city, seat of Cheshire county, southwestern New Hampshire, U.S., on the Ashuelot River. The original site (Upper Ashuelot), one of the Massachusetts grants of 1733, was abandoned (1746-50) because of hostile Indians. Resettled and named for Sir Benjamin Keene (1697-1757), English minister to Spain, it was incorporated as a town in 1753 and chartered as a city in 1874. Industries developed in the city after the arrival of the Boston and Maine Railroad in the late 1840s. Manufactures now include ball bearings, high-tech printing devices, machine tools, paper membranes, and toys. The city is a winter sports resort and the commercial centre of the region. Keene State College was established in 1909. Monadnock State Park, containing Monadnock Mountain (3,165 feet [965 metres]), is about 12 miles (19 km) to the southeast. Pop. (1990) 22,430; (2000) 22,563.
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