The City of Haverhill, located in northeastern Massachusetts on the Merrimack River, is one of the oldest historic communities in the state. It is situated in northern Essex County, is bordered by the towns of Methuen on the west, Groveland and Boxford on the south, West Newbury on the east, and the state of New Hampshire on the north. Haverhill contains almost 36 square miles of area and a wide variety of land uses, ranging from rural agricultural areas to urban areas such as the city's historical industrial center. Established in 1640 as Pentucket, Haverhill was incorporated as a city in 1870. Although originally settled as farmland, the city evolved into a major industrial center through the establishment of saw and grist mills in the late 17th century, tanneries and boat yards in the early 18th century and shoe manufacturing, its leading industry for 180 years. The city remained a thriving industrial center until the severe depression of the 1930s. Currently, computer technology and research industries thrive within Haverhill's seven industrial parks, business districts, and newly rehabilitated central business district. The City has a tremendous array of active and passive recreational opportunities, such as four 18-hole golf courses, a downhill ski area, two horseback riding academies, a public skating rink and a sailing program. The Merrimack River meanders through the city, providing walking, jogging, bird watching and boating opportunities. Haverhill's residents invite visitors to come and watch the growing population of bald eagles which inhabit the city along the Merrimack River.