Manchester, New Hampshire

Manchester, New Hampshire
Clockwise from top: Manchester skyline from above Amoskeag Falls, Hanover Street, a Fisher Cats game at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, the Arms Park Riverwalk and Millyard, and City Hall.
Clockwise from top: Manchester skyline from above Amoskeag Falls, Hanover Street, a Fisher Cats game at Northeast Delta Dental Stadium, the Arms Park Riverwalk and Millyard, and City Hall.
Flag of Manchester, New Hampshire
Official seal of Manchester, New Hampshire
Queen City, Manch Vegas[1]
Labor Vincit (work conquers)
Location in Hillsborough County, New Hampshire
Manchester is located in New Hampshire
Location within New Hampshire
Manchester is located in the United States
Location within the United States
Coordinates: 42°59′27″N 71°27′49″W / 42°59′27″N 71°27′49″W / 42.99083; -71.46361New Hampshire
(as Derryfield)
(as Manchester)
 • MayorJoyce Craig (D)
 • Aldermen
 • City35.0 sq mi (90.6 km2)
 • Land33.1 sq mi (85.7 km2)
 • Water1.9 sq mi (4.8 km2)  5.33%
210 ft (64 m)
 • City109,565
 • Estimate 
 • RankUS: 264th
 • Density3,401/sq mi (1,313.0/km2)
 • Urban
158,377 (US: 209th)
 • Metro
406,678 (US: 132nd)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
03101-03111 (03110 assigned to suburb Bedford)
Area code(s)603
FIPS code33-45140

Manchester is a city in the southern part of the U.S. state of New Hampshire. It is the most populous city in northern New England, an area comprising the states of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont. As of the 2010 census the city had a population of 109,565,[4] and in 2018 the population was estimated to be 112,525.[3] The combined Manchester-Nashua Metropolitan Area had a 2010 population of 400,721.[5]

Manchester is, along with Nashua, one of two seats of Hillsborough County, the state's most populous. Manchester lies near the northern end of the Northeast megalopolis and straddles the banks of the Merrimack River. It was first named by the merchant and inventor Samuel Blodgett, namesake of Samuel Blodget Park and Blodget Street in the city's North End. His vision was to create a great industrial center similar to that of the original Manchester in England, which was the world's first industrialized city.[6]

Manchester often appears favorably in lists ranking the affordability and livability of U.S. cities, placing particularly high in small business climate,[7][8] affordability,[9][10] upward mobility,[11] and education level.[12]


Mills on the Merrimack River and the West Side of Manchester

Native Pennacook Indians called Amoskeag Falls on the Merrimack River — the area that became the heart of Manchester — Namaoskeag, meaning "good fishing place".[13] In 1722, John Goffe III settled beside Cohas Brook, later building a dam and sawmill at what was dubbed "Old Harry's Town". It was granted by Massachusetts in 1727 as "Tyngstown" to veterans of Queen Anne's War who served in 1703 under Captain William Tyng.[5] But at New Hampshire's 1741 separation from Massachusetts, the grant was ruled invalid and substituted with Wilton, Maine, resulting in a 1751 rechartering by Governor Benning Wentworth as "Derryfield" — a name that lives on in Derryfield Park, Derryfield Country Club, and the private Derryfield School.[5]

In 1807, Samuel Blodget opened a canal and lock system to allow vessels passage around the falls, part of a network developing to link the area with Boston. He envisioned a great industrial center arising, "the Manchester of America", in reference to Manchester, England, then at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution.[5][14] In 1809, Benjamin Prichard and others built a water-powered cotton spinning mill on the western bank of the Merrimack. Apparently following Blodgett's suggestion, Derryfield was renamed "Manchester" in 1810, the year the mill was incorporated as the Amoskeag Cotton & Woolen Manufacturing Company.[15] It would be purchased in 1825 by entrepreneurs from Massachusetts, expanded to three mills in 1826, and then incorporated in 1831 as the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company.[5][14]

Elm Street, c. 1905
Child laborers at Amoskeag Manufacturing in Manchester (1909); photo by Lewis Hine

Amoskeag engineers and architects planned a model company town on the eastern bank, founded in 1838 with Elm Street as its main thoroughfare. Incorporation as a city followed for Manchester in 1846, soon home to the largest cotton mill in the world—Mill No. 11, stretching 900 feet (270 m) long by 103 feet (31 m) wide, and containing 4,000 looms. Other products made in the community included shoes, cigars, and paper. The Amoskeag foundry made rifles, sewing machines, textile machinery, fire engines, and locomotives in a division called the Amoskeag Locomotive Works (later, the Manchester Locomotive Works). The rapid growth of the mills demanded a large influx of workers, resulting in a flood of immigrants, particularly French Canadians. Many residents descend from these workers. The Amoskeag Manufacturing Company went out of business in 1935, although its red brick mills have been renovated for other uses. Indeed, the mill town's 19th-century affluence left behind some of the finest Victorian commercial, municipal, and residential architecture in the state.[16]

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