city, seat of Hillsborough county, southern New Hampshire, U.S., lying along the Merrimack and Nashua rivers. It was settled about 1656 and was chartered in 1673 as Dunstable. It was a part of Massachusetts until a boundary settlement in 1741 placed it in New Hampshire. In 1803 the village of Indian Head, across the Nashua River, took the name of Nashua (allegedly derived from a local Indian tribe). The two settlements merged as Nashua in 1837. The northern section withdrew, as Nashville, in 1842 over a dispute in locating the town hall. They were reunited under a city charter in 1853. Since the closing of the textile mills after World War II, Nashua has developed a diversified industrial base. Its manufactures include computer products, electronic components, chemicals, office equipment, heavy machinery, and plastics. Nashua is the seat of Rivier College (founded 1933; Roman Catholic). A federal fish hatchery is in the city, and Silver Lake State Park is nearby. Pop. (1990) city, 79,662; Nashua PMSA, 168,233; (2000) city, 86,605; Nashua PMSA, 190,949.
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