Located along the Merrimack River, the largest city in NH has a long history of innovation, creativity, and industry. The Amoskeag Falls (from namoskeag, the word for “good fishing place” in the Penacook language) not only drew Native Americans to the area, but British colonists as well, and the area was formally settled in 1722 as Old Harry’s Town, and later rechristened Derryfield.
By 1810, with an eye to utilizing the power of the river and the falls to create an industrial center, the city was renamed Manchester in hopes of mimicking the success of the industrial textile powerhouse of Manchester, England. That same year, the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company was incorporated and construction of the mill buildings begun. By the middle of the century, Manchester was home to the world’s largest cotton mill, and as the years went on, the Amoskeag mills produced not only textiles, but trains, fire engines, and munitions as well.
The Amoskeag Manufaturing Company, after enjoying more than 100 years of success, unfortunately was hard hit by the Great Depression, and went bankrupt, stalling Manchester’s forward progress. In the last 20 years, however, Manchester has enjoyed a renaissance, becoming known as a foodie destination, with its dozens of innovative restaurants and cafes, as well as a cultural and entertainment center, with Broadway and original shows at The Palace Theater, national tours at the SNHU Arena, the world-class Currier Museum of Art, and even a minor league baseball team in the Fisher Cats! It has also reclaimed its status as a center of innovation, with educational institutions such as the University of New Hampshire and Southern NH University staking a claim in the rehabbed Amoskeag Millyard, alongside companies like DEKA Research and Development, founded by famed inventor Dean Kamen.
Come join us in Manchester and enjoy getting to know this energetic small city that has remained strong and true to its roots over the years, much like NAHSL!