DescriptionThe political and financial center of the state—and capital since 1808—Concord also is a major industrial, transportation and distribution point. At the root of its prosperity is easy accessibility. Historically, settlement and commerce followed the Merrimack River and later, a canal to Boston. Now a convergence of highways forms the city's busy lifelines.
A trading post operating as early as 1660, the locale gained notoriety in 1697 as the place where Hannah Dustin, abducted by Penacook Indians in a raid on Haverhill, Mass., scalped her sleeping captors and escaped.
Settlement came somewhat more slowly. Not until 1725 was the land granted to settlers, who named it the Plantation of Penacook, from the name Native Americans gave to a nearby bend in the river. In 1765 the area was renamed Concord.
Because generally peaceful relations with the Penacook people had allowed Concord to grow, by the Revolutionary War it was a sturdy community able to send companies to fight at Lexington and Concord, Mass., Bunker Hill and other battle sites. A tablet at Walker and Bouton streets marks the site where New Hampshire ratified the Constitution on June 21, 1788.
Industry began to develop during the early 1800s. Wheelwright Lewis Downing and coach builder J. Stephens Abbot created a product that was instrumental in opening the frontier—the bouncing, high-wheeled Concord coach used by Wells Fargo and other stage lines throughout the West.
A few reminders of Concord's past stand along some of the town's wide, shaded streets. The Rev. Timothy Walker House, 276 N. Main St., dates from 1734, making it the oldest house in Concord; it is closed to the public. The structure at 132 N. Main St. once was the Eagle Hotel, a popular tavern 1825-56; it is now the site of a restaurant. Tuck Library, established in the early 1900s and operated by the New Hampshire Historical Society, is at 30 Park St.
A community-wide effort resulted in the restoration of the Capitol Theatre, built in the neo-Egyptian style in 1927 to house vaudeville shows. The Capitol Center for the Arts, with the Chubb Theatre as its centerpiece, presents touring Broadway shows, concerts, entertainers and dance troupes. The 1,300-seat theater is at 44 S. Main St.; phone (603) 225-1111.
The city balances its governmental and business orientation with ample opportunities for recreation. Among several city parks offering both summer and winter sports are 20-acre White Park at Centre and Washington streets and 16-acre Merrill Park at Eastman and Carpenter streets.
Visitor InfoGreater Concord Chamber of Commerce 49 S. Main St. Suite 104 CONCORD, NH 03301. Phone:(603)224-2508
Self-guiding toursConcord on Foot, a tour of downtown, includes historical and architecturally interesting buildings. Brochures are available at the chamber of commerce and at the New Hampshire Historical Society for $2.
Things to SeeCanterbury Shaker Village
CanoeingContoocook River Canoe Co.