Haverhill is an industrial city located on the Merrimack River about 33 miles (53 km) north of Boston. Leather goods manufacture was a staple industry from its earliest years. Other industries have included shipbuilding, textiles, hatmaking, medical supplies, and electronics. Recent efforts to revitalize the city's economy have included encouraging new residential developments, a strong support for the arts, and the creation of a research and technology business base.
Settled in 1640, it was incorporated as a town in 1645 and as a city in 1870. It is named for the English birthplace of its first preacher, John Ward.