"I might say the core of all my writing was probably the five free years I had on the farm down the road a mile or two from Derry Village" -Robert Frost, poet
Derry is almost 37 square miles in area. More than two-thirds of the people live in the downtown center of town. Once Interstate 93 was built, just clipping the southern end of the town, this area also started building up, especially with condominium complexes for commuters.
Living and Working in Derry
If you are looking to rent an apartment in Derry, there is one thing you should know. The great thing about living in Derry is that while you are out of the rat race in a quaint New England town, you are still less than an hour from major employment areas and the awesome city of Boston. From anywhere in Derry, it is easy to shoot down Route 93 to nearby businesses and professional office areas in northern Massachusetts or for a night out in Beantown.
Neighborhoods of Derry
Derry boasts two neighborhoods, both offering different lifestyles to their residents.
Derry Town Center: Downtown Derry is the most populous area of town. It is loosely bounded around the intersection of New Hampshire Route 28, New Hampshire Route 102 and their feeder roads. Here, you will find a range of places for rent including small complexes, homes and in-home apartments. There are opportunities to rent without a long-term lease, so if you need flexibility, be sure you ask.
South Derry: South Derry is close to Interstate 93 and is a great location for commuters into Boston or down to the Route 128 tech loop. Here, there are plenty of options for complex-style living including townhomes and rental condos. It is possible to find rentals with heat included, something to consider for winter.
Life in Derry
For a small town in New Hampshire, Derry has more than a couple of notable things to brag about. How about living in the town where the very first potato plant was planted in the United States? Yup, early Irish settlers planted the first spud here in 1719. However, it seems that potato fame was not to be, as it moved east to Maine.
Derry is also proud to be the birthplace of astronaut Alan B. Shepard Jr., the first American to go into space during the Mercury space program. He might be even more well known as the astronaut who hit two golf balls on the moon's surface. Maybe there is no connection, but Derry is home to three golf courses now. Some even call Derry "Spacetown" in Shepard's honor.
Poet Robert Frost lived in Derry with his family, working a small poultry farm while honing his poetic voice and his craft. At the time, Frost was not well known and became frustrated with the lack of support for his poetry. He left Derry and the United States and moved to England where he gained fame quickly. His books were published, a large portion of which were written during his time on the farm in Derry. He returned to the United States as a celebrated poet.
The former home of Poet Robert Frost and his family, now known as the Robert Frost Farm, has been designated as a National Historic Landmark and a state park. The farm is open to the public from the spring through fall and serves as a cultural center with poetry and lectures. Visitors can also tour the farm and see where Frost penned his famous poetic lines.
The Stockbridge Theater is a well-known and highly acclaimed local venue for plays, lectures and concerts. The theater is located on the grounds of Pinkerton Academy. The Academy is a fancy name for the local regional high school. Pinkerton does have a pretty stellar reputation, however. In fact, Robert Frost was on faculty there when he worked his farm in Derry.
MacGregor Park is the site of several festivals throughout the year including Kidz Night Out, a Summer Concert Series and the Derry Fest.
Derry Parks and Recreation offers many opportunities for residents to get outdoors. The department maintains playgrounds, ball fields, tennis courts and parks throughout town. The Alexander-Carr Park offers a biking trail, a skate park and sledding hill in winter. There is also a dog park off of Route 102.
Gallien's Town Beach, on the shores of Beaver Lake, is the place to be in the heat of summer. Swimming, picnicking, fishing and kayaking will help you enjoy the hottest of summer days. The town has kayaks and paddle boats for hourly rental. There is also a concession stand. The beach is exclusively for residents of Derry and their guests. All you need to do is purchase a pass at the town hall. Hood Park on Hood's Pond is another option for summer swimming. The town also offers swim lessons for kids here.
If your apartment search is taking you into southern New Hampshire, Derry is a tried-and-true destination for both affordability and quality of life. Only an hour from Boston, an hour from the beach and an hour from the White Mountains, Derry makes a great home base.