New Hampshire State Guide/Info

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Early historians record that in 1623, under the authority of an English land-grant, Captain John Mason, in conjunction with several others, sent David Thomson, a Scotsman, and Edward and Thomas Hilton, fish-merchants of London, with a number of other people in two divisions to establish a fishing colony in what is now New Hampshire, at the mouth of the Piscataqua River.

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Fast facts about the Granite State

Origin of the State Name
New Hampshire was named for Hampshire, England by Captain John Mason

New Hampshire has 4 nicknames. The first is the one by which the state is commonly known.
Granite State: for our extensive granite formations and quarries
Mother of Rivers: for the rivers of New England that originate in our Mountains
White Mountain State: for the White Mountain Range
Switzerland of America: for our beautiful mountain scenery

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The state of New Hampshire is divided into seven regions and ten counties.

Each of the different regions offers something special to the Granite State.

The seven regions in NH are:

Dartmouth Sunapee Region
Dartmouth, on the NH and Vermont border, offers both a ivy league college and a busy city filled with things to do and places to go. And when you're venturing out from Hanover and looking for a getaway, head toward Lake Sunapee for a weekend of boating, swimming and relaxation.

Great North Woods Region
The Great North Woods is the northern-most, rural section of NH that is any outdoor lover's paradise. Great for fly fishing, moose gazing, and skiing, the Great North Woods is a landscape lover's dream.

Lakes Region
We may not have one of the Great Lakes, but our lakes are great. There's something simplistic and relaxing about sitting on a dock watching the boats come in and out and there's nothing better than eating outside with a cool, lake breeze.

Merrimack Valley Region
The Merrimack Valley is filled with large towns and cities offering malls and shopping as well as beautiful rivers and landscape. Many towns and cities are less than an hour away from Boston, the mountains and the seacoast.

Monadnock Region
The Monadnock Region is perfect for those who love the great outdoors but don't want to travel toward the Canadian border to find it. The Monadnock Region offers beautiful parks, hiking trails, and Main Street life.

Seacoast Region
The Seacoast region has the best of all worlds: ocean views and walks, city life and shopping, and a close proximity to the mountains, beach and Boston. The state may only have a small number of miles along the coast but it takes advantage of what it has.

White Mountains Region
Head up north in NH and you're sure to find picturesque mountains, views and the best skiing in the state. You'll also find amusement parks, resorts, and the scenic Kancamagus Highway.

The ten counties in NH are:

Belknap County
Carroll County
Cheshire County
Coos County
Grafton County
Hillsborough County
Merrimack County
Rockingham County
Strafford County
Sullivan County
No matter what time of year it is, there are always plenty of events and attractions happening through the Granite State. During the summertime you can stop by an amusement park or visit a farm and during the winter make time to go skiing or stop by a museum.

Merrimack Valley Region - Click to expand/Collapse:

White Mountains Region - Click to expand/Collapse:

The Lakes Region - Click to expand/Collapse:

Dartmouth/Lake Sunapee Region - Click to expand/Collapse:

Seacoast Region - Click to expand/Collapse:

Monadnock Region - Click to expand/Collapse:
State of NH Web site:

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New Hampshire was named the second healthiest state in Health Care State Rankings 2006, an annual reference book that compares the 50 States in more than 500 health care categories.

Since 1993 New Hampshire has made a concerted effort to ensure that all children who reside in the state have access to adequate health care. The New Hampshire Healthy Kids Corporation was created by a special legislative act as a public/private partnership that has successfully reduced the percent of uninsured children in New Hampshire from 10.8% to 5.2%. Cited as a national model by U.S. Senate Majority Leader William Frist, New Hampshire Healthy Kids has boosted New Hampshire’s ranking in state health insurance coverage for kids from 20th to third place in the nation.

The program’s vision is for every child to go to school healthy and ready to learn. They seek to accomplish this by promoting healthy lifestyles, encouraging preventive health and dental care, treating illness early and managing chronic health conditions. New Hampshire Healthy Kids estimates that every 20 cents of state money buys $1 of health coverage for uninsured children. Premiums paid by families, federal funding, provider discounts and private grants help pay the other 80% of the program’s cost.

Eligibility for the New Hampshire Healthy Kids program is based on residency, citizenship, age and family income, and coverage is available to eligible children from birth through age 18. According to New Hampshire Healthy Kids, healthy children learn better, miss fewer school days and are better able to reach their potential as tomorrow’s workforce. Health coverage for kids also means greater work productivity for parents, who miss fewer work days due to a child’s poor health and who have the peace of mind that coverage provides.

Working families, including the self-employed, may be eligible for low-cost or free health coverage for their uninsured children through New Hampshire Healthy Kids. To find out if you qualify, contact New Hampshire Healthy Kids at 1-877-464-2447 or visit their Web site at

Click on links below for regional health care facilities:

Merrimack Valley > Click to expand/collapse

Monadnock > Click to expand/collapse

Dartmouth-Lake Sunapee > Click to expand/collapse

Seacoast > Click to expand/collapse

Lakes > Click to expand/collapse

White Mountains/Great North Woods > Click to expand/collapse

Helpful Health Information > Click to expand/collapse

This information originally appeared in the 2008 Destination NH
In addition to the public elementary and secondary schools located in New Hampshire’s 234 communities, many well-respected private and independent schools and academies flourish throughout the Granite State. Higher education plays a key role, and students from both within and outside of New Hampshire have a number of excellent colleges and universities to choose from.

Click on links below for listings of schools:

Independent Schools > Click to expand/collapse

Two-Year Colleges > Click to expand/collapse

Four-Year Colleges > Click to expand/collapse

Education Resources > Click to expand/collapse
The Future Through Energy-Efficient Housing

Buildings account for up to 40% of this nation’s energy use and carbon emissions. Amazingly, nearly half of that is from residential buildings. The New Hampshire Sustainable Energy Association is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping Granite State residents incorporate renewable energy and sustainable technologies into their lives. They believe that while it is critical to convert over to clean, renewable sources of energy to heat and power homes, it is equally critical to make homes much more efficient and sustainable.

Making homes more energy efficient, or building an Energy Star home from scratch, saves money as well as energy, and should provide healthier indoor air quality through adequate mechanical ventilation. Green building generally involves a more comprehensive approach to sustainable construction and development in general. Green building emphasizes energy efficiency and air quality within the home, but also considers the kinds of materials used, water conservation, minimizing site disturbance, reducing construction waste, and more. NH-SEA offers workshops to help its members understand the many options available.

NHSEA members are concerned about New Hampshire’s energy future, imported oil, limited natural resources, and the environment. They see renewable energy in New Hampshire as a viable answer for today’s and tomorrow’s energy challenges. NHSEA members include homeowners, business owners, builders, renters and professionals interested in sharing their knowledge and experience to make change. Whether you are buying or building a new home or want to make your current home more energy efficient, NHSEA can provide valuable information designed to help reduce energy consumption. For more information visit

Relocation Resources > Click to expand/collapse
The Granite State Senior Games promotes an active and healthy lifestyle for New Hampshire’s older residents

As people age, it becomes even more imperative to pursue an active and healthy lifestyle. In a nutshell, this is the mission of the Granite State Senior Games (GSSG), a not-for-profit, all volunteer fitness organization that promotes fitness, fellowship and fun. Founded in 1988, the GSSG holds annual games each August for athletes (age 50 and up) of all abilities. There are 16 different competitive sports with more than 50 events held at various venues throughout the state.

GSSC Chairman and State Coordinator Charles Houser is proud to note that participation in the games has grown from 65 athletes to more than 500. “There are national games every two years,” says Houser,” and those who earn a gold, silver or bronze medal at the Granite State Senior Games in qualifying years go on to represent New Hampshire at the National Senior Games.”

In addition to the obvious health benefits, the games provide the opportunity for seniors to meet new people who share similar interests and also to renew participation in their favorite sports. Any New Hampshire resident who is 50 by the end of the calendar year is eligible to participate in the senior games. To learn more about the Granite State Senior Games, visit their Web site at

Nursing, assisted living and residential care facilities in New Hampshire:

Nursing, assisted living and residential care facilities in New Hampshire > Click to expand/collapse
New Hampshire — Since 1920 by Gov. Hugh Gregg*

In 1952 New Hampshire held the first of its novel presidential primaries pursuant to legislation drafted by Richard F. Upton. From our experience of the past 12 primaries, the procedures may have changed somewhat, but his original concept of our first-in-the-nation contest has withstood both time and challenge.

New Hampshire is nationally recognized as “where it all begins” in presidential elections. And well it should be, because except for one excusable exception, without winning here no candidate has ever made it to the White House.

Every four years the state gets a fresh diagnosis from the political pundits trying to psychoanalyze us. Some say there aren’t enough of us for a fair sample, others say we all speak in the same Yankee twang, which nobody understands. The consensus is that our folkways defy description.

Then why is it that the Granite State receives an inordinate amount of media attention for this quadrennial event? There are many explanations – some obvious, some subtle.

We have the distinct advantage of being the first primary stop on the road to the White House. The state is small enough so that any aspirant can compete with limited resources. Additionally our citizens and our economy are sufficiently diversified to qualify for good test patterns.

Perhaps inherited from our Blue Laws, which provided “common scolds shall be placed on the ducking-stool and wetted 10 times,” we take politics as a requisite civic responsibility.

There are a few critics among us who say it’s good to have four years between presidentials because it takes them that long to regain their faith in the government. Probably they don’t vote anyway. Still, allowing they may have a point, we cannot minimize the economic therapy these elections provide.

Politics has gotten so expensive it even takes lots of money to get beaten. Meanwhile our restaurants, hotels and liquor stores are pocketing the travel stipends of the national media.

It’s a wondrous situation where the candidates and the journalists put on the spectacle and then pay us for giving them the opportunity.

Of course we must be constantly on the alert lest those jealous of our crown in the electoral process steal away our coronation rights. California, for example, takes the position that candidates need not be plowing through snow here when they could be snowing its citizens under its comfortable March sun. They don’t mention their own political “flakes” who have drifted here in past campaigns.

Some national motivators think we should join a regional primary. Forget it. Obviously, they’ve never read the small print on our number plates. We’ll still be picking presidents in the next millennium.

* The late Gov. Hugh Gregg was one of the premier advocates and most zealous defenders of New Hampshire’s First in the Nation Primary right up until his death in Sept. 2003. His son, Judd Gregg, is the senior U.S. Senator from the Granite State.

Unique library preserves New Hampshire’s political history

The New Hampshire Political Library was founded in 1997 by former New Hampshire Governor Hugh Gregg and Secretary of State William Gardner. The Political Library is the first library of its kind designed to provide both an important historical record and insight into the primary election campaign process itself. Prior to his death in 2003, Governor Gregg served as a champion of New Hampshire’s First-in-the-Nation Presidential Primary and its importance to the country.

The New Hampshire primary has existed since 1920 and has grown in significance in the presidential selection process over the years. Governor Gregg and Secretary of State Gardner designed the New Hampshire Political Library as a repository for the papers, writing and images that are part of the history of New Hampshire politics. The organization’s mission is “to preserve and protect New Hampshire’s tradition of holding the first-in-the-nation presidential primary.”

The New Hampshire Political Library is located at 20 Park Street in Concord and is open to the public Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. For more information call 603-225-4617 or visit

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NH State Information

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NH Regions:

Dartmouth/ Sunapee | Great North Woods | Lakes | Merrimack | Monadnock | Seacoast | White Mountains