Derry, New Hampshire

Derry is a town in Rockingham County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 33,109 at the 2010 census.[1] Although it is a town and not a city, Derry is the fourth most-populous community in the state. The town's nickname, "Spacetown", derives from the fact that Derry is the birthplace of Alan Shepard, the first astronaut from the United States in space.[2] Derry was also for a time the home of the poet Robert Frost and his family.

The Derry census-designated place, with a population of 22,015,[1] occupies the central part of the town, extending from the primary settlement of Derry in the west, centered on the intersection of New Hampshire Routes 28 and 102, to the town of Hampstead in the east. The town also includes the village of East Derry.

Derry, New Hampshire
Broadway c. 1905
Broadway c. 1905
Official seal of Derry, New Hampshire

Location in Rockingham County and the state of New Hampshire.
Location in Rockingham County and the state of New Hampshire.
Coordinates: 42°52′50″N 71°19′38″W / 42.88056°N 71.32722°WCoordinates: 42°52′50″N 71°19′38″W / 42.88056°N 71.32722°W
CountryUnited States
StateNew Hampshire
East Derry
 • Town CouncilJames Morgan
Joshua Bourdon
Phyllis Katsakiores
Richard P. Tripp
Charles Foote
Neil Wetherbee
Brian Chirichiello
 • Town AdministratorDavid Caron
 • Total36.5 sq mi (94.5 km2)
 • Land35.6 sq mi (92.2 km2)
 • Water0.9 sq mi (2.3 km2)  2.39%
282 ft (86 m)
 • Total33,109
 • Estimate 
 • Density939/sq mi (362.7/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
Area code(s)603
FIPS code33-17940
GNIS feature ID0873578


Although it was first settled by Scots-Irish families in 1719, Derry was not incorporated until 1827. It was originally a part of Londonderry, as were Windham and portions of Manchester, Salem and Hudson. The town was named after the city of Derry in Ireland,[3] the Irish word Doire meaning "oakgrove". The first potato planted in the United States was planted here in 1719. The town is the location of two of America's oldest private schools, Pinkerton Academy, founded in 1814 and still in operation, and the closed Adams Female Seminary.

Derry was once a linen[4] and leather-making center until New England textile industries moved south in the 20th century. As recently as World War II, Derry was also a sleepy farming community. From 1900 to 1911, poet Robert Frost lived with his family on a farm in Derry purchased for him by his grandfather. The Robert Frost Farm is now a National Historic Landmark and state park and is open to the public for tours, poetry readings and other cultural events from spring through fall.[5]

The post-war suburban boom, the town's proximity to Boston in the south and Manchester to the northwest, and the construction of Interstate 93 through town led to a huge population boom. Although this growth has slowed somewhat, the population of Derry still increased by 15 percent during the 1990s.

The Manchester and Lawrence branch of the B&M ran through Derry, but is now abandoned. The New Hampshire Department of Transportation stated in its I-93 corridor transit study[6] and its 2012 statewide rail plan[7] that it could be feasible to reopen the line.

Historical postcards

Thornton Square, Derry Village, NH

Thornton Square c. 1915

Baptist Church, West Derry, NH

Birch Street c. 1905

HEH Shoe Factory, West Derry, NH

HEH Shoe Factory in 1909

Hildreth Hall Derry, N.H. 1914

Hildreth Hall in 1914


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 36.5 square miles (94.5 km2), of which 35.6 square miles (92.2 km2) is land and 0.9 square miles (2.3 km2) is water, comprising 2.39% of the town.[8] Derry is drained by Beaver Brook. The highest point in the town is Warner Hill, at 605 feet (184 m) above sea level, where from the top one can see the Boston skyline on a clear day. Derry lies almost fully within the Merrimack River watershed, with a small section along the northern border of town lying in the Piscataqua River watershed.[9]

Derry is crossed by Interstate 93 and New Hampshire routes 28, 28 Bypass, and 102.

The urban center of the town is located near the town's western border at the intersection of Routes 102 and 28, and the village of East Derry is located approximately 2 miles (3 km) to the east and close to the geographic center of the town. Both settlements are part of the Derry census-designated place.



Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201733,440[11]1.0%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]

As of the census of 2010,[13] there were 33,109 people, 12,537 households, and 8,767 families residing in the town. The population density was 924.8 people per square mile (357.2/km²). There were 13,277 housing units at an average density of 143.2/km² (370.9/sq mi). The racial makeup of the town was 94.5% White, 1.0% African American, 0.2% American Indian and Alaska Native, 1.5% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.9% some other race, and 1.7% from two or more races. 3.3% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

There were 12,537 households, out of which 35.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.4% had a married couple living together, 12.2% had a woman whose husband does not live with her, and 30.1% were non-families. 23.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 6.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62, and the average family size was 3.10.

In the town, the population was spread out with 24.7% under the age of 18, 9.3% from 18 to 24, 27.0% from 25 to 44, 30.4% from 45 to 64, and 8.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.2 years. For every 100 females, there were 98.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 95.9 males.

At the 2000 census the median income for a household in the town was $54,634, and the median income for a family was $61,625. Males had a median income of $41,271 versus $30,108 for females. The per capita income for the town was $22,315. 4.6% of the population and 3.3% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total people living in poverty, 5.0% were under the age of 18 and 7.1% were 65 or older.


Top employers

According to the town's 2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[14] the top employers in the town are:

# Employer # of employees
1 Derry Cooperative School District 620
2 Parkland Medical Center (HCA) 531
3 Pinkerton Academy 477
4 Town of Derry 364
5 Walmart 200
6 Hannaford 142
7 Fireye 125
8 Shaw's 116
9 Biosan Laboratories 115
10 Sanmina-SCI 90


Pinkerton Academy

Public schools

Private schools


Derry is home to three media sources, the weekly Derry News, which is owned by The Eagle-Tribune, the weekly Nutfield News, which is locally owned by Nutfield Publishing, and television station WWJE-DT, owned by Univision Communications. Derry is located within the Boston television market and the Manchester radio market. Derry Community Television is the town's public-access television station on local [[cable TV]

Notable people

Ishieneto Boat Club, Derry, NH
Tsienneto Boat Club c. 1910

Sites of interest


  1. ^ a b United States Census Bureau, American FactFinder, 2010 Census figures. Retrieved March 23, 2011.
  2. ^ "Derry, NH". Archived from the original on August 30, 2010. Retrieved January 27, 2011.
  3. ^ Gannett, Henry (1905). The Origin of Certain Place Names in the United States. Govt. Print. Off. p. 104.
  4. ^ Belknap, Jeremy (1813). The History of New Hampshire, volume II. Boston: Bradford and Read. p. 32.
  5. ^ "Frost, Robert, Homestead". National Park Service - National Historic Landmarks Program. Archived from the original on June 6, 2011. Retrieved January 27, 2011.
  6. ^ HNTB Corporation (November 2009). "I-93 Corridor Multi-Modal Transit Investment Study" (PDF). New Hampshire Department of Transportation. Retrieved September 28, 2015.
  7. ^ "New Hampshire State Rail Plan" (PDF). New Hampshire Department of Transportation. 2012. Retrieved September 28, 2015.
  8. ^ "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001) - Derry town, New Hampshire". U.S. Census Bureau American Factfinder. Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved November 14, 2011.
  9. ^ Foster, Debra H.; Batorfalvy, Tatianna N.; Medalie, Laura (1995). Water Use in New Hampshire: An Activities Guide for Teachers. U.S. Department of the Interior and U.S. Geological Survey.
  10. ^ "Monthly Averages for Derry, NH". 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-18.
  11. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2017 (PEPANNRES): Minor Civil Divisions – New Hampshire". Retrieved November 15, 2018.
  12. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Archived from the original on May 12, 2015. Retrieved June 4, 2016.
  13. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data, Derry town, New Hampshire". U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder. Archived from the original on September 11, 2013. Retrieved September 20, 2011.
  14. ^ Town of Derry CAFR
  15. ^ "Samantha Brown". New Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  16. ^ "Younger Lions: Caleb Chapman". Jazzed. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  17. ^ Reid, John Phillip (1967). Chief Justice: The Judicial World of Charles Doe. Harvard University Press. p. 28. ISBN 978-0674114005.
  18. ^ "Tricia Dunn-Luoma". Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  19. ^ Marquis, Albert Nelson (1915). Who's who in New England: A Biographical Dictionary of Leading Living Men and Women of the States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Connecticut. A.N. Marquis. p. 415.
  20. ^ "Robert Frost Farm State Historic Site". Parks & Recreation New Hampshire. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
  21. ^ "Patterson, William (1789 - 1838)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved March 12, 2014.

Further reading

External links

Alyssa Spellman

Alyssa Spellman is in American beauty pageant contestant who was crowned Miss New Hampshire 2004. She had previously placed first runner-up two times before placing winning the state pageant.

She did not make it into the Top 10 of the Miss America 2005 contest but did win a Non-finalist Interview Award. The pageant was won by Miss Alabama, Deidre Downs.

Spellman was national 1st runner-up to Miss America's Children's Champion; nationally she raised the second-highest amount of funds among Miss America contestants for the Children's Miracle Network.

Ballard State Forest

Ballard State Forest is a state forest of New Hampshire located in Derry, Rockingham County, in the southeast part of the state. The area of the park is 71 acres (0.29 km2). It includes the Taylor Mill Historic Site, an old sawmill, and Ballard Pond, which provides water for the mill. The forest is located on Island Pond Road, east of the downtown of Derry. The pond drains via Taylor Brook and Island Pond into the Spicket River, a tributary of the Merrimack River.

The name of the park is due to the former property owner, Ernest Ballard. In 1939, he bought the land. By that time, the original mill was scrapped, and Ballard bought a similar mill, and subsequently spent two years together with his wife restoring the mill and replacing missing parts. In 1953, he donated the mill and the land to the state of New Hampshire.

Charles M. Floyd

Charles Miller Floyd (June 5, 1861 – February 3, 1923) was an American merchant, and manufacturer, and Republican politician from Manchester, New Hampshire who served two years as Governor of New Hampshire.

East Derry, New Hampshire

East Derry, also known as the Upper Village, is an unincorporated community in the town of Derry in Rockingham County, New Hampshire. The village center constitutes the East Derry Historic District, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is located on a hill close to the geographic center of the town of Derry along East Derry Road, approximately 2 miles (3 km) east of the built-up town center of Derry. East Derry has a separate ZIP code (03041) from the rest of the town of Derry. Alan Shepard lived in the village as a boy. Station #4 of the Derry Fire Department is located in the village.

Holly Blanchard

Holly Blanchard (born December 14, 1991) is an American beauty pageant titleholder from Derry, New Hampshire, who was crowned Miss New Hampshire 2015. She competed for the Miss America 2016 title in September 2015.

Island Pond (Rockingham County, New Hampshire)

Island Pond (sometimes referred to locally as Big Island Pond) is a 532-acre (215 ha) water body located in Rockingham County in southern New Hampshire, in the towns of Derry, Hampstead and Atkinson. The pond is near the head of the Spicket River watershed, which feeds the Merrimack River in Lawrence, Massachusetts. The pond was formed from the merger of two smaller bodies of water in 1878, when a dam raised the water level by 8.5 feet.The pond is named for Governor's Island, a 200-acre (80 ha) island that lies within it. The island in turn is named for Benning Wentworth, colonial governor of New Hampshire, who built a summer residence on the north end of the island. A smaller island is named after the Native American chief Escumbuit.The lake is classified as a cold and warmwater fishery and contains largemouth and smallmouth bass, brook trout, rainbow trout, brown trout, chain pickerel, horned pout, white perch, black crappie, and bluegill.

James C. Webb

James C. Webb is an American politician from Derry, New Hampshire, and currently a member of the New Hampshire House of Representatives.

Matt Taven

Matthew Marinelli (born March 20, 1985), known by his ring name Matt Taven, is an American professional wrestler currently signed to Ring of Honor where he is the current ROH World Champion in his first reign. Also appearing for Consejo Mundial de Lucha Libre, where he is a former NWA World Historic Welterweight Champion.

Taven has competed in Ring of Honor since 2012, most recently as a member of The Kingdom, as well as performing across the Northeastern United States independent circuit. Taven was the winner of ROH's 2013 Top Prospect Tournament, is a former one-time World Television Champion,, one-time ROH World Tag Team Champion with Michael Bennett and one-third of the first ROH World Six-Man Tag Team Champions. Taven has also worked for the Japanese promotion New Japan Pro-Wrestling, where he is a former one-time IWGP Tag Team Champion with Bennett. Taven is also the second wrestler to win titles in ROH, CMLL and NJPW after Rocky Romero.

Taven and Bennett operate a wrestling school in West Warwick, Rhode Island.

Matthew Thornton

Matthew Thornton (March 17, 1713 – June 24, 1803) was an Irish-born signer of the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of New Hampshire.

Miss New Hampshire's Outstanding Teen

The Miss New Hampshire's Outstanding Teen competition is the pageant that selects the representative for the U.S. state of New Hampshire in the Miss America's Outstanding Teen pageant. The pageant is held each February in Derry, New Hampshire.

Abigail Conard of Amherst was crowned Miss New Hampshire's Outstanding Teen on February 24, 2019 at the Stockbridge Theater in Pinkerton Academy in Derry, New Hampshire. She will compete in the Miss America's Outstanding Teen 2020 pageant at the Linda Chapin Theater in the Orange County Convention Center on July 27, 2019 in Orlando, Florida.

Phyllis Katsakiores

Phyllis M. Katsakiores (born September 22, 1934 in Wakefield, Massachusetts) is an American politician who represents the Rockingham 6 district of the New Hampshire House of Representatives. She previously served in the House from 1982 to 2012. Katsakiores also served on the Derry, New Hampshire Town Council multiple times, from 1990 to 1996 from 1999 to 2004, and from 2013 to present.. Katsakiores worked prior as a newspaper reporter in Massachusetts and as a local grocery supervisor.

Pinkerton Academy

Pinkerton Academy is a secondary school in Derry, New Hampshire, United States. It serves roughly 3,100 students, making it by far the largest high school in New Hampshire, more than 800 students greater than the next largest high school. Pinkerton's situation is unusual, as it is a private school which also serves as the "public" high school (grades 9–12) for the communities of Derry, Hampstead, Chester, Auburn, Candia, and Hooksett. Through arrangements with the towns, each town pays the tuition for their students to attend Pinkerton. Pinkerton Academy is a private, non-profit corporation administered by a headmaster, who in turn acts under the direction of a self-perpetuating board of trustees.

The academy is set on a 120-acre (49 ha) New England campus. Since the original four-room Old Academy Building opened in 1815, over one dozen major buildings have been constructed, for academics and administration.

Robert Frost Farm (Derry, New Hampshire)

The Robert Frost Farm in Derry, New Hampshire is a two-story, clapboard, connected farm built in 1884. It was the home of poet Robert Frost from 1900 to 1911. Today it is a New Hampshire state park in use as a historic house museum. The property is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as the Robert Frost Homestead.

Samantha Brown

Samantha Elizabeth Brown (born 1969) is an American television host, notable for her work as the host of several Travel Channel shows including Girl Meets Hawaii, Great Vacation Homes, Great Hotels, Passport to Europe, Passport to Latin America, Great Weekends, Green Getaways, Passport to China, and Samantha Brown's Asia. As of 2012 Samantha Brown has made her own travel luggage called Samantha Brown: Travel America. Over the years, she had visited 62 countries. In January 2018, she began hosting Samantha Brown's Places to Love on PBS. It is shown on PBS stations nationwide and is on the PBS website and app.

She is currently a resident of Brooklyn, New York.

Spicket River

The Spicket River is a 17.7-mile-long (28.5 km) river located in New Hampshire and Massachusetts in the United States. It is a left tributary of the Merrimack River, part of the Gulf of Maine watershed. It is sometimes spelled "Spickett".

The Spicket River begins at the outlet of Island Pond in Derry, New Hampshire, and flows south into Salem, New Hampshire, passing through the Arlington Mill Reservoir. The river continues through Salem, encountering copious suburban development, and enters the city of Methuen, Massachusetts, where it drops nearly 100 feet over a series of dams on its way to the Merrimack River in Lawrence.

Taylor Mill State Historic Site

The Taylor Mill State Historic Site is a state park of New Hampshire located in 71-acre Ballard State Forest in Derry, Rockingham County, in the southeast part of the state. The site is created to protect the 1799 mill known as Taylor Up and Down Sawmill. The sawmill is in operation and is open for visitors on weekends during the summer. The site is located on Island Pond Road, east of the downtown of Derry.

Tricia Dunn-Luoma

Patricia A. Dunn-Luoma (born April 25, 1974) is an American ice hockey player. She won a gold medal at the 1998 Winter Olympics, silver medal at the 2002 Winter Olympics and a bronze medal at the 2006 Winter Olympics. She graduated from Pinkerton Academy in Derry, and the University of New Hampshire in 1996.


WDER (1320 AM) and WDER-FM (92.1 FM) are radio stations broadcasting a Christian radio format. They are the flagship stations of the "Life Changing Radio" network. WDER AM is licensed to Derry, New Hampshire, and WDER-FM is licensed to Peterborough, New Hampshire. The stations are owned by Blount Communications, Inc. of NH and feature programming from Salem Radio Network.In 2012, Blount Communications purchased 92.1 FM, then WFEX, from Phoenix Media/Communications Group, and changed the call letters to WDER-FM, providing WDER AM with a sister station on the FM band to extend its outreach. Prior to the purchase, WFEX had served as a simulcast of WFNX (now WBWL) in Boston.

William Patterson (New York)

William Patterson (June 4, 1789 – August 14, 1838) was an American farmer, manufacturer and politician. He served as a United States Representative from the U.S. state of New York.

Climate data for Derry, New Hampshire
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 32
Average low °F (°C) 5
Average precipitation inches (mm) 3.07
Source: The Weather Channel[10]
Places adjacent to Derry, New Hampshire
Municipalities and communities of Rockingham County, New Hampshire, United States
Other villages
Major cities
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