Why is Concord the Capital of New Hampshire?

Why is Concord the Capital of New Hampshire?
Why is Concord the Capital of New Hampshire?

The Granite State, with its motto, Live free or die, is a popular destination for family vacations, skiing trips, and beach excursions. It is also home to the spectacular White Mountains.

What is the capital of New Hampshire?

Concord, the capital of New Hampshire, is the hub of Merrimack County in beautiful New England.

Please continue reading to learn more about the city of Concord and all that it has to offer.

Where is the Capital of New Hampshire Located?

Where is the Capital of New Hampshire Located
Where is the Capital of New Hampshire Located

In the southern central part of New Hampshire sits Concord. It is roughly 38 miles north of Massachusetts, 54 miles east of Vermont, 40 miles west of Maine, and 170 miles south of Canada.

Concord has a total of 67.2 square miles. Penacook Lake sits west of the city. Concord’s highest point is on Oak Hill, resting at 860 feet above sea level.

The Merrimack River runs centrally through the city, with downtown to the west of the river. The Turkey River moves through the city’s southern part, where it enters the Merrimack.

While Concord is not the state’s largest city, it lies 16 miles north of what is the town of Manchester. Concord is also 66 miles north of Boston.

A Brief History of Concord

New Hampshire State House aerial view, Concord, New Hampshire NH, USA.
New Hampshire State House aerial view, Concord, New Hampshire NH, USA.

The area, which would become Concord, was first settled in 1659 by Europeans. It was named after the word “pannukog,” which means a bend in the river. It was officially named Concord in 1765 by the governor. The city name was meant to reflect the harmony between surrounding towns.

Throughout the 18th century, Concord grew in importance, and some of the country’s earliest homes were built. After the Revolution, a lock and canal system was opened to allow boats passage to Boston through the Middlesex Canal.

In the early 19th century, most of Concord’s economy thrived from the printing, furniture-making, and granite industries. Much of the granite was used for building the New Hampshire State House.

Concord also became a central point for the railroads and home to Concord State Hospital, one of the first insane asylums in the United States.

Concord is also a mecca for national politics because New Hampshire is first in the primaries and remains a center for law, politics, and insurance.

When Did Concord Become the Capital of New Hampshire?

Rocky coast and beachfront homes at Concord Point, in Rye, New Hampshire.
Rocky coast and beachfront homes at Concord Point, in Rye, New Hampshire.

Concord was named the official capital of New Hampshire in 1808. In 1816, a new capital building was planned, and the building was completed in 1819. Today, the state house remains one of the oldest in the country.

Why is Concord the Capital of New Hampshire?

While Native Americans originally settled the land we call Concord, its good soil and transportation on the Merrimack River made the city desirable to English settlers. The community of settlers grew, and several years after the American Revolution, the city’s location was a big factor in the decision to make Concord the capital. 

The Best Places to Visit in Concord

Concord is the perfect sized city not only to visit but live in. The city sports plenty of shops and venues and amazing restaurants. 

Here I list some of the best places in Concord to visit.

The State House

New Hampshire’s capital building is a must-see. Built in 1819, it is home to the largest legislative body in the country. This impressive building is also the oldest in the country, where the legislature still works in the original chambers. 

The lovely grounds have no fences and are always welcoming to the public. 

Concord Antique Gallery

Being the biggest antique shop in the granite state, Concord Antique Gallery is home to 155 different dealers. These antique sellers have much to sell to the public and are famous for their great prices.

At over 10,000 square feet, each stall has much to choose from, from vintage jewelry to furniture to toys.

McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center

Many of us remember the Challenger Disaster in the 1980s. The McAuliffe-Shepard Discovery Center is a museum that pays homage to two people who lost their lives in the explosion.

Christa McAuliffe was a social studies student at the local Concord Highschool and had been selected by NASA to become the first teacher to go to space. Alan Shepard, who was also from New Hampshire, was the first American to go to space, and he also walked on the moon. 

The hope of those running the museum is to convince people of all ages that they can succeed no matter their choices. It also has science exhibitions and engineering exhibitions.

Granite State Candy Shoppe

What I love about this place is that the same family has been working here since 1927. They have owned it and been making candy for the folks of Concord and surrounding towns for almost 100 years. 

The family continues to use the same recipes and much of the original equipment too. The candy shop is an important business staple in the city of Concord and has been a favorite for locals and visitors.

Carter Hill Apple Orchard

Since the middle of the 18th century, Carter Hill has functioned as an orchard and has continued to grow immensely. Their large variety of apples can be picked by families or simply purchased from their lovely country store.

If you are visiting Concord during the months of September and October, make it a point to go to Carter Hill Apple Orchard. The apple cider is to die for too, and is continuously made through the fall and winter seasons using specially selected apples. 

Pierce Manson

Franklin Pierce, the 14th president of the United States, was a New Hampshire native. His childhood home is open to the public, with a guided tour year-round.

The house is like a museum, with many objects from President Pierce’s childhood and daily life. The house is especially important because it was due to be destroyed in 1971 but was lovingly saved by volunteers.


New Hampshire is such a beautiful state, and the capital of Concord is a true New England city. With the many things to do and the deep history, Concord is a lovely place to visit with family and friends. 

See Also

Capital Cities 

Hi and welcome to my travel blog! Based in London, I work in investment banking in a quantitative field and although I am not part of the travel industry, I have a ton of passion for travel. My blog is a reference guide for my fellow travelers with the same passion as me. Hopefully the blog is easy to navigate and my aim is to bring the most relevant and interesting information before you begin your journey!