By Kirstan Lukasak, M.A. in English and Creative Writing Student
Flavor of New Hampshire is a new feature in which we look at some of the places and activities that make New Hampshire special, so students and faculty in far-off places can get a feel for life in SNHU’s home state. In this issue: New Hampshire’s Statehouse.
Located on North Main Street in historic downtown Concord, N.H., the capitol building stands as the oldest statehouse in our nation. To this day the New Hampshire Legislature still meets in the original chambers, dating back to the early 1800s.
Some fun facts about the Statehouse, according to the NH State House Visitors’ Center:
- New Hampshire has the second largest legislative body in the nation, with 400 representatives and 24 senators.
- New Hampshire is the only state legislature that holds a hearing for every bill request. There were 259 bill requests in 2013.
- The building houses 88 original Civil War battle flags.
- Four tiny moon pebbles brought back by astronaut and New Hampshire native Alan Shepard, the first American in space, are displayed there.
- The construction estimate, in 1816, was $82,000.
As representatives of the “Live Free or Die” state, members of the New Hampshire Legislature are committed to hearing out every bill, regardless of how strange it might seem. Many of the bills end up being voted down. Bills such as one barring people from wearing scented products during business hours and another labeling brainpower as a state resource are not uncommon.
Today the New Hampshire Statehouse remains an iconic landmark for New Hampshire residents. The building’s large gold dome and ornate bald eagle serve as a centerpiece for our state. It stands as a constant reminder that New Hampshire remains as strong and independent as the day it was founded in 1623.