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Concord, New Hampshire

The city of Concord (often mispronounced as "concorde") is the capital of the state of New Hampshire in the United States. It is also the county seat of Merrimack County. As of the 2000 census, its population was 40,687. Its estimated population in 2006 was 42,378.

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

History

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

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

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

Geography and climate

Concord is located at (43.2070, -71.5371).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of . of it is land and of it is water, comprising 4.78% of the city. Concord is drained by the Merrimack River. Penacook Lake is in the west. The highest point in Concord is above sea level on Oak Hill, just west of the hill's summit in neighboring Loudon.

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

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

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

Monthly Normal and Record High and Low Temperatures
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Rec High °F (°C) 68 (20) 67 (19.4) 89 (31.6) 95 (35) 97 (36.1) 98 (36.6) 102 (38.8) 101 (38.3) 98 (36.6) 90 (32.2) 80 (26.6) 73 (22.7)
Norm High °F (°C) 30.6 (-0.7) 34.1 (1.2) 43.8 (6.5) 56.9 (13.8) 69.6 (20.8) 77.9 (25.5) 82.9 (28.3) 80.8 (27.1) 72.1 (22.3) 60.5 (15.8) 47.6 (8.6) 35.6 (2)
Norm Low °F (°C) 9.7 (-12.4) 12.6 (-10.7) 22.7 (-5.2) 32.2 (0.1) 42.4 (5.7) 51.8 (11) 57.1 (13.9) 55.6 (13.1) 46.6 (8.1) 35.1 (1.7) 27.6 (-2.4) 16.2 (-8.7)
Rec Low °F (°C) -33 (-36.1) -37 (-38.3) -16 (-26.6) 8 (-13.3) 21 (-6.1) 30 (-1.1) 35 (1.6) 29 (-1.6) 21 (-6.1) 10 (-12.2) -5 (-20.5) -22 (-30)
Precip in (mm) 2.97 (75.4) 2.36 (59.9) 3.04 (77.2) 3.07 (78.0) 3.33 (84.6) 3.1 (78.7) 3.37 (85.6) 3.21 (81.5) 3.16 (80.3) 3.46 (87.9) 3.57 (90.7) 2.96 (75.2)
Source: USTravelWeather.com

Demographics

As of the census of 2000 , there were 40,687 people, 16,281 households, and 9,622 families residing in the city. The population density was 632.9 people per square mile (244.4/km²). There were 16,881 housing units at an average density of 262.6/sq mi (101.4/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 95.52% White, 1.03% Black or African American, 0.29% Native American, 1.47% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.34% from other races, and 1.31% from two or more races. 1.45% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 16,281 households out of which 30.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.3% were married couples living together, 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.9% were non-families. 32.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.95.

In the city the population was spread out with 23.1% under the age of 18, 8.3% from 18 to 24, 33.0% from 25 to 44, 22.0% from 45 to 64, and 13.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females there were 98.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.0 males.

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

Media

The Concord area is served by the daily newspaper The Concord Monitor and its weekly publication The Concord Insider as well as the weekly alternative The Hippo. Other newspapers with circulation in Concord include The Union Leader and the Boston Globe, among others.

Concord is home to one AM radio station, WKXL, and several FM radio stations, WCNH-LP, WEVO, WJYY, WMLL, and WWHK.

The i-Network-affiliated WPXG-TV broadcasts from Concord on UHF channel 21.

New Hampshire Public Radio is headquartered in Concord.

Sites of interest

Concord has many landmarks and other tourist attractions in it. Probably the largest is the New Hampshire State House, which was designed by architect Stuart Park and constructed between 1815 and 1818, is the oldest state house in which the legislature meets in its original chambers. The building was remodeled in 1866, and the third story and west wing were added in 1910.

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

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

North from there on Main Street is the Walker-Woodman House, which is the oldest standing house in Concord. It was built for the Rev. Timothy Walker on North Main Street between 1733 and 1735.

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

Other sites of interest include the New Hampshire Historical Society, which has two facilities in Concord, and the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium, which was named after the Concord teacher who died during the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster in 1986.

Education

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

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

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

Concord is also home to Franklin Pierce Law Center and Hesser College – Concord.

Notable inhabitants

References

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