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Trip Planner USA  /  New Hampshire  /  Keene

Keene

4.4
Landmarks · Hiking Trails · Theaters
Keene is a city in Cheshire County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 23,409 at the 2010 census. It is the seat of Cheshire County.Keene is home to Keene State College and Antioch University New England and formerly hosted the state's annual Pumpkin Festival.HistoryThe community was granted as "Upper Ashuelot" in 1735 by Colonial Governor Jonathan Belcher to 63 settlers who paid five pounds each and whose properties were assigned by lot. Settled after 1736, it was intended to be a fort town protecting the Province of Massachusetts Bay during the French and Indian Wars. When the boundary between Massachusetts and New Hampshire was fixed in 1741, Upper Ashuelot became part of New Hampshire.In 1747, during King George's War, the village was attacked and burned by Natives. Colonists fled to safety, but would return to rebuild in 1749. It was regranted to its inhabitants in 1753 by Governor Benning Wentworth, who renamed it "Keene" after Sir Benjamin Keene, English minister to Spain and a West Indies trader. Located at the center of Cheshire County, it became county seat in 1769. Land was set off for the towns of Sullivan and Roxbury, although Keene would annex 154acre from Swanzey (formerly Lower Ashuelot).
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