Concord History Facts and Timeline

(Concord, New Hampshire - NH, USA)

The city of Concord is quite literally brimming with American history, almost in every direction that you look. People originally chose to live in this spot, to take advantage of the adjacent Merrimack River, with its endless offerings of food and potential river transport.

Native American Indian tribes have lived in the Concord area for many thousands of years, with the Pennacook peoples coming here to fish in the river, making the very most of the huge numbers of annual migrating salmon. The river not only provided a continued source of high-protein food, but also allowed the Pennacooks to travel around with ease, in their small wooden canoes.

The river's floodplain offered extremely fertile soil to the Concord natives, lending itself to agriculture, and some successful attempts were made at farming beans, pumpkins and other basic crops.

An American Settlement is Founded

In the first month of 1725, the area was named the Plantation of Penacook by the Province of Massachusetts Bay, which was currently taking control of all territories based on the western side of the Merrimack River. Concord was officially founded and settlers gradually began to arrive here from Haverhill, Massachusetts.

In the year of 1734, the town was officially incorporated and renamed as Rumford, while some 30 years later in history it finally gained its present-day name of Concord, following major boundary disputes with neighboring Bow town. 'Concord', meaning harmony, was chosen as the name to reflect the peace that was finally reached between these two towns.

American Revolution

At the start of the American Revolution (1775 to 1785), the residents of Concord joined the rebellion against the British government, considering their measures to be rather oppressive. The colonies involved in this revolution managed to break free from the British Empire and the United States of America was subsequently formed.

Following the American Revolution, a newfound feeling of independence filled Concord and the city began to expand, building brick and stone houses. Of interest, a number of these original houses are still standing today, on Main Street.

Becoming the State Capital

Concord enjoyed a fairly central location on the southern side of New Hampshire, meaning that it was easy to reach from all directions. A modern canal network was constructed, allowing boats to reach destinations such as the Amoskeag Falls and even Boston. It was decided that the city was the sensible choice for state capital in 1808 and government meetings soon began to be held here.

The need for a State Capitol Building quickly became obvious and plans were drawn up for a rather grand structure, which would stand on North Main Street and be topped by a large octagonal, golden dome. Architect Stuart Park was the man responsible for this design, with building work lasting three years, between 1816 and 1819. Visitors to the Capitol should be sure to look at the murals behind the rostrum, which depict important moments in Concord's history.

The City Today

Nowadays, Concord is known for its plentiful old buildings, attractive downtown district, modern health care, large insurance companies, prestigious law school, and of course, its grand State House, which is regarded by the city as being the 'people's house'. The grounds are only partly enclosed and visitors are allowed to walk around the building quite freely.

For further information about the history of both Concord and the state, pay a visit to the New Hampshire Historical Society.