New Hampshire is a state in the northeastern region of the US. It shares a border with Massachuttes, Vermont, Maine, and Canada. This state has a population of only 1,377,000 people and an area of 24,214 km².
New Hampshire is known for its many nicknames, Mount Washington, and Alan Shepard. This state is home to the world’s first mountain-climbing cog railway and the first free tax-supported library in the US. The highest wind speed over land was recorded here, and citizens don’t have to wear seat belts.
The country with four nicknames
New Hampshire doesn’t only have one nickname, but four! But let’s discuss them one by one.
The most popular nickname for this state is surely the Granite State. This is a reference to the many granite quarries in the area.
But New Hampshire is also known as the Mother of Rivers. This is because five major New
England’s rivers originate here.
This state is also nicknamed the White Mountain State, as this is one of the many mountain chains present in the area. Lastly, New Hampshire is known as the Switzerland of America. This is again a reference to the White Mountains.
The world’s first wind farm
New Hampshire is home to the first wind farm ever built in the world. Located in Crotched Mountain, this farm was installed in 1980. Originally, it consisted of twenty 30 kW wind turbines.
It was in these years that the US started to value wind power. In fact, in the late 1980s, California began to provide tax rebates for this type of energy.
Nowadays, New Hampshire features five wind power projects, the last of which opened in 2020.
Mount Washington is the highest peak in the northeast area of the US. With a height of 6,288.2 ft, this mountain is located on the Presidential Range of the White Mountains.
The weather conditions on the peak of Mount Washington are notoriously extreme! In fact, the average temperature on the summit is 26.5 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, about 42 feet of snow accumulate here every year.
Aside from the weather, the view here is stunning! It is said that, on a clear day, it is possible to see Mount Marcy. This peak is in New York, about 124 miles to the west.
Bear Brook State Park
Bear Brook State Park is the largest developed state park in New Hampshire. Located in the southeast region of the state, this natural area covers 10,000 acres. The park was named after Bear Brook, a river that crosses these lands.
People here can make use of over 40 miles of hiking trails, the fishing ponds, and the archery range. This park is also home to two museums. The New Hampshire Snowmobile Museum and the Richard Diehl Civilian Conservation Corps Museum.
Between 1985 and 2000 Bear Brook State Park made the news because of several murders. The corpses of three women were in fact found in this area.
In 2017, a suspect was identified as Terry Peder Rasmussen. However, he had already died in prison in 2010.
Apple Cider Donuts
It’s quite hard to find a typical dish from New Hampshire. Even though we cannot claim for certainty that Apple Cider Donuts were invented here, they are surely popular in this area.
As the name suggests, this dessert consists of donuts covered with a delicious cinnamon-sugar glaze. They are usually eaten during fall and are packed with calories!
Manchester is the most populated city in New Hampshire. This metropolis has a population of 112,000 people and is home to the Fisher Cats Minor League Baseball Team.
Apart from this, Manchester features plenty of museums. Some of these include the Currier Museum of Art and the SEE Science Center.
This city is also famous for its architecture. In fact, it is home to a building designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Known as the Zimmerman House, this structure was built in 1951.
The world’s first mountain-climbing cog railway
New Hampshire is also home to the world’s first mountain-climbing cog railway. The Mount Washington Cog railway is still in operation and is known by the locals as ‘The Cog’.
This railway uses a Marsh rack system, and its locomotives are powered by both steam and biodiesel.
The Cog carrier was first operated in 1868. However, it was completed only the following year when it successfully reached the top of Mount Washington.
Shorter US ocean coastline
New Hampshire can also boast an unusual record. This state has, in fact, the shorter ocean coastline of all the US states. Measuring its length is, however, quite a complicated process.
The problem is in the definition of coastline in itself. If, for you, this term refers to the place where salty water touches land, then New Hampshire doesn’t have the shortest coastline in the US. This is because you should also include the Great Bay in your calculations. New Hampshire’s coastline, in this case, would measure 235 miles!
But, if you only take into account the area facing the Atlantic Ocean, then the number shrinks to 13 miles. In this case, New Hampshire can legitimately be called the US state with the shorter ocean coastline!
The first free tax-supported library
In 1833, Peterborough town library became the first tax-supported library in the US.
Located in the southern area of New Hampshire, this city started a revolutionary concept. It was the first time in the history of the US that people could borrow books owned by a state.
A few years later, in 1849, the New Hampshire State Legislature passed a law authorizing the town to raise money to devote to their library. That’s how libraries started to emerge in this state first and later all over the US.
The first alarm clock
If you manage to arrive at work or school in time every day, you have to thank New Hampshire. In fact, the first alarm clock was invented here by Levi Hutchins!
He created the first mechanical alarm clock in 1787 to wake up at 4 am each morning! You may think he had to wake up that early because of his work, but this was not the case. He simply believed in the many benefits of starting his day before dawn.
As this was his main goal, he never patented his invention.
The Old Man in the Mountain
The Old Man in the Mountain was a popular rock formation resembling an old man. This unique structure was located in the northern area of New Hampshire but unfortunately collapsed in 2003.
This Old Man stood 370 meters above Profile Lake and measured 12 meters in length and 7.6 meters in width. The first written record of this rock dates back to 1805, and we now know that it played a fundamental role in the Abenaki population.
Already at the beginning of the 20th century, the first cracks started to appear on the Old Man’s forehead. The New Hampshire state passed $25,000 for a weatherproofing plan to protect the structure. Nonetheless, the efforts were useless.
The highest wind speed over land in the US
New Hampshire also recorded the highest wind speed over land in the US. On April 12, 1934, the Mount Washington Observatory documented a wind speed of 231 miles per hour!
This remained the world record for over 60 years. But in 1996, an observatory in Barrow Island topped this data. The current world’s wind speed record is 253 miles per hour and was documented during Tropical Cyclone Olivia!
Hopkinton State Fair
Hopkinton State Fair is one of the biggest fairs in New Hampshire. This festival was first celebrated in 1915 and currently takes place in Contoocook, a village close to Concord.
Hopkinton State Fair started as an agricultural event with a duration of two days. In the first year, it raised only $5 in revenue.
This fair used to consist of food vendors, horse races, and agricultural exhibits. It also featured amusement rides, sideshow tents, and baseball games.
Seat belts aren’t mandatory
You may be surprised to read this, but seat belts aren’t mandatory in New Hampshire. However, passengers under the age of 18 are still forced to do so by law.
Not surprisingly, in 2018, this state had the lowest adult seat belt usage. The New Hampshire average was, in fact, 76.4% in comparison to the national average of 89.6%.
The first American in space
New Hampshire was also the homeland of the first American who went to space!
Alan Bartlett Shepard Jr. was born in Derry, and in 1961 he became the second person in the world to travel to space after Yuri Gagarin. Alan graduated from the United States Naval Academy and became a naval aviator in 1946.
In 1951 he was chosen to be a member of the NASA Mercury Seven. Two years later, he entered space with an aircraft named Freedom 7. However, he did not manage to achieve orbit. He was also the first man who manually controlled the orientation of his spacecraft.