The Merrimack Valley was originally inhabited by various groups of Native Americans.

Europeans settled Manchester in 1722 as a farming community several miles east of the Merrimack River. For many years the town was known as Derryfield until it was renamed Manchester in 1810 to honor Samuel Blodget’s vision of a great industrial city like that of Manchester England.

Samuel Blodget developed a canal and lock system around the Amoskeag Falls that opened a trade route from Boston to Concord. The canal and lock system made it possible for the Amoskeag Manufacturing Company to open its doors in 1838, becoming the world’s largest cotton milling operation with 64 mills lining the banks of the Merrimack River. The mills brought cultural diversity to the city as immigrants moved to Manchester looking for good paying mill jobs.


Today the city of Manchester remains the economic engine of the state. The millyard now houses The University of New Hampshire Manchester campus, high-tech companies, website companies, museums, and insurance and manufacturing companies, restaurants, gyms, retail stores and more!

For more History, visit the Manchester Historic Association and Millyard Museum.

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