In 1936, Benjamin M. Towle, with the aid of his sister Harriet Dudley, recorded his memories of all the houses and their occupants on Black Hall Road. His account of Black Hall Road is as close of a history of the road as has ever been put to paper, and having his recollections makes for an interesting guideline for constructing a more detailed account of the many families and structures that once lived along this route. Many early homes still remain, and many have disappeared with the passage of time, and it is interesting to see how the names and families changed from one generation to the next - from the early settlements by the Wallace family to the Yeaton and Towles which dominated the landscape for several generations.


To get a sense of when Black Hall Road began to be settled, the best sources are deeds,  the early town records, early church records, and the signers of the Association Test in 1776. Having researched early deeds, those families found residing on Black Hall Road can be searched for in the early records.


From town records of those citizens petitioning to restore previous years taxes, 1762, Benjamin Blake.

From town records of those buying pews 1764, Benjamin Blake, Samuel Blake

From Church records, 1764, Abraham Wallace married Hepzibah Blake

From Church Records, 1765 Abraham Wallace has a son baptized.

From Church Records, 1769, Benjamin Shepard had a daughter baptized

From Church Records, 1770, William Wallace had a daughter baptized

From Church Records, 1765, Jeremiah Prescott and Abraham Wallace renewed Baptismal Covenant

From Deeds, 1770, Andrew McClary to Jethro Blake, lot 15 and lot 92 in the third range.

Association Test Signers, 1776, Waymuth Wallas (Weymouth Wallace), Nathaniel Willes (Nathaniel Wallace), Joseph Towle, Jeremiah Prescott, George Uren (Youring etc.), Abraham Walles (Wallace).


It would appear as though the area was first settled by the families of Jeremiah Prescott, Abraham Wallace, and Benjamin Blake. Prescott's dwelling place remains unknown, Abraham Wallace lived off Colby Road, and the Blake house was next to the current Epsom Central School. All were present about 1765, with Benjamin Blake leaving shortly thereafter and Benjamin Shepard owned the lot. Jethro Blake built on lot 92 after 1770. The first mention of the road being built came in November of 1768 when, the following appears in the town records:


We the Committee chosen to lay out roads – have laid out 2 roads. The first beginning at John Casses house at the second range at the bound betwixt the said Casses land and Sam’l Bickfords land thence running  upon the northerly side of sd Casses land to the south side of Sam’l Wallises and (Lot) No. 88 in the 3 range.

The first section of Black Hall Road (in red) 1768

This would be from about the Epsom Town Hall to the Epsom Central School, with land damages being paid to Thomas Hinds, John Cass, Jeremiah Prescott and Benjamin Shepard. Shepard had erected a mill on the west end of his lot on the Suncook River. Ten years later, the road was extended to Allenstown, beginning about 8 or 10 rods south of Nathaniel Wallace's house, as shown in the records:


Beginning at a highway formerly laid out which is about 8 or 10 rods southerly of Nathan Wallis’s House in Epsom struck southerly on an old way as it is now used about 2 miles and 10 rods to a pine stump  standing near William Droughts field fence thence southerly through said Drought’s  about 22 rods to a pine stump standing on said old way about 2 rods westerly from said Drought’s house, thence following said old way southerly about 234 rods to a pine tree on the easterly side of said way and on the dividing line between Epsom and Allenstown, 2 rods wide.


Of note is that in 1772, the other end near the 'Prescott Bridge' was extended to the 'Great Bridge' over the Suncook River, which would be from the end of Black Hall Road up Goboro Road, which early on was referred to as the 'Rand Road.'


The first reference to the road name was in a deed for property near Short Falls, December 1806, from John Sanders to John Brown [Rockingham County Deeds 175-403], where it is seen in the same spelling used today, 'Black Hall road' (so called).


Early map of Epsom, circa 1820, showing early roads.

Black Hall Road runs pretty much down the center of the third range with the northern boundary lot number 94 (current Dover Road), going south to lot number 84 (Short Falls corner).


In 1748, Foster Trefethen sold his original lot 93 to Samuel Wallace of Greenland. Samuel also bought in 1754, lot number 88 and about 32 acres on the south of the adjoining lot number 89. Samuel Wallace and his wife Phebe (Libbey) had among their children, sons Joseph, Abraham and Nathaniel, and daughter Martha. Son Abraham lived on lot 93; Nathaniel on lot 89. Son Joseph bought from John Casey in 1781, lot number 87, that lot which Casey bought from the town of Epsom for unpaid taxes. Daughter Martha married in Rye, 1772, William Weymouth Wallace, who bought in 1777, the whole of lot 89, excepting 30 aces which was sold to Nathaniel Wallace (that on the south side of the lot). This would place the three brothers and sister Martha all on Black Hall Road by 1781. Jethro Blake lived on a lot 92 near the house of Abraham Wallace, which by 1790 was in the hands of Simeon Towle. By this time the road had been extended to Allenstown.


The 1790 US census for Epsom shows that Abraham, Joseph, Nathaniel and Wm. W. Wallace were all still living on or off of Black Hall Road, and had been joined by Simeon Towle who was now on the lot previously owned by Jethro Blake. George Urin was the owner of lots 90 and 91 as early as 1771, and probably settled there, selling the land to Elijah Locke in 1801, with land and buildings. Simeon Towle was in possession of the former Jethro Blake land and buildings.


The 1795 town agricultural and poll information indicates that Abraham, Joseph and Nathaniel Wallace were still in Epsom. Weymouth Wallace sold his property to Joseph Towle, who in turn sold a small section of land to William Yeaton. Joseph had married a daughter of Abraham Wallace, and his sister, Hannah Towle, had married William Yeaton. George Urin (Yewrin) was also still located on Black Hall Road with 85 acres.


By 1800, Abraham and Joseph Wallace where the only members of the Wallace clan still in Epsom, with Nathaniel and William Weymouth Wallace having left town. Joseph soon followed. Nathaniel's land was eventually owned by Joseph Towle, and Joseph Wallace sold his house and land to Elijah Locke Jr.. Locke sold the house in 1814 to Jonathan Yeaton. Elijah also owned parts of lots 90 and 91 which he sold to John Brown of Rye, it being land that he 'now own and dwell upon.'


Approximate early Wallace Family Homes on Black Hall Road, imposed on the 1858 map.


Abraham Wallace died in 1816 and his estate passed to his son in law James Marden. In 1824 he sold the land to Thomas D. Merrill, who days later sold the property to Jonathan Yeaton. Yeaton held the property for about a year before selling it to Josiah Brown of Epsom, son of John and Salome (Allen) Brown. Three years later, in 1828, the Brown's sold the land back to Thomas D. Merrill, who in turn, sold it to William Ham Junior of Epsom in 1833. This property is the northern side of Colby Road. William, often referred to as 'Squire' Ham, sold the easterly portion of the land, which included a coopers shop, in 1844 to James M. Clark. Clark also bought from Joseph Jenness of Chichester, her undivided half of her father Abraham's homestead which he received of Ruth Wallace, a surviving daughter of Abraham, Jospeh Jenness had married Ruth's sister Phebe. The Clark family resided in the Wallace homestead. Squire Ham apparently built a home on the western portion of the lot bordering Black Hall Road. This house passed to his son in law Benjamin M. Towle who had married his daughter Eliza. Towle sold the home about 1857 to James McCutcheon Burnham.


Weymouth Wallace sold out to Joseph Towle Jr. in 1791 who shared the property with Jonathan Towle. Joseph had married Sarah, the daughter of Abraham Wallace. The Towles built and established a tavern, later the Cutter property, and sold the original house on the lot to Samuel Goss who married Joseph's daughter, Susan G. Towle. Joseph Towle died in 1828, and the tavern property passed to his son in law, James Hersey, spouse of Sally Towle, daughter of Joseph and sister to Susan G. This property later became the town poor farm. Across the street on the east side of Black Hall Road, Jonathan Towle in 1793, sold a smaller lot of 26 acres, to William Yeaton. This house passed to Solomon Yeaton and left the Yeaton family in 1887.


During this same time period, William Yeaton continued to buy land on the southern half of Black Hall Road, and is best demonstrated by his will of 1831, which shows the distribution of his property, which included the following:


 I give and devise to my son Hopley Yeaton, all the land I own in lot No. eighty-six in the third range of lots in said Epsom, excepting a piece occupied as a burying ground five rods square in the corner of the field northwesterly of the house where I now live. Also all the land I own adjoining the New Hampshire Turnpike which I purchased of Isaac L. Ham and all the land I own in lot No. 85 in the third range.


 I give and devise to my son Levi T. Yeaton all the land I own in lot No. 84 in the third range in said Epsom –   one yoke of oxen, one cow and six sheep and one half of my farming utensils of every description to be divided at my decease.


John Mark Moses also outlined the William Yeaton family as follows:


Hannah Towle (1726-1843), married William Yeaton (1756-1831), of Rye. They removed to Epsom about 1785, and settled on the Ordway place. 
 William Yeaton bought land extensively to the south, and relocated his home on the lot where the graveyard is, east of the pond. He left nine children, all of whom settled in town, and all but two within half a mile of home.
They were: John (1781-1861), who settled next north of his father: William (1783-1830), of the Warren Yeaton place: Joseph (1786-1833), of the James Brown place (Lot 84): Jonathan (1788-1828), who lived a little up the New Rye road: Samuel T. (1791-1864), who lived where his grandson, Samuel  R., now lives (Lot 85 by deed); Sally (1793-1864), who married Jonathan Goss, son of Samuel, and was mother of William of Gossville; Hannah (1796-1874) who married Simeon Towle: Hopley (1801-1856) who had the homestead: and Levi T. (1804-1846), who had the lot next south of Samuel's.


Son Joseph Yeaton already acquired property at what was later the Moore house on Black Hall Road. Son Samuel acquired the 'Pete' Yeaton farm on Black Hall Road. Son John acquired the old Nathaniel Wallace home, later the homestead of Fred Yeaton on Yeaton lane. Sons William and Jonathan both had homesteads but died  relatively young.


Black Hall Road early on was largely owned by the Wallace and Towle families, but by the 1830's, the Wallace's were gone and replaced by Yeaton families, with the Towle's still large land owners. Several other families, including the Brown's, Gove's, Urin's and others had all sold out.



Near the center of the third range were four lots. They included lot #91, a thirty acre out lot (no. 15) that accompanied a home lot; lot #92 and lot #93. The smaller out lot was combined with lot #92.


Lot #91 was the original right of John Youren and was in the hands of Joseph Urin (son of John Youren, as the spelling of the name varies) when his children deeded it to George Urin. George was also the owner of lot #90, but sold lot #91in 1779, to Jethro Blake who had earlier settled on a home lot on Center Hill. There is no mention of any buildings on the property at the time it was sold, but Blake sells it back to Urin in 1787. Urin establishes a home on the lot including buildings and an orchard which he sells to Elijah Locke of Rye. His son, Elijah Jr., bought the Joseph Wallace home on Black Hall Road. Both left Epsom, and Elijah Locke the elder sold his land, buildings and orchard to John Brown and wife Salome/Sarah (Allen) and moved his family from Rye to Epsom. John Brown had 12 children, and he died in 1818. No will has been found, but the homestead as in the hands of his son Joseph when he sold the property to Daniel C. Bickford in 1834.


A small lane separated lot #91 from the smaller 30 acre lot #15. This lot early on belonged to Joshua Berry and was sold to William Blazo, who in 1757 sold it to Abraham Libbey. Libbey also acquired the adjoining lot #92, and sold both to Josiah and Tryphena Sanborn in 1767, their identities remain unknown, though they appear in several Epsom land deals. They seem to have speculated in Epsom land, and sell the two lots just a year later to Andrew McClary. McClary himself was a large player in buying and selling Epsom properties, and turned the property over in one day to Jethro Blake, the same who had purchased lot #91 from George Urin. The deed gives the size of the two lots as 80 acres, and no mention of any buildings. Jethro Blake appears to have built a house and barn, as when he sells to Amos Morrill, another infamous Epsom land speculator, they are included along with an orchard. Amos Morrill in 1789 sells to Simeon Towle a part of lots 15 and 92 that is on the easterly side of the road that leads from Epsom to Pembroke, 70 acres, with all the buildings and orchard, that which he bought from Jethro Blake. This land totaled 70 acres, as a small portion was sold to Abraham Wallace.


Amos Morrill also sold part of lot #15 and lots #92 and 93, on the westerly side of Black Hall Road, to William Sanborn in 1795. William did not settle on the property, which he sold to Joseph Lawrence of Epping in May of 1799. Joseph sold it to his brother Edward Lawrence in 1815, and Edward built a house. The house and land of about 100 acres was sold to John Dyer in 1821, though he did not own it very long, selling it two months later to Simeon Towle Junior, son of Simeon Towle who owned the property on the easterly side of the road.


The Simeon Towle homestead was replaced about 1820, by a newer house by his son Benjamin M. Towle, which is at the top of what is now Colby Road. Benjamin M. Towle built a house for his sister Parna/Perna Towle, selling her the house and the half acre on which it stood in 1839. Perhaps unable to keep the house, it was sold back to Benjamin in June of 1842, and Parna dies July 3 of that same year. Hazen Saltmarsh owns the house in 1856 when it is sold to Joseph W. Burnham.


Lot #93 was drawn by Foster Treferren and sells to Samuel Wallace of Barrington in 1781. The westerly end was sold by Wallace to Weymouth Wallace in 1786, and is sold by him to Amos Morrill in 1789. Morrill sells the land to Abraham Wallace, who already resides on the easterly portion, in 1789. The easterly portion goes through several owners after the death of Abraham Wallace, and is eventually owned by William Ham.


What is interesting is that the original homes, while on different lots, were in extremely close proximity to each other.


Black Hall Road did not change much through the 1830's and 40's. The next best reference is the 1858 map which shows the location and names the inhabitants of the houses and buildings. This information can be compared to the 1850 and 1860 US Census information which lists inhabitants in the order the census taker visited the homes as opposed to an alphabetical listing. This also helps identify the location and names of the occupants.


Starting down the west side of the road in 1858  from the north end:


The Free Will Baptist Church parsonage, just built, does not appear in 1850 census. Resident was Rev. Moses A. Quimby.


Simeon Towle, later the Karl Rand home, was resident in 1850 with wife Hannah and children Lucy, Elvira, Emeline, Gardner and Charles W.  By 1860 two children remained with their parents, Emeline and Charles.


Town Farm, in 1850 was run by Dudley Hill and had for residents, Miriam Baton, Betsey Ames, Abigail Towle, Elijah Pettingill, David Dickey, John Locke, Moses Locke, Reuben, Eliza and Keziah White, Thomas Moses. In 1860 the farm was run by James M. Burnham with his wife Mary and daughter Alice. Resided at the town farm were Elijah Pettingill, Simon Grant, David Dickey, Jonathan Godfrey, John Doloff, Moses Locke, John Lokce, Roswell McDaniels, Josiah How and Alice Goss.


Benjamin Bickford, with his wife Sally, and living with them his son Benjamin Junior and wife Emily J.


S. Yeaton, probably a Samuel in what was probably the Hopley Yeaton house. In 1850 John Hopkinson lived in this area, and if not in this home, likely the early Joseph Wallace residence. Appears that the house was owned in 1860 by Samuel T. Yeaton.


Samuel T. and James C. Yeaton, father and son lived at what is later the Pete Yeaton home.


Starting down the east side of the road in 1858  from the north end:


Freewill Baptist church original building, it was replaced with a new building in 1861.


William 'Squire' Ham and his wife Nancy, daughter Eliza and son in law Benjamin Towle. Andrew Sherburne was also residing there in 1850. In 1860 William and his wife were still living in the homestead with Ann B. Cochran, housekeeper and boarders, Nancy Fisher and George Goodhue.


James Clark and his wife Mary with sons John C., James M. and Samuel Clark. In 1860 just James and Mary are listed. This is the old Abraham Wallace homestead.


Benjamin M. Towle and his wife Hannah in 1850 with children Sarah, Clarissa, Charles, Catherine and Sarah. Also in the household Elizabeth and Mary Mathes.  In 1860 son Benjamin and his wife Eliza (Ham) are the heads of household along with his mother. Benjamin and Eliza's children included Henry and Anna.


Daniel C. Bickford and his wife Jane and children Thomas, Georgiann and Eliza. In 1860, Daniel and wife with son Thomas E. and his wife Mary J. (Yeaton) and a laborer, Charles E. Lewis.


Joseph W. Burnham and wife Martha (Worth) in 1850 in the home built for Parna Towle. There does not appear a listing in 1860 census.


Solomon Yeaton's house appears on the 1858 map but is not labeled. In 1850 he is there with wife Mary and children Elizabeth, Georgianna, Mary J. (who married Thomas E. Bickford, son of Daniel C.) Sarah and Emily. In 1860 the family included Solomon and wife Mary and children Georgianna, Sarah, Emma, Eva, Edward, Susan and Leon Morse.


John Yeaton 3rd occupied the house on Yeaton Lane. In 1850 he is with wife Sarah and children William, James, Sarah, David, Vienna and Betsy. In 1860 he is with wife Caroline and children Daniel, Vienna and Betsy. A George Cilley is also in the household.


Samuel T. Yeaton owned houses on both sides of the road, opposite each other. The 1860 census included 2 Samuel T. Yeaton's, with a younger Samuel T., age 23, who married within the year a Sarah (unknown) age 22. He is not listed as junior, and no reference has been found for this younger Samuel.


James M. Brown lived in the earlier Levi T. Yeaton home, the Moore house in more recent years. The family in 1850 included wife Mary and children Mary, Elizabeth and James. He, in 1860, is with wife Mary, and daughter's Mary and Eliza and sons James and Orren.


Samuel Worth owned a house next to the James M. Brown. His wife was Sarah (Fife) and in 1850 had children James, Abby, Sarah and Samuel. By 1860 they had another son, Gorham R. Worth.


John Spurlin owned the last house before Short Falls. He does not appear in the 1850 census, though preacher Gorham P. Ramsey appears in the census next to Samuel Worth. In 1860, John and wife Elsy had two children, Jeremy and Lewis.



The majority of the homes on Black Hall Road through 1870 remained farms. As time went on, single residences began to be built, with the largest growth at the north end of the road. Much of the land remained in the hands of familiar family names, as can be seen on the comparison of the 1892 map, again with the houses and occupants labeled, and the 1900 US Census for Epsom.


Black Hall Road, west side, from the north end:


Baptist Church Parsonage, which in 1900 was occupied by the Rev. John Scribner


G. W. Towle is listed on the 1892 map, which is likely labeled incorrectly and should appear as Charles W. Towle. Charles had a wife Rebecca G. Towne. Charlie died in 1899, no children.


Daniel Yeaton bought the old town farm from the town of Epsom. He married first Margaret Ann Chesley in 1867, and secondly upon her death, Ann B. Rowell. Daniel and Ann had three children, Alfred D., Minot R. and Alice B.


Benjamin Bickford and his wife still living in the house which belonged to his father, Benjamin. Benjamin Jr. married Emily Gray and had children Lewis L., Joseph F., Edgar H. and an unnamed male.


Two smaller houses between the Ben Bickford house and the Pete Yeaton farm shown on the map of 1858, are gone by the map of 1892.


Samuel R. Yeaton inherited the farm of his father James Cochran Yeaton, and his father Samuel T. Yeaton. Samuel R. married Mabel E. Stewart and had children Florence, Josephine, Sophornia, Russell S., George and Maurice 'Pete' Yeaton. In 1900 his mother Hannah (Drake) was living and named head of household.


Black Hall Road, east side, from the north end:


Epsom Baptist Church building, the second on the site, built in 1861.


The Epsom Shoe Factory was established in 1881, and built a mill which was rented out. At the time of the 1892 map, it was the Hill Shoe Factory.


Nathan J. Goss lived in a house built by his brother John. Nathan married Ida W. Leighton, daughter of Charles W. Leighton. They had three children, Ethel M., Maryetta R., and Nathan J.


Charles Royal was connected with the Epsom Shoe Factory shortly after it was formed. He married in Pembroke Myra C. Brown and had at least two children born in Epsom.


Jonathan Marden and his wife Mary A. Hopkinson lived in one of the two houses that were brought from Route 28 south to this end of Black Hall Road. He died in 1898 having 4 children, Truman R., Frank W., Delia T. and Mary F.


James M. Clark (Jr.) left the home of his parents and brothers (the old Abraham Wallace house) and moved into a newly constructed house on Black Hall Road. He married first a Martha (unknown) and second, Mary A. Randall. Two children from the first marriage, Carrie and Annie. James was a civil war veteran.


James M. Burnham bought the William Ham homestead. He married Mary Jane Wells and had a large family: Alice, Eliza, Emma, Walter, Edgar, Otis, Moses, William, an unnamed infant, and Alfred.


Benjamim M. Towle (3rd) built on a house on land next to the old William Ham house on the corner of what is now Colby Road. He married Annie Cilley and had one daughter, Helen, who married Karl Rand.


Widow Benjamin Towle (2nd) (Harriet), was still head of household of the family homestead. She died in 1910.


Charles W. Leighton inherited through his wife Eliza, the Daniel C. Bickford house. In 1900 he had two boarders and his niece Carrie J. Coleman living with them.


Hiram A. Holmes owned the former Parna Towle house, later Parker, and likely rented the house.


Mrs. MaryYeaton, widow of Solomon, stilled lived in the family homestead in 1892 which was sold before 1900 to Albert A. Ordway and his wife Angie.


Fred Yeaton inherited the homestead on Yeaton Lane of John Yeaton (seen as the 3rd). The 1900 census shows his wife Florence, and sons Matthew and Millard, mother in law Sarah E. Fowler, and a servant, Edward Sawyer.


Samuel R. Yeaton, who owned the farm on the west side of Black Hall Road, also shows in 1892 as the owner of the house on the hill across the road.


John Spurlin with wife Elcy and son Lewis B., owns the last two houses before Short Falls. His son Elbridge lived in one with his wife Nellie and son Clifton L., and 'stepson' Ralph Bickford according to the 1900 census.


Pictured above, the shoe factory and three houses at the northern end of Black Hall Road. The houses are across the Little Suncook River.


The population of Epsom in 1860 was 1216, in 1900 it was 771, and continued to drop to 655 in 1920. There was little growth on Black Hall Road, with the exception of one house on the southern half and activity near the northern end near the Prescott Bridge. The Benjamin Towle house at the top of the current Colby Road was still in the family, but likely not utilized year round. Charles Leighton sold the Daniel C. Bickford homestead and moved down to the present Route 4, with the house sold and remaining vacant. The Zinn family, who operated the fabric mill (formerly the old shoe factory), now had a large presence on Black Hall Road. The US Census for 1920 indicates the following families:


Southwick, George B., Clergyman, 56

Flora W., 48

Ruth A., 14


Zinn, Ferdinand, 50

Mary, 45

Ferdinand, 23


Zinn, Robert 37

Agnes, 37

Erwin, 13

Walter, 12

Agnes, 10

Ellen, 8

Hedwig B., 7

Goldy, 3.7


MacKenzie, William J., 44

Flornece M., 37

Hazel, 17

Verne, 6


Ordway, George A., 44

J.E, wife, 44

Curtis W., 14

Bernice C., 10

Austin A., 6

Everett R., s.10


Burnham, William C. 47

Hattie A., 39

Doris E., 18


Towle, Benjamin M. 57

Annie L., 54

Cilley, Daniel T., 85


Rand, Karl F., 38

Helen G., 30

Dorothy T., 2.6


Zinn, Rudolf, 49

Bertha, 46

Arthur, 16


Yeaton, Minot, 41

Helen A., 40

Kenneth, 14

Annie B., mother, 78


Ordway, Albert A. 46

Angie, 38

Helen C., 17

Leon A., 15

Dean E.,  13

Lillian C., 8


Tallman, Wesley J.  52

Hattie M., 39

Howard W., 12

Lawrence C., 9

Eleanor M., 7

Russell E., 5

Carroll, son, 4

Ray. 2.9

Ruth, 1.2


Garfield, Israel, 72

Smith, Nettie A., 53

Sawyer, Edward P., 72


Yeaton, Frederick W., 54

Florence L., 40

Millard, 19

Frederick W., 14


Yeaton, Elizabeth, 58

James H., brother, 44


Yeaton, Samuel R., 62

Mabel, E., 55

George S.,  20

Maruice A., 15


Spurlin, Elbridge, 52

Annie, 55

Clifton L., 21


Spurlin, Lewis D., 59

Emerson, Alice, 47

Emerson, Nelson, boarder, 41


The population of the town in 1930 was 678 and climbed to 797 in 1940. It was during this time period that Benjamin M. Towle recorded his memories of the families living on Black Hall Road.



In October of 1936, Benjamin M. Towle (1862-1945) sat down with his sister, Hattie (Towle) Dudley (1867-1950), and dictated his memories of the homes and families of Black Hall Road. They were not extensive notes, rather a short sentence or two about each home. These notes were later updated by his son Carleton. Nicknamed 'Mard' he lived on Black Hall Road in the house now occupied by his grandson, Carleton Rand. He begins with how the road got its name:


Mr. Henry Sanborn is responsible for the statement that charcoal was burned on this road and hauled to market by the citizens who were called `black haulers'. Hence the road was called Black Hall (Haul) Road.


Henry F. Sanborn (1819-1897) lived on Sanborn Hill, son of Frederick and Lucy (Sargent) Sanborn. Since the road has been seen in an early 1806 deed as 'Black Hall Road' the 'black haulers' must have been marketing charcoal early on. To date, no reference has been found relating to the use or manufacture of charcoal.


The small bridge over the Little Suncook River was called the Prescott Bridge, though the name is seldom used today.



Prescott Bridge


The Prescott Bridge Tradition says that the bridge was so named because a man named Prescott drowned himself in the Little Suncook River, in the meadow below the bridge. It was formerly a rattle-trap wooden bridge, quite likely to be damaged by spring freshets annually and repaired by the efforts of citizens.


No information of a drowning appears in any records, though the property around the bridge was owned by Jeremiah Prescott who had a house located in the area. Col. Jeremiah Prescott died in Epsom in 1817 and the majority of his children removed to Vermont.  It is not known just exactly where the Prescott home was located, and from town records, it is known he also built a school. At a meeting held August 21, 1780 at the Epsom meetinghouse, there was an article 'to see if the town will note that the schoolhouse which was lately built at or near Capt. Prescott's in Epsom shall be at the general case and charfe of the town.' The article was defeated, and a later schoolhouse was built in the Cilley District, later known as Gossville.



Photo of the bridge after the 1936 flood.


Of his house he wrote:


House of Benjamin Marden Towle. I built this house fifty years ago. Construction was begun in the fall of 1886 and the house was finished in the winter and we moved into it as early as February. The land was bought from James Burnham, a corner of his field.

The house is on part of the old William Ham lot, and for a time the Ham home was owned by his father, Benjamin M. Towle, the second of that name. Here with his wife Annie Cilley, he raised his daughter Helen Gladys Towle, who later married Karl F. Rand. The house was owned for a short time by their son, Keith, before later being sold to his brother Carleton and his wife, Joyce LeDuc.




Photos: Top, Benjamin M. Towle on the porch of his Black Hall Road home. Above, the Benjamin M. Towle house. The extension to the barn no longer stands.


The Free will Baptist Parsonage stands at the junction of the turnpike and Black Hall Road on the west side of Black Hall Road. Present Minister Ralph E. Osborne. - (Benjamin M. Towle, 1936).




Clergymen for the Freewill Baptist Church often had to be boarded. The church bought a parcel of land on Black Hall Road across from the church. The land was owned sold to them by William P. Cilley. Thomas Tripp bought one of the buildings across from the parsonage on Route 4 belonging to Aaron Estabrook. The deed discribes it as 'the store part, being 30 feet in length by 27 feet in width, 2 storeid in height.' The structure was to be removed at the discretion of the free Baptist society committee of which Thomas Tripp was a part. The property with the building was transferred to the church in 1854, The parsonage was enlarged with left-over money from the building of the second meetinghouse in 1861. Rev. Quimby bought additional land in 1858 behind the sheds of the old meetinghouse. Part of this was later sold to New England Telephone in 1953. On April 27, 1933, fire destroyed the barn, and badly damaged the ell and main house. Insurance paid for repairs, with the barn being replaced with a garage. The parsonage was later sold into private hands in 1991, and later bought by the State and removed for the widening of Route 4. Some photos of the interior are available through the Library of Congress website.


Nathan J. Goss



The Nathan J. Goss house was across the Little Suncook River from the Epsom Shoe Factory building, which was established in 1881. The land on which both buildings stood belonged to William Goss. William died in 1887 and his eldest son John was the administrator of the estate. John sold the tract of land with buildings to his brother Nathan in 1887, a half acre on a lot called number 3. Nathan transferred the property into his wife's name in 1907, both Nathan and his wife, according to the deed, were of Portsmouth, NH.


Nathan Jonathan Goss married Ida May Leighton June 2, 1886 in Epsom. Ida was the daughter of Charles W. and Eliza Jane (Bickford) Leighton, and they had daughters Ethel M., who married William E. Davis; Maryetta Rebecca, who died young; and Nathan J. (Junior) who did not marry, and died in Los Angeles in 1938.


Nathan J. died in 1910, his wife Ida, died in Los Angeles in 1946. In 1942, while living in Los Angeles, she sold the family home to her daughter Ethel Goss Davis, who after 6 years, sold it to the young Gossville Textile Company. The fledging company sold out to Richard and Thelma Boyd in 1957. It was owned for a short time by Howard and Geraldine Saturley until purchased by Daniel J. Donahue and Charles M. Scripture. They held the property 20 years until bought in 1989 by Laurence W. Caraway, Jr.



At the time Benjamin M. Towle recorded his memories of Black Hall Road, the original shoe factory building had been gone 20 years, destroyed by fire in 1916. At that time is was the Zinn lace factory, and Zinn rebuilt his factory on the other side of the Little Suncook River.


The Epsom Shoe Factory Company was established May 2, 1881 on land of William Goss at the water power near Prescott Bridge, so called. It was built with capital stock at $25.00 per share, with William Goss being the majority share holder. The water power was leased though Joseph B. Cass, originally for a term of ten years, with the Shoe Factory Company agreeing to keep the dam in good repair. The company did not run its own business, instead leasing out the new building to Alvah H. Hill and S. E. Puffer, both of Lynn, Massachusetts. Hill and Puffer stocked the building with their equipment. By 1885, Hill and Puffer had become Puffer and Goss, and a search was on for new tennants, and it was Nathan Goss and the firm of Vinton and Jenkins. In 1887, its major stockholder, William Goss, died. A ledger book exists which gives the account from the day it chartered in 1892. By 1909, Charles Sumner Hall was in control, and sometime after 1892 utilized the building as a box shop. 1909 is the year in which Robert Zinn, with several members of his family, established their lace factory. It was lost to fire on October 5, 1916.


The Zinn's rebuilt across the river on the other side of the Nathan Goss home, and was part of the houses they later occupied on Black Hall Road.



Photos - Top, the mill pond and Epsom Shoe Factory.

Bottom, the Barmer Narrows Lace Factory of Robert Zinn, taken about 1924.


Silk Mill. This house and the next occupied by Robert Zinn as a dwelling were moved from the other side of the river where they formed one house known as the "Long House" on the Dickey place. This was on the present Route 28. It stood beyond the house built by Freeman Marden and was on the same side. (Benjamin M. Towle, 1936).



Photo above, on the left, the Nathan Goss house, the next two later belonged to the Zinn's, with the middle house later having the new lace factory attached, dating the photo before 1916. Note the stone wall along Black Hall Road.


The 1892 map of Epsom does not show any house past that of Freeman Marden's on what is now Route 28. The 1858 map does show a home belonging to R. and R. O. Dickey, with the Marden house likely not yet built. This is the Dickey homestead that was moved, (probably before 1892 as they appear on Black Hall Road, along with the Nathan Goss house on that map), to the northern end, east side, of Black Hall Road, just across the Prescott Bridge. The houses belonged to Robert and Hannah (Osgood) Dickey and their son, Robert O. Dickey.


It would appear that the Goss family moved the homes from Route 28 to Black Hall Road, as John A. Goss sells the house next to his brother Nathan, to Charles W. Royal of Epsom in 1889, land with the buildings thereon. It is Charles W. Royal who appears as the occupant on the map of 1892. Royal sells his house to George W. Peabody of Manchester, and his wife sells it to Ellen and Charles S. Hall. It is the halls who sell it to the Zinn Family. After the factory fire of 1916, the Zinn's add a new lace factory to this house, owning it until 1946 when it is bought by the Gossville Textile Company. By 1962 it is the home of the Pembroke Boats business, and is succeeded by Douglas Panels, a builder of flat roofed homes. In 1989 it is bought by Laurence W. Caraway and becomes the home for Kitchen Klean.


Jonathan Marden was living in the next house just south of the lace factory business at the time he bought it from John A. Goss in December of 1888. His family included his wife, Mary A. (Hopkinson) and children Truman R., Frank W., Delia T. and Mary F. Marden. They sold their home in 1896 and it went through several owners in rather rapid succession, with John E. and Sarah E. Chesley owning it in 1902. After about a dozen years they sold it to Clarence and Hannah Pennell of Allenstown. In 1916 it was bought by Robert Zinn who raised his family there until it was sold in 1946 to Fredonia Ritchie. The Gossville Textile Company owned it from 1948 to 1957, and in 1959 it was sold to Maurice E. Sherburne, who with his family occupied the house until sold in 1973.


On the west side, practically opposite the Zinn plant, are three houses owned by Blanche Lane, Henry Stevens and Ernest R. Marden. These three houses were built by Charles Sumner Hall. (Benjamin M. Towle, 1936).


Photo - The three houses built by Charles Sumner Hall, shown here on the left side of the road.


In deeds these houses are identified as No. 1 being the closest to the Suncook River, No. 2 the middle house, and No. 3 the house being the one on the south end. Charles Sumner Hall had the small homes built sometime just prior to his death as probate shows rents being collected for each for the years 1925 through 1927. As a part of the settlement of his estate, each was sold in 1928 by his nephew, George Hall.


House number one was sold to Blanche R. Lane who resided there until 1941 when she sold the home to Chloe M. Haynes. She was the daughter of Charles R. Burnham and the widow of George W. Atwood, her first husband, and George H. Haynes, her second spouse. After her death, her daughter, Evelyn Pettengill, sold the house to Charles S. and Katie (Rand) Bickford who lived in the home for nearly 15 years. It was sold to Louis and Sylvia Pero in 1970.


The center house of the three, number 2, was sold by the heirs of Charles Sumner Hall in 1928 to Henry L. and Doris (Burnham) Stevens. Doris Burnham was raised at the old Ham homestead on Black Hall Road. The Stevens moved to Goboro Road, selling the house to Charles S. and Katie R. Bickford. Their son Elmore sold the house in 1972 to Robert and Pearl Stevens of Deerfield. It was sold to Ralph and Dorothy Perkins of Manchester in 1985.


The third house was initially sold to Frank P. and Harriet R. Davis of Seabrook. His wife, Harriet Rosina Rand was a sister to Katie (Rand) Bickford, wife of Charles S. Bickford who owned the middle of the three homes. Frank Pierce Davis died in 1930 and his widow sold the house to Catherine K. Marden of Pittsfield. She was a daughter of George Clinton Knowles, and married in 1905, Ernest R. Marden, son of George W. and Esther J. Cox. Ernest was a barber and had a shop just inside the entrance in the room immediately to the left. Ernest died in 1948 and his widow sold the house to the Zinn family which in turn sold it to Howard Saturley and Robert Cutter. In 1962 it was sold to Zigmond and Lorraine Mozdzen who remained there until 1966.


On the east side next comes the house owned by the heirs of William McKenzie. This was owned and occupied by James M. Clark in my childhood. Jim Clark was somewhat of a character, rather famous for his dirt and shiftlessness. Always went barefoot and seldom washed his feet. He lost a part of his hand in a planer at William Tripp's mill and delighted in showing the stump to everyone. Said machinery was a "cuss to the country." The house was built or remodeled by Robinson, think it was Black Smith shop, moved there and fixed up and that my father and James Burnham did the work. Robinson moved to Pembroke. (Benjamin M. Towle, 1936).


Pictured - Verne MacKenzie at the Karl Rand home.


James M. Clark was the son of James M. and Mary J (Jenness) Clark. He was one of three sons, his brothers, John C. and Samuel J. lived with their parents on the old Abraham Wallace farm, located off what is now Colby Road. James M. Jr. married a Martha unknown and appears to have had two daughters, Annie and Carrie. Martha died in 1872 and James married second, Mary A. Randall, daughter of Jeremiah and Louisa (Twombly) of Barnstead. James and his first wife moved from the Wallace homestead down to Black Hall Road. No deed has been found to establish exactly when the land on Black Hall Road was purchased, not is there a marriage date known for his union with the unknown Martha. Census data gives the birth of a daughter about 1859, so it is assumed it was prior to that year. A hint comes from a day book of William Goss when James M. Clark, who worked frequently for Goss, purchased in 1855 timber and rented an ox and cart to haul rocks. In 1856 he bought shingles, and in 1857 more shingles, 48 feet of timber and clapboards, perhaps all of it to finish his house.


James M. Clark was a civil war veteran, and his service record is found in the Epsom GAR history book:


GAR Record Book

James M. Clark Jr. - 35

Born Feb. 12th 1827 at Epsom, NH

Entered service Sept. 5th 1864 at Epsom, NH

Private Co. A 18th Regt. NH Vols.

Discharged June 10th 1865, special order No. 22 War Dept. Washington, DC

First engagement - Siege of Petersburg, VA in 1865

Joined Geo H Hoyt Post 66 GAR June 21st 1883. Dropped June 30th 1892

Reinstated Mar 1st 1894


George H. Yeaton also mentions James M. Clark when researching the uncovering of some human remains in Epsom, and from his story comes this brief account:




About the year 1887 – George H. Yeaton (excerpt)

“A large two story house near where the human bones were found, was used at the time this man was probably killed, as a boarding house. This was when the Epsom Shoe Factory was operating, employing sixty or seventy hands, the shoe factory was just across the river from the boarding house and this person I interviewed said, that as a boy and young man, he worked at the shoe factory and could well remember one of the men, who boarded at the boarding house, across the river, coming into the shop one morning, looking as if he had been in a fight and saying, “There was a terrible fight over to the house last night.” Another person told me that a Mr. James Clark, who lived not far from the boarding house, came into the store in the village saying “They have killed a man at the boarding house, I found a man’s clothes hidden behind a large rock up in the wood just back of the boarding house.”


Deeds show the Clark house was mortgaged several times, and eventually sold to Clarence and Thomas Pennell in 1904 who sold it a couple months later to William MacKenzie. William's family was from Nova Scotia, and he married in Chichester in 1900, Florence May Dow, daughter of Samuel and Abbie M. (Little) Dow. They had two children, Hazel May (1902) and Verne (1913). William worked at what was later the Gossville store, and he died in 1934, with his wife Florence living until 1956. Daughter Hazel married George Whiting and lived in Tamworth. Verne inherited the property and lived there with his wife Renza Pingree until he died in 1970. Two years later the house was purchased by the town of Epsom and later demolished. Renza MacKenzie died in 1999.


There is no known photo of the Clark homestead.


The house occupied by William Burnham was formerly occupied and owned by "Squire" Ham. My father married Eliza Ham for his first wife and lived there with the Ham's. Deeds indicate that Squire Ham (William) first conveyed half the property to him and later the rest. My father lived there before moving up the hill to the Towle place. I think my father must have sold the place to James Burnham who lived and died there. (Benjamin M. Towle, 1936).


The Burnham house on Black Hall Road, Mrs. Will (Hattie Pike) Burnham is center with young grandson,  Henry L. Stevens.


William Ham was the grandson of Benson Ham, the first of the family to settle in Epsom. His parents were George Wallace Ham and Margaret Dickey. William Ham was born in Epsom in 1791, and was often referred to as 'Squire' Ham,. He married Nancy Hopkinson in Deerfield in 1818 and with her had children Eliza and George. Son George died suddenly at age 23. Daughter Eliza married May 1, 1850, Benjamin M. Towle.

William Ham, seen as William Ham Jr. in early records, was several times an Epsom Selectman, was a justice of the peace and superintendent of schools. He bought the old Abram Wallace homestead in 1833 and built a house on the westerly end of the lot on the easterly side of Black Hall Road. The westerly end, including the Abram Wallace house, was sold to James M. Clark.

Shortly after daughter Eliza married Benjamin M. Towle, William Ham deeded one half of his land and home to his new son-in-law, who was living in the household. At least two, if not all three, of the couples children were born in the Ham household, George Benjamin, who died in infancy; Harry Freeman, and Annie Eliza. When Benjamin's father died in 1857, the family moved to the Towle homestead, and the property returned in full to William Ham. The property was sold to James McCutcheon August 15, 1860, and the next day the Burnhams sold the property back to Benjamin Towle. It is assumed that there was some arrangement for the Burnhams to reside their, eventually gaining ownership in 1868. By this time Eliza Towle had died leaving two young children, and Benjamin M. Towle married as his second wife, Harriet Edgerly.

James McCutcheon Burnham was the son of Jeremiah Gorden Burnham and his wife Sarah Worth. He married mary Jane Wells, daughter of Theophilus Wells and Lucy M. Critchett. They raised a large family in their Black Hall Road home, ten in all. Of the children, it was son William Clarence Burnham who inherited the homestead, obtaining ownership by deed in 1896. A piece of land on the south side of the Burnham home on Black Hall Road was sold by James M. Burnham to Benjamin M. Towle August 27, 1886, on which Benjamin Towle (the third of Benjamin M. Towles) built his home.

William C. Burnham was born in Epsom September 19, 1872 and married in 1894, Hattie A. Pike, daughter of George A. and Augusta A. (Bowen) Pike. They had three children, Maude Augusta who married Robert M. Brown; a stillborn daughter; and Doris Emma, who married Henry L. Stevens. William C. Burnham died in 1941, and his widow Hattie sold the farm to Fred and Dorris Ward in 1954. A small house lot, north of the Burnham house and on Black Hall Road was sold to  John R. Brown in 1947.

Sylvester Dana Edgerly  1820-1887.


No deed has been found to date of how George W. Swain acquired the property, or from whom. [note: as of this writing, the Merrimack County registry of deeds has several books out for scanning and not in their online data] The property would appear to include the area where currently John Brown resides. A James M. Clark deed of September 1865 shows his property borders land of George W. Swain, running easterly 24 rods, thus confirming Swain's ownership.  At the time, 1865, the Burnham's may have been living on the land owned by Benjamin M. Towle that included the old William Ham homestead.


Sylvester Edgerly would have been familiar with the property as his sister, Harriet, married Benjamin M. Towle who was the adjoining land owner. No deed has been found as to how Edgerly disposed of the property, nor what type of dwelling it included, but it would appear to have been acquired by the Burnhams.



Wallace Cemetery on the old Abraham Wallace homestead


On the hill east of Black Hall Road were three farms, the Wallace place, afterwards the Clark place, was occupied by Abram Wallace, who is buried in the old cemetery in the field. My father bought the place from the Clarks and sold the house, which was moved to Gossville. (Benjamin M. Towle, 1936).

Abraham Wallace was the son of Samuel and Phebe Wallace, and was born about 1744, most likely in Greenland. He built on land that his father had purchased in Epsom, namely lot 93 in the third range, which he bought from the original proprietor, Foster Trefethen. It was one of the first homes off Black Hall Road, as the family was here early enough that Abraham married in Epsom, Hepzibah Blake, daughter of Samuel and Sara (Libbey) Blake on December 2, 1764. Most of their children's births are listed in the old town books, and are as follows: Samuel (listed in church records, baptized Dec. 8, 1765); Abraham, born 1767; Ruth, born 1769; Phebe, born 1771; Mehitable, born 1773; Sarah, born 1775; Hannah, born 1777, died 1790; James, born 1779; Hepzibah, born 1781; Rachel Blake, born 1783; Anna, born 1785; Rhoda, born 1788. When Abraham died in 1817, he was buried next to his wife and two daughters in a small cemetery near their dwelling. In his will, he left daughters Ruth and Phebe half of his real estate, with the other half left to his son in law, James Marden, who had married his daughter Rachel Blake Wallace in 1802.


James Marden sold his share to Thomas D. Merrill in 1824, and this one undivided half was sold my Merrill to Jonathan Yeaton the same day. The property was described as having a house, barn, porch, hogs pen, joiner's shop, shed and cider mill, some 70 acres. Within a year, Yeaton sold it to Josiah Brown, who after about three years sold it back to Thomas D. Merrill. In 1833, Merrill sold 36 acres, including a coopers shop, to William Ham. What exactly the situation with the house and property is unclear, but in 1844, William Ham sold to James M. Clark, 'one undivided half of the dwelling house and barn now standing on the farm formerly owned by Abraham Wallace'. It also contained the privilege of the door yard and barn yard. Meanwhile, it appears the two daughters of Abraham Wallace, throughout the earlier transactions, still owned there share, and Ruth Wallace, spinster sold her share to Joseph Jenness of Chichester, who had married her sister Phebe. A couple weeks later, Joseph sold that undivided half of the Wallace farm to James M. Clark, reuniting the property as a whole.


James M. Clark was the son of James Clark and his first wife Anna Cochran. He married Mary J. Jenness in Chichester in 1823 and they had three sons, John C., James M. and Samuel J. The lived on the homestead until 1865 when sons James M. and Samuel J. sold the homestead where they were residing to Benjamin M. Towle who owned the adjoining property. According to Benjamin M. Towle's notes on Goboro Road, he adds: "The large two family house opposite was originally the Clark house on the farm bought by my father. William Goss bought the Clark house and moved it to Gossville. It was first used as a carriage and paint shop. Later it was made into a dwelling house. Jonathan Marden once owned it and built on the ell. The blacksmith has usually lived there. The blacksmith shop formerly stood near where the Public Library now stands. It was moved to its present position by William Goss".


There remains only a barn cellar hole and the family cemetery plot.


My grandfather Benjamin Marden Towle built the Towle house, now owned by the heirs of Herbert Colby. The original Towle house was in the field east of the present house, on the side of the field toward land now owned by Eugene Philbrick. Only the cellar hole and the well remain. Simeon Towle and his wife Elizabeth (Marden) Towle came here from Rye. He was my great-grandfather. His parents, Jonathan Towle and Elizabeth (Jenness) Towle died there. (Benjamin M. Towle, 1936).


The Benjamin M. Towle House off Black Hall Road on Colby Road

The Simeon Towle house was replaced by son Benjamin with a house circa 1820, later known as the Towle homestead, and more recently, the Colby House. Simeon Towle bought this parcel of land from Amos Morrill in 1789, already being of Epsom. His obituary mentions he served in the French War as well as the American Revolution. He married on August 2, 1779, Elizabeth Marden, daughter of Benjamin Marden and Rachel Dowst, all of Rye. Their children included Rachel Dowst Towle, Betsey Towle, Parna T. Towle, Benjamin Marden Towle and Simeon Towle. The children were raised in the original Simeon Towle home, which already had a previous history.

The lot had several owners and was original lot No. 15 and lot No. 92. In 1770 Andrew McClary sold the lots to Jethro Blake of Epsom, who previously resided on Center Hill, on the home lots. He built and lived on the lot, selling it with house, barn and orchards to Amos Morrill in 1786. Morrill sold part of the lot to Abraham Wallace, the remainder, with buildings and orchard to Simeon Towle.

In 1816, deeds were written transferring the homestead from Simeon to his son Benjamin  M. Towle. Benjamin built a new house about 1820 which passed to his son, Benjamin M. Towle (2nd) which then passed to his son Harry F. Towle, which he later sold back to his mother, Harriet E. Towle the next year. After the death of her husband, Harriet deeded the property to her son Benjamin M. Towle (3rd) in 1896, he having built his own house on a lot on Black Hall Road between the old Ham/Burnham homestead and Colby Road. Members of the Towle family continued to use the house, not always on a full time basis, and it was sold to Bess Anderson Colby in 1921. Bess had married Herbert W. Colby as his second wife, his first wife being Annie Eliza Towle, daughter of Benjamin M. Towle (2nd) and his first wife, Eliza Ham.


Charles W. Leighton (1841-1926)


The farm now owned by Eugene Philbrick was owned by Solomon Marden, brother of Elizabeth (Marden) Towle. Later is was the Brown farm. A family named Urann lived there. In my childhood, Daniel Philbrick owned and occupied it. Charles Leighton and Jane (Bickford) Leighton, his wife, also lived there.

Charles Leighton sold the place to James Eugene Philbrick. (Benjamin M. Towle, 1936).



The original right of John Youren, lot 91, was drawn Nov. 6, 1732 and stayed in the family pretty much until 1779 when it was sold to Jethro Blake. Blake lived on the adjoining lot 92, and sold both, with lot 81 being sold to back back to George Urin (Youren) who had acquired the rights as early as 1771 from the family. George Urin sells the property with buildings and 'orcharding' where he was currently living, thus being the first person to live on the lot. He left in 1801 when Elijah Locke lived on the lot, but he was there a short time when he sold it to John Brown of Rye.

John Brown was the son of Jonathan Brown and Mary Garland, who had eight known children, Elizabeth, Joseph, John, Jonathan, Mary and Abigail. Daughter Elizabeth married Elijah Locke, who previously owned lot 91. Jonathan Brown, who married Mary Garland, was the son of Joseph Brown and Elizabeth Moulton. In addition to Jonathan, their son Joseph married Abigail Goss, and became the well known Brown family that settled and populated New Rye.

John Brown was born November 12, 1759 and married in Rye on February 4, 1779 Sarah (aka Salome) Allen, daughter of Jude and Elizabeth (Locke) Allen. This family has been misplaced in many histories and genealogies, but by various deeds, it is known they came to Epsom in 1804. The family raised their family in Rye, a large family of 12 children: John, Jonathan, Joseph, Elizabeth, Jeremiah, James, Benjamin, Sarah, William, Josiah, Abigail and Mary. Several children resided in Epsom, including Sarah who married in 1840 Alphonse Burnham; and William, who married in 1821, Lucretia Billings Gray, daughter of James and Susanna (Parsons) Gray. John Brown died in 1818 and is buried with his wife in the McClary Cemetery. His son Joseph owned the property when he sold it in 1834 to Daniel C. Bickford.

Daniel C. Bickford was one of 7 children born to Thomas Bickford and his wife Olive Haynes, part of the Bickford line that were early settlers of the town. The names of the children of the family are well known in Epsom history: John who married Eliza Lane; Samuel Weeks Bickford who married Lucy Learned; Nathan, who married Eliza W. Dickey; Olive W. who married Simeon Philbrick and lived in Allenstown; Daniel C. who married Jane Staples; Mehitable who was unmarried; and Dearborn, of which nothing more is known.

No marriage record has been found indicating when Daniel C. married Jane Staples, nor is anything known of her parents, though she was born in Elliot, Maine. They had three children, Thomas Edward, born in Epsom May 6, 1835 and married in Chichester, January 1, 1860, Mary Jane Yeaton, daughter of Solomon and Mary A. (Hilliard) Yeaton; Georgie Ann Bickford, who married in 1860, Sylvester Quimby; and Eliza Jane Bickford who married in 1862, Charles W. Leighton.

Daniel C. Bickford died in 1877, and he deeded half homestead to his son Thomas E. in 1861, 'for and during the natural life of the said Daniel C. Bickford and the natural life of Jane Bickford' including 'one half of the barn and the out buildings with two rooms in the easterly end of the dwelling house with a privilege in the cellar, chamber and diary'. Thomas Edward Bickford entered the War of the Rebellion as was killed at Alexandria, Virginia in 1864. His mother, Jane, lived until 1889, mostly at the homestead. The widow of Thomas E. married twice more, first to a William H. Brooks, and secondly to Albert S. Willey. Albert and Mary J., sold her half of the homestead to Charles W. Leighton and her sister-in-law, his wife Eliza in 1889. The current Leighton Brook is named for Charles W., which in earlier times had gone by Wallace Brook. After a dozen years Leighton, a Civil War Veteran and town office holder, moved down to Route 4 and sold the property to James Eugene Philbrick.

Know primarily as Gene or Eugene Phibrick, he used the home in its later years to store apples, which eventually led to the building collapsing, the property foreclosed upon, and sold to Karl F. Rand in 1938.


The Cape Cod cottage on Black Hall Road next to Benjamin Towle's building, was built in 1938 by Mr. and Mrs. Clifford Osborne. The land was deeded to them by Mr. Towle, Mrs. Dorothy (Towle Rand) being his granddaughter. (Carleton T. Rand, 1945).



Benjamin M. Towle deeded a lot to his granddaughter, Dorothy (Rand) Osborne in 1936, on which they built their first home. Dorothy married in 1935 Clifford M. Osborne, son of James B. and Edith (Clease) Osborne. Their children, Douglas, Gail, Claire and Deane. They removed to Concord about 1955, selling the home of Robert and Janice Foss. Upon retirement, the Osbornes moved back to Epsom in a new home built across the street.



The house now occupied by Karl Fowler Rand was bought by Simeon Towle, brother to Benjamin Marden Towle, my grandfather, from a man named Dyer. Simeon Towle and Hannah (Yeaton) Towle raised a large family there, and Charles William Towle and Emeline Towle, son and daughter of Simeon and Hannah, lived there after them. Charles married after his sister's death, later becoming despondent over his financial affairs, he committed suicide by hanging in the barn.

The heir's rights were sold at auction, subject to the widow's dower rights and I bought them. Later I bought out the widow. The house was originally Cape Cod cottage type, and Charles built a two-story ell. Back of the front hall was a closet with a door which fitted miserably into the wooden partition. The upper part of the main house was unfinished and was the loom room. (Benjamin M. Towle, 1936).



The Karl Rand Farm

The Karl Rand farm was part of the combined lots 92 and 15. The original right for the property was drawn by Nathaniel Huggins, with lot 15 being belonging to Joshua Berry in 1757 when he sold it to William Blazo. Blazo did not settle on the lot, but held it for only a few days before selling it to Abraham Libbey, who had previously bought lot 92 from William and Nathaniel Huggins. Ten years later it was sold to speculators Josiah and Tryphena Sanborn. Now owners of both lots, they sold them to Andrew McClary, who in turn, sold them to Jethro Blake who owned an adjoining lot. Amos Morrill acquired the land and sold a part of the 30 acre lot, part of lot 92 and part of lot 93 to the tailor, William Sanborn. This same property was sold to Joseph Lawrence in 1799 by Sanborn and he sold it in 1815 to his brother Edward Lawrence.

Edward Lawrence (1745-1829) built on the property, as when he sold it to John Dyer of Epsom it included buildings. Dyer apparently did not reside in the home, owning it for only a few months before is was sold to Simeon Towle Jr., of Epsom 'land I purchased of Edward Lawrence of Epping with all the buildings standing thereon, containing 100 acres more or less'.

Simeon Towle was a son of Simeon M. and Elizabeth (Marden) Towle, and a brother to Benjamin M. Towle. The elder Towle lived in the pasture above Colby Road on the east side of Black Hall Road, where he was followed by his son Benjamin M. Towle. The younger Simeon married in 1824, Hannah Yeaton, daughter of William and Hannah (Towle) Yeaton. William's wife Hannah Towle was a sister to the elder Simeon Towle. Simeon Towle Jr. and his wife Hannah had the following children: Charles Augustus, who died young; Olive S. Towle who died young; Lucy Maria who married Joseph Pickard; Alvira A. who married Charles Woodbury Pickard; Emeline Y., who did not marry; Garden S. who married Susan Robertson; and Charles W. who married Rebecca G. Towne.

Charles William Towle inherited his father's Black Hall Road home. He was born in1840, did not marry until 1892, Rebecca G. Towne. There were no children, and the estate was sold shortly after his death in 1899 to Benjamin M. Towle (3rd). Benjamin's only daughter, Helen G. Towle, married in 1887, Karl Fowler Rand, son of Walter S. and Mary Josie (Fowler) Rand. Karl and Helen lived on the homestead farm and there raised three children, Dorothy, Keith and Carleton. The estate passed to their daughter Dorothy (Rand) Osborne and remains in that family.


On the east side of Black Hall Road stands the house occupied by James Osborne. This house was built by my grandfather Benjamin Marden Towle for his sister Perna or Parna Towle. She deeded it back to him.

Benjamin Towle, my father, sold the place to Daniel Ayers, it went into possession of Warren Yeaton, probably by mortgage. Addison Davis once lived there, also a family named Pinney. Mrs. James Fisk bought it of the Yeaton heirs and gave it to Kidder Fisk who lived there for a while and sold it to Rudolf Zinn. Zinn remodeled the house and sold it to Osborne. (Benjamin M. Towle, 1936).


The Perna (Parna) Towle house on Black Hall Road, later home of Gene and Shirley Parker.


Benjamin M. Towle (1st) built a house for his spinster sister Parna Towle and deeded her the property in 1839. Four years later it as sold back to him. He finally sold it to Hazen Saltmarsh of Hooksett who sold it to Joseph W. Burnham in 1856, and it is he who is shown there on the 1858 map. Burnham was the son of Jeremiah G. and Sarah (Worth) Burnham, whose brother buys the William Ham homestead. Joseph married in 1857 Martha J. Worth, daughter of John and Mary (Mann) Worth. In 1865 the Burnhams sold their home to Daniel C. Ayer, with the Towle's selling them an additional 5 acres. Daniel C. Ayer hailed from Deerfield and married Ellen A. Yeaton, daughter of Warren and Catherine (Yeaton) Yeaton. The Ayer's moved down to Route 4 and sold the home of Addison S. Davis in 1873. The Davis family also moved to Route 4 near the Free Will Baptist Church about 1882 and sold the house to Hiram A. Holmes, who may have used the home as rental property. By deed it shows that the home was occupied by Frank Pinney before being sold to Kidder C. Fisk of Epsom. Fisk lived in the home for about a decade when it was sold to Rudolf Zinn of Epsom, and after another decade, was sold to Aaron Osborne. Aaron sold the house to his brother James B. Osborne in 1939 who kept the property to 1945.


James Barry Osborne married in Canada, 1910, Edith Lilliam Clease and with the family moved to Epsom. their children included, Wilfred; Graham; Clifford, who married Dorothy Rand; Ethen M., who married Fred Yeaton; and Olive.


Over the next decade the house had several owners, including Llewellyn Cushing, Gerald Pickard, James Martel, Lloyd Hill, and in 1957, purchased by Eugene and Shirley Parker.


The Cape Cod cottage on Black Hall Road opposite the Osborne's was built by Paul Brusquini. The land was deeded by the late Benjamin M. Towle. (Carleton T. Rand, 1945).


Harvey Jackson home on Black Hall Road



Benjamin M. Towle (3rd) bought the Charles W. Towle estate in 1900, with the majority of the property being sold to Karl F. Rand, with the exception of one small lot of about three acres. This small piece of property was sold in 1940 to Paul Brusquini, who built a small cape home on the lot. In 1947 they left Epsom and sold the home to Harvey and Fern Jackson of Nahant, Massachusetts. Harvey Jackson sold the home to the Townsend's of Allenstown, and it was later foreclosed upon. The next owners were Carroll and Bonnie Warren who bought the home in 1990.


The house formerly used as the Epsom Poor House stands on the west side of the road. It is now owned by Minot Yeaton and has of late years been rented. As far back as I can remember James Yeaton lived in this house and his first wife died there. James Yeaton sold the farm to his brother Daniel, father of Minot. Both James and Daniel were sons of "Uncle" Jack Yeaton

It is said that this house was built by a Towle and James B. Towle was buried in a family graveyard next to the small yard where the town poor were buried. (note: Joseph Towle buried in Poor Farm cemetery) The place was known previous to its use as a poor house as the Esq. Hersey place. It was bought soon after 1848 and was used as a poor farm until about 1865 (Benjamin M. Towle, 1936).


The Daniel T. Yeaton homestead, later home of Robert E. Cutter.


The early transactions for lot 89 are missing in the public record, though it is known it was drawn by William Perkins and John Berry. Lot 88 was drawn by William Bucknell, Thomas Berry and Isaac Foss. Foss right away sold his portion to Thomas Berry. By 1754, Thomas Bickford of Epsom owns the lot, including 32 acres out of lot 88, and sold it Samuel Wallace of Barrington. A house was built on lot 88, occupied for a time by Benjamin Blake, and the property was sold by brother Dearborn to Benjamin Shepard. It was owned by 1772 by Joseph Cilley, and sold to Weymouth Wallace in 1777. His wife was Martha Wallace, and she was a sister to Abraham, Nathaniel and Joseph Wallace, all children of Samuel and Phebe (Libbey) Wallace. All four children resided on or just off Black Hall Road. Weymouth Wallace resided on lot 88 and sold lot 89 to  Joseph Towle Jr., who had married Sarah Wallace, daughter of Abraham Wallace. The Towles, Joseph and his father Jonathan, who for a time was half owner of the property, built a large house on the lot, and records show that Joseph operated a tavern there from 1803 through at least 1813.


Joseph Towle died in 1828 and is buried in the Poor Farm cemetery, not far from the house. The homestead passed to his daughters Hannah, Susan G., and in particular Sally, who married James Hersey. Hersey sold the homestead to Silas Green in 1846, who in turn sold it to Elihu Scott in 1847. The Epsom town report for the years 1848-1850, show the purchase of the farm from Scott for $1900.00 for use as the town Poor Farm. It was filled with $220 worth of live stock; $64.82 for furniture; $47.07 worth of farming tools and $175.31 worth of provisions and produce. It would appear the farm was managed by W. S. Prescott. By its second year, 31 paupers were in residence full time, with another 13 boarding part of the year. The town operated the poor farm until about 1865, and it was sold to James Yeaton. James Yeaton sold the farm to Daniel T. Yeaton in 1872, and it was known quite some time as the Daniel Towle Yeaton homestead.


Daniel T. Yeaton married Margaret Ann Chesley in 1867, and she died with an infant child in 1870. Daniel married second, Ann Bray Rowell in 1872, and they had three children: Alfred Daniel who married Evelyn Winkley:, Minot Rowell who married Helen G. Green; and Alice Bertha, who married Harry Silver. In 1903 Daniel deeded one undivided half of the property to his son Minot, who owned the property until selling 'our homestead, the same premises that James Yeaton deed Oct. 25, 1872 to Daniel Yeaton' to Robert E. Cutter. Robert Cutter died in 2005 and was buried in the Poor Farm cemetery.


Albert G. Ordway lives in the very old house where Solomon Yeaton formerly lived. After the death of Mrs. Solomon Yeaton, the place was sold to Ordway. This is probably a very early Yeaton homestead. (Benjamin M. Towle, 1936).


The Solomon Yeaton, later Ordway House

Shortly after Jonathan Towle bought the homestead farm of Weymouth Wallace, he sold a lot of land across the street on the east side of Black Hall Road to William Yeaton of Rye who had married his daughter Hannah in 1780. William and Hannah raised a family of nine children, of which the majority settled with their families along Black Hall Road on land accumulated by their father William. William built a second house just past the current Epsom Central School.

Eldest son John settled on the old Nathaniel Wallace homestead on what is now Yeaton Lane. Son Joseph lived in a small cape on the east side of the road near Short Falls. Son William moved to North Road. Little is known of son Jonathan and his family as he died, married at age 20. Son Samuel T. Yeaton lived at the old Pete Yeaton farm on the west side of the road. Daughter Sally married Jonathan Goss, and were parents of William Goss of Gossville. Daughter Hannah married Simeon Towle and lived at the Karl Rand homestead. Hopley lived at a home no longer standing near the old Yeaton cemetery not far past the current Epsom Central School. The youngest son Levi T. lived on lot 84. All of the sons or their heirs are mentioned in the will of their father William, most of them receiving homes and land, with the exception of John, who had earlier purchased his own homestead. John, being the eldest son was the executor of his father's will.

John Yeaton married in 1803, Rebecca Bickford, a daughter of Samuel and Abigail (Cook) Bickford, and had four known children, John, Samuel P., William and Daniel. His wife died in 1811, and he married as his second spouse, Betsey Towle, daughter of Simeon M. and Elizabeth (Marden) Towle. This union included three children, Solomon M., Sallie T. and Warren. Upon the death of Betsey, John Yeaton married third, Elizabeth W. Ham, the widow of his brother William. 

Solomon M. Yeaton inherited the original family homestead with 10 acres from his father John, who inherited the farm from his father William. This is where Solomon raised his family, and the homestead stayed in the family, with the rights of the homestead deeded to his wife Mary (Hilliard) by her children in 1886, and she sold the homestead to in 1897 to Albert A. Ordway after over a century of being in the Yeaton family.

Albert Alanson Ordway had roots in Epsom through his mother, Nancy Carleton who married George Ordway. Her parents, George R. and Nancy (Tripp) Ordway were Epsom residents. Her sister, Mary A., married Alanson Stewart, and their daughter Mabel Evelyn married Samuel R. Yeaton, parents of Russell S. Yeaton who later owned a large farm on Route 28, on the Suncook Valley Highway. Albert A. Ordway married Angie Crooker and raised a family five surviving children, with 4 children not surviving infancy. The house remained in the family until 1945 when it was sold to Bob Cutter.


On the same side (East) is a rather more recent house built by Israel Garfield and now occupied by Wilfred Osborne. Israel sold the house to a family by the name of Tolman which contained at least six children. Tolman lived there for a while then sold the house to James B. Osborne. Wilfred Osborne, son of James Osborne, lives there now. (Benjamin M. Towle, 1936).


Israel Garfield house on Black Hall Road


Israel Garfield hailed from Massachusetts where he resided the early part of his life before buying a small tract of land from Benjamin Bickford in 1898. The land was across the street from the Bickford homestead on the east side of Black Hall Road. Garfield's Epsom connection was through his Sarah A. Sawyer, daughter of John and Lydia P. (Bickford) Sawyer.


Lydia P. Bickford was the daughter of Samuel and Sally (Pervear) Bickford, and was born about 1811, based on her age when she died in 1884. Lydia had a brother Edward M. Sawyer who never married, but resided in Epsom, boarding for a time at the Fred Yeaton farm, and with his sister. He died in Epsom in 1936 and is buried in the McClary Cemetery.


Israel's wife Sarah died in 1913 in Franklin, Massachusetts, and he married second Mary F. Farnum of Pembroke. He also purchased the Benjamin Bickford homestead, with terms allowing the aging Bickford to continue dwell in the house during his natural live. The heirs of Israel Garfield sold the property to Charles Sumner Hall, who turned it over in 1910 to the Wesley J. Tallman family who lived in the home until 1928.


Tallman married in 1903, Hattie M. Brown of Gilmanton, daughter of Charles Jonathan and Lenora (Jones) Brown. Hattie's sister, Ada, married in 1909, George H. Yeaton, who were the parents of Ester, Johnny B. and Marjorie Yeaton. A third sister, Clara E., married George E. Warren, and also resided in Epsom. Originally from New York State, the family moved back to New York in 1928.


The Tallman's had a large family, including son Lester P.,, Howard W., Lawrence C., Russell, E., Carroll J., and Ray C.. For daughters, Eleanor M. and Ruth L.. The family has a plot in the McClary Cemetery.


The Tallman's sold the home to James B. Osborne and was used by the Osborne family until sold to Bob Cutter in 1947. He may have used it as a rental property until sold in 1965 to Spencer Hood. His widow sold the home in 1995.


On the west side next comes the Ben Bickford house. I can remember four generations there, Old Ben, Young Ben, Joe and Joe's son who was born there. I have heard that this was an old tavern. (Benjamin M. Towle, 1936).



Benjamin Bickford Homestead


In a deed from Benjamin Shepard to Joseph Cilley, it states that the house on this lot is on the 'same land that Benjamin Blake did formerly live on.' Though the deed gives that information, the sale to Shepard was from Benjamin Blake's brother, Dearborn Blake. Dearborn sold the property in 1768, and John Mark Moses in his history of the early settlers of Epsom, places Benjamin in Epsom 1762 to 1765, at which time he moved to Wolfeboro. There are no deeds showing when the Blake's originally purchased the property. Additional brothers, John, Samuel and Thomas, also lived in Epsom for period's of time, with Samuel the only sibling to permanently settle in town.


Shepard ran a mill on the property and it property was sold by Ciley to Weymouth Wallace, already of Epsom. William Weymouth Wallace married in 1772, Martha Wallace, daughter of Samuel and Phebe (Libbey) Wallace. Three of her brothers, namely Joseph, Abraham and Nathaniel, all settled on Black Hall Road, the family at the time being the largest land owners in the area. With the exception of Abraham, all the other members of the family left Epsom by 1820. Weymouth Wallace sold his property to Jonathan Towle in 1781. Jonathan and his son Joseph (who married a daughter of Abraham Wallace) likely built what was later the town poor farm, and used it as a tavern. There is no indication that the original Blake house served that purpose. Joseph Towle sold the former Blake property to his son in law, Samuel Goss Junior, blacksmith. He died suddenly in 1834, and the property was acquired by his widow, Susan A. (Towle), who sold the homestead to Albon Perkins. After just a couple years, it was sold to David Marden, who sold it in 1844 to Benjamin Bickford.


Benjamin Bickford was a son of Samuel and Sally (Pervear) Bickford and was born and raised in Epsom. He married Sarah L. Eastman of Concord in 1819, and of their four children, two sons reached manhood, Benjamin and Samuel. Son Benjamin was born in 1819, and married Emily J. Gray in 1847, and inherited the homestead on the death of his father in 1880. Benjamin and Emily had two surviving sons, Joseph F. and Edgar H., plus a son Lewis who died about age 7, and an unnamed male.


Son Edgar moved to the west coast, and son Joseph lived with his parents in the homestead. Benjamin Bickford, a civil war veteran, outlived his son Joseph and wife, passing away in 1916. He sold the house to Israel Garfield, with the provision that he could remain in the house and keep a small garden. The heirs of Israel Garfield sol the house to Samuel W. Bickford in 1938, and upon his death, his son Jackson Rockwell Bickford lived in the house, raising his family there until 1946.


On the west side, up a lane, is the house occupied by Fred Yeaton. This is the "Uncle Jack" Yeaton place where he lived in very earliest days and where his son Will lived. Fred is Uncle Jack's grandson.(Benjamin M. Towle, 1936).


No old pictures are known to exist of the Yeaton homestead.


John Mark Moses states that John Yeaton settled 'next north of his father' which would be what was part of the original Joseph Wallace homestead. Wallace sold the property with his home, to Elijah Locke Jr., who sold it in 1814 to John Yeaton. John (1781-1861) likely built his house on the western side of Black Hall Road, and his son built his home across the street on Yeaton Lane, who at the time by deed was known as John Yeaton 3rd (1804-1881). It is assumed he built about the time of his firs marriage in 1828.


William deeded lands to many of with son John receiving the rest of the estate and was named executor. John Yeaton died in 1861 and the homestead was sold by his heirs. John the third married in 1828, Sarah Bickford, daughter of Samuel and Sally (Pervear) Bickford. As in the case of his father before him, his first wife died leaving six children, namely: William, who married Caroline A. Tripp and died in the Civil War; James A., who married Annie R. Crockett and settled on New Orchard Road; Sarah who married James L. Bartlett; Daniel T. who married twice and bought the old town poor farm; Vienna R. who married Elbridge G. Batchelder; and Betsey who married Thomas B. Robinson. John married after the death of his second wife, her sister, Caroline Bickford, widow of Samuel C. Cilley. From this marriage were two more children, Estella A. and Frederick W. Yeaton. John Yeaton lived until 1881, leaving the homestead to his youngest son, Fred, who married in 1898, Florence L. Fowler. Their children, Nathan, Matthew F., Millard J. and Frederick W., who inherited the homestead.


Just beyond the Ben Bickford house is a cellar hole where "Bill Brooks" lived. I remember going there with father when a child died. It was taken down and moved. The ell stands at Gossville. It was moved out there and Billy Bennett lived in it. This was probably a Yeaton house. (Benjamin M. Towle, 1936). Note: From History of Goboro Road, Billy Bennett bought the ell of the “Red House” on Black Hall Road and moved it out to Gossville.


Thomas Dearborn Bickford (1862-1878)


The original proprietor of lot 87 was Richard Neal, which was sold for unpaid taxes February 7, 1781 to John Casey, and sold by him to Joseph Wallace on May 4th. Wallace built a house and settled on the lot with a family of at least 4 boys and three girls, according to the 1790 census. The children have never been identified, and the family left Epsom about 1804. He sold 25 acres of the lot to Thomas Bickford, and sold the house with 54 aces to Elijah Locke Junior. Joseph was a son of Samuel and Phebe (Libbey) Wallace, and joined his brothers Abraham and Nathaniel, and his sister, Martha, wife of Weymouth Wallace, on Black Hall Road.


Elijah Locke Junior was the son of Elijah and Elizabeth (Brown) Locke and was born in Rye in 1781. His father moved to Epsom in 1800, and then to Chichester. Elijah Junior married Hannah Sanders in 1802 and had 6 known children, probably all born in Epsom. The family moved to Alexandria about 1814, selling the homestead to Jonathan Yeaton of Epsom.


Jonathan Yeaton was one of many sons of William and Hannah (Towle) Yeaton who settled on Black Hall Road. He married Hannah Towle, daughter of Joseph and Sarah (Wallace) Towle about 1805 and had up to six children. Little is known of the family, as Jonathan died in 1828, his wife in 1839. His father William administered the estate according to a newspaper notice, and the guardianship of the minor children was awarded to the care of James Hersey (Haseltine, Charles, Mary, Susannah G., Jonathan, and James Wm. Yeaton) who had married a sister of Jonathan's wife. The property was sold by Jonathan to brother John in 1824, at which time it would appear John built a new home, and later sold part of the property to his son John Yeaton the 3rd, who built his house on Yeaton Lane.


The property was sold, unlike most of the families' Black Hall Road properties. The heirs of John Yeaton (John, Samuel, Solomon, Warren, Caroline B., Fanny, Mary A, Catherine A. and Sally (Yeaton) Lane, wife of Anthony Lane of Chichester), sold the property to Benjamin A. Noyes of Pembroke in 1867, who sells 'the homestead farm formerly owned by John Yeaton' to the partnership of John Tennant of Allenstown and Addison N. Osgood of Pembroke, including buildings. John Tennant died leaving his partner the lot, land and buildings by 1874. The interest in the lot seemed to exclude the dwelling house, which may have been rented. The US Census of 1850 show a John Hopkinson family living near that of John Yeaton the 3rd – in 1860 it does not seem to appear – in 1870 it was occupied by William Brooks who married Mary J. (Yeaton) Bickford, widow of Thomas E. Bickford, she the daughter of Solomon Yeaton. It was apparently here that Thomas Dearborn Bickford, son of Thomas E. and Mary, died March 25, 1878 at about age 16. The house was still on the lot when Addison N. Osgood sold it to George P. Little in 1888. By the publishing of the 1892 map of Epsom, the house is no longer standing, and when sold by George P. Little to Daniel Yeaton in 1890 (deed recorded 1900), there is no mention of any buildings. According to Benjamin M. Towle, it was dismantled with the ell of the house being moved to Gosville. Known as the 'red house', as it appears to have been made of brick. The property remained an empty lot until sold by Robert Cutter to the Epsom School District, where the current Epsom Central School is located.


On the West side of Black Hall Road between the Ben Bickford place and the Jim C. Yeaton place, was the Hopely Yeaton place, In my early days Samuel Tom Bickford lived there. While the Rail Road was being built, horses used on the work were kept in the barn of this place and the barn took fire and was burned with all the horses.

This house was sold and torn down. William Goss bought it intending to use the timbers for a house nearer Gossville, but found it so poor he did not use it. (Benjamin M. Towle, 1936).


The Yeaton Burying Ground on Black Hall Road


Lot 86 was bought in1800 from the descendants of Charles Treadwell, the original proprietor. Deeds show it was sold by William to his son John, all 83 acres in 1807, though by will, son Hopley received 'all the land I own in lot numbered eighty six in the third range of lots in said Epsom, excepting a piece occupied as a burying ground five rods square in the corner of the field northwesterly of the house where I now live.' William's original house was what was later the home of Solomon Yeaton and later Albert Ordway. William built a newer house on lot 86 and moved into it late in his life. The burying ground was protected by Hopley in a deed on 1847 'down to the latest generation of the aforesaid lineage forever, the same being intended and designed for a family burying ground." After the death of Hopley the old homestead and land ended up as part of the James C. Yeaton farm, who already owned the adjoining lot number 85 and the house for a time was occupied by Samuel 'Tom' Bickford. The house was sold and taken down, but just when that occurred is not known.


Hopley Yeaton was the next to youngest son of William and Hannah (Towle) Yeaton. He married in 1828, Hannah Bickford, daughter of Samuel and Sally (Pervear) Bickford in a marriage that lasted about a decade. In 1838 he married as his second wife, Sarah Ann Kimball, and little is know of this union. In 1849 he married as his third and final wife, Salome G. Lear, daughter of Alexander S. and Mary Jane (Wiggin) Lear. All three marriages were in Epsom, and no children from any of the marriages. Hopley spent is later days in Massachusetts where he died in 1856 and is buried in the family cemetery on Black Hall Road.


It was not until the 1970's that any new buildings were erected on this site.

On the west side next comes the house of the late Samuel Yeaton. This was built by Jim C. Yeaton. He lived there and was followed by his son Samuel. The place is now occupied by Sam's widow and his sister Lizzie. 

The house opposite was the old place. It was unoccupied and deserted for many years, until repaired and renovated. Maurice Yeaton, son of Samuel, lives there. On the east side a little to the north of the house stood the old cider mill where much cider was made. (Benjamin M. Towle, 1936).



Above the James C. Yeaton home which was destroyed by an early morning fire October 29, 2012. The barns survived, - below, site of the original Samuel T. house.


The Maurice 'Pete' Yeaton farm is located on the west side of Black Hall Road and remained in the Yeaton family for several generations. Maurice inherited the farm from his father Samuel Roby Yeaton, and was built by his father, James Cochran Yeaton. The original house is on the east side of Black Hall on property bought by Samuel Towle Yeaton.


The farm sits on lot 85 which was sold to John Yeaton in 1803, and 80 acres of the lot was sold to William Yeaton in 1807. In 1821 William sold land on both sides of Black Hall Road, including buildings to his son Samuel T. Yeaton. It is possible that this Samuel, who married in 1812 Sally Cochran of Pembroke, had already built a house on this portion of his father's land. Samuel T. and Sally had four known children; Joshua/Jackson of whom nothing is known; Eliza Ann who married James T. Stevens; Sarah D., who married Robert T. Cofran; and James Cochran who inherited the homestead and built his house on the west side of Black Hall Road, opposite the original house.


James Cochran Yeaton married in Epsom March 18, 1856, Hannah Drake Towle, daughter of Robey M. and Mary Abigail (Nelson) Towle. Their first son, Samuel Roby Yeaton married Mabel Evelyn Stewart and inherited the homestead, which had been expanded by his father to include adjoining Yeaton properties. Other children included Elizabeth H. who married John C. Yeaton; Mary A. who married William D. Hutchinson of Pembroke; Nettie, who married William A. Smith of Manchester; and James H. Yeaton. James C. died in 1884 leaving minor children Nettie and James H. Yeaton.


Samuel R. and Mabel Yeaton had six children: Florence E. who married Charles A. Bartlett; Josie G.; Sophronia M. who married Walter Wells; Russell S. who married Anna E. Peterson and had a farm on ROute 28 (Suncook Valley Highway); George S. Yeaton, who married Madeline E. Brown; and Maurice A. Yeaton who inherited the homestead.


Next on the East side of the road is a new house built by Winthrop Fife, a World War II veteran. This house is built in a Spurlin pasture. (Benjamin M. Towle, 1936).




Winthop H. Fife was the son of Fred C. and Ernestine (Montminy) Fife, and was born August 5, 1907. He married first, in Pembroke in 1926, Flora E. Noyes who died February 23, 1960. Winthrop married second, May 9, 1964, Dorothy R. Colby. Winthrop, a fine carpenter by trade, and wife Flora bought land on Black Hall Road, part of the Spurlin property in 1937, where he built the current house.


Winthrop had for brothers John Clifton, Roscoe Hill and RayMond L., and sisters Mary E., and Lillian, who died young. Mary E. married Ned Witham. Currently Raymond L. and his wife Elsie reside on Black Hall Road.


The "Jim Brown" house is on the left or east side of the road. It was sold to John Spurlin. Later it came into the hands of an Italian named Santa Paula, who now lives there. The land now used as a golf course was part of the Jim Brown farm.

An old house formerly stood beyond the Jim Brown house, which was called the Spurlin house. This has been unoccupied and abandoned ever since I can remember.  (Benjamin M. Towle, 1936).


The Joseph Yeaton - James M. Brown Homestead


The Joseph Yeaton lot is part of lot 84 in the third range of lots in Epsom, the original proprietor, Benjamin Parker. James Gray bought 163 in lot 84 in 1779 for unpaid taxes. An additional 76 acres was sold to 1778 to Richard Tripp. Records do not reveal any activity on the lot which appears in the hand Rufus G. Amory of Boston when 188 acres are sold to Nathaniel Sanders. In two sales, Sanders sells 150 acres of the lot to William Yeaton 3rd of Epsom. In his deed of 1805, 60 acres is sold to Joseph Yeaton, with one of the boundaries being a barn already erected on the east side of Black Hall Road. Two years later, he sells him about 20 more square rods including the barn. What part of the lot William still owned he sold to sons John and Joseph in 1813. The next year John sells 35 acres to Joseph, adjoining land he had previously bought from William. This William the 3rd is probably a brother to John and Joseph, his father being William the eldest of the name, and a William Yeaton of another branch being the second oldest, relinquishing the designation 3rd to the son of the elder William.


Just what arrangement John and Joseph remains with the property remains a bit of a mystery. In 1823 John quitclaims the northerly half of a two story house to Joseph along with an additional lot that included that on which the barn was standing. In 1827 John deeds the southerly half of the two story dwelling.


The marriage of Joseph to Elizabeth Brown, daughter of John and Sarah/Salome (Allen) Brown is not known, though they had a child as early as 1815. They lived in their Black Hall Road house until they both died, and are buried with two of their children in the family cemetery next to the home. By will of Elizabeth (also known as Betsey) the house passed to her brother William Brown, who sold it to James M. Brown. Little is known of James M. Brown except that his father was Jeremiah Brown of Chester. He and wife Mary (Goodwin) occupied the house in 1846 where they raised five known children: Mary B. who married Horace Silver; Eliza who married James A. Bryant; James H. who married Elizabeth Day; Orrin Dana who married Julia A. Edmunds; and Nora M. who died young. James M. died in 1882, his wife in 1874, and are buried in the Yeaton Burial Ground next to the house, along with daughter Nora M. who died in 1860. The property passed to daughter Elizabeth, known as Lizzie, who sold the house to John Spurlin in 1883. The Spurlin's owned the property for many years.


John Spurlin married about 1850, Elcy Fife and had three children, Jeremy, Lewis B. and Elbridge K., who married in 1898 Nellie Bickford, and after her death in 1911, married Annie Clark.. His father died in 1901 and the house was occupied by their son Elbridge. The sole surviving child of Elbridge and Nellie was son Clifton L. who never married, and he and his step mother Annie Spurlin sold the home to Thomas Brasley and Henry D. Biscornet. They sold various parts of the property, with the house and about 8 acres being sold soon after they acquired it to a Louis Langlitz (seen in various spellings), whom after 8 years sold it to Joseph and Grace Santa Paula.


The abandoned house seems to have been occupied by S. Worth, as seen in some deeds and is how it appears on the 1858 map.


The house now occupied by Leonard Batchelder was the John Spurlin house, probably built by him. This is on the east side of the road. (Benjamin M. Towle, 1936).


Postcard of the Batchelder Guest House on Black Hall Road


The tract of land on which this house stands is part of lots 83 and 84 which section was owned by Jonathan Yeaton. He deeded the property to his minor daughters in October 1828 and died less than a month later. The guardian of the daughters Susan and Mary was James Hersey, who sold the property on their behalf to William T. Jenness who owned the store at the four corners at Short Falls. The property, three fourths of an acre was bought by Benjamin Bickford in 1841 and at some point was owned by widow Elizabeth P. Bickford of Beverly, Massachusetts, her relationship to Benjamin unknown. The land was sold back to Benjamin in 1852, and three years later sold to John Spurlin who added a house to the lot.


John Spurlin came to Epsom from Pittsfield, having married Elcy Fife of Pembroke. The house was occupied by his son Lewis who died in 1923. Through his estate it was sold to Chester Y. Batchelder in 1928. Chester was the son of George E. and Nettie A. (Stewart) Batchelder, and he died in 1928, his widow Harriet deeding the home to her husband's brother Leonard S. and his wife S. Blanche (Harvey) Batchelder. The home was also a guest house, and as written by Dana Yeaton in a privately published autobiography, "Blanche operated a very successful boarding house that catered in the summer to rich 'city people.' She provided them with real country home cooking and a beautiful room to stay in." The Batchelder's resided on the site until they sold the property to Paul Martel in 1979.


The Stewart house is now occupied by Mrs .George Batchelder who was Nettie Stewart and was later sold by the heirs to Langdon I. Garrison. (Benjamin M. Towle, 1936).


An 1898 photo of the Mary Stewart house, corner of Black Hall Road and Short Falls.


The house on this lot was either moved or built before 1850, and is referenced in a deed of 1852 when Elizabeth Bickford sells adjoining property, referring to 'the parsonage lot.' Indeed, the 1850 US Census, following the order of houses on the street, shows Rev. Gorham P. Ramsey living in the parsonage. Thomas Tripp, who probably owned the lot, was the clerk for the Freewill Baptist Church, and likely made the arrangements. Rev. Moses A. Quimby, from his diary, mentions December 1, 1853 “During the season past the Society sold the old Parsonage at Short Falls”. It was at this time the new parsonage appears at the other end of Black Hall Road. Richard Tripp may have co-owned the lot, as he sells an undivided one half of the property to Thomas Tripp, with no mention of any buildings. Thomas Tripp sells the land with the buildings thereon, with 'said building to be conveyed by the said Tripp as agent for the original proprietors.' This might indicate the the church owned the house, and Thomas Tripp, as owner of the land, and clerk of the church, made these arrangements for the sale to William Yeaton Jr. of Epsom. This William Yeaton, son of John and Sarah (Bickford) Yeaton, married in 1852, Caroline A. Tripp, daughter of Thomas Tripp and his wife Mary George. William Yeaton died of disease in New Orleans, May 26, 1863, during the Civil War, and had made prior arrangements for the homestead to be sold to Mary J. Young, which was done through Thomas Tripp.


Mary J. Young was a daughter of Albon Perkins, and married in Epsom, Levi G. Young, who died in the Civil War December 19, 1862 at Falmouth, Virginia. Levi G. Young also lived in the Short Falls area of Epsom. It is not known what became of widow Mary J. Young after she sold the property to Mary A. Stewart in 1869. She was the daughter of George R. Carleton and Nancy Tripp, who married in 1860, Alanson Stewart. She had three children, George William, who married Lizzie Nutt; Mabel Evelyn (Evie) who married Samuel Roby Yeaton; and Nettie Alice, who married George E. Batchelder. Of the children, George W. moved to Lowell, Massachusetts, and in 1909, sold their two thirds of the house (as heirs of Mary A. Stewart, their mother who died in 1908) to their sister Nettie A. Batchelder. George E. Batchelder died in 1932, his wife Nettie in 1939. They were the parents of Leonard S. Batchelder, who as an heir, sold the home to Langdon I. Garrison in 1940.


Short Falls used to be called Jenness Corner. A large old-fashioned house stood on the west side at the corner very near the present store occupied by Oliver Lombard. Jim Tennant bought this old house and converted it into a store. Later he built the present store building. (Benjamin M. Towle, 1936).



The store at the corner of Black Hall Road and Short Falls Road has gone by many names – Tennant’s store, Tripp’s store, and O. C. Lombards. The locals usually just referred to it as the Short Falls Store. The four corners at Short Falls for many years went by the name of Jenness Corner, named for William T. Jenness. The property went through a multitude of owners, and has an interesting history.


Lot 83 was divided into many parcels, and the small corner lot was only about half an acre. When the lot was sold in 1821 by Thomas Bickford to Abraham W. Marden, there is no mention of buildings. Marden was a trader by deed, and ran a store and tavern. He is also known to have had some credit issues. In 1824, he sells the half acre lot with buildings to Wendell Marden, their relationship still unknown. Wendell turned the property over in just a few months to Jonathan Yeaton. Whether Jonathan Yeaton ran any business there is unknown, but fell to ill health and deeded the property to his minor children shortly before he died. The guardians of the minors, namely James Hersey, and his widow releasing her rights, the business was sold to Nathaniel White of Deerfield, a trader. After about four years, White, now of Lawrence, Massachusetts, sold the business to William T. Jenness, in 1835. Jenness was a fixture at Short Falls, staying on the lot for about 18 years before selling back to Nathaniel White.


The next owners were Theophilus Wells who obtained the property in 1859, selling it the next year to his son in law, Moses Critchett. Deeds during this period give a little more detail as to how the property may have appeared. Moses and his wife lived in the house, but leased the store the adjoining horse shed. The lease, which included water rights, was for twenty years, was to Joseph C. and Josiah B. Cram, of Allenstown and Pembroke. They eventually owned the store building, but not the land on which it stood, and moved to Allenstown. By 1865, Levi and Sally Robinson had bought the property and two years later sold it to Eben S. Dutton of Hooksett. It was only three years later when it became the property of Arthur Tennant of Deerfield.


The Tennants moved to Epsom, and Arthur sold the business to his son James B. Tennant in 1874. James grew the business and expanded his business and eventually moving to Concord, keeping the Short Falls store for nearly a quarter of a century. The next owner was Warren Tripp, and though he owned the store, it was run by Walter H. Tripp. For just over a decade, the Tripp’s ran the business, selling to Oliver C. Lombard in 1919.


The longest single owner was Oliver C.Lombard, who ran the store for nearly 40 years.


Walter Tripp's house was moved from the Fowler district and put up in the same shape as originally. (Benjamin M. Towle, 1936).


The original house at the Short Falls four corners, last occupied by Susan A. (Straw) Philbrick


Lot 83 was the original right of Nathaniel Rand and was later sold for unpaid taxes. It was sold by James McCutheon in 1824 to Samuel Whitney and John Goss. John Goss was a son of Samuel and Abigail (Lucas) Goss, born in Epsom about 1798. His sister Abigail, born about 1786, married in Epsom in 1807, Samuel Whitney, born Bradford, Mass., died Epsom. John Goss sold his share after moving to Wilmot in 1832, with Whitney selling out in 1832 to Daniel Cilley. Samuel Whitney operated a store the site, and is referred to in many deeds as 'the Whitney place.' Daniel Cilley was well known as a tavern owner of what was later the Gossville Hotel, and his sons, William P. and Jonathan L. married daughters of Samuel Whitney, Emeline and Harriet. In 1836 Cilley sold the land and buildings to John Smith of Epsom. John Smith, of which little is known, married Rachel H. Prescott, daughter of John M. and Hannah (Dickey) Morrill, and they owned the property only a year before selling to Isaac Smith of Hampstead in 1840. There is no known relationship between John and Isaac.


Isaac Smith sold the property to Levi T. Yeaton in 1840. Levi already owned the Worth house at Short Fall which he bought in 1821. He died suddenly and John Yeaton 3rd and Nathan Bickford, guardians of his minor children, sold the property to James Tripp in 1848.


Levi T. Yeaton, one of the sons of William and Hannah (Towle) Yeaton married Mary Mathes of Northwood in 1830, and by the deeds, had children John A., Horace, Levi, George W. for sons, and a daughter Angie M..


James Tripp was a son of John and Sally (Gordon) Tripp and was born in Epsom in 1814, marrying Isabella Dickey (Prescott) in 1843. She was a sister to Rachel H. Prescott who married John Smith. They had one child, James H. Tripp who married Sarah Locke Moses, parents of Walter H. Tripp who later ran the store at Short Falls. James and Isabel Tripp sold the property to Richard Tripp, his brother, in June of 1848 while he was living in Chicopee, Massachusetts. He died that August, and Thomas D. Merrill, guardian of his only heir, daughter Marzett N. Tripp, sold the homestead to Jeremiah Burnham of Epsom. Marzett died in 1854 at about age 11. The property was sold excepting an undivided half of the barn, and still called the Whitney place.


Finally, for a time, the house was occupied as the Burnham's owned it from 1849 until 1864. They sold it to David and Clara Robinson, but they turned the house over to James W. Marden within a year. James W. Marden, who operated the Short Falls grist mill until 1911, sold the house to Paran Philbrick in 1872. He lived there with his wife Susan A. Straw, whom he married in 1868, until the marriage dissolved about 1886. His former wife lived there until she died in 1914. Ella B. Munsey, formerly Ella B. Philbrick, the only living heir, daughter of para and Susan, passed to her upon her mothers death in 1914, and sold it to Alice F. Tripp in April of 1919.


Bob Tripp related in 2003 that the house was moved from Fowler Road in Epsom in 1919. It was dismantled piece by piece and put back together on this lot. The Musey (Philbrick-Straw) house was torn down and replaced by the moved house, the old barn and ell were saved and connected to the rear of the newly located house. Alice (Fowler) Tripp was the daughter of Benjamin and Sarah M. (Brown) Fowler who married in 1898, Walter H. Tripp. Bob Tripp was one of their three sons, the other two were Harold, who married Esther Mott; and Russell F., who married Dorothy Lane. Alice F. Tripp died in 1868, and the house was sold by the estate to Richard and Joan Fowler.