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Roberts The community was granted as Upper Ashuelot in 1735 by Colonial Governor Jonathan Belcher to soldiers who had fought in the war against Canada.New England manufacturing declined in the 20th century, however, particularly during the Great Depression.The largest decennial percent change was a 41 percent increase between 19, and a 32 percent increase the next decade.The 2015 Census estimate for Fitzwilliam was 2,518 residents, which ranked 123rd among New Hampshire's incorporated cities and towns. Located at the center of Cheshire County, it became county seat in 1769.
The city nevertheless retains a considerable inventory of fine Victorian architecture from its flush mill town era. The highest point in Keene is the summit of Grays Hill in the city's northwest corner, at 1,388 feet (423 m) above sea level. During the summer, Keene can get hit by thunderstorms from the west, but the Green Mountains to the west often break up some of the storms, so that Keene doesn't usually experience a thunderstorm at full strength.
An example is the Keene Public Library, which occupies a Second Empire mansion built about 1869 by manufacturer Henry Colony. Keene is entirely within the Connecticut River watershed, with all of the city except for the northwest corner draining to the Connecticut via the Ashuelot River. The last time a tornado hit Cheshire County was in 1997. The most recent such winter was 2002-2003, when Keene received 112.5" of snow.
The majority of the snowfall in Keene comes from nor'easters, areas of low pressure that move up the Atlantic coast and strengthen.
Early grantees in Fitzwilliam included General James Reed and Matthew Thornton, signer of the Declaration of Independence.
Fitzwilliam had one of the earliest granite quarrying operations in New Hampshire.