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Derry, New Hampshire
The Adams Memorial Building, home of the Derry Opera House
The Adams Memorial Building, home of the Derry Opera House
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.
Country United States
State New Hampshire
County Rockingham
Incorporated 1827
Villages Derry
East Derry
 • Total 36.3 sq mi (94.0 km2)
 • Land 35.5 sq mi (91.9 km2)
 • Water 0.8 sq mi (2.1 km2)  2.26%
282 ft (86 m)
 • Total 34,317
 • Density 967/sq mi (373.5/km2)
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (Eastern)
ZIP code
Area code(s) 603
FIPS code 33-17940
GNIS feature ID 0873578

Derry is a town in Rockingham County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 34,317 at the 2020 census. Although it is a town and not a city, Derry is the most populous community in Rockingham County and the fourth most populous 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. Derry was also for a time the home of the poet Robert Frost and his family.

The Derry census-designated place, with a 2020 population of 22,879, occupies the central part of the town, extending from Derry's downtown in the west to the town of Hampstead in the east. The town also includes the village of East Derry.


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 was Windham and portions of Manchester, Salem and Hudson. The town was named after the city of Derry in Ireland, the Irish word "Doire" meaning "oak woods." 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 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.

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 and its 2012 statewide rail plan that it could be feasible to reopen the line.

Antique postcards


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. 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.

The urban part of the town, defined as a census-designated place (CDP), is located near the western border of the town and covers an area of 15.7 square miles (41 km2), about 42.8% of the area of the town. 15.4 sq mi (40 km2) of the CDP is land, and 0.2 sq mi (0.52 km2) of it is water, about 1.60% of the total area of the CDP. The village of East Derry is located approximately 2 miles (3 km) east of the CDP and close to the geographic center of the town.

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

Neighboring cities and towns


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
Precipitation inches (mm) 3.07
Source: The Weather Channel


Historical population
Census Pop.
1830 2,178
1840 2,034 −6.6%
1850 1,850 −9.0%
1860 1,995 7.8%
1870 1,809 −9.3%
1880 2,140 18.3%
1890 2,604 21.7%
1900 3,583 37.6%
1910 5,123 43.0%
1920 5,382 5.1%
1930 5,131 −4.7%
1940 5,400 5.2%
1950 5,826 7.9%
1960 6,987 19.9%
1970 11,712 67.6%
1980 18,875 61.2%
1990 29,603 56.8%
2000 34,021 14.9%
2010 33,109 −2.7%
2020 34,317 3.6%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census of 2020, there were 34,317 people residing in the town. The racial makeup of the town was 88.1% White, 2.3% African American, 1.8% American Indian and Alaska Native, 2.3% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 0.9% some other race, and 1.7% from two or more races. 4.6% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.

As of the census of 2010, 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.

Sites of interest


Top employers

According to the town's 2019 and 2020 Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports, the top employers in the town are the following:

# Employer # of employees
1 Derry Cooperative School District 620
2 HCA Health Services of New Hampshire (Parkland Medical Center) 532
3 Pinkerton Academy 462
4 Town of Derry 364
5 Walmart 265
6 Hannaford 142
7 Shaw's 105
8 Fireye 100
Total Air Supply 50
Cedar Point Communications 40


Pinkerton Academy

Public schools

  • Administration:
    • Elementary:
            • Middle:
    • Gilbert H. Hood Middle School
    • West Running Brook Middle School

Private schools

  • Pinkerton Academy, serving as the public high school for Derry, Chester, Hampstead, Auburn, Hooksett, and Candia
  • Calvary Christian School operated from 1970 to 2009 and educated an average of 400 students in grades K–12.


Five New Hampshire state highways and one Interstate Highway cross the town of Derry:

  • NH 28 enters from Salem in the south, follows Rockingham Road north to the southern limit of the town's main business district, then turns west along with Rockingham Road toward an intersection with Windham Road and Kendall Pond Road (Shute's Corner), and then north to follow Birch Street. After crossing NH 102, it becomes Crystal Avenue, and finally at Tsienneto Road changes names again to Manchester Road before entering Londonderry in the western part of town.
  • NH 28 Bypass, known locally as "The Bypass", begins at South Main Street where NH 28 turns along with Rockingham Road, and continues on South Main Street, North Main Street, and Londonderry Turnpike before crossing the extreme northwestern corner of town and entering Auburn.
  • NH 102 enters in the west from Londonderry, where it is known locally as Broadway. Running southwest to northeast, it crosses North and South Main Street (NH 28 Bypass) and East Derry Road at a traffic circle in the center of town (Danforth Circle), from where it follows Chester Road to the northern border with the town of Chester.
  • NH 111 crosses the extreme southeastern corner of town, entering from Salem in the south, and passing into Atkinson in the east. There is only one intersection in the town, with Island Pond Road, with NH 111 spending less than 1/2 mile in Derry.
  • NH 121 crosses the extreme northeastern corner of town for a few hundred feet between Hampstead and Sandown. There are no intersections on this stretch of NH 121 that connect to the rest of Derry, though Hampstead Road intersects NH 121 a few feet from the Derry border with Hampstead some distance to the south.
  • Interstate 93 crosses the southwestern corner of Derry, for less than 1 mile. There are no interchanges in the town, but the interchange with NH 102 in Londonderry is less than 1,000 feet from the town line.

The nearest air transport is Manchester–Boston Regional Airport. There is currently no passenger rail service in Derry, though a former train depot in the center of town has been converted to a hub for the main commercial district in town.

Notable people

Ishieneto Boat Club, Derry, NH
Tsienneto Boat Club c. 1910
  • Samantha Brown (born 1970), former host of Travel Channel, seller on QVC
  • Caleb Chapman (born 1973), musician
  • Charles Cogswell Doe (1830–1896), Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New Hampshire, born in Derry
  • Tricia Dunn-Luoma (born 1974), hockey player; Olympic gold medalist
  • Charles Miller Floyd (1861–1923), 51st governor of New Hampshire
  • Robert Frost (1874–1963), four-time Pulitzer Prize-winning poet (to date, the only poet to achieve this feat)
  • Brendan James (born 1979), singer-songwriter, pianist
  • Priscilla Lane (1915–1995), actress
  • David Nelson (born 1974), world-record-holding video game competitor
  • William Patterson (1789–1838), U.S. congressman
  • Joe Seiders (born 1980), musician
  • Alan B. Shepard Jr. (1923–1998), astronaut, first American in space, and as a member of Apollo 14 one of 12 people to have walked on the Moon
  • John Stark (1728–1822), Continental Army major general in the Revolutionary War
  • Aaron Fletcher Stevens (1819–1887), brigadier general, U.S. congressman
  • Matt Taven (born 1985), professional wrestler
  • Paul Thompson (born 1988), hockey player
  • Matthew Thornton (1714–1803), Irish-born Founding Father of the United States who signed the United States Declaration of Independence as a representative of New Hampshire
  • Nikki Tilroe (1941–2005), performer, puppeteer
  • Ryan Tuerck (born 1985), Formula D Drift professional driver

Images for kids

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Derry (Nuevo Hampshire) para niños

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