Keene, New Hampshire

By | July 28, 2023

According to, Keene, New Hampshire is located in the southwestern corner of the state in the Monadnock Region. It is situated in Cheshire County and lies between the Connecticut River and the Massachusetts border. The city covers an area of approximately 20 square miles and is bordered by Surry and Swanzey to the north, Alstead to the east, Gilsum to the southeast, Marlborough and Troy to the south, and Winchester to the west.

Keene has a varied topography with hills, valleys, swamps, ponds, streams, rivers, and lakes scattered throughout its landscape. At its highest point near Ashuelot Mountain stands Mount Monadnock which towers over 3200 feet above sea level.

The city’s climate is classified as humid continental with hot summers and cold winters accompanied by plentiful snowfall during winter months. The average temperature in January ranges between 6-20°F while temperatures during July range from 64-80°F on average. On average Keene receives approximately 42 inches of precipitation each year with most of it falling during spring months.

Keene’s natural resources are abundant with forests covering nearly 70% of its landmass while wetlands make up an additional 11%. The city’s soil consists mainly of loam or sandy loam which makes it ideal for agricultural use as well as construction projects such as building roads or homes. Keene also has numerous bodies of water including Ashuelot River which flows through its center; numerous ponds such as Coon Pond; several brooks like Beaver Brook; various lakes including Lake Ivanhoe; and various streams like Spofford Brook.

Keene is a picturesque New England town with plenty to offer visitors and residents alike. Its varied terrain provides ample opportunities for outdoor activities ranging from hiking on Mount Monadnock or fishing at one of its many ponds to skiing down its hills during winter months or simply enjoying a picnic among its lush forests. With plenty of natural beauty to explore Keene truly has something for everyone.

Keene, New Hampshire

History of Keene, New Hampshire

Keene, New Hampshire has a long and storied history that dates back to the early 1700s. Originally inhabited by the Pennacook Native Americans, Keene was first settled by Europeans in 1736. The town was incorporated in 1753 and named after Sir Benjamin Keene, a British diplomat who had served as King George II’s secretary of state. During the Revolutionary War, Keene served as an important supply center for both sides of the conflict as it was located on an important road between Boston and Montreal. The town also played a role in the Underground Railroad, with escaped slaves seeking refuge in safe houses located throughout Keene.

In the 19th century, Keene grew rapidly due to its location along several important transportation routes and its abundance of natural resources such as timber and water power. By mid-century, it had become a major industrial center with several mills producing textiles and machinery. In 1874, Keene was connected to Boston by railroad and soon after became known as “The Gateway to New Hampshire.” The city’s population grew steadily throughout the late 19th century and into the 20th century before leveling off in recent decades. Today, Keene is home to around 23,000 residents who enjoy a vibrant arts community, numerous parks and recreation opportunities, excellent schools, and a thriving downtown area.

Economy of Keene, New Hampshire

The economy of Keene, New Hampshire is diverse and vibrant. The city is home to a wide variety of businesses and industries that employ thousands of people in the area. The largest employers in Keene are the retail sector, health care, education, and manufacturing. Retail stores such as Walmart, Hannaford Supermarkets, Home Depot, and Tractor Supply Co. are located in the city’s downtown area and provide a great deal of employment opportunities for local residents.

Health care is another major employer in Keene with numerous hospitals and medical facilities located throughout the city. The largest health care employer is Cheshire Medical Center which employs over 1,200 people in various positions ranging from nurses to administrators. Education is also an important part of the Keene economy with several colleges and universities located nearby including Dartmouth College, Franklin Pierce University, and Antioch University New England.

Manufacturing has long been an important part of Keene’s economy with a number of factories producing textiles as well as machine parts for various industries. Other businesses such as technology companies have more recently taken root in the area creating additional employment opportunities for locals. Finally, tourism has become an increasingly important industry for Keene with many visitors drawn to attractions such as the Monadnock State Park or its charming downtown area filled with unique shops and restaurants.

Politics in Keene, New Hampshire

The politics of Keene, New Hampshire are largely guided by the city’s residents who have a strong sense of civic pride and engagement. The city is part of the larger Grafton County and is represented in the state legislature by two senators and three representatives. On the local level, Keene has an elected mayor as well as an appointed city manager who jointly oversee the day-to-day operations of the city.

Keene is a strongly Democratic city with most residents voting for Democratic candidates in both local and national elections. The Democratic Party has traditionally been strong in Grafton County and this trend continues in Keene with many residents identifying as Democrats or independents who tend to lean left on issues.

In addition to its political leanings, Keene is known for its vibrant civic culture which includes numerous community organizations such as the Downtown Business Association, Friends of Monadnock State Park, and various arts and cultural groups. Residents are also active in environmental initiatives such as tree planting projects or advocating for renewable energy sources.

Keene is a politically engaged community with a strong sense of civic pride that drives residents to be involved in their local government and participate in meaningful conversations about issues affecting their city.