Wednesday, May 30, 2007

#16 Thursday Thirteen, New Hampshire Naturally

With Summer just around the corner, I came up with 13 random facts about New Hampshire. It may be a small state, but we have a lot of hidden gems.

1. New Hampshire was first settled in 1632 by English settlers after Captain John Smith of England discovered the beauty of our coastline nine years earlier. The first towns, Rye and Dover were set up as fishing colonies.

2. According to the NH Government's almanac, New Hampshire was first called North Virginia, then New England and ended up with New Hampshire named after an English county.

3. How did we get the nickname Granite State? This refers to both our geology and to our tradition of self-sufficiency. Go ahead, try to get a NH person to beg, we just won't do it.

4. Speaking of begging, we don't have a sales tax or income tax, but boy, you should see our property tax bill. The whole school funding thing is an ongoing political battle in our state.

5. Live Free or Die- Kind of a scary saying on our license plates, don't you think? But we don't kill those who are not freely living. From Wikipedia, The phrase comes from a toast written by General John Stark on July 31, 1809. Poor health forced Stark, New Hampshire's most famous soldier of the American Revolutionary War, to decline an invitation to an anniversary reunion of the Battle of Bennington and to send his toast by letter:
Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils.

6. The Old Man of the Mountain: is no more! Alas, the cement and wiring gave way and our famous profile came tumbling down the mountain in May 2003. The local station went into full mourning for this and it got a little too dramatic for us. The picture has the original face superimposed over the current view of the cliff.
Old Man of the Mountain

7. The former Old Man is located in Franconia Notch up in Northern NH. The Notch is a spooky area, the weather is always slightly different from surrounding areas and my roommate from college who lived on the North side claimed that UFO's frequented the area. But the plain description of the area is: Franconia Notch State Park is located in the White Mountains in northern New Hampshire and straddles 8 miles of Interstate 93 as it passes through Franconia Notch, a mountain pass between the Kinsman Range and Franconia Range. Attractions in the state park include the Flume Gorge and visitor center, the Old Man of the Mountain historical site, fishing in Echo Lake and Profile Lake, and miles of hiking, biking and ski trails.

8. The coast line of our little state is only 18 miles. It is gorgeous with a combination of busy oceanside towns like Hampton which has a strip with a Casino (music hall), arcade, fried dough and teenagers cruising the strip to the stately cottages (mansions) of Rye. Rumor has is that Dan Brown ( DaVinci's Code has a cottage in Rye). I am guilty of being one of those cruising the beach in my younger days.

9. Lake Winnapesaukee is our largest lake at 21 miles long, and Winnapesaukee is Indian for either "smile of the Great Spirit" or "beautiful water in a high place". The lake is centrally located in the state and is surrounded by cottages. Once again, we have the small cottages that have been in families for years to the huge Mcmansions built by the Yuppies in the 1980's. The big event in the spring is the prediction of "ice out", lately we it's been a struggle to have the lake frozen in time for the winter fishing derby.

10. Rivers, boy, do we have rivers and then some, 40,000 miles to be exact! Manchester has the old brick mills along the river that they have updated to companies, a museum and condominiums. Better to see that than the abandoned ones in some of the poorer towns.

11. NH is the second-most forested state in the country. Much of our farmland became wooded when the farmers moved on states where the growing seasons were longer. There also used to be more logging in the southern part of the state, now we are becoming more suburban.

12. Want to see a presidential candidate up close? Come to NH we are the first in the nation primary. When I was a student at UNH I met a few, but haven't gotten out and about to meet any yet this year. There is still time though!

13. Why should you visit NH? We have lakes to swim in, rivers to kayak on, ponds to fish, woods to walk trails, mountains to climb, ski slopes to ski, and sandy beaches to explore.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


  1. Love the live free or die toast! I've never been to New Hampshire. I think it would be a great spot to vacation in. Thank you for sharing these gems! :)

  2. I'd love to go to NH! My husband's is from up North and we're planning a trip up there sometime in the future! BTW: I loved A Prayer for Owen Meany (despite its creepiness), it was a part of my AP Lit class in high school.

  3. That was a very big help. Very precise information I would say. Thanks for the share.
    My T13 is up too.

  4. I'd love to visit New Hampshire; it's definitely on my list of places to take the kids. Don't you guys also have some nice Rail-Trails?

    Happy TT!

  5. I've always wanted to visit in the New England area - beautiful in the fall and winter, but I didn't know about all the lakes. It sounds absolutely wonderful!

  6. I spent a wonderful, romantic weekend in New Hampshire in the mountains in a cabin with no electricity and just a wood stove for January!!! I remember it fondly!

    I'm thinking of going through there on a trip with my children this summer...the weather should be a little more moderate than the last time I was there.

  7. My Husband is from NH. The Old Man still looks like an old man, you just have to tilt your head just a wee bit.

  8. Anonymous10:57 PM

    heehee on the Old Man! And what a fascinating list. I've learned lots of new things today! And I've always liked "Live Free or Die." :)

    Happy TT, and thanks for visiting my blog!

  9. I would love to visit NH! I may have to 'borrow' this idea! Mine is up at Special K Family

  10. Very interesting list. I've never been to NH, but maybe I'll get to visit someday.

    Thanks for stopping by my TT!

  11. Thank you for sharing a little about NH with us.
    Terrific Thursday Thirteen!
    My TT is posted.
    Have a wonderful day!
    Happy TT'ing!
    (")_ (")Š

  12. This was a great list. NH is quite a fascinating place. Might have to visit there one day :o)

  13. super fun facts, great post! thanks for sharing this super idea!

  14. Interesting to learn more about NH! Thanks for sharing.
    My TT shares 13 things about the blue moon.

  15. I love visiting New Hampshire! When I was in university we would drive down from NB Canada and spend a week there every year. Always had a great time. I think it's time for another visit.

  16. I've never been to NH, but your list makes me want to visit! (too bad about the mountian man.)

  17. You ought to be in Public Relations for the tourist bureau! That's a great list, and has tons of things I didn't know (which was easy, actually, because there is a LOT I don't know). The best thing about coming to New Hampshire would be getting to meet you...and you have a guest bedroom, don't you?

  18. so what does Hampshire stand for? And their could not be a post about New Hampshire without mentioning the man in the mountain.

    Another reason why to visit NH, its closer then Maine

  19. Great list! I live in one of the other no sales tax states (although we do have an income tax) and do I ever know what you mean when it comes to property taxes and any education related measure. The state becomes the retirees against everybody else.

    40,000 miles of rivers?!? That's a lotta water! Now I'm off to discover which state is the most forested.

  20. Wow, I love the posts about people's home towns. It makes me want to travel. :)

  21. Ha ha, killing people who don't live free would be SO disrespectful of their free choice not to be free... wow, I think I just confused myself!

  22. I remember when the Old Man in the Mountain fell down. It was the headline news even out here in California.

  23. Yeah, those pesky UFOs are always messing with the weather.

    Lots of great info here. I've never been to that part of the country and would love to.

  24. Love the Flume, I was up visiting my cousin in Meredith for Memorial Day, I'm going to Hampton Beach tomorrow night, and my best friend just closed on a house near Wolfeboro (NOT a mcmansion). I heart NH!


Any thoughts or musings of your own to add?