the United States courts, and the work was begun in the spring of 1889. Additional appropriations were found to be necessary, and the building, when completed, in November 1890, cost $251,000. It is a fine structure of Concord granite, 124 by 67 feet, two stories and a basement. On the first floor are the working rooms for clerks, carriers, etc., and the postmaster's and assistant postmaster's rooms adjoining, all fitted up in handsome and substantial manner. On the second floor are the United States court room, pension office, and offices of the district attorney, marshal, internal revenue collector, and judges. the building is one of the finest federal structures in New England. [Note: This building was replaced in 1934].

1 May 1891, severe shock experienced from earthquake.

1891. George F. Bacon publishes the book, Manchester and Its Leading Business Men (including some from Goffstown) inluding City History History, photographs and company biographies.

14 Jan 1892, Areta Blood presents Bartlett place worth $25,000 to Women's Aid and Relief Society.

August 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.

15 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 held.

In 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."

By 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. [SEE History of Polish immigrants from NH Historical Society, a PDF file]

 Boston & Main Railroad Station, Manchester NH

The 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.

1900 - 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.

In 1901, Manchester 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.

1902-1909: Maurice 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.

1903: Lafayette 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 honoring Lafayette.

In 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].

2 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 Winthrop Perry.

The first credit union in the United States was founded in Manchester in 1908. Originally called St. Mary’s Cooperative Credit Association its name was revised in 1925 to La Caisse Populaire Ste.-Marie, or “Bank of the People,” St. Mary’s. [Note: for more credit union history you should visit the new Credit Union Museum]

1914 - 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.

In 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.

On 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.

1923 - 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 school.

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.

1924 - the Manchester Fire Department is now 100% motorized.[per the 1940 Manchester NH City Directory]

In 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.

In 1929 The 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.

July 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 Park.

22 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.

1933 - Romeo 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.

1934 - The old Federal Building that included the main Post Office, and several federal offices was torn down and replaced with a new building. The book "Manchester Yesterday and Today," (published in 1946) on page 167 states: "One of the monuments to the late Frank P. Carpenter, who led in the movement to secure its construction and contributed a substantial proportion of its cost, Manchester's Federal Building was completed early in 1934, replacing a 50-year-old structure which had become inadequate for the community's needs. It houses the Post Office and several other government agencies."

Christmas Eve 1935 - Amoskeag Mills closes its doors, files for bankruptcy.

26 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.

May 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.

In 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.

In 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.

1949 - 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.

May 2, 1950 - The Grenier Air Force Base was transferred to the City of Manchester to be used as a commercial air field.

In 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 the public.

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.

On 28 March 1954 WMUR-TV was established by former New Hampshire governor Francis 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.

1958 - A 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 United States.

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. [from 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.

March 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]

- 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 2007.

August 1977 - Mall of New Hampshire opens on South Willow Street. From 1996-1998 it was greatly expanded.

New 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.

May 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.
[from City of Manchester web site]

In 1982, Dean Kamen founds a company called DEKA Research Development Corporation, locating it in a series of old Amoskeag Falls Millyard buildings.

In 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.

1985 - The Strand movie theater on Hanover Street suffers a major fire. This building was formerly Manchester Opera House.

In 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 Cambridge, MA.

November 19, 1996 - The City embarks on a $6.3 major renovation of City Hall. [from City of Manchester web site]

In 1998, Manchester was named the Number One Small City in the East by Money magazine.

In April of 2000, ground was broken for a Civic 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 [see 2016 in timeline]

2001 - The Verizon Center [Civil Arena] opens its doors. Dyn is founded by Jeremy Hitchcock and others, headquartered in Manchester NH. In December of 2007 Business NH Magazine touts Dyn as the number one small business to work for (see 2013).

2003 - The Manchester metro area was selected as one of America’s “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 as Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, as part of a partnership between the Fisher 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.

2007 - Ash Street School is sold.

2008 - The Board of Mayor and Aldermen vote to rename the Granite Street Bridge to the Senator Judd Gregg bridge.

Spring 2008 - Hands Across the Merrimack, a Hands Across America project completed (a pedestrian bridge across the Merrimack River).

August 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 Forbes Magazine.

2010 - Aldermen vote to approve the construction of a $43.5 million dollar municipal complex to house
Public Works and the Police Department.

2010-2011 - 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.

2011 - The Manchester Dog Park Association opens Manchester's first dog park located on Bass Island.

November 2011 - Manchester voted 2nd Happiest City in the US. Manchester. Men's 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 Elm St).

2012 - 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.

2013 - Harvey Construction completes $9.5 million construction of new corporate headquarters for St. Mary’s Bank.

2013 - Retrieve Technologies founded in Manchester NH by Dave Arnold.

May 11, 2013 - official ribbon cutting at the Manchester Fire Department's new Engine 4 Fire Station, 141 Hackett Hill Road.

June 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.

July 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 2016.

2013 - 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 2013 Dyn of Manchester made the Inc. 5000 list of the fastest-growing private companies in the U.S.

November 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 Library’s Centennial (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 Medical Center.

2015 - Brady Sullivan Properties is named NH business of the year. It is a thriving real estate development corporation that was established in Manchester, New Hampshire in 1992 .

2016 - The former Verizon Arena was renamed "SNHU Arena" starting September 1. Southern New Hampshire University has signed a multi-year partnership with SMG, the company that manages the arena, for the naming rights. This agreement will allow for internships for SNHU students, information booths for prospective students and the school will use the facility for SNHU athletic events and graduations. Sports and entertainment will continue to be venues. [10-year agreement].

2016 - Oracle purchased DYN, the company to become the Oracle Dyn Business Unit.

2017 - Manchester NH continues to see its Millyard district attract high tech companies, now counting 30.

13 July 2017 - Mother Cecelia died. She was born Marie Josephine Clarice Gaudette on 25 March 1902 in Manchester NH, daughter and first child of Oscar & Leocadie (Guite) Gaudette. (There were at least 9 children total). At the time of her death Mother Cecelia was aged 115 -- the oldest living American-born person, the oldest living in Italy, 2nd oldest living in Europe, and 5th oldest in the world. She had been living in Rome for the last 59 years of her life. She also lived in Canada and France. She was considered "the world's oldest nun."

2 January 2018
- Joyce Craig (a Democrat) was sworn in as the first woman mayor of Manchester NH at the Radisson Hotel. She replaces out-going Ted Gatsas (a Republican).

Feb 2018: the former Radisson Hotel continues operations as The Manchester Downtown Hotel (a DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel) with a multi-million dollar redesign

May 30, 2019: A ceremony and groundbreaking took place for a 82,200 square-foot Residence Inn by Marriott, across from the SNHU Arena. It is due to open in the spring of 2020. Two buildings (E & R cleaners and Tsiaras office building at 67 Central Street) were demolished to make way for this project

The 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.

Sources of Information:
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.
3.Centennial Compendium of Historical Facts, Business & Political Index of Manchester NH 1896
4. Ongoing research. Others copy me, but I'm the original!

SEE a list of historic houses/places in Manchester NH

MORE HISTORY OF MANCHESTER N.H. (up to 1885, this site) - TXT files
- History of Manchester, Part I - Early history
- History of Manchester, Part II - Banking, Mills & Manufacturing

- History of Manchester, Part III - Church History, social clubs, lodges, benevolent associations, i.e. asylums, orphanages
- History of Manchester Part IV
- Manchester Driving Park Association, Parker Murder, County Court House, "Amoskeag Veterans" and other local military organizations, Police Station

- Early Civic Leaders of Manchester NH (i.e., Selectmen, Moderators, Mayors, Clerks, etc.)
- The The Arbeiter-Kranken-Untersteutzung Verein (AKUV), later the Workmen’s Relief Association, later the Workmen's Club.[archived version].
- The Press: Newspaper History in Manchester NH

- Manchester NH: Early School History
- Manchester NH: Early School History (this is an expanded school history from 1720 to 1876, PDF file, graciously donated by Peter Baker)

-Catholic Church & School History
---St. Anthony of Padua
---Our Lady of Perpetual Help (OLPH) [see left column for PDF links]
- Church History
(Houses of Worship)

- History of the City Library [also see New Hampshire: Celebrating the Manchester Public Library's Centennial (September 2014) - at blog, Cow Hampshire

- Early Bank History

- History of the Mills in Manchester NH

- Blodget Canal & Samuel Blodget

Post Office History

Water Works History
- Cemeteries (see the "Cemeteries" section of this site)

Fire Department History

"Victory" - Soldier's Monument in Merrimack Square


History and Genealogy of Manchester, Hillsborough County, New Hampshire
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