Introduction to Manchester, New Hampshire
Manchester is New Hampshire's largest city and also one of the largest in New England. Located in south-central New Hampshire along the banks of the Merrimack River, Manchester lies in Hillsborough County, about 58 miles north of Boston. The city is served by Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, and is surrounded by several major thoroughfares. These include Interstates I-93 and I-293: U.S. Route 3; and New Hampshire State Highways 28, 101, and 114. Manchester is often referred to as the "Queen City" because it is the New Hampshire's largest city yet not its state capital.
First settled in 1722, Manchester began as a farming community known as Derryfield until being renamed Manchester in 1810. Its new name was based on Samuel Blodgett's efforts to facilitate a trade route from Boston to Concord by opening a canal and lock system to allow vessels passage around the Amoskeag Falls. Blodgett's vision was to create a great industrial center similar to Manchester England, the first industrialized city in the world. The most significant step in the industrial development of Manchester New Hampshire occurred in 1838 with the opening of the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company, which later became the world's largest textile manufacturing complex and spawned a huge textile industry in the city. A century of unparalleled productivity ensued, with Manchester serving as a prime focal point of America's industrial and technological revolution. But twentieth-century depression-era woes took their toll on the industry and when the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company finally closed down in 1936, Manchester’s economy was badly affected. For several years the city suffered a loss of jobs and population, but eventually rebounded and by the late twentieth century became one of the nation’s fastest-growing cities. Existing mills were renovated and used for a wide variety of large and small businesses. Recognition for the city's new era of prosperity was achieved in 1998 when Money magazine named Manchester the "Number One Small City in the East".
Attractions in Manchester
Manchester is home to a majority of New Hampshire’s major cultural institutions and landmarks. The Currier Museum of Art is an internationally renowned art museum and one of the nation's finest small galleries. The Palace Theatre is home to the New Hampshire Symphony Orchestra and the Opera League of New Hampshire. The Millyard Museum chronicles the long history in the city beginning with the Native Americans who first settled it. The Zimmerman House, open to the public, is the only residence in New England designed by legendary American architect Frank Lloyd Wright. The New Hampshire Institute of Art features six galleries of changing exhibits. A prime site for outdoor recreation is the McIntyre Ski Area, which offers 53 acres of skiing, snow tubing, and lights for night skiing. Other places of interest in the city include the Majestic Theatre, the SEE Science Center, the Massabesic Audubon Center, the Amoskeag Fishways Learning and Visitors Center; and the centerpiece of downtown Manchester, the Verizon Wireless Arena, a multi-purpose civic center which hosts a variety of events, including sports, concerts, and fairs.
Manchester is home to a number of professional sports teams. The New Hampshire Fisher Cats are a minor league baseball team playing in the Class Double-A Eastern League. The Fisher Cats are the Double-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. Hockey fans can root for the Manchester Monarchs, an American Hockey League (AHL) team affiliated with the Los Angeles Kings. The Monarchs play their home games at the Verizon Wireless Arena. Another Verizon resident is the Manchester Wolves Arena Football team. The Wolves play in the af2 league, which is the minor league of the Arena Football League (AFL). Manchester is also home to the New Hampshire Phantoms, a professional soccer team belonging to the United Soccer League's (USL) Second Division.
Comparing Manchester to similar size places nationwide (Peers) and to other places in New Hampshire (State):
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