73 New Hampshire Facts and Weird Laws

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New Hampshire attained statehood on June 21, 1788. It was the ninth state to join the Union. New Hampshire has many nicknames, The Granite State, Mother of River, the White Mountain State, and Switzerland of America. 

New Hampshire, one of the original 13 colonies, was the first state to have its state constitution. Its spirit of independence is epitomized in the state motto–“Live Free or Die.” New Hampshire was the 9th state to ratify the U.S. Constitution–the final state needed to put the document into effect. However, the tourist industry, in particular visitors who go to northern New Hampshire to ski, snowboard, hike, and mountain bike, has helped offset economic losses from mill closures.

If you are thinking of visiting the State of New Hampshire or maybe even moving there. You may want to take a look at these facts about New Hampshire before you do so.

Let’s learn some fun New Hampshire facts you may not know. Be sure to check out the top 10 weird laws in New Hampshire at the end.

Best Fun Facts About New Hampshire

  1. In 1775, New Hampshire became the first state to declare its independence from England.
  2. The state was named by Captain John Mason after Hampshire county in England.
  3. The first American in space, Alan Shepard, was born in Derry, New Hampshire. His historic flight was made in 1961.
  4. The first private citizen in the history of space flight was Christa McAuliffe, a Concord school teacher.
  5. Live Free or Die. The motto comes from a statement written by the Revolutionary General John Stark, hero of the Battle of Bennington.
  6. The highest point is Mount Washington at 6,288 feet (1,918 m); the lowest point is sea level; the approximate mean elevation is 1,000 feet (305 m).
  7. America’s first documented serial killer, Henry Mansfield Howard, was born in  Gilmanton, New Hampshire.
  8.  On April 12, 1934, wind speeds of 231 miles per hour were recorded on New Hampshire’s Mount Washington.
  9. The state is also home to the first free public library, established in Peterborough in 1833.

New Hampshire Facts — Politics And Government

  1. The constitution of New Hampshire, the second oldest among the 50 states, was adopted in 1784.
  2. Every 10 years the residents may vote on the question of holding a convention to consider modifications of the constitution. 
  3. The governor is elected for a two-year term and is assisted by a five-member executive council, a surviving institution from the colonial era.
  4. Members of the council, elected every two years from five geographic districts in the state, must approve most appointments to state offices, all appointments to judicial posts, and all state contracts valued at $5,000 or more.
  5. The bicameral state legislature, the General Court, comprises more than 400 members elected every two years. 
  6. The House of Representatives, the lower chamber, has between 375 and 400 delegates; the number depends upon the results of the decennial redistricting but in practice is usually maintained at 400. It is thus the largest state-level legislative body in the United States. The state Senate has 24 members.
  7. The state’s judicial functions take place in three levels of courts: municipal and district courts, county superior and probate courts, and the state Supreme Court. 
  8. New Hampshire has always been a two-party state. Before the Civil War era, New Hampshire was overwhelmingly Democratic, but from then to the Great Depression of the 1930s it was dominated by the Republicans.

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New Hampshire Facts — History

  1. Before contact with the English, about 3,000 Native Americans inhabited what eventually became New Hampshire. They were organized into clans, semi-autonomous bands, and larger tribal entities; the Pennacook, with their central village in present-day Concord, were by far the most powerful of these tribes. 
  2. Tribes living in New Hampshire were mostly of the Algonquian group called the western Abenaki.
  3. The primary contemporary reminder of Native American inhabitation is in place-names such as Lake Winnipesaukee, Kancamagus Highway, and Mount Passaconaway.
  4. The New Hampshire region was included in a series of grants made by the English crown to Capt. John Mason and others during the 1620s. 
  5. A fishing and trading settlement was established in 1623, and in 1629 the name New Hampshire, after the English county of Hampshire, was applied to a grant for a region between the Merrimack and Piscataqua rivers.
  6. From 1641 to 1679 the region was administered by the colonial government of Massachusetts.
  7. Following territorial and religious disputes between Massachusetts and Mason’s heirs, New Hampshire became a separate royal province in 1679.
  8. In 1767 the colony took its first census and reported about 52,700 people.
  9. By 1772 the state was divided into five counties, to which five others have been added since 1800.
  10. New Hampshire soldiers played an active part in the colonial wars between Great Britain and France from 1689 to 1763.
  11. During the first decade of the 20th century, New Hampshire’s railroads, tourist trade, manufacturing, and logging operations seemed to be prospering just as its traditional family farms seemed to be disappearing.

New Hampshire Facts — Geography

  1. New Hampshire is bordered by Canada in the north, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean in the east, Massachusetts in the south, and Vermont in the west. It can be divided into three different regions.
  2. New Hampshire is about 190 miles long from north to south and about 70 miles wide from east to west.
  3. The geographic center of New Hampshire is located in Belknap County, 3 miles east of Ashland.
  4. New Hampshire covers 9,351 square miles, making it the 45th largest of the 50 states.
  5. 8,969 square miles of New Hampshire are land areas.
  6. 382 square miles of New Hampshire are covered by water.
  7. The highest point in New Hampshire is Mount Washington, at 6,288 feet above sea level.
  8. The lowest points in New Hampshire are at sea level where the state meets the Atlantic Ocean on its eastern border.
  9. Between the highest point and the lowest point in New Hampshire, the mean elevation of the state is 1,000 feet above sea level.
  10. The Connecticut River; the Pemigewasset River; the Merrimack River [ Upper | Lower ]; the Androscoggin River; and the Saco River.
  11. The forested White Mountains in the north include Mount Washington. At 6,288 feet tall, this is New England’s highest point.
  12. Its geographic center lies in Belknap county, 3 miles (5 km) east of the town of Ashland. 
  13. The Eastern New England Upland covers most of the central and southern portions of the state. 
  14. The Coastal Lowlands cover the southeastern corner of the state, where it touches the Atlantic Ocean. 
  15. The Coastal Lowlands characterize the southeastern section of the state where New Hampshire borders the Atlantic Ocean.
  16. With only 13 miles of coastline, the New Hampshire coastline is shorter than any other state that borders an ocean.
  17. Coastal Lowlands extend from 15 to 20 miles into New Hampshire.
Credits – Istockphoto

New Hampshire Facts — Animals and Plants

  1. New Hampshire is home to more than 500 species of vertebrate animals. 
  2. About 75 percent are nongame wildlife species not hunted, fished, or trapped.
  3. Twenty-seven species are endangered and fourteen are threatened in the state.
  4. New Hampshire is heavily forested with an abundance of elm, maple, beech, oak, pine, hemlock, and fir trees.
  5. Mount Washington features rare alpine plants such as Greenland sandwort, Labrador tea, alpine bearberry, dwarf cinquefoil, dwarf birch, willow, and balsam fir.
  6. Among native New Hampshire mammals are the white-tailed deer, muskrat, beaver, porcupine, and snowshoe hare.
  7. Threatened animals include the pine marten, arctic tern, purple martin, peregrine falcon, whip-poor-will, and osprey. 
  8. The Karner blue butterfly, lynx, bald eagle, shortnose sturgeon, Sunapee trout, Atlantic salmon, and dwarf wedge mussel are on the State’s endangered species list.
  9. The whitetail deer, also known as the Virginia deer, was named the state animal in 1983. The deer are common in North America.
  10. Wolves were extirpated from New Hampshire in the early 1800s. Currently, the closest population of eastern wolves exists in Quebec, north of the St. Lawrence River.
  11. The black bear is the only bear species in New Hampshire.
  12. The endangered Karner blue butterfly (Lycaeides melissa Samuels) was designated the official state butterfly of New Hampshire in 1992.

New Hampshire Facts — Demographics

  1. As of the 2020 census, the resident population of New Hampshire was 1,377,529, a 4.6% increase since the 2010 United States Census.
  2. The center of the population of New Hampshire is in Merrimack County, in the town of Pembroke.
  3. The center of the population has moved south 12 miles (19 km) since 1950.
  4. The most densely populated areas generally lie within 50 miles (80 km) of the Massachusetts border, and are concentrated in two areas: along the Merrimack River Valley running from Concord to Nashua, and in the Seacoast Region along an axis stretching from Rochester to Portsmouth.
  5. The northern portion of the state is very sparsely populated: the largest county by area, Coos, covers the northern one-fourth of the state and has only around 31,000 people, about a third of whom live in a single community (Berlin).
  6. As of the 2010 census, the population of New Hampshire was 1,316,470. The gender makeup of the state at that time was 49.3% male and 50.7% female. 21.8% of the population were under the age of 18; 64.6% were between the ages of 18 and 64, and 13.5% were 65 years of age or older.
  7. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.8% of the population in 2010: 0.6% were Mexican, 0.9% Puerto Rican, 0.1% Cuban, and 1.2% other Hispanic or Latino origin. As of 2019, the Hispanic or Latino population was estimated at 4.0%.
  8. New Hampshire has the highest percentage (22.9%) of residents with French/French-Canadian/Acadian ancestry of any U.S. state.
  9. A Pew survey showed that the religious affiliations of the people of New Hampshire were as follows: Nonreligious 36%, Protestant 30%, Catholic 26%, Jehovah’s Witness 2%, LDS (Mormon) 1%, and Jewish 1%.

New Hampshire Facts— Culture and Sports

  1. New Hampshire has several outstanding cultural institutions. The MacDowell Colony, a retreat for musicians and writers founded in 1907, is a memorial to the composer and Peterborough resident Edward MacDowell. 
  2. The 86-acre (35-hectare) former home of the noted sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens at Cornish is now a national historic site. 
  3. Other cultural attractions include the Museum of New Hampshire History and the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium in Concord, Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, Shaker museums in both Enfield and Canterbury, and “The Fells,” the estate of U.S. Secretary of State John Hay in Newbury. 
  4. New Hampshire has some 30 ski areas, many of which also operate their lifts in the summer for sightseers, and thousands of youngsters flock to its scores of youth camps each year.
  5. You’ll find affordable tickets perfect for a fun date or family outing from the New Hampshire Fisher Cats, a Double-A affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays! 
  6. The New Hampshire Annual Sports Competition Foundation Inc. (DBA Granite State Games) is a multi-sport competitive event for New Hampshire’s amateur athletes. 
  7. The Games are based on the Olympic model, complete with an opening ceremony, a round-robin tournament, and championship games.
  8. Skiing is the state sport of New Hampshire (learn more in the Sports & Recreation section), but visitors can also try cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling during winter. Ice fishing is a popular winter activity in New Hampshire.

New Hampshire Facts — Economy

  1. The state of New Hampshire has a population of 1,359,711 and annual population growth of 0.4% over the five years to 2019 which ranks 24 out of all 50 US states.
  2. New Hampshire’s gross state product (GSP) in 2019 reached $77.9bn, with a growth of 2.3% over the 5-years to 2019.
  3. Businesses in New Hampshire employed a total of 24.2 million in 2018, with average annual employment growth of 2.6%.
  4. The top three employment sectors include Health care and social assistance, retail trade, and Professional, scientific, and technical services while the unemployment rate across the state in March 2020 was 5.3%.
  5. New Hampshire’s GSP growth ranks 16 out of all 50 US states.
  6. The state of New Hampshire employs 0.8 million people with a growth rate of 1.4% over the five years to 2018 which ranks it 25 out of all US states.
  7. In New Hampshire, non-residential construction was $0.7 billion in 2019 which ranks it 37 out of all US states.
  8. The number of building permits issued in New Hampshire in 2019 was 3,596 which represented a 1.1% growth over 2014-2019.

Famous People from New Hampshire

  • Maurice McDonald and Richard McDonald – co-founders of McDonald’s fast food mega-chain of restaurants.
Image: History.com
  • Adam Sandler, actor and comedian
Image: IMDb
  • Franklin Pierce (1804–1869), 14th President of the United States
  • Mia Tyler (born 1978), native
  • Trish Regan (born 1972), Fox Business anchor
Image: Bloomberg.com

Common Misconceptions About New Hampshire State

No Big Name Teams Means No Sports Fans

So New Hampshire doesn’t have an MLB, NFL, or NHL team to call its own, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any rabid fan bases for pro teams. New Hampshire is part of New England, so locals cheer on Tom Brady and his Patriots fanatically come fall, often making the trek down to Foxboro.

There’s No Such Thing As A New Hampshire Beach Bum

Only ski folk reside in New Hampshire. This is not true. Just take one look at Hampton Beach during the summertime and you’ll see locals playing beach volleyball, building sandcastles, splashing in the waves, or just sitting back in their beach chairs to enjoy the sunshine. 

You’d Have To Be A Yeti To Survive The Winters

With every annoying driveway shovelful, there are also some of the best sledding, tubing, snowboarding, dog sledding, and sleigh rides around. Oh, and some pretty incredible hot chocolate to warm you up when you’re done.

Weird Laws in New Hampshire

Read the Craziest Laws in the United States, if you want more.

  1. A 1971 law regulates the opening of sugar shakers in restaurants. It must be less than 3/8 of an inch.
  2. You may not run machinery on Sundays.
  3. New Hampshire law forbids you to tap your feet, nod your head, or in any way keep time to the music in a tavern, restaurant, or cafe.
  4. Excess noise from machinery is prohibited on the day of rest, so put that lawnmower away!
  5. New Hampshire is the only state where seatbelts are not required by law, though we strongly recommend it.
  6.  It is illegal to pick up seaweed off the beach.
  7. No person, while hunting or obviously on his way to or from hunting may have a ferret in his possession, custody, or control.
  8. Any cattle that cross state roads must be fitted with a device to gather its feces.If a person is caught raking the beaches, picking up litter, hauling away trash, building a bench for the park, or many other kinds of things without a permit, he/she may be fined $150 for ”maintaining the national forest without a permit”.

Final Thought

As you can see, New Hampshire is a great state with lots of great things to do. Living in New Hampshire is just awesome. The food, the people, and the absence of sales tax here.

Share your thoughts about NH!

New Hampshire Facts And Stats

CapitalConcord
Population1.36 million (2019)
GovernorChris Sununu (Republican Party)
Date Of AdmissionJune 21, 1788
U.S. SenatorsMaggie Hassan (D)
Jeanne Shaheen (D)
US House of Representatives2 (of 435 Seats) 
State NicknameThe Granite State, Mother of River, The White Mountain State
State MottoLive Free or Die
State Song“New Hampshire”
State FlowerPurple lilac
State FishBrook Trout
State BirdPurple finch
State TreePaper birch
State MammalWhite Tail Deer
State DrinkApple Cider
State MineralBeryl
State GemSmoky quartz
State FossilNil
Neighbor StatesMassachusetts Vermont Maine

Frequently Asked Questions About The Granite State

What are the 5 interesting things about New Hampshire?

  1. New Hampshire is the only state where seatbelts are not mandatory.
  2. The New Hampshire coastline is the shortest in the nation.
  3. Franklin Pierce, the 14th president of the United States, who served between 1853 and 1857, was from New Hampshire.
  4. The potato has a long history in New Hampshire.
  5. Newport resident Sarah Josepha Hale wrote “Mary Had a Little Lamb.”

What is New Hampshire known for?

  1. Extensive Granite Formation and Quarries
  2. Nation’s first wind farm
  3. Mount Washington
  4. Shortest Ocean Coastline
  5. The world’s first free, tax-supported library
  6. Alan Shepard, The first American in space
  7. Production of Maple Syrup
  8. Presidential Primaries

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References

  1. https://www.onlyinyourstate.com/new-hampshire/dumb-laws-nh/
  2. https://www.movoto.com/guide/nh/new-hampshire-misconceptions/
  3. https://www.britannica.com/place/New-Hampshire-state/Government-and-society
  4. https://www.netstate.com/states/geography/nh_geography.htm
  5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Hampshire

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Editor
Sabrina is a former campaign manager who has decided to focus her effort to help people contact senators and get help. She leads our Editorial Team with Ronald and Lawrence to curate content and resources that help us navigate the system.

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