Keene, NH : Interesting Facts, Famous Things & History Information | What Is Keene Known For?

Keene, NH : Interesting Facts, Famous Things & History Information | What Is Keene Known For?

The Rich History and Fascinating Information About Keene, New Hampshire

Welcome to Keene, a charming city located in the heart of New Hampshire, USA. With a population of approximately 23,000, Keene is not only an idyllic place to live but also a city with deep historical roots. In this blog post, we will take a journey through time and explore the captivating history and interesting facts about Keene.

The Early Years

Keene was first settled in 1736 by a group of English immigrants led by Captain Samuel Ashley. Initially named Upper Ashuelot, the town was known for its fertile land and proximity to the Ashuelot River. The community grew steadily over the years and was officially incorporated as Keene in 1753, named after Sir Benjamin Keene, an influential British diplomat.

A Thriving Industrial Center

Keene quickly blossomed into a thriving industrial center during the 19th century. The city became renowned for its manufacturing industries, including textiles, woodworking, and glassmaking. The abundant water supply from the Ashuelot River played a crucial role in fueling Keene's industrial growth during this period.

One of Keene's notable contributions to American history was its role in the revival of the glass industry. The Keene Glass Works, established in 1814, produced high-quality glassware that gained national recognition. The company's success led to Keene being dubbed the "Glass City" and put the town on the map as a prominent glass manufacturing center.

The Railroad Era

Like many other towns in the United States, Keene experienced significant growth with the arrival of the railroad in the mid-19th century. The Cheshire Railroad connected Keene to Boston and Fitchburg, Massachusetts, opening up new opportunities for trade and commerce. The railroad brought prosperity to Keene, attracting new industries and leading to the expansion of the city's downtown area.

Cultural Heritage

Keene is not just a city steeped in industrial history; it also boasts a vibrant cultural heritage. The city is home to Keene State College, a renowned educational institution that plays an integral role in the community. Keene State College offers a diverse range of programs and has contributed significantly to Keene's reputation as an intellectual and artistic hub.

Furthermore, Keene is known for its vibrant arts scene. The Colonial Theatre, a historic movie palace built in 1924, remains a landmark in the city. Today, it hosts a variety of performing arts events, including live theater, concerts, and film screenings. The annual Keene Music Festival, held in the heart of downtown, showcases local and national musical talents, drawing crowds from all over.

A Natural Paradise

Keene is blessed with stunning natural beauty. Located at the foothills of the Monadnock region, the city offers numerous outdoor recreational opportunities. Mount Monadnock, the second most climbed mountain in the world, provides breathtaking hiking trails and panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. The Ashuelot River, which once powered the city's mills, now serves as a picturesque spot for fishing, canoeing, and kayaking.


Keene, New Hampshire, is a city that combines rich historical traditions with a thriving modern community. From its humble beginnings as a colonial settlement to its industrial heyday and flourishing arts scene, Keene continues to be a city that prides itself on its heritage while embracing progress. So whether you're a history enthusiast, nature lover, or simply seeking a friendly place to call home, Keene welcomes you with open arms.

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Interesting Lesser Known Facts About Keene, New Hampshire, USA City

Keene, a charming city located in the state of New Hampshire, has a rich history and several lesser-known facts that make it an intriguing place to explore. Here are some interesting facts about Keene:

1. Pumpkin Festival

Keene is famous for its annual Pumpkin Festival, which began in 1991. It attracts thousands of visitors who come to witness the spectacle of over 30,000 lit jack-o'-lanterns displayed in the city center. This festival is a Guinness World Record holder for the most lit pumpkins gathered in one place.

2. Education Hub

Keene is home to Keene State College, a public liberal arts college established in 1909. The college offers a range of academic programs and is known for its strong dedication to community service.

3. Historic Main Street

Keene boasts a vibrant downtown area with a Historic Main Street that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The street is lined with unique shops, restaurants, and beautifully preserved 19th-century architecture, making it a great place to explore.

4. Covered Bridges

Surrounding Keene are several picturesque covered bridges, adding to the city's charm and providing opportunities for scenic drives and photography. The Ashuelot Covered Bridge and the Slate Covered Bridge are two notable examples worth visiting.

5. Natural Beauty

Keene is surrounded by stunning natural beauty, with Mount Monadnock being a prominent feature. Mount Monadnock is one of the most climbed mountains in the world and offers breathtaking views from its summit.

6. Monadnock Pumpkin Festival

In addition to the Pumpkin Festival, Keene is also known for the Monadnock Pumpkin Festival. This family-friendly event features pumpkin displays, live entertainment, food vendors, and activities for all ages.

7. Thriving Arts and Culture Scene

Keene has a thriving arts and culture scene, with the Colonial Theatre being a historic landmark and a hub for performing arts. The city also hosts various festivals, concerts, and exhibitions throughout the year.

8. Historic Railroad Station

Keene is home to a beautifully restored historic railroad station, which now serves as the historical society's headquarters. The station is a testament to Keene's rich railroad history.

9. Sports and Recreation

For sports enthusiasts, Keene offers a range of recreational activities, including hiking, biking, skiing, and fishing. The city has multiple trails, parks, and nearby lakes, providing ample opportunities for outdoor adventures.

10. Community Spirit

One of the most remarkable aspects of Keene is its strong sense of community spirit. The city regularly organizes community events, parades, and fundraisers, fostering a close-knit and welcoming atmosphere for residents and visitors alike.

These lesser-known facts about Keene, New Hampshire, showcase the city's unique offerings and make it a must-visit destination for anyone seeking history, culture, natural beauty, and a warm community spirit.

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Keene is a city located in the southwestern part of New Hampshire, USA. It is known for several distinctive features and is famous for its vibrant community and rich history.

Culture and Community

Keene is renowned for its strong sense of community and its active arts scene. The city hosts various cultural events, such as parades, festivals, and art exhibits, which bring people together and foster a lively atmosphere. Keene also boasts a thriving music and theater scene, with numerous performances and shows taking place throughout the year.

Natural Beauty

Surrounded by picturesque landscapes, Keene offers breathtaking natural beauty. The city is nestled in the Monadnock Region, known for its stunning mountains and scenic views. Mount Monadnock, one of the most frequently climbed mountains in the world, is located just a short distance away. Outdoor enthusiasts can partake in activities like hiking, camping, and skiing in the nearby wilderness.

Educational Hub

Keene is home to Keene State College, a renowned educational institution. The college attracts students from various parts of the country and contributes to the city's intellectual and cultural diversity. The presence of Keene State College enhances the learning opportunities and enriches the community through academic and cultural events.

Historical Significance

Keene has a rich history dating back to its establishment in 1736. The city played a vital role in the early industrial era of New Hampshire and was recognized as a prominent manufacturing center. Keene's historical downtown district still preserves the charm of its past, with beautifully preserved architecture, museums, and landmarks that provide insight into the city's heritage.

Fall Foliage

An added attraction of Keene is its stunning fall foliage. During autumn, the city and its surroundings transform into a vibrant canvas of colors, as the leaves on the trees change to breathtaking hues of red, orange, and gold. People from all over visit Keene to witness the incredible beauty of the fall season.


In summary, Keene, New Hampshire is known and famous for its vibrant community, active arts scene, natural beauty, educational opportunities, rich history, and stunning fall foliage. Whether you are a resident or a visitor, Keene offers a multitude of experiences and attractions that make it a truly special city.

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Living in Keene, New Hampshire: A Wonderful City Experience

Keene, located in the beautiful state of New Hampshire, offers a wonderful place to call home. With its charming small-town feel and numerous amenities, living in Keene provides a high quality of life for its residents.

Community and Lifestyle

Keene is known for its strong sense of community and friendly atmosphere. The town fosters a close-knit environment where neighbors genuinely care for one another. This makes it an ideal place to raise a family or simply enjoy a peaceful life.

The city provides excellent opportunities for outdoor activities and recreation. With its picturesque landscape, Keene offers beautiful parks, hiking trails, and bike paths, perfect for nature enthusiasts. The Ashuelot River runs through the town, providing a tranquil setting for fishing and canoeing.

Educational Institutions

For families, Keene boasts excellent educational institutions. The Keene School District is highly regarded for its commitment to academic excellence. There are top-notch public schools, private schools, and a respected community college, providing quality education options for all ages.

Cultural and Social Life

Despite being a small town, Keene offers a vibrant cultural and social scene. The city hosts various festivals, art shows, and live performances throughout the year. The Colonial Theatre is a historic venue known for its Broadway productions, concerts, and film screenings.

In addition, Keene is home to numerous restaurants, cafes, and locally-owned shops. Downtown Keene, with its quaint architecture, is a hub for small businesses and offers a unique shopping experience.

Employment Opportunities

Although Keene is a small city, it has a strong economy and a diverse range of employment opportunities. The region is known for its healthcare facilities, advanced manufacturing, education sector, and retail industry. Job prospects are available in various fields, ensuring a stable livelihood.

Natural Beauty

One of the biggest advantages of living in Keene is the surrounding natural beauty. The city is surrounded by mountains, forests, and scenic landscapes, making it an ideal location for outdoor enthusiasts. With easy access to skiing, hiking, and camping destinations, there is always an adventure waiting just outside your doorstep.


In summary, living in Keene, New Hampshire offers a fulfilling experience. With its strong sense of community, beautiful landscapes, excellent education system, cultural offerings, and employment opportunities, Keene truly is a remarkable place to live. If you are seeking a close-knit community with all the amenities of a small city, Keene could be the perfect choice for you!

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Keene, New Hampshire is a vibrant city with plenty to offer. Whether you're visiting or living here, there are several things you can do to make the most of your time in this charming city.

Exploring Nature

Keene is surrounded by beautiful natural landscapes, making it a haven for outdoor enthusiasts. You can enjoy hiking, biking, or picnicking in one of the many parks and trails, such as the Ashuelot Rail Trail, Goose Pond Reservation, or Mount Monadnock. These areas offer breathtaking views and a chance to connect with nature.

Discovering History

If you have an interest in history, Keene has several historical sites that are worth exploring. The Horatio Colony Museum provides a glimpse into the city's past, showcasing antiques and artworks. The Wyman Tavern Museum and Cheshire County Historical Society Museum are also great places to learn about Keene's rich history.

Shopping and Dining

Keene's downtown area is known for its unique shops, boutiques, and local restaurants. You can spend hours exploring the various stores, finding treasures, and supporting local businesses. Grab a bite to eat in one of the many restaurants, cafes, or breweries that offer a wide range of cuisine options, from international flavors to comfort foods.

Attending Events

Keene hosts numerous events throughout the year, bringing the community together for fun and entertainment. Some popular events include the Keene Music Festival, the Monadnock International Film Festival, and the Keene Ice & Snow Festival. These events showcase local talents, culture, and provide a chance to mingle with friendly locals.

Enjoying Arts and Entertainment

If you appreciate the arts, Keene won't disappoint. The Colonial Theatre is a historic venue that hosts various performances, including movies, live music, and theater shows. The Redfern Arts Center at Keene State College is another great place to catch art exhibits, concerts, and theatrical performances.

Visiting Keene State College

Keene State College is a vibrant hub of education and culture. Take a stroll through the beautiful campus, attend public lectures or shows, and immerse yourself in the college atmosphere. The college often organizes events open to the public, offering a chance to engage with the academic community.

No matter what your interests are, Keene has something for everyone. So, go ahead and explore the city, enjoy its natural beauty, delve into its history, connect with the locals, and make memorable experiences.

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Travel Guide for Visiting Keene, New Hampshire, USA

Welcome to Keene, New Hampshire! Situated in the beautiful United States, Keene offers a charming and unique travel experience. With its picturesque landscapes, friendly locals, and rich history, this city is definitely worth a visit. Here is a detailed guide to help you navigate through your trip:

Getting There

Keene is conveniently located in southwestern New Hampshire. The nearest major airport is Manchester-Boston Regional Airport, which is about a 90-minute drive away. From there, you can rent a car or take a shuttle service to reach Keene. Alternatively, if you prefer public transportation, Amtrak offers train service to nearby Brattleboro, Vermont, and from there, you can take a short drive to Keene.

Where to Stay

Keene offers a range of lodging options to suit various budgets. You can choose from cozy bed and breakfasts, comfortable hotels, or vacation rentals in the city center. For those who prefer a more rustic experience, camping grounds and cabins are available in the surrounding areas.

Things to See and Do

1. Explore Downtown Keene: Take a leisurely stroll through the charming streets of downtown Keene. Enjoy the historic architecture, browse unique shops, and stop by one of the local cafes for a delicious treat.

2. Visit the Cheshire Children's Museum: Perfect for families, this interactive museum offers a wide range of exhibits and activities to engage young minds.

3. Discover Natural Beauty: Keene is surrounded by stunning nature. Don't miss a visit to the picturesque Monadnock State Park, which offers scenic hiking trails and breathtaking views from the summit of Mount Monadnock.

4. Attend the Keene Music Festival: If you visit in the summer, make sure to catch this annual festival featuring live music performances from various genres. It's a great opportunity to enjoy local talent and soak up the lively atmosphere.

Where to Eat

Keene boasts a diverse culinary scene, offering something for every taste. From cozy cafes to upscale restaurants, you'll find a range of dining options. Try the local New England seafood, savor a farm-to-table meal, or indulge in some delicious international cuisine.

Local Customs and Etiquette

As with any destination, it's important to respect the local customs and etiquette. In Keene, you'll find residents to be friendly and welcoming. It's customary to use basic manners, be polite, and greet people with a smile. Also, littering is strongly discouraged, as the city takes pride in its cleanliness.


Keene, New Hampshire offers a delightful travel experience with its small-town charm and natural beauty. Whether you're looking for outdoor adventures, cultural discoveries, or simply a relaxing getaway, this city has it all. So pack your bags and get ready to explore Keene!

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Hello,My name is Aparna Patel,I’m a Travel Blogger and Photographer who travel the world full-time with my hubby.I like to share my travel experience.

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