Merrimack County Profile
In 1808, Concord became the capital of New Hampshire and quickly became the hub of the county. Major attractions and historical sites abound in the Concord area.
Major population areas include: Concord, Pittsfield, Hooksett and Franklin. Other communities are: Danbury, Wilmot, New London, Hill, Andover, Newbury, Sutton, Salisbury, Northfield, Canterbury, Boscawen, Webster, Warner, Bradford, Henniker, Hopkinton, Dunbarton, Bow, Loudon, Chichester, Pembroke, Epsom, and Allenstown.
Brief History: Concord, the capital of New Hampshire, covers an area of 64 square miles and has a population of approximately 34,500 people. The political heart of the state, Concord began as a small unnamed trading post in 1659 along the Merrimack River. A bend in the river named Penny Cook by the Indians was the site in 1697 of Hannah Dustin's famous escape from Indian captors. Kidnaped on a raid of Haverhill, MA Hannan Dustin scalped her sleeping captors and escaped.
Settlers increased in the region and the land was granted in 1725 and named the Plantation of Penacook. In 1733, it became the town of Rumford, and in 1765 Governor Wentworth granted the name Concord for the town.
The town grew and by 1775 there was a population of 1,052. Timothy Walker made sure the convention on ratification of the U.S. Constitution was held in Concord and he was instrumental in obtaining that ratification in 1788.
Throughout the 1780's state government met in various locations in NH including Concord. Its central location made it an ideal spot for permanent government and in 1808, Concord became the capital. The State House was completed in 1819 and has since remained the meeting site of the largest legislature in the United States.
Concord continued to grow and become a trade center. Several industries sprang up and in later years Concord granite was used to construct buildings throughout New England and the East.
Concord is also famous as the home of the Concord Coach. In 1827 Lewis Downing, a wheelwright, and J. Stephen Abbot, a journeyman coach builder, completed the first Concord Coach. Together they manufactured 40 styles of commercial and pleasure vehicles as well as 14 styles of Concord Coach.
The coaches were brightly colored with elaborate trim and yellow gear. Over the next century the company produced 3,000 coaches, each weighing some 2,400 pounds costing between $775-$1,250. Concord Coaches, used by Wells Fargo, opened the American West.
Several famous individuals either lived in or spent time in Concord, including 14th President Franklin Pierce, Daniel Webster, Horace Greeley, John Parker Hale, and George Hamilton Perking.