New Hampshire State Facts - New Hampshire Firsts

Catch up on your state trivia with these New Hampshire history firsts and interesting fun facts about the state.

Official Name New Hampshire
Capital Concord
43.23159 N, 071.56007 W
Constitution Ratified 1784
Statehood June 21, 1788
9th state
Number of Counties 10 Counties in New Hampshire
Largest County
(by population)
Hillsborough County
876 sq. mi.

New Hampshire History Firsts & State Facts

  • 1603 - The first recorded visit to New Hampshire took place in 1603, when an English sea captain, Martin Pring, explored the shoreline and a small part of the interior.
  • 1623 - Dover was settled in 1623. It is the oldest permanent settlement in New Hampshire.
  • 1708 - The Brattle organ in St. John's Church in Portsmouth is the oldest pipe organ in the United States. Still played on special occasions, it dates back to 1708.
  • 1719 - The first potato grown in the United States was planted at Londonderry Common Field (now Derry).
  • 1768 - The oldest summer resort in America was built in 1768. Governor John Wentworth built the estate in Wolfeboro NH.
  • 1776 - The first act of revolution against the British occurred when rebels seized the fort at New Castle. Because of this, New Hampshire delegates received the honor of being the first to vote for the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776.
  • 1782 - Daniel Webster was a politician and statesman, born at Franklin in 1782. He was known in his day as a mighty orator, a reputation preserved in the Stephen Vincent Benet story The Devil and Daniel Webster, in which he beats the original lawyer, Lucifer, in a contract case over a man's soul.
  • 1784 - New Hampshire's present constitution was adopted in 1784; it is the second oldest in the country.
  • 1787 - Levi Hutchins of Concord invented the first alarm clock.
  • 1788 - New Hampshire cast the decisive vote on June 21, 1788, that put the Constitution into effect.
  • 1809 - New Hampshire's state motto is "Live Free or Die" and was coined by General John Stark in 1809
  • 1823 - The Belknap Mill built at Laconia in 1823 is the oldest unaltered brick knitting mill in America.
  • 1828 - On December 30, 1828, about 400 mill girls walked out of the Dover Cotton Factory enacting the first women's strike in the United States. The Dover mill girls were forced to give in when the mill owners immediately began advertising for replacement workers.
  • 1829 -The oldest covered bridge in the nation was built in 1829 and is the Haverhill-Bath Covered Bridge.
  • 1833 - The first free public library in the United States was established in Peterborough.
  • 1839 - The Pembroke Glass Works produced crown window glass from 1839 until 1850. The process of gathering molten glass on a blowpipe, and blowing the glass into a balloon shape. The blowpipe is removed, a solid "punty" rod is attached and the glass is spun rapidly until a disc is formed. When the glass cools the outer portion beyond the central knob is then cut into panes.
  • 1866 - Founded in 1866 at Durham, the University of New Hampshire serves an undergraduate population of 10,500 students.
  • 1870 - Marilla Ricker was the first woman to attempt to vote in New Hampshire (1870), as well as the first woman to attempt to run for governor (1920).
  • 1882 - The first ski club in the country, the Nansen Ski Club, was formed in 1882 in Berlin, New Hampshire.
  • 1888 - The largest private wild game preserve in North America was established in 1888 by Austin Corbin II from Newport. The preserve in 25,000 acres near Croydon Mountain.
  • 1899 - The very first motorized ascent of the Mount Washington auto road was by Feelan O. Stanley, of Stanley Steamer fame, in 1899.
  • 1890 - The largest ice house in the world was built in 1890. The Fresh Fish Pond Ice Company from Brookline NH used 60,000 tons of ice.
  • 1900 - Wallace D. Lovell built the Hampton River Bridge in 1900 called the "mile-long bridge". It was reputed to be the longest wooden bridge in the world.
  • 1905 - New Hampshire is the only state that ever played host at the formal conclusion of a foreign war. In 1905, Portsmouth was the scene of the treaty ending the Russo-Japanese War.
  • 1907 - The Irish-born American sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens lived and worked in Cornish from 1885 until his death at age 59 in 1907.
  • 1908 - The first credit union in the nation was established in 1908 by Monsignor Pierre Harvy who was the pastor at St Mary's Church.
  • 1909 -
    • Find out more about the New Hampshire State Flag
    • New Hampshire did not officially adopt a state flag until 1909. Prior to that, New Hampshire had numerous regimental flags to represent the state. The present flag has only been changed once, in 1931 when the state's seal was modified.
  • 1914 - The largest American flag in the nation was made at t he Amoskeag Mills in Manchester NH in 1914 and is 90 feet long and 50 feet high.
  • 1919 - The Purple lilac was selected as New Hampshire State Flower
  • 1920 -
    • Marilla Ricker was the first woman to attempt to vote in New Hampshire (1870), as well as the first woman to attempt to run for governor (1920).
    • The first in the nation primary was in 1920 at the Balsams Hotel in Dixville Notch NH.
  • 1923 - The first American in space hails from Derry NH. Alan Shepard was born in 1923.
  • 1931 - Find out more about New Hampshire State Great Seal
  • 1934 - The highest wind speed recorded at ground level was on April 12, 1934 at Mt. Washington. The winds were three times as fast as those in most hurricanes.
  • 1937 - The largest dwelling in a Shaker community happened in 1937. The Enfield Shakers built the Great Stone Dwelling which is 62 feet high.
  • 1938 - Cannon Aerial Tramway is the first aerial passenger tramway in North America. It was built in 1938 at Franconia Notch.
  • 1945 -
  • 1947 - The White birch was made New Hampshire State Tree
  • 1949 - "Old New Hampshire," words by Dr. John F. Holmes and music by Maurice Hoffmann New Hampshire State Song
  • 1952 - New Hampshire introduced the nation's first presidential primary election.
  • 1953 - USS Albacore was a prototype submarine built at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and commissioned in 1953. At the time she was the fastest submarine ever designed.
  • 1955 and 1961 - In the town of Warner the last passenger train stopped on November 4, 1955, and the last freight in 1961. Since then the tracks through town were torn up and sold as scrap iron.
  • 1957 - The Purple finch was chosen as New Hampshire State Bird
  • 1963 -
  • 1964 - The first state lottery in the country was done in 1964 by Governor John King who purchased the 1st ticket at Rockingham Park in Salem.
  • 1973 - "New Hampshire Hills," words by Paul Scott Maurer and music by Tom Powers as New Hampshire State Song
  • 1977 -
  • 1983 -
  • 1985 -
  • 1991 - The Pink lady's slipper becomes New Hampshire State Wildflower
  • 1992 - The butter fly, Karner blue was selected as New Hampshire State Butterfly
  • 1994 -
  • 1995 - English was made New Hampshire State Language
  • 1998 - Skiing was designated as New Hampshire State Sport
  • 1999 - In the fall of 1999, the Town of Newbury officially opened a B&M caboose as a visitor center at Bell Cove, Newbury Harbor.
  • 1995 - Find out more about New Hampshire State Tartan
  • 2002 - Find out more about New Hampshire Native
  • 2006 - The Pumpkin was chosen to be New Hampshire State Fruit
  • 2007 - "Live Free or Die," composed by Barry Palmer as New Hampshire State Song
  • 2009 - The Chinook was adopted as New Hampshire State Dog
  • 2010 - Apple cider was selected as New Hampshire State Beverage
  • 2013 - The White potato was selected as New Hampshire State Vegetable

More New Hampshire History Firsts & State Facts

  • Of the thirteen original colonies, New Hampshire was the first to declare its independence from Mother England - a full six months before the Declaration of Independence was signed.
  • The first snowmobile in the nation was invented by George Morton of Bartlett NH.
  • The longest covered bridge, the 460-foot Cornish-Windsor Bridge, crosses the Connecticut River.
  • New Castle is the smallest town in New Hampshire covering .8 square miles.
  • New Hampshire's State House is the oldest state capitol in which a legislature still meets in its original chambers.
  • The first US public library is founded in Peterborough
  • Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr., the first American to travel in space is from East Derry, New Hampshire.
  • Cornish Hill Pottery Company handcrafts functional stoneware decorated in the traditions of Early American and European potters with a method known as "slip trailing". The slip is a creamy mixture of clay and water and is applied to moist, almost hardened pots by hand. The slip contains various colorants, including natural clay colors and metals.
  • The Mount Washington auto road at Great Glen is New Hampshire's oldest manmade tourist attraction.
  • New Hampshire's State House is the oldest state capitol in which a legislature still meets in its original chambers.
  • Alexandria was the birthplace of Luther C. Ladd, the first enlisted soldier to lose his life in the Civil War.
  • The karner blue butterfly, lynx, bald eagle, short nose sturgeon, Sunapee trout, Atlantic salmon and dwarf wedge mussel are on the State's endangered species list.
  • The Enfield Shaker community was one of eighteen villages located from Maine to Kentucky and from Massachusetts to Ohio.
  • The quintessential New England community of Wolfeboro is known as "The Oldest Summer Resort in America".
  • Augustus Saint-Gaudens from Cornish was the first sculptor to design an American coin. His commission became fraught with difficulties related to Saint-Gaudens' desire for high relief relative to the demands of mass production and use.
  • America's Stonehenge is a 4000 year old megalithic (stone constructed) site located on Mystery Hill in Salem and presently serves as a leisurely, educational tour for the whole family.
  • The Pierce Manse in Concord is the home of the only New Hampshire citizen ever elected President. Franklin Pierce was a hero of the war with Mexico and the youngest President elected at that time.
  • The Memorial Bell Tower at Cathedral of the Pines in Rindge has four bronze bas-reliefs designed by Norman Rockwell. The bell tower is specifically dedicated to women - military and civilian - who died serving their country.
  • The Bavarian-style hamlet of Merrimack is home to the famous eight-horse hitch, and the Clydesdales maintained by the Anheuser-Busch Brewery.
  • In Holderness Captain Pierre Havre and his canine first mate, Bogie, have built a sailing tour around the locations from the Katherine Hepburn/Henry Fonda movie On Golden Pond.
  • The Christa McAuliffe Planetarium in Concord is a state-of-the art planetarium dedicated to the memory of New Hampshire teacher Christa McAuliffe, who died in the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger.
  • New Hampshire has 10 counties, 13 municipalities, 221 towns and 22 unincorporated places.
  • Sarah Josepha Hale author and journalist who wrote the poem "Mary Had a Little Lamb" in 1830 is from Newport, New Hampshire.
  • The Blue Ghost of Wolfeboro is the US Mail Boat for Lake Winnipesaukee. It makes a daily 60-mile loop delivering mail to 30 stops at camps and islands around the lake.
  • At Stonyfield Farm in Londonderry you can learn how yogurt is made. From cow to incubator to cooler. They give away samples and you can buy some "moo" chandise.
  • The first capital city of New Hampshire was in Exeter.
  • The granite profile "Old Man of the Mountain" is one of the most famous natural landmarks in the state. The Old Man's head measures 40 feet from chin to forehead and is made up of five ledges. Nature carved this profile thousands of years ago. The natural sculpture is 1,200 feet above Echo Lake.
  • It takes approximately 40 gallons of sap to make approximately 1 gallon of maple syrup.
  • Captain John Smith named New Hampshire after the town of Hampshire, England.
  • New Hampshire has a changeable climate, with wide variations in daily and seasonal temperatures. The variations are affected by proximity to the ocean, mountains, lakes or rivers. The state enjoys all four seasons. Summers are short and cool; winters are long and cold; fall is glorious with foliage. The weather station on Mount Washington has recorded some of the coldest temperatures and strongest winds in the continental United States.
  • New Castle is the smallest town in New Hampshire. It covers .8 square miles, or 512 acres. The town is composed of one large island and several smaller islands, and serves as a scenic residential and recreational community.
County Information and County History
State Facts & History Firsts
State Fun Facts - History Firsts