The Monadnock Region encompasses the City of Keene and 22 towns of Cheshire County. It has been described as the Currier and Ives corner of New Hampshire. Geographically situated in the heart of New England, residents and visitors have easy access to and from several popular metropolitan areas including Boston, Mass., Hartford, Conn., Montreal, Canada, Portland, Me., or New York.
Keene is the regional center for commerce, employment, and entertainment. The business community represents the full spectrum of enterprises from family-owned companies to world-wide leaders in industry.
While Keene is safely nestled in the quiet corner of New Hampshire, it enthusiastically offers residents and visitors a wide range of cultural and educational opportunities. A visit to an art gallery or museum, attendance at a play or musical performance, and fine dining all have their place on an agenda for a Saturday night.
The region is home to two respected liberal arts colleges - Keene State College and Franklin Pierce University, River Valley Community College, and the nationally-recognized Antioch University New England.
Keene State College is a four-year college with an enrollment of 4,700 full-time and part-time students. It offers 36 majors in the arts and humanities, sciences, and professional studies, in addition to a master of education program and a continuing education program for students of all ages.
Franklin Pierce College is a four-year institution that offers 26 majors in the academic fields of liberal arts, sciences, and business and career studies. The school has an enrollment of 1300 students at its main campus in Rindge and 2500 non-traditional students at five learning centers.
Antioch University New England offers master's degree programs in education, environmental studies, resource management and administration, management, substance abuse/addictions counseling, dance/movement therapy, marriage and family therapy, and counseling psychology. It's doctoral degree program features clinical psychology and environmental studies.
The public school system is noted for its range of academics and extracurricular activities. The school's verbal and math SAT scores are above the state and national average.
Shoppers and diners find a broad array of shops and cuisines. Establishments run the gamut from local antique stores and craft shops to converted mills and railroad houses to the nationally-recognized merchandisers. When it comes to dining, there is an abundant selection of menus from traditional hot dog vendors and family-fare restaurants to fine dining and international cuisine.
Our area employers are on the leading edge of their technologies to stay on top in a global marketplace. From new robotic designs, agricultural research, state-of-the-art optical and medical devices, aerospace and computer components to advanced labeling systems, furniture, filtration systems, nonwoven fabric and custom-packaging, our thriving economy possesses a vitality and stability that has made the region a model for others in NH to emulate.
The Monadnock Region is home to a variety of healthcare providers and social service agencies ranging from a regional hospital and clinic, a non-profit home care organization, and several long-term residential care facilities for the youth and elderly.
The Monadnock region is also the location of many uniquely New England sites. It is the home for the second most climbed mountain in the world - Mount Monadnock. The 3,165-foot summit offers views as far as the Boston skyline.
The town of Swanzey has the distinction of having four of the remaining 55 covered bridges in New Hampshire. The spans (all of which cross the Ashuelot River) are: the Cresson Bridge; the Carlton Bridge; the West Swanzey Bridge; and the Slate Bridge - which was burned by an arsonist in 1993. The 131-year old Slate Bridge was totally lost, but a committee of local townspeople, committed to building a new bridge that closely resembled the original, led a seven-year fundraising effort to meet the funding required for reconstruction. Through the New Hampshire Department of Transportation Municipal Bridge Aid Program, the state provided the remaining funds for the additional project cost.
Other geological sites include the Chesterfield Gorge and the many crystal clear lakes that dot the countryside. Without feeling too rustic, the Monadnock region is distinguished by its country life. Farmers' markets on a summers day, white steepled churches with pealing bells on a Sunday morning, fairs and festivals that resound with laughs and giggles on main streets or backyards, all abound in this region.
It is this diverse quality of life that brings vibrancy to our towns and villages. It's the way life is supposed to be lived. People live here because they want to. We hope you will, too.