History of Concord
Before the arrival of the Europeans, the area of present-day Concord was inhabited by the Pennacook Native Americans of the Abenaki people, who fished for salmon and sturgeon along the Merrimack River. The river was always important for the region, as a transportation route and also because of the fertile floodplain in the valley, which was good for beans, maize, pumpkins and melons.
When the Province of Massachusetts Bay was established in late 17th century, it included the lands west of the Merrimack River. In 1725, the area of present-day Concord was granted as the Plantation of Penacook and it was settled in the following two years. In 1734, it was incorporated as a town called Rumford. In 1765, following a dispute between Rumford and the nearby town of Bow, the town was renamed Concord, a name that was meant to reflect the new spirit of harmony between two towns.
Throughout the 18th century the city grew and became more important in the region. Many of the beautiful homes from the time are still standing in Concord, at the end of the Main Street. After the American Revolutionary War, Concord became the state capital, mostly thanks to its central position in the state. A canal and lock system was built and the city was connected with Boston through the Middlesex Canal. The State House in Concord, the oldest capitol in the United States, was built in 1819. At the time, the city economy was based on furniture and granite quarries.
In the 19th century, the city became a railroad hub, while Penacook was a major textile manufacturing center. In the 20th century Concord established itself as a major health care center and home to several large insurance companies.
Geography and Climate
Concord is centered on the Merrimack River which runs from northwest to southwest through the city. Penacook Lake lies west of the city. Tributaries of the Merrimack River in the city area include Soucook River, Turkey River and Contoocook River. The highest point in the city is Oak Hill at 860 feet above sea level. Concord has an area of 67.5 square miles, of which 3.2 square miles are water.
When it comes to the weather, Concord is a typical New England city. The climate is humid continental, with long and cold winters with plenty of snow and warm to hot summers, often humid. Springs and autumns are relatively short.
Population of Concord
In 2010, Concord had a population of 42,695, of which 91,8% were Whites, 3.4% were Asians, 2.2% were Blacks or African Americans, 2.1% were Hispanics or Latinos of any race, 0.3% were Native Americans, 0.4% were of some other race and 1.8% were of two or more races.
In 2000, the median household income in the city was $42,447 and the per capita income was $21,976.
In addition to being the state capital and the county seat, Concord is also a major regional distribution, transportation and industrial hub. Service sector is a fast-growing industry in the city, especially for health care, finance and education. With more than 5,000 people employed in the healthcare sector, Concord is one of the major medical centers in the region. Tourism is also an important sector with approximately $50 million in tourism revenues each year. The city is also home to several large insurance companies.
The largest employers in the city are State of New Hampshire, Concord Hospital, Steeplegate Mall, Genesis HealthCare, Concord School District, New Hampshire Hospital, Lincoln National Corporation, Market Basket, Sanel Auto Parts, Merrimack Valley School District and the City of Concord.
Education in Concord
Institutions of higher education in the city include University of New Hampshire School of Law, New Hampshire Technical Institute and a branch of Hesser College.
The Concord School District, which has only one public high school with some 2000 students, offers some interesting programs, such as Artist-In-The-Schools and Environmental Education Program.
Culture and Events
Concord is home to the New Hampshire Philharmonic Orchestra, the Granite State Symphony Orchestra, the historic Never’s Second Regiment Band and the Concord Chorale. Major theatrical and music venues include the Capitol Center for the Arts and Concord City Auditorium.
The Museum of New Hampshire History in Concord offers exhibitions on the state’s tradition, culture, people and environment.
Concord is also home to the nationally recognized League of New Hampshire Craftsmen.
Other attractions in the city include the New Hampshire State House, the famous Eagle Hotel, the Pierce Manse, Walker-Woodman House and the McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center.
Since 2002, Concord hosts the SNOB (Somewhat North of Boston) independent film festival.
The city has three newspapers - one daily (The Concord Monitor) and two weekly ones (The Hippo and The Concord Insider).
Concord does not have a professional sports team but its larger area has the New Hampshire International Speedway, the largest speedway in New England.
Concord Municipal Airport offers service to local air carriers and nearby Manchester International Airport offers passenger service on nine airlines. However, the closest airport with full passenger service, both domestic and international, is Logan International Airport in Boston.
Intercity bus services are provided by Greyhound, Vermont Transit and Concord Trailways.
Concord lies at the junction of interstate highways I-93, I-89 and I-393 and New Hampshire Route 4. State Highways in the Concord area include 9, 13, 36 and 103.