Haverhill is a modest-sized city (population 65,000+) in northeastern Massachusetts, just 20 minutes from the Atlantic Ocean and the numerous seacoast communities of MA, NH and ME. Nestled on the Merrimack River, Haverhill is one of the oldest historic communities in the state with a charming historical industrial center.
Before Haverhill had any European settlers, it was a native American village known as Pentucket - "place of the winding river." The Reverend John Ward founded Haverhill in 1640 and the site was purchased from the indigenous people in 1642 for the price of three pounds, 10 shillings. Haverhill was incorporated as a town in 1645 and as a city in 1869. Neighboring Bradford was settled in 1649 and annexed to Haverhill in 1897.
Originally settled as farmland, the city became a major industrial center with the introduction of saw- and gristmills in the late 1700s, and tanneries, boat yards and shoe factories in the early 1800s This prosperity lasted until the nationwide depression of the 1930s. (Shoe manufacturing was the city's leading industry for 180 years.)
George Washington visited Haverhill on November 4, 1789. Following his departure, the town named the place where he had spent the night “Washington Square”. John Greenleaf Whittier was born in Haverhill in 1807 and lived at the Whittier homestead until 1836. Rowland Hussey Macy, now famous for Macy's Department Store in New York City, got his start in Haverhill. The first Macy's parade was in Haverhill on July 4, 1854. Alexander Graham Bell conducted early experiments with telephones in Haverhill. The first business telephone call was made in Haverhill by Thomas S. Sanders, between Sanders' home and his sole-cutting business. Haverhill's Hale Hospital, the last municipally-owned hospital in Massachusetts, was sold in 2001 and reopened as Merrimack Valley Hospital.
For more than a century, the Haverhill Historical Society has maintained the Buttonwoods Museum in the former home of James Henry Duncan, a prominent Haverhill attorney. Other famous people born in Haverhill include statesmen, poets, actors, scientists, missionaries and comic artists like Robert Montana who created “Archie” based on his own experiences at Haverhill High School.
Haverhill’s modern-day revival is marked by industrial parks, business districts, and a refurbished central downtown area peppered with art galleries, gift shoppes, pubs and fine dining restaurants. The city offers wholesome recreation from bird watching and jogging to golf on any of its four 18-hole golf courses, downhill skiing, horseback riding, biking and sailing.