Each state has a myriad of official symbols that respresent their cultural heritage and individual history. These include a state flag, motto, song, and bird. But did you know that each region also has their own variety of obscure symbols such as a state treat, state fossil, and even a state dance?
Over the past three weeks we have covered Connecticut, Maine and Massachusetts’ lesser known state symbols. This week we arrive at New Hampshire!
Forget Idaho! New Hampshire was actually the first state to cultivate the white potato when an Irish immigrant brought a sack of seed potatoes to the area in 1719. The white potato (Solanum tuberosum) was designated the official state vegetable in 2013.
New Hampshire’s world famous pumpkin festival holds the world record for lit jack-o’-lanterns with 30,581. Held in Keene for 24 years, the festival moved to Laconia for its 25th year in 2015. New Hampshire designated pumpkin as its official state fruit in 2006.
New Hampshire has roughly 150 apple orchards, accounting for more than 1,400 acres of delicious fruit. It is no wonder they adopted apple cider as the official state beverage in 2010.
One of New Hampshire’s newer symbols, the chinook is the only dog breed with its origins in the state. indes They were bred as working dogs to pull sleds during the early 20th century. Adopting the chinook as New Hampshire’s state dog was proposed by seventh-graders at the Ross A. Lurgio Middle School in Bedford. They got their wish in 2009!
Smoky quartz is a common mineral found in many types of rocks, including granite, New Hampshire’s official state rock. The state designated the lovely gray version of quartz as their official state gem in 1985.
New Hampshire’s official state emblem is the world-famous “Old Man of the Mountain” located in Franconia Notch State Park. The iconic symbol was adopted in 1945 toward the end of World War II along with the New Hampshire state motto: “Live Free or Die”. Sadly, the natural rock formation crumbled and fell on May 3, 2003.
New Hampshire has more state songs than any other state with a whopping ten tunes! The “official” state song is Old New Hampshire by Dr. John F. Holmes and Maurice Hoffmann. The others nine diddies are “honorary” state songs: