Haverhill ( HAY-vril) is a city in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. Haverhill is located 35 miles north of Boston on the New Hampshire border and about 17 miles from the Atlantic Ocean. The population was 60,879 at the 2010 census.Located on the Merrimack River, Haverhill began as a farming community of Puritans, largely from Newbury Plantation. The land was officially purchased from the Pentuckets on November 15, 1642 (One year after incorporation) for three pounds, and ten shillings. Pentucket was renamed Haverhill (after the Ward family's hometown in England) and evolved into an important industrial center, beginning with sawmills and gristmills run by water power. In the 18th and 19th century, Haverhill developed woolen mills, tanneries, shipping and shipbuilding. The town was home to a significant shoe-making industry for many decades. By the end of 1913, one tenth of the shoes produced in the United States were made in Haverhill, and because of this the town was known during the time as the "Queen Slipper City".