Newington is situated in New Hampshire's Seacoast Region, sixty miles northeast of Boston, and sixty miles southwest of Portland. The town is bordered on three sides by the Piscataqua River and the Great Bay Estuary. The first European settlers arrived in the 1620's.
Newington's relatively small land area of 8.5 square miles was diminished even further in 1952 by the seizure of 4 square miles by the U.S. Air Force. The Air Force departed in 1991, only to be replaced by a creature of NH State government, the Pease Development Authority. The local populace views the latter's tenure within the town's municipal bounds to be a temporary phenomenon.
The 4.5 square miles that remain (outside of Pease) within the municipality's jurisdiction include the largest deep water port in the state, over 3 million barrels of bulk storage facilities for oil, gasoline, liquified petroleum gas, asphalt, and numerous other materials. Additionally, Newington's port handles large quantities of salt and gypsum rock. Newington's industrial riverfront is also the site of several large industrial operations, and New Hampshire's third and fourth largest electrical power plants.
Newington's commercial district is the epicenter of New Hampshire's third largest retail market, for it has strategic proximity to a limited access highway that connects the cities of Rochester, Dover, Somersworth, and Portsmouth. Easy access to Maine and Massachusetts is also assured by proximity to Interstate 95.
Newington is also served by the Boston & Maine Railroad, and a commercial airport at Pease.
Newington's daytime population of shoppers and workers typically exceeds 30,000. The town's overnight residential population is 900.
Although Newington is widely noted for its vibrant commercial and industrial sectors, less well known is the care with which the townspeople have preserved historic landmarks, architecture, and archeological sites. Newington's residential district features many historic homes, open fields, and sweeping vistas of Little Bay and Great Bay.
Despite the town's comparatively small land area, Newington has more publicly owned conservation land than any other municipality in southeast New Hampshire. Protected tracts include the 120 acre Fox Point which juts far into Little Bay, and the spectacular 1,100 acre Great Bay National Wildlife Refuge which accounts for six miles of shoreline along the Great Bay Estuary.
Newington's 110 acre Old Town Center Historic District features an eighteenth century parsonage, a nineteenth century Town Hall, the 1892 Langdon Library, the oldest Town Forest in the United States, the oldest New Hampshire meetinghouse (1712) in continuous use, and a row of horse sheds behind the meetinghouse that were once commonplace, but are now quite rare. The entire district is listed on the National Register of Historic Places
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