The second largest city in New Hampshire, Nashua is located where the Nashua and Merrimack Rivers converge. The name “Nashua” comes from the Nashuway Indians, who bestowed it on the Nashua River. Its meaning in the Pennacook language is “beautiful stream with a pebbly bottom”.
The city was chartered as Nashua in 1853. Like nearby Lowell, Massachusetts, and Manchester and Concord, New Hampshire, Nashua’s riverside location made it an ideal site for industrial development in the 19th century. Three cotton mills were built here, and shortly after the Civil War, six major railroad lines interconnected in the city. The wealthy part of Nashua was located in the northern section of the city, and lovely 19th century mansions can be found on Concord Street en route to Greeley Park.
The nearby downtown area is inviting for its history and culture. A major effort has been made to revitalize Nashua’s Main Street, and specialty shops, boutiques, restaurants and cafes now inhabit its restored brick buildings. Performing arts include the Nashua Symphony Orchestra and Stage Coach Productions.
Located on the busy Route 3 high-tech corridor, Nashua’s economy is closely tied with the Boston area. The city abuts the Massachusetts border and is just 50 miles north of Boston. Nashua has been named twice to Money Magazine’s the “The Best Places to Live in America”, the only community to date to achieve that honor. In 2009, the Manchester-Nashua Metro Region was ranked first on Forbes list of America’s 100 cheapest cities to live.
Due to New Hampshire’s lack of a sales tax, it has become a popular shopping destination. The Pheasant Lane Mall and large retail stores located on the Daniel Webster Highway in the southern part of the city are especially busy.
Typical of New England, the coldest month of the year is January, with temperatures that average 12 °F to 33 °F, and the warmest month is July, with temperatures averaging 59 °F to 83 °F. Monthly precipitation typically ranges from just over 3 to just over 4 inches, and November is the usually the rainiest month.