New England manufacturing declined in the 20th century, however, particularly during the Great Depression.
Keene became a manufacturing center for wooden-ware, pails, chairs, sashes, shutters, doors, pottery, glass, soap, woolen textiles, shoes, saddles, mowing machines, carriages and sleighs. Keene was incorporated as a city in 1874, and by 1880 had a population of 6,784.
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Much of the area dates to between 18, a time when the entire economy of New England underwent enormous social and economic change. Keene's manufacturing success was brought on in part by its importance as a railroad city, being the meeting place of the Cheshire Railroad, the Manchester & Keene Railroad, and the Ashuelot Railroad. An example is the Keene Public Library, which occupies a Second Empire mansion built about 1869 by manufacturer Henry Colony.The Harrisville Historic District is an exceptionally preserved mill village, and one of the best opportunities in the state to glimpse our industrial past.Covering 200 acres, with a total of 135 buildings, Historic Harrisville is among the most well preserved areas of the country.Afterwards, gather with friends in the post-and-beam clubhouse for an event in the evening.