DescriptionLogging helped to sustain early settlers in Manchester, and by 1810 the first cotton and woolen mills were in operation. The village was on its way to becoming the American counterpart of its British namesake, then the largest textile producing city in the world. In 1831 a group of Boston financiers bailed out a struggling cotton mill called the Amoskeag Cotton and Woolen Factory and reincorporated it as the Amoskeag Manufacturing Co.
Nearly 5 million yards of cloth were shipped each week from the brick mills, which employed thousands of workers and covered more than 8 million square feet. The mills thrived until the 1920s when a combination of stresses on the industry such as obsolete machinery, labor unrest and strong competition from the South, sapped its strength. In 1935 Amoskeag filed for bankruptcy and the mills fell silent.
But Manchester was not doomed to obscurity. A group of local businessmen pooled $5 million, purchased the mile-long ranks of mills and reactivated them with a diversified array of industries. Manchester is the state's industrial giant as well as its largest city and the home of nearly 10 percent of its population.
Just as the mills and the company houses have new tenants, so does the fully restored 1915 Palace Theatre at 80 Hanover St. Known for its excellent acoustics and large stage, the theater hosts performances by the New Hampshire Philharmonic, the Opera League of New Hampshire and the theater's own professional company; phone (603) 668-5588.
Manchester also is noted for its association with Gen. John Stark, who was born in Londonderry in 1728 and moved with his family to Derryfield—now Manchester—when he was 8. Stark fought the Abenaki Indians with Maj. William Rogers and his Rogers' Rangers, a backwoods fighting team that is considered the forerunner of today's Army Rangers. Stark died in 1822, having outlived every Patriot general except Marquis de Lafayette. His childhood home stands at 2000 Elm St.; his grave is in Stark Park, off N. River Road overlooking the river.
Visitor InfoGreater Manchester Chamber of Commerce 54 Hanover St. MANCHESTER, NH 03101. Phone:(603)666-6600
ShoppingThe Mall of New Hampshire, 1500 S. Willow St., features JCPenney, Macy's and Sears. Elm Street and Hanover Street in downtown boast dozens of locally owned shops.
Things to SeeThe Currier Museum of Art