This history of the village of Gossville and Goboro Road is based primarily on two sources. The first is the report of the 1991 Gossville Historic District.  The ultimate goal was to have the village of Gossville added as part of a National Register Historic District. The plan gave bounds to the village and identified all the structures within the bounds and determined which buildings met the criteria that would contribute to the forming of an historic district. The extensive study never concluded its goal, and the idea officially became moot when the historic Freewill Baptist Church was moved to a new location outside the perimeter assigned as part of Gossville. Even though the area never became an official historic district, the findings of the Gossville Historic District provides details for a history of the village.


The second source are notes made by Benjamin M. Towle in 1936 of his recollections of the homes and families living on Goboro Road. The two studies overlap, with Mr. Towle’s notes extending from the west end of Gossville, up Goboro Road, to the Chichester town line.



The Gossville bounds start with the Bickford homestead on the east end and following west on Route 4 to the old Suncook Railroad bed, then north to the Sherburne Road. The boundary on the south is the Little Suncook River with the addition of an area on Black Hall Road containing the buildings associated with the old shoe manufacturing operation. The study included 39 primary contributing structures, one primary site, 30 secondary contributing structures and 21 non contributing structures.




The earliest settlements in Epsom were on Center Hill, with the first road having been built there about 1733 when the proprietors designated East Street the name of the road from the meetinghouse towards Nottingham (later Deerfield), and in the opposite direction, West Street. Early on the proprietors of Canterbury asked various towns to allow them to build a road that would run Canterbury to Durham. According to John Mark Moses, this  included East Street, and West Street was extended northwest from the Center going northwest over the hill north of Gossville. This was the earliest road in Epsom and from the hill at Gossville, it descended down to the Suncook River. In 1744 the Canterbury proprietors petition the Provincial Legislature to build a bridge there, which was approved. It took several years before it was completed as the subject was again before the legislature in 1746. It became known as ‘the Great Bridge’ and it continued over the Suncook River over the Granny Howe Road, through Chichester and eventually to Canterbury, the route from Durham to Canterbury being called the Canterbury Road.



In September of 1772, the Epsom proprietors voted to lay out a road from the end of Black Hall Road, constructed a few years earlier, three rods wide to the great bridge. It would cross land of Jeremiah Prescott and Benjamin Gooding who owned the lots which would later be part of Gossville. According to the History of Chichester in the Hurd History of Merrimack County, the Canterbury Road was cheaply built and was probably poorly maintained. The new road built by the town likely became the preferred route. In 1791 the town voted ‘a committee appointed to superintend the building of the great bridge in Epsom be authorized to call on the Selectmen of said town to furnish them with such quantities of rum as they shall think necessary to be expended in finishing the aforesaid bridge’ which apparently was rebuilt. In 1792 there was serious discussion by the State to build a new road from Concord to Durham which would pass through Epsom. The Selectman, Amos Morrill, Thomas Babb and Josiah Sanborn, were opposed to having new road coming through the town and petitioned the legislature, saying the new road would be Which is exceedingly injurious to the Town of Epsom, as they have heretofore been at a very great expense in making roads and bridges in said town. That the two last years past they have built a bridge over Suncook River which cost the inhabitants upwards of six hundred dollars & that they have one more bridge over the same river to support as well as many others in said town, which is expensive to the inhabitants that the road through said town, that has been used upwards of fifty years is by the industry of the inhabitants become very good. That the road lately laid out by the committee through Epsom cannot without a very great expense be made passable and impossible ever to be so good for traveling as the road now used.  Further the town was willing to accept the layout of the road with alteration that said road shall not be considered as laid out any further in Epsom than from Chichester line to Suncook bridge, then to follow the old road as now used till it comes to Northwood Road near McClary’s mill then to follow said road through Epsom. [NH State Papers]

Not convincing the State, the new road, the First New Hampshire Turnpike, was laid out through town, but with perhaps one alteration. The following story has been passed down, and told by George H. Yeaton in his writings on Epsom town history.


“The legend is that in building this road the company in charge of its construction had planned to build it on the level ground just back of the now Epsom Town Library and Huckins garage, connecting with the present highway near the old railroad crossing. But Colonel Cilley made a deal with the construction company to build the road past his home. The deal being that Colonel Cilley was to furnish a barrel of rum if the road was built up the hill near his home. The road was built up the hill, Colonel Cilley furnished the barrel of rum. It is said that Colonel Cilley rolled a barrel of rum out near the hill. This hill derived its name of “Rum Hill”. Years ago, the help building bridges and highways would be paid so much money a day and one or more gills of rum each day in addition.” (from old Epsom Town Records). 

The older Canterbury Road fell into disuse with the new First New Hampshire Turnpike, which was completed about 1800, including a new bridge across the Suncook River, near where the river is crossed today. A map of the town drawn by Joseph Lawrence prior to 1819, shows the town roads and the First New Hampshire Turnpike. The old Canterbury Road is not shown, and Goboro only extends to the old great bridge. There were undoubtedly other roads not maintained by the town. The Rand Road ran past the great bridge and was named after the several Rand families that had settled on the upper lots. In 1774 Samuel Rand Junior bought 100 acres, part of Lot 116 from William Rand of Rye, mariner. The same year Timothy and Nathaniel Marden sold land to William Rand Junior., mariner of Rye, and Samuel Rand Junr, of Rye, yeoman the same property, with Richard deeding half of the lot to Samuel eight days later.

Richard bought additional property in 1775 (part of lots 117 and 118) and again in 1788 (part of lot 119). William bought part of lot 113 in 1790, and Richard additional land in lot 110 in 1796. The Rand holdings increased in 1795 when Richard bought part of lot 110, and in 1796, part of lot 120, all of these lots in the fourth range. Samuel sold his property and left Epsom in 1804. Finally, William acquired part of lot 114 in 1810.


The name Goborough Road appears in the Town Records in 1819 when a road is laid out from Caleb Pearson’s mill in Chichester to Mr. Benjamin Towles. An alteration was made to the road in 1822, awarding the old road, left by the alteration, to James Sanborn and Jacob Cilley, on whose land the new road passed through lot 114.


Early settlers in the boundaries of Gossville was Samuel Bickford who lived where the current Bickford house stands.  The lot was bought by 1760 by Thomas Bickford, selling 50 acres to his brother Samuel. The farm was sold to son Samuel Weeks Bickford in 1816.



In 1761 Jeremiah Prescott settled in the area on part of lot 94 in the area near the Prescott Bridge and Black Hall Road. The land, which included a large part of Gossville, was sold by his son Jeremiah, to Joseph Cilley of Nottingham in 1783, and was in the hands of Colonel Daniel Cilley, son of Joseph, in 1799. The area became known in town records as the Cilley District. It was a large farm and tavern, and the area included the Cilley District School, and land on which was built in 1834, the first Free Will Baptist Church. The church would be located near where Jeremiah Prescott resided. Daniel Cilley died in 1842 and the heirs sold the property in 1855 to William Goss, whose family settled early in the Jug City Road area. He expanded on the Cilley holdings to some 540 acres by the time he died. It is while he owned the property that the area was significantly developed. He moved his father’s house to the current Goboro Road, erected or moved a house for his son John. The same was done for his wife’s parents which was later used by his sister and her husband, Jefferson Edmunds. He bought the old Free Will Parsonage and moved it as they build a new structure and a parsonage was built.. The old Cilley School was rebuilt and later the Gossville School. The advent of the railroad saw an increase in construction for homes for rail workers along Goboro Road.  Another boom began near the end of his life when the Epsom Shoe Factory Company was formed in 1881. This included the shoe factory building and mill dam; new houses at the north end of Black Hall Road, including a boarding house; and several additional dwelling houses were built on parcels of land sold by William Goss and his son Jonathan.


About the turn of the century, Abel Lamprey built a shop across from the old tavern, now the Gossville Hotel, and in 1902 the Epsom Public Library was built. Upon his death in 1887, the heirs sold the majority of his holdings to Charles Sumner Hall.

Hall continued to build, including his own house which was erected opposite the parsonage replacing an existing structure, and three small houses were built as rentals just over the Little Suncook River on Black Hall Road. The shoe factory became a box shop and an addition was added for a lace factory in 1910. This complex burned down in 1916.


Upon his death his property was broken up. The hotel became the Pine Grove Inn, the lace factory was rebuilt across the Little Suncook River, and the three houses, along with others, were sold. The old Lamprey shop became Huckin’s garage. With these changes, the village of Gossville remained relatively unchanged until the railroad ceased to run about 1952.


Work was done in 1991 by the New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources to identify and present this area as the Gossville Historic District for possible inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places.. The area was surveyed and all the relevant houses and structures were researched, based primarily of the owners shown on the 1892 map of the town. The area included the Bickford homestead property from the west side of Locke’s Brook, being the eastern end of the 160 acre district. The western end was on Goboro Road ending at the Sherburne Road. A portion of the district included the northern end of Black Hall Road and the area occupied by the Epsom railroad station. Nothing came of the Gossville Historic District, which remained basically unchanged until 2007, when the Epsom Baptist Church was relocated, the integrity of the historic district no longer viable.





Thomas Bickford and his wife Esther Adams raised their family in Madbury, NH. Of their sons, Thomas, Samuel came to Epsom; John to Barnstead and Joseph to Chichester. Daughter Sarah married as his second wife, Samuel Blake of Epsom. Thomas Bickford bought land in Epsom from William Johnson in 1761, lot 95, which belonged to his father, Nathan, the original proprietor. He was already of Epsom having bought from Samuel Wallace home lot No. 13 December 17, 1754, selling to Samuel Wallace parts of lots 88 and 89 on Black Hall Road. It is not known when Thomas acquired those lots, and it is possible he resided there and moved to home lot 13 where he resided until 1764 when he sold the lot to Abner Clough of Nottingham.  In August of 1760, Thomas sold to Thomas Hines of ‘Alens Town, so called’ part of Nathan Johnson’s land. This increased to 70 acres and was sold by Hines to Joseph Worth, including buildings, July 13, 1769. A portion of this lot became part of the Moses farm to the north.


Though the deed when Thomas bought lot 95 from William Johnson is dated October 14, 1761, he sells 50 acres of the land “I bought of William Johnson” to his brother Samuel Bickford March 18, 1759. Samuel bought land from the town of Epsom, lot number 3, apparently where he had a house. This was August 7, 1765. Thomas and his wife Mary left Epsom for Pittsfield, and his brother Samuel and wife Mercy Blake, had a house at ‘Epsom Center’ by 1765 where they raised their family. Samuel died about 1773, his wife in 1824. Their children included:


Samuel, who married Abigail Cook

Mehetable, who married Simeon Page

Benjamin, who married Hannah Locke

Thomas, who married Olive Haynes

Mary, who married Jonathan Elkins

John, who died young

Joseph, who married Hepzibah Marden


Son Thomas and his wife Olive inherited the homestead and raised seven children:


John, who married Eliza Lane

Samuel Weeks, who married Lucy Coolidge Learned

Nathan, who married Eliza Dickey

Olive, who married Simeon Philbrick

Daniel C., who married Jane Staples

Mehitable, who is buried in the McClary Cemetery, probably died young

Dearborn, of whom nothing is known


Olive Bickford remarried after the death of her husband, Francis Locke. Most all of the male children remained in Epsom.


Thomas died in 1819, and in 1816 before he died, deeded 25 acres and half of the buildings to his son Samuel Weeks Bickford. Shortly thereafter, Samuel built the current house that stands on the homestead. Samuel Weeks Bickford and his wife Lucy had seven children:


George, who married Eliza King

Caroline M., who married Jonathan Curtis Sanders

Charlotte who married Jonathan H. Downing

Lucy Coolidge who married Capt. James Sherburne Moses

Charles, who married Mary A. Downing

Horace Grafton, who married Emily G. Sanders

Eliza D. who married Charles Horace Learned



Samuel Weeks Bickford, in his will, left the homestead to his youngest son Horace, who married about 1866 Emily G. Sanders, daughter of William and Rachel B. (Wallace) Sanders. Together they had one son, Samuel W. Bickford. On September 4, 1889, Samuel W. married Emma Janette Philbrick, daughter of Jackson C. and Eliza (Crawford) Philbrick. There were three children, Harold S., who married Laura M. Young; Helen, who died young; and Hester E., who inherited the homestead and married in 1952, Vivian Lee Pickard. The large barn that was part of the property was taken down in 1990. 





This lot is almost an acre in size and was part of the property owned by Morrill D. Bickford. After his death, his widow Eliza’s estate was handled by Horace Edmunds, who had married their daughter Adelaide. The estate property was sold to John C. Brown in 1918. In 1937 John C. Brown sold just less of an acre of land to Walter J. Philbrick where he built the current house. Walter died in 1941 and his widow, Mary E. (Quimby) Philbrick sold the house to William B. and Martha Artz in 1943. The Artz sold the house to Harold and Hattie Pearson in 1954.





Morrill D. Bickford was born in 1836, son of Nathan and Eliza (Dickey) Bickford. The families lived on Route 28 south and Morrill learned a successful lumber business from his father. According to the Stearns genealogy, he built a dwelling house in Gossville, and in 1881 erected a residence on his home farm. He married November 28, 1862, Eliza J. Hoyt, daughter of Morrill and Ruth (Sargent) Hoyt of Northwood. They had two children, Susie A. Bickford (1866-1897) who died unmarried; and Adelaide E., who in 1891 married Horace Wells Edmunds, son of Jefferson A. and Sally G. (Goss) Edmunds.


Morrill D. Bickford bought land from William Goss in 1883 and there erected a house for himself and his wife for their later years. Morrill died in 1912, and his wife Eliza in 1917. She inherited the house at the time of his death and sold it to her son-in-law Horace Edmunds in 1913. Following her death, Horace sold the land and home to John C. Brown in 1918. The house remained in the family passing to his son Robert Mason Brown, and to his son John Robert Brown. The home left the family in 1962 when it was sold to Robert and Ann Wilcox.




William Goss sold ten thousand square feet of land to Joseph Lawrence August 24, 1883 which bounded the land he sold that same year to Morrill D. Bickford. Lawrence died in 1893 and his widow Lucy sold the land, now with buildings, to her son Joseph. Joseph was born in 1858 and married in 1882, Luella J. Cilley, daughter of Daniel Thomas and Lydia Ann (Babb) Cilley. They had one child, a daughter, Eva Augusta Lawrence, a music teacher in Epsom. She married in 1907, John W. Cox. Her father deeded her the property in 1929 and she died four years later. John Cox did not keep the house and sold it in 1936 to Walter H. Quimby.


The house was occupied by the Quimby’s for almost 20 years. Walter, son of Sylvester and Georgie Ann (Bickford) Quimby, married first Effie Bryant, and second, Jennie R. Moore. It was sold to Clayton Heath and Fred Smith in 1956, and sold by Fred and Lillian Smith to Paul Jackson in 1958. Paul and his wife Charlotte ran the Hi-Way Grill restaurant across the street.





A town warrant asked the town to add a basement to the town hall and make space to house three fire trucks. At the time, Epsom’s two trucks had been housed there, but fire destroyed that portion of the bulding. Apparently the warrant article failed as the town of Epsom built a firehouse in 1954 at a estimated cost of $10, 000 dollars, of which $3500 was the cost to taxpayers. The heating plant was donated by Charles N. Huckins. The 36x60 building had three truck stalls, meeting room, toilet, sink, lunch counter and chairs.


The site originally was the location of a carriage shed, and later housed a hearse that the town bought in 1889. Town reports included payments for driving the hearse, often to A. D. Sherburne and continued through at least 1927.





The Fulton house, according to the Gossville Historic District survey, was built about 1880 according to town tax records. It was built by Charles Sumner Hall whose residence was on the same lot. Both houses appear on the 1892 map of the town as owned by C.S. Hall. With his interest in the old Shoe Factory, he likely built the house as a rental property, and was likely occupied by the Pennell family which leased the old factory. According to US Census records, the house was rented in 1900 by John W. Hart and his wife Mattie and children Isaac, Willis, Clarence, Lyle, Alice and Hannah. By 1909 is was likely occupied by Robert Zinn, who later moved to Black Hall Road. Upon C. S. Hall’s death, George M. Hall, his nephew, inherited the property. In 1926 he sold the house and lot to Charles S. Bickford. The 1930 census shows the Bickford family at this location with wife Katie and sons Elmore A. and Orville S. He retained ownership of the property until 1941 when he sold it to Margaret M. Fitzgerald. She only kept the property for about a year when it was sold to James and Gladys Landers. After about three years it was sold to John M. and Hilda Fulton.






William Goss sold an acre of land to Mrs. Lizzie M. Warren in October of 1883. It is at this time the house was likely built. Lizzie, was Mary E. Holmes, sister of Hiram A. Holmes and daughter of Joseph and Sophia (Stevens) Holmes. She married in Pittsfield in 1868, George Edwin Warren, son of George Meader and Sarah E. (Fellows) Warren. They had 6 children: Isabel, Minnie Eunice,Elsie Norine, Edna E., George Edwin and Joseph Albert. The house is shown on the 1892 map as the G.E. Warren store, and town records show that it housed the books for the Epsom Public Library prior to the building of the library in 1902. The house was mortgaged by her brother in 1890. George died in 1900 and Lizzie deeded the property to her son George E. with the proviso that he, upon her death, pay his brother Joseph one hundred and fifty dollars. Son George married in 1898 Clara E. Brown, and lived in the house where they raised four children, Marie, Arlin, Roscoe and Vernon. The couple divorced by 1919. She stayed at the homestead which was sold to son Roscoe in 1953.


George Warren was a carpenter and also worked at the nearby sawmill and lace factory. His son Roscoe fixed tools and did metal work.





Addison S. Davis was born in Chichester in 1828 and married first Lucy A. Nutter of Barnstead in 1850 or 1851. The marriage did not last and he married second July 1, 1861 in Hooksett, Mary Priest, born in Franklin, Canada. They had one daughter, Carrie Joan Davis who was born in 1865 and never married. The Davis family lived for a time on Black Hall Road before moving to this house bought in 1887 by their daughter from John A. Goss. According to the deed, the one fourth acre included the building. The next year George Warren sold some adjoining land, including a standing apple tree. Here Carrie took care of her parents until March of 1903 when the property was sold to Walter H. and Jennie R. Quimby. The Quimby’s lived on the site until 1928, and by 1936 were living across the street in the former Joseph Lawrence house. The new occupants were Charles E. and Susie J. Hardy. The house changed hands again in 1935 when the new owner was Priscilla Royce of Concord. After a decade she sold to an Emma R. Morrill of Concord in 1945 who turned the property around in less than a year to Henry D. and Pearl Newton. The Newton’s relocated in town and sold the house to Porthos and Cora E. Longo in May of 1949. Three years later it was owned by Paul G. and Charlotte Jackson, which in a large addition added previously, ran a restaurant, the Hi-Way Grill. In 1955 the Jackson’s sold the house and business to William and Blanch Margette. William died and his widow Blanch sold to Maurice E. Sherburne.




The area of Black Hall Road around the Prescott Bridge were part of the Gossville Historic District’s survey. The development of Gossville started with a few buildings where Goboro Road meets Route 4 built by William Goss, and aided by the addition of the railroad. A second large growth period spread east with the establishment of the Epsom Shoe Factory. A group of Epsom residents bought shares, built a building and mill pond and dam, and leased all of it. The shoe factory provided jobs, and a need for housing for those leasing and or working in the factory. As the years went on, the shoe factory ceased, but the building was used as a box shop and lace factory.


The buildings in the survey included:


The Free Will Baptist Church which was originally erected in 1834 and replaced with a new building in 1861. The original building was moved to the site of the former Gossville Store and post office. Several years prior to the building of the second church building, a parsonage was erected, in part from buildings across the street owned at the time by Aaron Estabrook.


The Shoe Factory was established in 1881 by 26 individuals buying shares at $25.00 per share. The largest shareholder was William Goss with 32, and Silver & Robinson with 20. The first firm to lease the factory was that of Hill and Puffer, both from Lynn, Massachusetts. The structure burned in 1916.


The Nathan Goss house was built about the time the shoe factory was established, just across the Little Suncook River from there the factory was built. Nathan was a son of William Goss who married in 1886, Ida M. Leighton. Nathan died in 1910 and his wife eventually moved to the west coast, and sold the property in 1942 to her daughter Ethel,who had married William E. Davis. In 1948 Ethel sold the home to the fledgling Gossville Textile Company, and it bought from them by Richard and Thelma Boyd in 1957.


Next to the Goss House was what became the silk mill, the location of the Barmer Narrow Fabric Company after being housed in the old shoe factory which burned in 1916. According to Benjamin M. Towle’s memoirs of Black Hall Road, this house, and the next house heading south on Black Hall Road, were moved by the Goss family to this site from Route 28, where originally they were one structure called the ‘Long House.’ The 1892 map shows the occupant as Charles W. Royal. It is eventually owned by Charles S. Hall who sells it to the Zinn Family who add to it for the new lace factory. It leaves the Zinn family by 1946 and is the later home of Pembroke Boats, Douglas Panels and Kitchen Klean.


The other half of the long house was first occupied by Jonathan Marden who bought it from Jonathan Goss in 1888. They sold the house in 1896 when it went through several owners until it was sold to Clarence and Hannah Pennell. It was then bought by Robert Zinn who owned it until 1946.


Across the street on the west side of Black Hall Road are three small homes. These were built by Charles Sumner Hall shortly before his death and were rented properties. After his death, his nephew George Hall, sold the homes to the renters in 1928 as part of the estate settlement. The house closest to the Little Suncook River was bought by Blanche R. Lane, who sold the home in 1946. The middle house was sold to Henry L. Stevens, and was later owned by Charles S. and Katie Bickford. The third house on the west end was first owned by Frank P. and Harried Davis. It was later occupied by Ernest R. and Catherine Marden.





This house is on part of the original lot 94 which was owned by Col. Daniel Cilley. At the time of his death in 1842, there were few buildings on the property besides the tavern and its out buildings. The family estate was eventually sold to William Goss, but at least three parcels were excluded. One parcel was where the second Cilley school house, later the Gossville District 2 school is located. Another parcel was sold and used as the site of the Free Will Baptist parsonage. The third was just past the schoolhouse and sold to Aaron Estabrook of Concord in 1852 ‘with the buildings thereon.’


It is possible that one of the buildings was a home to William P. Cilley or one of his brothers. The parsonage across the street was erected a year later in 1853 and included part of the buildings owned by Estabrook, and is described in a deed as a ‘certain building attached to my dwelling house in said Epsom commonly designated as the store part, thereof, being thirty feet in length by twenty feet in width, two stories in height.‘ It would seem that Estabrook purchased a dwelling house with a store attached. Estabrook was a painter by trade and married in Lawrence, MA., Martha Jane Ham, born in Epsom, daughter of George Benson and Olive Ann (Bickford) Ham. The Estabrooks left Epsom after about seven years selling the home to Nathan Bickford in March of 1859. Nathan had a large home on Route 28, and sold this house and property to his son Morrill D. Bickford in November of that same year. The Bickford’s may have bought the property for speculation, as in August of 1860, the house was owned by William Ham, who owned a farm on Black Hall Road which he sold the same month.


William Ham owned the house until his death in 1872 when Horace Bickford, representing the estate, sold the property to John C. Brown. Brown only held the property for about a year when he sold it to John A. Goss, son of William Goss. Whether John A. Goss and his family occupied the house is unknown, but it was sold in 1873 to Jacob F. Robinson, part of the partnership of Silver and Robinson who took over the Goss store.


According to the Analectra newspaper of February 13, 1884, Mr. [Jacob] Freeze Robinson is moving his family to Suncook where he has gone into the Dry Goods business with the Messrs. Johnson of that place. He has been in company with Mr. Silver at Gossville for the past 12 years, but sold out to Sumner Hall a few months ago. He sold the house to Charles Sumner and Ellen (Dolbeer) Hall November 17, 1883. The Hall’s tore down the house and built the Victorian style house that remains today. Mrs. Ellen Hall died in 1914, and Charles Sumner Hall continued to live in the house, which he sold to his nephew George Hall September 10, 1925. He died 25 days later. His nephew inherited his estate and sold if off in various sales, with the house being sold to Lillian E.  Morrison of Bristol, NH. in June of 1933.


Charles S. Hall was the son of John C. and Martha (Rand) Hall and was raised on Center Hill where he worked early on in his father's store. He became a partner in the Silver and Hall store in Gossville, ran a box shop along with an extensive lumber operation. He ran for a time the Gossville Hotel as Hotel Sumner, closing it shortly before his death. He farmed and also had a cattle operation. He was active in town and church affairs and was involved with many real estate transactions. For many years he was the wealthiest resident of the town. He married Ellen Dolbeer, daughter of Calvin Dolbeer and resided for some time in New Rye. They had no children.


Lillian Morrison was well to do, and a major benefactor to the town of Epsom, and in particular, the Epsom Fire Department. Upon her death, and by her wishes in her will, the property came into the hands of Robert and Beverly Miner in 1988. They sold the property in 1997.





This house was probably built by William Goss, who sold land and buildings, the parcel ‘at the northwest corner of the Freewill Baptist parsonage,’ in 1886 to Jacob L. Langley of Deerfield  (Jacob Dow Langley). The same day he turns the property over to Hannah Prescott of Deerfield. There is a gap in available information until Charles W. Royal sells the house and parcel to Charles S. Hall August 22, 1898. On September 6 Hall sells to a James H. Morris of Concord, but this transaction may have failed, as Charles S. Hall owns the property by 1900 when it is rented to William S. and Ida Spaulding. The census shows a family with children Helen M., Hattie R., Harry W., and Mabel O. His wife Ida was the daughter of Samuel B. and Keziah (White) Batchelder of Epsom. Some of the family are buried in the Gossville/Hopkinson Cemetery. By 1910 the house is rented by Guy and his wife Rachel A. (Wells) Pike.

After the death of Charles S. Hall, the estate sold the house to George W. and Chloe (Burnham) Atwood. George died in 1932 and Chloe married George H, Haynes. The house was sold in1943 to Henry Dearborn who sold it the next year to Elmore and Hattie (Ambrose) Bickford.





The original schoolhouse for what was called the Western or Cilley District (also School District No. 2) was on Goboro Road near the entrance to what is now Sherburne Road. It was probably erected by 1793 and was used until 1852 when it was sold to Benjamin Ferrin. At this time William P. Cilley sold land for ten dollars for the building of a new schoolhouse at the location of the current old Gossville school. It was built by Joseph Robinson for three hundred and twenty one dollars. This school building was used until it was replaced with a new structure in 1894, the old building being moved to the property of Benjamin M. Towle. A major addition was added in 1923 and is the way the structure appears today. It was closed in 1955 and is currently in use as a residence.






The house occupied by George H. Yeaton from about 1930 until his death in 1970. The house was built by the Goss family around 1880, perhaps as a rental property, and on the death of William Goss, was part of the estate which was disposed by his son John A. Goss. Upon the death of his father, the house was sold to his step-mother (the second wife of William Goss) Sally Rebecca (Randall) Goss and her sister, Ruth Elizabeth (Randall) Prescott. The date was September of 1887. Sally Rebecca Randall had married previously John K. Crockett, by whom she had one daughter, Annie Rebecca Crockett, who married as his second wife, James A. Yeaton in 1874. His first wife, Martha A. Randall, was a sister to Sally Rebecca Randall.


After the deaths of the two sisters, Annie R. (Crockett) Yeaton was the sole heir, and upon her death in 1915, the property passed to her two surviving children, Helen E. P. (Yeaton) Steele and her brother George H. Yeaton. Helen E. P. Steele deeded her one undivided half to her brother George H. in September of 1937. George H. Yeaton married in 1909, Ada Lucy Brown of Gilmanton and they had three children, Esther Ruth, John Brown (Johnny B.) and Marjorie A. Yeaton.






In August of 1886, William Goss sold to Isabel F. Heath, 10,000 square feet of land just east of his Suncook Valley House. She was Isabel Fifield who married in 1885, Alonzo Smith Heath, son of Christopher S. and Rosilla W. (Clough) Heath. The young couple occupied the house for over a dozen years before selling it to the widower, William G. Hoyt of Lynn, MA on November 25th of 1899. William Gilman Hoyt died in Lynn,  January 17, 1910, the result of probate is unknown, but the property was in the hands of the sons of his brother, Joseph M. Hoyt of  Lynn, MA. In October of 1910 Theodore D. Hoyt, unmarried, Albert M. Hoyt and Josephine his wife;  Victor P. L. Hoyt and his wife Edith of Lynn, MA; Joseph F. Hoyt and wife Louise, of Danvers, MA; and William Everett Hoyt and his wife Mabel of Salem, MA, sold the house to Grace V. Snow of Epsom. Grace was married to James H. Snow who apparently died before 1880. They had one son, Adelbert James Snow, who was born in Pembroke in June of 1870. Grace was one of Epsom’s early librarians, and the daughter of the Reverend Jonathan Ayer and Susan G. (Bickford) Knowles, born in Epsom in 1844. Son Adelbert married in Newmarket in 1896, Alice. W. Furber and they had two children, Albert and Susie.


Grace sold the premises to Horace Edmunds in May of 1924, moving just up the road to a small home, probably rented from Charles Sumner Hall, as is was near his office. Horace would have been familiar with the property. His parents were Jefferson A. Edmunds and his wife, Sally G. Goss, sister of William Goss. He married Adelaide E. Bickford, daughter of Morrill D. Bickford and Eliza J. Hoyt. Eliza was the daughter of Morrill Hoyt, and her brother, William G. Hoyt, had bought the house in 1899. His wife Adelaide died in 1903 and he then married Sadie R. Bruce. They had one son, Bruce Roosevelt Edmunds, born in 1908. Bruce R.Edmunds was on the USS Arizona and was lost at sea at Pearl Harbor, and was a purple heart recipient.


Horace Edmunds died in 1935, and as his heir, his son Bruce R. Edmunds, sold the house to J. Fred and Katherine (Chase) Knight. Katherine was for many years a teacher at the Gossville School, and her husband Fred had a door and window shop at the home. They sold the home in 1988.




The Cilley Tavern was located on lot #94 in the third range, the original right of Col. Shadrach Walton of Newcastle. He sold his Epsom land in 1735 to William Frost of Newcastle. Frost held the land until 1753 when he sold it to Josiah Clark of Greenland. Josiah Clark and Josiah Clark Junior of Greenland sold the whole of lot 94 in 1761 to Jeremiah Prescott of Epping.


Col. Jeremiah Prescott, son of Jeremiah, sold one half of the lot ‘being the same land that I bought of my honored father Jeremiah Prescott, late of Epping, deceased with all the buildings standing on said premises’ to Joseph Cilley of Nottingham. General Joseph Cilley and wife Sarah Longfellow, raised a family of ten children, including son Daniel Cilley who married Hannah Plumer in 1790 and built his tavern on lot 94, and inherited the property on the death of his father in 1799. On May 27, 1799 Col. Daniel Cilley received a tavern license from the town of Epsom. At the time the lot included Prescott’s house, the Cilley Tavern and barn, and one schoolhouse. The schoolhouse in early records is called the Western District, and later the Cilley District. Though no paper work exists, the Free Will Baptist’s erected their first meetinghouse on this lot in 1834.


The Cilley’s had nine children: Polly Dole who married Robert Knox; Bradbury, who married first Sally Wiggin, and second a Mary Smith; Samuel Plumer who married Hannah W. Critchett;  Joseph who died young; Daniel who died young; Reverend Daniel Plumer, who married Adelaide Haines; a twin sister Hannah Plumer who died young; William Plumer who married Emeline Whitney; and his twin brother Jonathan Longfellow, who married Harriet Whitney. Harriet and Emeline were sisters, daughters of Samuel and Abigail (Goss) Whitney.


The tavern was almost lost in 1833 when three barns and a shed were set ablaze by an arsonist, with the house barely having been saved. The lost buildings prompted a reward being offered by the Selectmen for information leading to the conviction of the incendiaries.


Daniel Cilley died in 1842 and the family continued the operation of the tavern until the death of his widow in 1850. Son William P. Cilley was the executor of the estate and sold off several smaller lots before selling the balance of the estate, including the tavern, to William Goss, March 12, 1855. The only son to remain in the area was Samuel Plumer Cilley, who lived at various times at different locations in Epsom and Chichester. Of his family, Joseph R. did not marry and died in 1865 as a result of poor health from serving in the Civil War; Daniel Thomas, who married Lydia Ann Babb and had two daughters; and Hannah Plummer, who married first Elbridge Lyman Swain, who died in the Civil War leaving two children. Hannah married second, Charles Augustus Steele, having two sons, Charles M. and Andrew M. Steele.




At the time William Goss bought the estate of Daniel Cilley, several small parcels of land had been sold. One was land for the Free Will Baptist parsonage in 1853; a land an buildings across the street to Aaron Estabrook in 1852; and the relocation of the Cilley District School next to the Estabrook property in 1852. The original Free Will Baptist Church was still in use on this lot. This is as it appears in the map of 1858.

For the first three years that William Goss owned the former Cilley estate, few changes were made. It was nearly a year before Goss opened the tavern, newly names the Suncook Valley House. His day book starting late 1855 survives and provides an approximate date of his opening, December 7, 1855.


James M. Sherburne, who owned property on the hill behind the Goss tavern and farm, kept a diary. In the year 1859 he writes that on Thursday, May 26th, the William Goss barn was burnt. He does not state how badly it was damaged, but he is paid in June of that year for a couple days work shingly the barn. This would likely be a barn rebuilt by Daniel Cilley after his barn fire in 1833.


It was not long after Goss bought the property he began to build upon it. He moved houses to the area, including his father's house from the Fowler District; built a house for his son John, and in 1861, bought the old Free Will Baptist church and moved it to what was later called the village of Gossville. He benefitted from the addition of the railroad, and later in life was the major stockholder of the Epsom Shoe Factory. The factory, established in 1881, started a bulding boom in the area, started by William Goss and continued by his successor, Charles Sumner Hall.


William Goss was born in Epsom, the son of Jonathan and Sally (Yeaton) Goss. The Goss family got their foothold in Epsom with brothers Joseph and Samuel Goss. Samuel married Abigail Lucas and among their nine children was son Jonathan born July 16, 1793. Jonathan married Sally Yeaton, daughter of William and Hannah (Towle) Yeaton in 1816. Their children included Noah, who died young; William; Hannah who married Nathaniel S. Edmunds; Nancy who married Edward Edmunds; Sally G., who married Jefferson Edmunds; Mary, who married George W. Morse; and Andrew J. who married Lucy Barnhouse.


William married first, Maryetta Abott, son of William and Esther (Fowler) Abbott in Pembroke, July 2, 1846. They had four children: John Abbott who married Electa Ann Carpenter in 1869; daughter Elizabeth J. Goss who married Alfred Porter Bickford; Noah William who married Clara Jackman; and Nathan Jonathan who married in 1886, Ida M. Leighton. William's wife Maryetta died in 1873, and he married as his second wife, Sally Rebecca Randall, daughter of Francis D. and Betsey (Sanborn) Randall. She was previously married to John K. Crockett, by whom she had a daughter, Annie Rebecca Crockett. This daughter married James A. Yeaton in 1874 as his second wife. His first wife, Martha A. Randall, died in 1869. She was a sister to the second wife, Sally R., of William Goss.


The shoe factory brought the need for additional housing, and William Goss sold land and buildings during this period which included the later homes of Robert M. Brown, Walter Quimby, Roscoe Warren, Elmore Bickford, Fred Knight, George H. Yeaton, and the earlier Addison Davis house.


William Goss died in 1887 and the family for a time continued to run the Suncook Valley House. The 1892 map of Epsom shows son Noah W. Goss residing there with his mother located in the later George H. Yeaton house next to the Gossville School. Son Nathan J. Goss remained on Black Hall Road in a house that also boarded workers before moving to California. John A. Goss, the eldest son moved to Pittsfield where he was prominent in the banking business.


John A. Goss sold the hotel and land to Chapin H. Osgood of Loudon, October 22, 1894.


Not quite two years into his ownership, fire struck the property on April 5, 1896, as described in a newspaper account:

Saturday April 11, 1896 Epsom News-Letter


Old Goss Stables with fifteen head of Cattle Destroyed.

The village of Gossville in the town of Epsom was visited by the fire fiend about six o’clock Sunday night, and the two large barns, stable and sheds connected with the old hotel stand, owned for many years by William Goss, and now owned by Mr. Osgood, were burned to the ground , together with 14 cows, a calf and several tons of hay. The house was saved after a long fight. The origin of the fire is a mystery as no light had been used about the barn for 24 hours.


The barn and stable were a total loss, and the dwelling had partial damage, according to the Town Fire Log, which listed Chapin H. Osgood as both owner and occupant. Newspaper ads for 1896 show that the hotel may have been leased by C. J. Brown - ‘Suncook Valley House, Gossville, Epsom, NH near Railroad Station. Board by the week;  $1.00 per day; single meals .25 cents.Livery stable connected. C.J. Brown, Manager’ Brown also ran from the hotel an Epsom-Northwood stage during this same period. A newspaper account described a newly added stage coach, as seen in this partial article:


June 1896 Epsom and Northwood Stage New stage christened: The elegant new stage just placed on the Northwood and Epsom line was christened last week Thusday by a free ride given to a number of our town officials and prominent citizens by special invitation from the proprietor, C. J. Brown. The party numbered 17 and started from the Epsom depot on the arrival of the up train at about 11:30 o’clock. The stage was gaily decorated and drawn by four handsome horses driven by the proprietor himself. Several members of the party were provided with fish horns, cow bells and other musical instruments, which awoke the echoes along the hills and announced their progress to the wondering inhabitants along the route. Arriving at Gossville, the store of Silver and Hall was visited, and all were refreshed by cool lemonade provided by Mr. Silver. Here the party separated with many compliments for the new coach and thanks to the genial proprietor for a most enjoyable outing. The new coach is a beauty, strong and serviceable. It has three seats inside, and accommodations for a number of outside passengers. It is handsomely painted and upholstered and is a credit to the builders and to the enterprising proprietor. The change is one which will no doubt be fully appreciated by all who have occasion to patronize the route.


On August 15, 1897, lightning struck the rebuilt stables which were again totaled. The dwelling and hotel also caught fire but were saved, though they received partial damage. In October of 1897 Osgood took a mortgage with Charles Sumner Hall. Newspaper ads showed a change in December of 1897 when the facility was likely leased to Edgar F. White, who changed the name to the Gossville Hotel. Dec. 4, 1897 Gossville Hotel, Gossville, NH.  E. F. White, proprietor. Rates per day $1; single meals .35 cents; Board by the week $4.00 Good livery connected. Free transportation to and from trains. C. J. Brown continued the stage.




Edgar White continued as proprietor of the newly named Gossville Hotel. Documents do not show just when the ownership left the hands of Chapin Osgood, but it is possible the mortgage to Charle Sumner Hall defaulted. Hall rebuilt the barns which were earlier lost to fire. The 1900 US Census for Epsom shows Edgar White and his family still managing the hotel, renting the business. He buys and mortgages the business, which at this time included only the hotel property and not the lands associated with the Goss estate. The property is acquired from and mortgaged by Charles Sumner Hall in June of 1903. A half dozen years later Edgar White sells the business back to Charles Sumner Hall, April of 1908. From 1909 to 1911 the hotel is managed by Ezra Bennett. By 1916 the hotel is operated by C. S. Hall.




In 1916 the old Gossville Hotel was being run by Charles Sumner Hotel as the Hotel Sumner. The west ell was removed and moved slightly down the road as a residence and later raised with a second story. The ell was replaced, as recorded in local newspapers: the large annex to the Gossville Hotel is nearing completion – a very attractive addition (Valley Times Oct. 20, 1916). Besides the hotel, Charles Sumner Hall had a large cattle business out of the barns and sheds next to the hotel. In October of 1924 the hotel property is sold to Helen L. Smith and mortgaged, but this was short lived and was sold back to Hall August 28, 1925. The hotel had ceased operation.


George H. Yeaton in his writings and memories of Epsom history mentions the history and his recollections of the hotel. Among them are the following excerpts:


Before the Suncook Valley Rail-Road was built in the years 1868 and 1869, there was much travel and teaming through the town of Epsom, to and from Portsmouth, Exeter, Dover, Newburyport and Concord.

At one time the mailstage went from Concord to New Market, the drivers were, the Willey Brothers and Charles Dearborn, passing through Epsom each trip.

The stage carrying the mail, express and passengers would leave Concord on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday returning to Concord on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

I can picture the long table with the farm help and some of the men boarders, who worked at the Shoe Factory, seated around this table eating their evening meal.

The women boarders and transients would eat in an adjoining room.

Then in memory I can see the large fireplace, in the front room, used as the office, just off the kitchen, also the set kettle and dutch oven in the back room, the long veranda on the front of the house, and many other recollections come to my mind, like the large corn barn that was on the opposite side of the highway, the long neck gander who chased me and of other happenings in the days now long gone, when I was a small boy. I can remember standing near the large stove in the tavern kitchen, watching my Aunt Elisabeth frying the rye crullers in a kettle of deep fat.


Charles Sumner Hall constructed a house to the east of his home as a rental property, purchased the house across the street which he also rented. He started a box shop at the site of the old shoe factory building and leased part of it to Robert Zinn who started his lace factory business. Shortly before his death he constructed three small houses just over the Prescott bridge on the west side of Black Hall Road. He had a large cattle and lumber business, was a co-owner of what was later the Gossville store. He had an office and owned several small buildings just west of the hotel, dealt in real estate and was active in town and church affairs.




When the estate of Charles Sumner Hall was sold, the farm and land was purchased by M.C Ford and later by Charles Doherty. The hotel was purchased by Ernest I. Bent of Medfield, Massachusetts in 1926. In October of the next year the widow Agnes A. Bent sold the property of J. Arthur Moore of New York. George W. Fowler, administrator of the estate of J. Arthur Moore, late of Epsom, sold the property of Dorothy Frost Hayes on May 12, 1931. The Hayes changed the name to the Pine Grove Inn and improved the hotel. In 1957, Dorothy Hayes Sink, formerly Dorothy Frost Hayes, sold to William and Helen Smith, which changed the name to the Sherwood Inn. It went back inot the hands of Harvey E. and Dorothy Hayes Sink who sold the hotel in 1963 to Harold and Marie Whatley of Long Island, New York. They, in turn, sold business to William W. and Dorothy L. Magwood of Plasitow, NH. as a home and a private home for elderly ambulatory people. In October of 1964 the hotel was sold to Frank G. and Barbara A. Anderson.




The original structure that later became Huckin's Garage does not appear on the 1892 map, and was constructed about 1895 by Charles Sumner Hall. By 1900 it included a residence that was later attached to the business, and it was rented by Abel B. Lamprey, his wife Ann L., and her father Moses Sanborn. Abel Lamprey was a blacksmith and ran his blacksmith shop and the Gossville Carriage Company. Moses Sanborn died in 1910 and does not show in household in the 1910 census. By 1920, Ann Lamprey had died, and Abel still rented the property, with his mother now living with him. Abel died in 1925 and had left the business which was sold to Charles N. Huckins July 12, 1924 by C.S. Hall. The deed stipulated that for 25 years ‘no building or structure whatever shall be erected or moved upon those portions of the premises which lie easterly and westerly of the buildings now on said premises’….the object being to keep the present view from the Gossville Hotel.  The deed gives the property as comprising of ‘a dwelling house, shed, blacksmith shop and the Gossville Garage, now occupied by the grantor.’


According to information given to the Gossville Historic District by Ivan Rutherford, (Charles) Huckins worked for a time as a clerk in the nearby store of Silver and Hall. He pursued a hobby of fixing motorcycles in the old blacksmith shop near his house. As automobile travel became more common, this hobby expanded into a business and Huckins established the Gossville Garage during the late 1920’s. The garage grew rapidly to include an automobile dealership and service station. He operated the garage until 1958 and it was then continued by Doris Huckins, and with a newer station being built in Pittsfield, the garage closed its doors. The building was converted into apartments, and later when Route 4 was enlarged, they were removed leaving just the original residence.


The property across the street, including the large barn, was part of the Doherty farm. Charles S. Hall had separated the farm from the hotel business, and his heirs sold the farm to Sarah G. Ford in 1926, and she sold the property to Charles and Beaulah K. Doherty. This property, including a house, barn and land behind the garage, to Doris Huckins in 1943. The barn and subsequent parking area became the dealership portion of the of Huckins Garage. Heirs Gordon (Tommy) Huckins and his sister Virginia H. Yeaton sold the barn and lot to Eric Keeler and David Mihachik Jr., in 2000. The barn was lost to arson July 21, 2008.






The heirs of Charles S. Hall sold the farm (house, land and barn, excluding the hotel lot) to Sarah G. Ford in 1926. Two years later it was sold to Charles and Beaulah K. Doherty. They struggled for many years to keep the property, but lost it to foreclosure. With the exceptions of a couple small lots, the finance company sold the property to Doris E. Huckins on April 10, 1943. The barn and subsequent parking lot were used as part of the Huckins Garage complex as a dealership.


One small portion of the Doherty farm sold included, with buildings, a small parcel to Charles H. Chase which was operated as a store. Other buildings nearby included a building referred to as 'the bungalow.' The store property was sold by Ethel Cousins, administrator of Adelaide M. Chase, to Charles N. Huckins in 1953.


The Doherty house was originally a wing of the Gossville Hotel which was removed by C.S. Hall to this location, and at a later date was raised to a two story dwelling.


In photo above the house is on the right before it was added to. 



This small building was used as storage for the nearby Silver and Hall store. It was acquired from John E. Chesley in 1895. The only building mentioned on the deed is the wheelwright shop, occupied by 1892 by Hiram  Parker who lived in one of the nearby houses. There are no deeds, but it would appear John E. Chesley acquired both his buildings. Silver and Hall sold to Harry Silver and Burt Young, and Burt Young sold this small parcel ‘being the premises on which the store house of Silver and Young is located’ to Howard Saturley 1947. He used the building for a small shop before selling it to Harold S. Bickford in 1953. Bickford sold it to his wife Laura Mae (Young) in July of 1955 where she established a gift shop – The Pine Shop. Harold Bickford died the next year, and she married for a second time Edward Beane. She sold her shop in 1958 to Marguerite Hallett of Concord. By 1972 she, as Marguerite R. George, sold the business to the Yeaton family which operated Wagon House Gifts. Since about 1980 it has been occupied by Suncook Valley Artisans.


Laura Mae (Young) Bickford Beane was the daughter of Burt D. and Lottie M. (Dempsey) Young. Burt and his wife had four children, Mable who married Allie Bartlett; Laura Mae; Lester B. who died tragically when as a cather, a foul ball hit him in the chest, he was 24; and Hazel M. who married Millard Yeaton.




The house on this lot was part of the lot bought by Howard Saturley. It is unclear when the house was built, but it was occupied for a time by the Saturley family and then rented. The house was sold in May 1963 to Walter F. and Hattie B. (Zinn) Heath. The Heath’s held the property for a little less tha a year, selling the house in April of 1964.




The house was likely moved to this site at about the time William Goss deeded the land and buildings to his son John in March of 1868. At the time there were already other buildings in the immediate vicinity. The old Free Will Baptist Church was moved in 1861 and the southerly half of it, being used as a carriage makers shop, was part of the property deeded to John. Another building mentioned is a blacksmith shop, but its location in the area is not given.


John A. Goss went into the store business with his father, having converted the carriage makers shop. He got involved in banking and moved to Pittsfield. He sold the house and the southerly half of the store to Silver and Robinson who were already operating the business. Jacob Robinson sold his half of the house to Andrew Silver in 1875. The Silver’s occupied the house for many years and it passed to his son Harry Silver, who lived in the house next door. After Harry died in 1966, his widow, Alice B. (Yeaton) Silver sold the house to Ernestine Wilson in November of 1967. The next owners were Glenn and Judith Campbell who acquired the house in 1979.  Judith got full title in 1981 and sold it two years later to Joyce Heck.





William Goss moved and built houses to accommodate members of his family. The land to the left of where the old Baptist Church was moved was sold to his father in law, William Abbott, father to his wife, Maryett Abbott. The land included buildings and the transaction was in October of 1866, two years before a house next door was deeded to his son John. What is interesting is that part of the bounds (there were two tracts of land, the house being on the first tract) for the property is the cemetery.


At the time there had to be few burials in the area, and the mother of William Goss is among the early graves having died in 1864. William Abbott and his second wife, Nancy (Campbell), sold the house lot back to William Goss in 1869. Keeping the house in the family, he sold it in 1873 to the husband of his sister Sally G., Goss, Jefferson A. Edmunds.


Jefferson A. Edmunds was the son of Edward and Betsy (Lane) Edmunds of Chichester. The family moved from former Goss land across town to Gossville. Their children included Frank Lafayette who died young; Frank Warren; Ada, who married Elmer Cobb; Cora A. who married John K. Stokes and lived in Epsom; Florence N. who died young; Willie G. who did not marry and died at age 24; Grace D. who married Arlie Oliver; Walter; Horace W. who married first, Adelaide E. Bickford, and second, Sadie R. Reed, resided in Epsom; and John L. Edmunds. The property is described in the deed as 'a tract of land with the buldings thereon wituated in Epsom and bound north by the Goborough Road, so called, east by land of Silver and Robinson, south by the Turnpike road so called, and west by the Epsom Cemetery, containing half an acre. Itwas sold by the heirs of the family to Andrew J. Silver in January 1903. The heirs were listed as Ada E. Cobb, Cora A. Stokes, Walter H. Edmunds, Grace D. Oliver, Frank W. Edmunds and Horace W. Edmunds. Andrew J. Silver sold the house to his son Harry in August of that same year.




Harry Silver was an only child of Andrew and Juliette E. (James) and was born in Epsom in 1882. In December of 1906 he married Alice Bertha Yeaton, daughter of Daniel Towle and Ann Bray (Rowell) Yeaton. They had no children, and Harry Silver died in 1966. His widow continued to live in the house until she died in 1978. LaFayette Pinckney was the administrator of her estate who sold the house to Ernestine Faith Wilson in December 1978. Ernestine already owned the former Andrew Silver house. She sold this property in 1998, and the house has changed hands many times since.


The two Silver homes along with that of Charlie Huckins (Huckin’s Garage) were the first homes in Epsom with electricity, provided with a generator owned by Charlie Huckins. There is some debate as to the age of the house. There has been a house on this site since 1866, but it is not known if the house was built there, moved there, or replaced since it first appeared. The town property card dates the house as 1803, which information came from Ernestine Wilson. If she is correct, it had to have been moved to this spot after 1858 (as it is not on the map for that year) and before 1866 when it was sold to William Abbott.





The first store in this part of town was actually very near the Cilley Tavern. In 1802 Mark French bought a half acre lot 52 rods from the house and tavern of Daniel Cilley and erected a building there. He sells it in 1815 to John B. Girard, confectioner of Portsmouth. Girard had married in 1809, Sarah Moses, daughter of Sylvanus who owned land and lived on Goboro Road. In only a year Mark French once again owned the land and buildings and turned them over to Michael McClary. McClary sold the property to Bradbury Cilley, Daniel Cilley’s oldest son in 1816. Bradbury may have rented out the business, as James Babb in his diary relates that in 1820, Messrs Woodman and Gove hired Cilley’s store and moved their goods into it. It was short lived as they were out of business four months later. Babb also states ‘theymade themselves scarce with a wagon and two horses.’ That is the last mention of a store until the Cilley estate is sold to William Goss.


A few years after Goss bought the Cilley estate and began running his Suncook Valley House and the large farm, he helped the Free Will Baptist Church with construction of a new meetinghouse by buying the old one built in 1834. The old building, intact, was moved west to the village of Gossville, probably being near the first of many buildings moved by Goss over the next several years. In 1868 William sells to his son John A. Goss, a house and ‘the southerly half of the carriage makers shop,’ along with a blacksmith shop. Two years later they changed the carriage shop to a store, and placed an ad in a local newspaper:


From the Valley Times March 17, 1870


New Store New Store

In the Suncook Valley

The subscribers offer for sale at their new Store just opened at Goss' Village in Epsom, a good variety of West India Goods and Groceries at extremely low prices. Having purchased goods for cash in Boston and vicinity, at great discount, we are prepared to place them before the public lower than they can be bought elsewhere, in this vicinity. We solicit a liberal patronage. Come one and all and examine out stock of goods for yourselves.

Motto, Quick Sales and Small Profits.

Wm. & John A. Goss. Epsom, Feb. 28, 1870


For whatever reason, the father and son team elected not to continue to run a store, and the next year William Goss sold the northerly half of the store and the horse shed that the duo of Silver and Robinson already occupied. A few months earlier John A. Goss sold to Silver and Robinson his southerly half of the store. The partnership of Silver and Robinson lasted for ten years. In November of 1883, Jacob Robinson left Epsom for Pembroke and sold his half of the business to Charles S. Hall. Hall was the son of John C. and Martha (Rand) Hall and was raised on Center Hill. As a young man he gained experience working in and with his father at his store on Center Hill. Charles S. Hall married in 1876, Ellen M. Dolbeer, daughter of Calvin and Abby L. (Goss) Dolbeer.


In 1882 the Gossville Post Office was established with Andrew J. Silver, postmaster. Just prior to Robinson selling his half of the store, a major change was made to its appearance. The one story building was raised, with the original church becoming the second floor, and it opened as the Grand Army of the Republic Hall and was dedicated by the post September 20, 1883, in which they held their meetings. Some months later it was announced in a newspaper dated November 1, 1883: The old Freewill Baptist meeting house, at Gossville in Epsom, has had a story added which will be used as a G.A. R. hall and Good Templars' lodge room. So the second story was not added until some 22 years after it was moved from its original location, and was used as a single story store for 13 years. The business grew and additional property was bought from John E. Chesley across the street which included a wheelwright shop which was converted later for use as storage.


Silver and Hall continued their operation for nearly thirty years until selling in 1914. Half of the business was sold to Andrew Silver’s son Harry Silver; the other half to Burt D. Young. Again, this partnership lasted over thirty years, and the store was sold in 1946 to Frederick Burnell. Now known as the Gossville General Store, Burnell sold to Herbert R. Seldon in November of 1950. Seldon ran the store and post office for nearly a decade before selling to Melvin and Rowena Severance in 1959. The old horsesheds became a local Laundromat and the post office assigned a zip code of 03239. The Severance’s sold the store Farrell Hahn in 1971.





Shortly after William Goss bought the Cilley estate and moved to Gossville, his father Jonathan sold the family home in the Fowler District to James Yeaton. The deed specifically mentions a family burying ground on the Goss homestead, the original home of Samuel Goss Jr. and his wife Abigail Lucas. By deed in 1866, when William Goss sells a house and land next to what was to become the Gossville Store, one of the bounds is a cemetery. Cemetery stones in the Gossville Cemetery included Samuel (died 1831) and Abigail (died 1824), William’s grandparents; and his brother Noah who died in 1819. These stones had to be removed from the family plot and moved to Gossville about the time William’s mother died in 1864. This land that had the burials was sold by Miriam Robinson, widow of Stickney Robinson, in 1870, to the Epsom Cemetery Association - ‘A tract of land in Epsom known as the Cemetery, easterly by the land of William Goss, northerly by the road leading to Chichester, westerly by land of the Suncook Valley Raid road Company and southerly by the Turnpike Road. Containing one acre occupied as a grave yard.’


The Epsom Cemetery Association had to be established about the same time, though its earlier records are lost, a book of minutes survives starting in December of 1912. At that meeting, the constitution of the association was read and it was repeated at their April 1914 meeting when it was decided to revise the constitution, with Alice Silver, Lizzie Bickford and Lavinia Marden chosen to do the revision. It was written into the minutes and signed by all the members on April 14, 1915 as the Gossville Cemetery Association. Officers at the time included President Mrs. Emma Hall, Vice President, Mrs. Carrie Marden, Clerk, Mrs. Alice Silver and Treasurer Mrs. Sadie Edmunds.


Previously, in 1888, Mrs. John F. Hopkinson and son George W. donated money and had an iron fence with an arched opening built. Her maiden name remains unknown, but her first name was Delia, born in Belfast, Maine and died in Boston in 1896. Her son George W., died in Philadelphia in 1926. Both are buried in the cemetery.


The cemetery is primarily a Civil War era burying ground, though there are some earlier dates that precede the war. Most of these were added to later monuments as several families had burials from earlier family plots added to their newer markers in the Gossville Cemetery. Among those families are the Towles, Moses and Sherburnes. The Gossville Cemetery Association was the sole caretaker of the cemetery until by vote of the town, it was transferred to the town of Epsom in 2010.


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. Benjamin M. Towle, 1936. 




If William Goss moved the blacksmith shop from near where the old library stands, it would have been one of the first buildings he moved, and would have been part of the old Cilley tavern buildings. A blacksmith shop was sold by William to his son John in 1868, along with his right to use it and the tools during the term of his natural life. John sold the blacksmith shop back to his father in 1873, ‘standing in Goss Village, between the present shop and the new wheelwright shop.’


The original wheelwright shop was the old Freewill Baptist church building which in 1870 was made into a store, and the new shop is what was probably the Thomas house. At the time of the sale back to his father, the blacksmith was Eleazer Twombly. William Goss retained ownership until his death, and his son John, as administrator of his estate, sold the land and buildings, one half acre, to Mary I. Sanders. Sanders owned what was later the Thomas House. It would appear that both Goss and Sanders rented the building to various blacksmiths, all who lived in the area. At the same time, Mary I. Sanders mortgaged the same property which in part read ‘seven thousand shingles and one lot of pine boards to finish now in new building and lot, one ox sling complete, one bellows complete and one forge as it is now in blacksmith shop on said land.’ This was in 1889. It would appear that the old blacksmith shop may have been removed and the ‘new building’ used to replace it. This would coincide with the findings of the Gossville Historic District survey which dated the building from circa 1890. During this time Moses Q. Burnham was the blacksmith. The last blacksmith to work the shop was John Boyce, who was there into the 1940’s and perhaps later. The building remained part of the Thomas homestead property.




The Thomas house was originally the James Clark house which was located very near the old Towle/Colby house on Colby Road. It appears to have been moved about 1872 and used as a wheelwright or carriage and paint shop until converted into a residence. In 1874 William Goss sold it to his sister Nancy. Nancy L. Goss married Edward Edmunds and had a daughter, Mary Ida. Edward died in 1868 and she married as her second husband, Jeremiah Mack in 1871. He died in Portsmouth six years later, and Nancy married next, Jonathan Marden in 1878. This was the third marriage for her, and second for him. It was during the time she was married to Jonathan Marden that the ell was added to the house. When Nancy (Goss) Marden died, Jonathan Marden sold the home to  her daughter from her first marriage, Mary I., who had married Warren A. Sanders in 1870. It was Mary I. who bought the adjoining property with the blacksmith shop in 1889.


Mary moved, and while in Chicago in 1921, a widow, sold the property to Joseph E. Wood, who turned the property over to his wife Martha in 1924. Joseph and Mary Wood, now of Groton, Massachusetts, sold the house to Cecilie P. Brown of Epsom, September 26, 1926. Cecilie lived in the house for twenty five years before selling the house to Hiram and Carolyn Thomas and Olive and Walter T. Reams of Wakefeld, MA., in May of 1951. They sold the property in 1985.


The Water Tank House was built by the Rail Road and housed large quantities of wood for running the train. Wood was used in the engine. The Marston house just beyond was bought by the Rail Road. Goborough Road then ran near the present railroad track. The Rail Road Company built the carriage road on the backside of the Marston house. The tracks were in front and the Marston house was used as a station before the present station was built. Benjamin M. Towle, 1936.




The book The Blueberry Express (1985 by the Suncook Valley Railroad Historical Society)  gives the following caption for this photo -'A 1930's overview at Epsom shows the freighthouses and (foreground) a shed made from Manchester and Lawrence boxcar #75. The depot was left of the picture.'




The Suncook Valley Rail Road began service late in 1869 and precipitated a building boom in Gossville to house the many rail worker employees. The buildings of the station included the main depot and the freight building. Additional buldings for storage were added, and there was a stage stable that housed the horses for the many stages that transported people from the depot to other destinations. The final run of the Blueberry Express was December 20, 1952.


The Suncook Valley Railrod sold the freight buildings to the Merrimack Farmer's Exchange in 1946 with access from both Route 4 and Goboro Road.


Much of the land owned by the railroad, including the depot, were bought by the Huckin's family in 1953, with the depot becoming part of the Huckins Oil Company. Additional buildings were enlarged and added, including some with frontage on Goboro Road.


Towards Chichester from the old Clark house Billy Bennett used to live – Warren Steven’s now lives there. Billy Bennett bought the ell of the “Red House” on Black Hall Road and moved it out to Gossville. Benjamin M. Towle, 1936




There is some uncertainty as to where the “Red House’ was on Black Hall Road, but it may have been one of the earlier Yeaton properties. William C. Bennett lived on Black Hall Road for a time, and may have rented the Yeaton property. There is an old photo which shows what might have been the house, made of brick which may account for the description, and it has a small wooded ell attached to the back. In any event, William Goss moved the ell of the house to Gossville. It was set on land which included the original Goss house which was moved earlier from the Fowler District. This property was sold to James Yeaton in 1877, and that same year, the house was sold by Yeaton to William C. and his wife, Sarah A. (Drake) Bennett.


Billy Bennett died in 1884 and his widow married Sewell Dickinson Batchelder in 1904. The next year she sold the house to Nathan A. Bickford. Nathan Almont Bickford was the son of Alfred Porter Bickford and Elizabeth J. Goss, daughter of William Goss. Nathan died in 1918, and through his widow and estate, the house was sold to Burt D. Young, adjoining his homestead property. Various people occupied the residence over the years, including the Waterhouse family about 1910; John Boyce, blacksmith in the 1940’s; and Ethel Much, a long time school teacher in the 1950’s. The house, now including the Millard Yeaton home, was sold to Melvin Severance by Millard Yeaton in 1966, and sold by him to Richard J. Day in 1970.


Just to the east of the Sarah Bennett house is another home which remained part of the property on which William Goss relocated his family home. It is not known when it was built, but was a rental property, and in the 1930’s was occupied by Allie Bartlett, to whom Burt Young sold the house in 1946. Only the Bennett house is shown on the map of 1892.


Allie Bartlett was the son of George W. and Sarah E. Bartlett, and married in 1911 Bessie Wasson. She died the next year and he married second, in 1914, Mable Young, the daughter of Burt D. Young and Lottie Dempsey. The house passed to their daughters Myrtle (Cass), Dorothy (Smith). The property left the Bartlett family in 1983.


Next to the Billy Bennett house is the house now owned by Bert Young. This house was the Goss place in the Fowler District and formerly stood opposite the house of William Fowler. William Goss moved it out to Gossville and set it up. Benjamin M. Towle, 1936.



William Goss moved from his childhood home in the Fowler District in 1855 when he purchased the former Cilley property. In 1857 his father sold the homestead to James A. Yeaton, who in turn sold it back in 1862. It was probably around this time that William Goss moved the family home, along with the graves in the family cemetery, to Gossville. His mother, Sally (Yeaton) Goss died in 1864, his father Jonathan in 1872. In 1877 William Goss sells this house and land to James A. Yeaton, who had occupied the house when it was back in the Fowler District. James A. Yeaton's first wife, Martha (Randall), was a sister to William Goss' second wife, Sally R. (Randall), his first wife Maryetta (Abbott) died in 1873. Before Sally married William Goss, she had been married to John R. Crockett, by which they had one daughter, Annie R. Crockett, born 1853. James A. Yeaton's first wife Martha died in 1869, and he married as his second wife, Annie R. Crockett in 1874. He had three children by each. With his wife Martha he had James A. who died young; Edwin R; and John L. who died young. With his second wife Annie he had John C., Helen E. P.; and George H. Yeaton. George H. wrote down many memories of Epsom, including the following:


About the date of the beginning of the Civil War, the farm was sold to James Yeaton, who with his family lived for a number of years, until the death of his first wife in the year 1869. Shortly after her death, he left the farm. In later years, after William Goss had moved the house to the village at Gossville, James Yeaton owned the original Goss house. At the time when William Goss was living on the farm at Gossville, he had the misfortune to break one of his legs. It was at this time that James Yeaton, my father, took over the management of the farm and the help. My father and mother lived in the ell on the west end of the old tavern, and my older brother, John C. Yeaton, was born in that part of the house.


The next owner of the house was Hiram Parker who took out a mortgage with the Farmers Exchange Bank of Pittsfield, being 'the same land deeded to me about ten years ago by James Yeaton.' Though the actual deed appears to not have been recorded, the sale would have been about 1881. In 1887 Parker took out a mortgage with John A. Goss for land and buildings 'known as the wheel wright shop' of one half acre.


Hiram Parker likely was living in the house by 1907. His wife was Lavina E. Place, and they had at least three children: Francena who married James E. Eastman; Ella G. who married Joseph Lyman Swain; and Seth Charles Parker. Related, but not known how, is George E. Place. He published several pieces of sheet music, including 'Good Night Little One' which was published, according to its cover, in 1907 in Gossville. He had a son, Edwin L. Place who married Alice R. Smith of Alton in 1886, and they bought a home on New Orchard Road in 1907. She died in 1923 and he married Bertha L. Burnham of Epsom in 1925. The connection between the two Place families remains unknown, but the music remains an interesting note in Gossville history.


Hiram Parker apparently did not record any deeds, but the property is sold by John E. Chesley in 1908 to Burt D. Young, and the next year he deeds the property to Andrew J. Silver and Charles S. Hall. When Andrew Silver and Charles Hall passed the ownership of their store to Harry Silver and Burt D. Young, the house and land was part of the property. This was in 1914, and two years later, Harry Silver deeded his half to Burt Young, making him sole owner.


Burt D. Young and his wife Lottie M. Dempsey raised their family in this house. In 1946 the house was deeded to Millard J. Yeaton who married in 1922, Burt's daughter Hazel and they moved into the house which was divided into a two family residence. Millard, his son in law, worked for many years for the Silver and Young store. Millard J. Yeaton sold the homestead to Melvin and Rowena Severance in 1966. The original structure has been replaced.



House owned by Mrs. Beckley, now Mrs. Rand. This was formerly the home of old Mrs. Westcott (Stephen, I believe). It was built new and on to from an old shop. It is now owned by the heirs of Moses Burnham. Mr. Westcott was a wheelwright. Benjamin M. Towle, 1936.




William Goss sold a parcel of land, about one half acre, to Stephen O. Wescott in 1875, and there were no buildings mentioned. Wescott may have added the house at the time. He and his wife were from Maine, where he resided in 1850. By 1870 he is living in Chichester, his first wife Mary having died in 1864, now with his second wife Mary with their 4 month old child. Of his children, Louisa G. lived in Epsom, the wife of Lucius W. Robinson, where she died in 1879. Another daughter married Benjamin B. Brewster in 1865. Stephen O. Wescott died in 1879 and his wife Mary E., also seen as Clara, deeded the property to Benjamin Haggett that same year. Nine days later it was sold back to William Goss, now complete with buildings. William Goss owned the building and probably rented it out until it was sold to William L. Hildreth in 1885.


Hildreth and his family left Epom selling the house and land to Fred C. Burnham in July of 1889. Fred and his wife Estelle may have occupied the house while their children were born, Bessie in 1886, Ernest in 1887, and Dorothy in 1899. The family sold the home in 1891 to Nancy V. Follansbee of Epsom. She died a widow in Laconia in 1897, and their daughter Estella L. Fecteau sold it to Martha Knowles, of Gossville.


Martha Knowles was the wife of George C. Knowles who owned a busness and land around the Epsom Traffic Circle. They had two daughters, Catherine A., who married Ernest R. Marden in 1905; and Maud E. who died in 1894, unmarried. George C. Knowles died in 1898, and his wife Martha in 1912. As sole heir, Catherine K. Marden sold the house to Moses Q. Burnham whose homestead was right next door, in 1915. The Knowles family most likely rented out the property, as did the Burnhams.


The 1900 US Census includes a Blaisdell family, a rail station agent; in 1910 and 1920, Charles H. Pike and wife Eliza. In 1930 the house was occupied by Lovetta R. Rand.


Charles H. Pike married in 1896, Eliza A. Burnham, sister to Moses Q. Burnham. Lovetta R. Rand was a daughter of Luke R. and Mary (Morrine) Plumb. She was living in 1920 in Natick, MA with her husband, Frank L. Rand. She married first in Boston, February 2, 1892, Frank H. Beckler. At the time she appears renting this house in the 1930 US Census she is still married to Frank Rand. Lovetta died in Epsom, a widow, November 19, 1931 at age 65.


The Burnham estate was handled by their only daughter, Marion, and the house was sold to Nellie B. Brown, widow, of Epsom, in 1949. Nellie also purchased the house on the opposite side of the Burnham homestead. Nellie was the daughter of  John Robinson and Lucinda (Hall) Dow, who married Charles F. Brown of Lee in Chichester in 1887. They had one child, Harold Clifton Brown. Charles F. Brown died in 1908 and Nellie and her son moved to Pennsylvania where he married Cecilie B. Peterson, born in Norway. They married in Schuylkill, PA on July 7, 1917. Harold C. died in Hazelton, Pennsylvania in 1924. His widow, his mother Nellie, and their three children, Harold C., Robert F., and David L., moved back to Epsom. Cecilie bought what was later the Thomas House across from the Gossville General Store. Nellie Brown is living there with the family in 1930, and in 1940 is living with Emma Hall next to the Moses Q. Burnham family.


Nellie Brown sold the small home to Laura Bickford in 1958. Laura was the wife of Harold S. Bickford and daughter of Burt and Lottie Young. Her husband Harold died in 1956, and a year after she purchased the house she married as her second husband, Edward E. Beane in 1959. They occupied the home until Laura Beane sold it in 1968 to Donald and Doloris Loven.


North of the Westcott house is the house where Moses Burnham lived, now occupied by his heirs. Morrill Bickford built this house for a blacksmith named Twombly, a Frenchman (Probably about ’75 or ’76). “Billy Burnham” bought it and lived and died there, his widow went to live with her son Fred in Penacook. Moses bought it next I think.  Benjamin M. Towle, 1936




William Goss sold a small tract of land, about threre fourths of an acre to the blacksmith Eleazer Twomby in December of 1876. His name is mentioned in a deed of 1873 when John A. Goss sells the blacksmith shop back to his father as 'occupied by the present time by Eleazer Twombly.' Within the year he places mortgages on the property -  one March 12, 1877 to William Goss for just land; another to William Goss for 'one dwelling house new and partly finished;' and a third to Morrill D. Bickford in April of 1878, for 'a house one and one half stories high with an ell new and nearly finished.' It was back in the hands of William Goss in 1882 when he sells the house to Morrill D. Bickford. In just a few months, it is sold to William Burnham, as 'the Twombly place.' This is William E. Burnham, son of Jeremiah G. and Sarah (Worth) Burnham, and his wife Emma Wells.


William E. Burnham married Emma Clara Wells in 1860 and had one son, Fred W. Burnham, who later also buys land and buildings in this part of Gossville. William sells the house to his nephew Moses Quimby Burnham, son of James McCutcheon and Mary Jane (Wells) Burnham. Mary Jane and William E.'s wife Emma were sisters. Moses Quimby and his wife had only one child, a daughter Marion S. Burnham, born in 1894. They may have occupied the buiding before they bought it in 1903. Moses died in 1930 and his wife, Josie B. Shaw, whom he married in 1893, died in 1948. The estate was administered by their daughter Marion who married in 1919, Edward H. Burnham, son of Edward J. Burnham (son of John C. Burnham, son of Jeremiah Gordon Burnham). She sold the homestead to William and Addie Young in 1950, who sold it a few months later to George Chelland. On August 23, 1951, it was bought by Henry Dowst Jr.  and his wife Roberta. Henry was the son of Henry and Emma (Dauth) Dowst who married in 1944, Roberta C. Cross. They had two children. The house was sold in 1987.


Frank Hall, section boss for thirty years or so built the house beyond Moses Burnham’s on the same side and lived there until his death. His wife still lives there. Benjamin M. Towle, 1936.



This piece of land, in the form of a triangle, was part of the William E. Burnham property that was later that of Moses Q. Burnham. It was sold in 1883, without buildings, to Robert A. Edwards. Edwards, from Maine, married in 1883 Estella A. Yeaton, daughter of John and Caroline (Bickford) Yeaton. He apparently did not build on the property, selling just the land back to William Burnham. William in turn, sold it to Frank Hall in May of 1875, who built his house there. Frank Hall was the son of Andrew J. and Sarah (Poynter) Hall who owned property further up on Goboro Road. He married Emma Dow, daughter of John Robinson and Lucinda (Hall) Dow. Emma Dow was a sister to Nellie B. Dow who married Charles F. Brown, and would later own the house and land. He worked for the Boston and Maine Railroad for over 40 years. He died July 31, 1928. His wife Emma continued to live in the house, and her sister Nellie Brown moved in with her by the 1940 census.


Emma Hall died in 1943, and an heir, Edna M. Staples, along with Sadie Thompson, widow; Gertrude E Simpson, widow;  and Leonia Lakeman, sold the house to Emma's sister, Nellie Brown in 1945. She sold the property to Charles N. Huckins in June of 1849. Huckins transfers the property to Robert Cutter in 1950, and Cutter sells the house to Gregory Hurd early in 1952. Gregory and Helen Hurd occupied the premises until sold in October of 1968 to Glenn and Diana Burton.


Just beyond this house (Frank Hall) a road turns eastward and runs up to the Sherburne place. Mrs. Lucy Sherburne, a widow, lived there and taught school in the old schoolhouse which stood where the present two room building stands. There was a path down thro’ the pasture which belonged to the Goss farm (the old Cilley place) now the hotel, through which she used to come to school. Her younger son Bert remained there and Mrs. Sherburne lived with him. Picnics used to be held in a grove known as Mrs. Sherburne’s woods – her husband died with consumption and she brought up her three children, Lula, Horace and Bert. 

A still older schoolhouse is said to have stood on the east side just beyond the road to the Sherburne place. My father said he used to play in the swamp between the cemetery and the railroad and chased rabbits there. Benjamin M. Towle, 1936




Mark Moses was likely in Epsom by 1762 when William Wallace deeded 30 acres of and, part of lot 95 to his daughter Jane Wallace, who had married Mark Moses. In 1778 Mark Moses bought addition land in lot number 96 of John and Ward Cotton Weeks of Greenland. Part of this land was deeded to sons Sylvanus, who married Miriam Young in 1776; and James, who had married in 1780, Elizabeth Sherburne. According to historian John Mark Moses, Sylvanus (1754-1832) and James (1758-1819), succeeded him and added to the estate till it included some two hundred acres, reaching from the river to the New Orchard road. Sylvanus lived near the river: James, at A. D. Sherburne's place. James and his wife Elizabeth had six children: Mark, who married Betsy Cate, died age 30 in 1811; James who married Betsy Chesley and died age 29 in 1812; daughter Jane who did not marry; Betsy Sherburne Moses, who married David Sherburne in 1807; Mary who married John Morrison in 1814; and Sarah who married John Lake of Chichester in 1814. James Moses died in 1819, and his wife in 1826, and both are buried in a family cemetery not far from their home. There are no deeds, though the property next was probably held by James and Elizabeth’s daughter Betsy S. Moses who had married David Sherburne. David and Betsy had a large family, their homestead was on New Orchard Road. Their eldest son William died about age 14, their next eldest son was James Moses Sherburne. James married Betsy Chesley Blake in 1837 and had 8 children: James Lewis, Edwin Moses, Elizabeth Jane, Emeline Prescott who died young; Charles Henry whod died young; Loretta Ann who did not marry; Adele who died unmarried at age 19; and Mary Esther who died young. It is James M. Sherburne and his wife Betsy who next occupied the James Moses homestead. They probably built the current house as the property card for the property dates the house as from 1844. His wife Betsey died in 1854, and James married for his second wife,  Lucy Coolidge Bickford, daughter of Samuel Weeks and Lucy C. (Learned) Bickford. They had additional children Lucy Learned who married Frank O. Johnson; Horace Bickford, who married Eliza Holmes, daughter of Hiram A. Holmes; Charles Henry who died young; and Albert David, known as A.D., who married in 1888, Hattie L. Batchelder, daughter of Alonzo  E. and Carrie E. (Page) Batchelder.


It appears that part of the homestead of James Moses was also given to David Sherburne, brother to James M. Sherburne by their father. This land was sold by David to Edwin M .Sherburne, his nephew and son of James M. Sherburne. The description is as follows: A parcel of land with the buildings thereon in Epsom, bounded northerly by the Cross road and land of the heirs and widow of James M. Sherburne, easterly by said land and southerly by land of William Goss, the same being known as the Front field land and pasture and weas field. Also my title in the two barns situated on the James Moses place so called. Meaning this deed to convey said above described premises and all my right title and interest in said Moses place.


This was in 1869, and the next month he sold the same, less mention of the barns, to Horace Bickford. He holds the land for 20 years and sells It back to A. D. Sherburne to once again become part of the homestead farm. This deed is also interesting as it crosses the backyards of much of the Gossville Village homes, it states: a parcel of land in Epsom bounded beginning at the northwest corner of land of Morrill D. Bickford and running southerly by said Bickfords land to land of the heirs of William Goss, late of Epsom; thence westerly by land of said heirs and land of Mrs. Warren Sanders, Hiram A. Parker, Gorham P. Rand, William L. Hildreth, William Burnham and Frank Hall to the Goboro road, thence northerly and easterly by the private way leading from said road to the dwelling house of the heirs of James M. Sherburne and by land of Horace Bickford to the first mentioned bound, containing 10 acres more or less.


The homestead is deeded to  A.D. Sherburne in 1889 when the family (Horace B. Sherburne and E. Jennie his wife; Lucy L. Johnson and Frank O. Johnson, husband) sign their interest in the premises consisting of the real estate of James M. Sherburne at the time of his death. Albert David Sherburne and his wife Hattie had one daughter, Nellie F. Sherburne. On her death she deeded the homestead to Alfred and Joyce Bickford.




The next house on the east side of Goborough Road is one built by Charles Palmer probably between forty and fifty years ago. Benjamin M. Towle, 1936.



In 1886 Rufus D. Doe sold his daughter Myra about an acre of land which was south of the driveway to his house, south to Goboro Road and land of the Suncook Valley Railroad, with Rufus reserving a right of way from his dooryard leading to land of William Goss. Myra L. Doe married in 1884, Charles H. Palmer and had two sons, Augustus Henry and Elmer Hoyt. Charles built their house on the acre lot, and the property was added to in 1893 from the corner of land of the heirs of William Goss and on the bank of the old driveway leading to the dwelling house of Rufus D. Doe.


The deed included the rights to a well ten feet north of the property. Myra died in 1910, and in 1911 the sons signed their interest in the property to their father, who remarried in 1911, Ida M. Durant. Charles H. Palmer died in 1927, and his widow Ida sold the house and land to George and Gertrude Stevens of Epsom. George A. Stevens died in 1972, and the sole heir of the property was Marguerite M. Brockway, who as an un-remarried widow sold the property in 1992.


1858 map showing two homes occupied by J&J Clark.




Part of the Sylvanus Moses estate was sold by Arthur C. Locke to John Wallace, trader, of Epsom in 1854. It was part of lots 96 and 97 and included some 24 acres. In 1858 William Goss, who owned adjoining property bought as part of the Daniel Cilley estate, sold Wallace 6 acres with buildings reserving a right of passage to a pasture 'near the residence of John C. Clark.'  John Wallace ran a store near Slab City, on the corner of New Orchard Road. There is no mention of houses when he purchased the Goboro Road land and probably built a house there and rented it to John C. Clark. In 1860 Wallace sold John C. Clark 6 acres with buildings, reserving a right of way to a sheep pasture, the land bordering on land of William Goss. Three years later, the Clarks sold the 6 acres, land and buildings back to William Goss.


Just before the Judge White house was the Rufus Doe house. Rufus Doe lived there and married Orson or Orison Abbott’s daughter and raised a family there, Myra and Bert. Myra married Charles Palmer and was there a while. Later Bert lived there. It has been sold and is occupied in the summer.  [note; B. M. Towle does not have the relationship correct, Rufus Doe’s wife was Viola A. Abbott, a brother to Orison Abbott who married a sister of Rufus Doe.]

Edgar Annis has built a modern house in the field back of the Rufus Doe place. Benjamin M. Towle, 1936



On the 1858 map this property is occupied by J. and J. Clark. This is John C. Clark and probably his father James M. Clark. This land appears to have been two pieces, one owned by William Goss and sold to John Wallace, the other bought from John Wallace which he acquired from Arthur C. Locke. The Goss land, part of the Cilley estate is of interest. Joseph Cilley, Daniel Cilley’s father, bought this land from William Nason in 1793, part of lot 95 being the land he now lives on.


Exactly where Nason’s house was is lost now over time, but it does help show the early settling of Goboro Road. The Clark’s sold their house and land to William Goss in 1860. This same land ‘being the premises conveyed to said Goss by John C. and Martha J. Clark’ was sold in September of 1865 to Rufus D. Doe.


Rufus D. Doe was a son of Joseph A. Doe, who owned property further up the road. He married Viola A. Abbott in 1859, she being from Maine. They had three children, Henry who died young; Myra L. who married Charles H. Palmer; and Albert B. Doe who married in 1890, Annie F. Edmunds, daughter of Noah Goss and Emma (Stanyan) Edmunds. He married second, Kitty Barker with whom he had surviving children Albert L.; Claude A., daughter Viola K. who married Harris Mason; and Elizabeth. Rufus raised his family here and deeded a part of the homestead property to his daughter Myra Palmer, and the rest to his son Albert n 1893. Albert and his family left Epsom and sold the homestead to his sister Myra in 1895, including land on the opposite side of the road. The deed expresses also that she had the right to take 3 or 4 cherry trees, one half of the currant bushes, half of the gooseberry bushes and a few of the strawberry plants. Myra and her husband Charles H. Palmer had two son, Augustus Henry and Elmer Hoyt Palmer. Charles sold the property to his son Augustus in 1907. Augustus sold the property to his brother Elmer in 1919. The property appears to leave the family in 1921 when it is sold to Carrie Clark. Interestingly, there is a Carrie Clark who was the daughter of James M. Clark, whose brother John C. Clark, owned the property before the Doe’s.  Carrie only owned the property a few years before she sold it to John W. Edwards and Albert Shedd of Newton, MA.  The daughter of John Edwards, Winnifred Palmer, wife of William C. Palmer, sold the land to Estelle Jacobs, in 1943. She owned the property seventeen years, selling the land and buildings in 1960 to Lou Higgins. The house is no longer standing.




Edgar C. Annis of Raymond first bought land in Epsom in 1913 from Roland S. Hall, where he and his wife Mary C. lived with a daughter, Gladys M. Annis. He married in Hudson, Mary C. Durant who was a sister the the second wife of Charles Palmer, Ida M. Durant. They had one daughter, Gladys May Annis who was born about 1903. She married in Epsom, Frank W. Wheeler, February 22, 1928, he being the son of Frank W. and Ida B. (Butterfield) Wheeler.


Charles H. Palmer after the death of his wife Myra L. (Doe), married in 1911, Ida M. Durant. Charles died in 1927, and his widow sold land behind the Doe homestead to Edgar Annis in 1930, land and buildings. The deed reserved the right of John W. Edwards to have a right of way to his buildings. His widow sold the property in 1959 to A. Lloyd Hill. It was sold to William and Dorothy Smith in 1959.


Next was the house where “Judge” White lived. Judge White agreed to saw wood for the ___ building the railroad as fast as they could use it. Not quite sure whether he could or not. His daughter married Sam Batchelder and the Batchelder’s lived there. Ed Batchelder later of Northwood renovated the house and kept it for some years. Now occupied by Thayer (Thake). Benjamin M. Towle, 1936.



Samuel B. Batchelder was the son of Dearborn and Sally (Neally) Batchelder, born in 1824. He married in Concord, April 26, 1858, Kezia White, and according to her death record, the daughter of Reuben and Mary (Mack) White. Samuel bought 55 acres of land from Arthur C. Locke in 1854, part of the old Sylvanus Moses property. The land bordered part of Locke’s homestead and bordered land of Daniel Cilley, John Wallace and James M. Sherburne. The Wallace land was later the Rufus Doe home. There were no buildings on the land when he bought it and likely built a house shortly after it was purchased.


In 1860 the family was living near the Slab City portion of town with son Samuel, age 1 and son John, one month. Neither of these two children appear in the 1870 census when the family is living in Deerfield with sons Clarence, Edwin and Samuel along with a daughter Ida. In the 1860 US Census, Reuben White and wife Eliza are living with James and Mary Clark. Interestingly the decade before, Reuben, Eliza and daughter Keziah are on the Epsom Poor Farm. James Clark’s wife’s maiden name remains unknown, and perhaps there is a connection to her and Reuben White. Reuben remains a mystery, there is little or no vital records for him or any family other than what appears in the US Census. In 1870 Reuben and his wife have a Nathan White, age 1 living with them in the Samuel Batchelder house on Goboro Road. Finally by 1880, Samuel and Keziah, along with children Samuel, Orin, Vienna and Ida M., are in the Goboro Road home.


Samuel Batchelder died in 1891, and in 1900 his widow Keziah is alone in the homestead. She died

in 1911, and it appears the house remained unoccupied for a time.


The homestead stays in the family until 1925 when son Edwin sells to Catherine Thake (not Thayer as given by Benjamin Towle) of Cambridge, Massachusetts. Catherine owned the house until her death when her administrator sold the house, now on one acre of land, to George and Pauline Ring. Pauline was active in the Epsom Woman;s club and sold the house in 1946 to Gregory and Helen M. Hurd. The Hurd’s bought the Frank Hall house nearer to the center of Gossville in 1952, selling the old Batchelder place to  Richard and Beverly Osgood the same year.





The Joseph A. Doe family was from Deerfield where they are seen in the US Census for that town in 1850 and 1860. Joseph married Mary E. Drew in October of 1831and they had a large family. The first born was George F. Doe who married in Deerfield in 1884, Orianna Whitier and resided in Deerfield; Charles W. Doe who married an Eliza Wills and moved to Boscawen from Epsom; Rufus D. Doe who married in 1859 in Beddington, Maine, Viola A. Abbott and lived on Goboro Road; Sarah Ruth Doe who married in 1867 Allen F. Young, and second in 1875, Sylvester Goodwin; Thomas J. Doe who married in Pittsfield in 1869, Mary J. Wallace; Susan who married in 1868 at Pittsfield, Orison Abbott of Beddington, Maine; Joseph Plummer Doe of which nothing more is known; Clara G. who married James B. Clifford; and John who died young at about age 7.


They bought a house from Benjamin G. Howe in June of 1863. Tracing this house back presents a couple mysteries. Arthur Locke when selling the former Sylvanus Moses estate sells an acre of land to Ephraim Gray with the proviso to fence it in. The land is sold May 3, of 1854. In August of 1856 he sells his house and land to Gorham and Parsons Rand which owned property nearby. The two deeds have the same description, which is often the case. In December of 1854, Arthur C. Locke sells a piece of land to Samuel Batchelder, apparently next to that of Ephraim Gray. When Gorham Rand sells the Ephraim Gray property to Benjamin G. Howe in April of 1863, the description has changed to land with buildings, bordering southerly on land of Samuel Batchelder. This is the property sold to Joseph A. (Alexander ?) Doe (recorded incorrectly as Dow).


The mystery is that the 1850 census shows Ephraim Gray already living on Goboro Road in the same proximity as an S. (Smith) Willey, D.M.Carpenter and William Bickford. The house is not shown on the map of 1858. Additionally, the census also shows a Simeon E. Brown in the area, and this house also does not show of the map of 1858. Interestingly, both the Gray and Brown families move to Northwood by 1860. Perhaps the homes were unoccupied by 1858, and with no families present, not added to the map. Joseph A. Doe added twice to his property buying additional land from William Goss in 1864 and again in 1869. In 1870 he is living in the house with his wife and daughter Susan and her husband Orison Abbott. He and his wife move to  Gilmanton and sell their Epsom home in 1872,  to their daughter Sarah who had married Allen F. Young. Two years later she sells the house to her brother Thomas J. Doe of Epsom. The selling to family members continued when Thomas mortgages the property to Nancy A. Doe, wife of his brother Charles W. Doe, in 1880. It is not known exactly when Charles and his wife took ownership of the house, but they are living there by the 1900 census, nor is it clear when they gave up ownership. The house next appears in a deed of 1920 when George H. Yeaton sells ‘a tract of land in Epsom formerly belonging to Charles W. Doe'. The sale is made to Elmer H. Palmer. On April 18, 1928, a barn fire destroyed most of the buildings and is when the current house was constructed.


Elmer Hoyt Palmer was a son of Charles Harriman Palmer and his wife Myra L. Doe. Rufus D. Doe was his grandfather, and Joseph A. Doe his great-grandfather. He married in Epsom, April 19, 1913, Esther Louise Waterhouse, daughter of Daniel C. and Mertie (Marden) Waterhouse. Their children included Melba, who never married and died in 1927 aged 11; Leon Charles who married Goldie May Maxfield; Elmer H. who married Mabel V. Jones in 1944; and Myra K. who married in Pembroke in 1846, Henry W. Munroe. Elmer died in 1931 and his wife Esther married Clayton Mason. The house stayed in the family for two more generations.


Alice Emerson lives in an old shop beyond the Doe place. This was not there in earlier days. Isaac Hall lived and died there. He was married to a sister of Arthur Marston. Benjamin M. Towle, 1936.



The 1892 map shows a J. Hall, which probably should be I. Hall for Isaac. Little is known of Isaac Hall, but according to the deed of Lizzie U. Bickford to Charles A. Welch in 1904, his purchase excludes 'one half acre sold to Isaac Hall'. There is no mention of a building, and no deed found, and is possible he built the house on this small lot. His sister, Nancy A. Hall, was the wife of Charles W. Doe who lived next door. Isaac Hall is found on the voting list in 1893 and vital records shows his death in Epsom April 14, 1897. He married in Candia in 1880, Mary Jane Marston, whose brother Arthur also lived on Goboro Road. The house appears to be part of the Stephen Rand property which was owned starting in 1887 by Mary Labonta and sold to Lizzie Fellows in 1889. Again, there is no deed related to Isaac Hall, but it appears the house was again owned by Lizzie Fellows sometime after his death.


Lizzie U. Fellows sold a small piece of land to Nathan A. Bickford in 1900 which included ‘one 1 story dwelling house containing two rooms below and one chamber.’ In October of 1903 the house is sold to David G. Emerson of Epsom and is mortgaged to Nathan A. Bickford. In 1914 Bickford went to court to obtain the property back, having to serve the children of David, he having died in 1911 (his wife in 1881), Alice Delia and Nelson D. Emerson. David Goss Emerson was from Northwood, son of Richard Fitts and Delis H. (Goss) Emerson. He married in 1869 Ellen M. Lynn. Nathan, having obtained the property back, was sold by his estate to Burt D. Young. He held the property until 1945 when he sold it to David and Mildred Roberts. His wife died in 1957, and her nearest next of kin, Hazel Gertrude Brockway Stevens, quitclaimed the property to the widower David Roberts. The property was next sold to Donald and Veronica Sheridan in 1984. It is not known when the original house was replaced.


Lizzie U. Fellows married in 1866 Josiah F. Fellows, who is seen in most records as Franklin J. Fellows. He was from Pittsfield and died in 1897. Lizzie U. Fellows married second, Samuel Bickford, as his third wife in 1904. She had two children from her first marriage, Walter Franklin in 1872, and Lizzie Ella in 1879.


The Rice Rand (house) is next on the west side of the road. Rice Rand kept a pair of oxen until there were twenty-five years old (more or less). Charles Rand lived there and died there. I do not know what relation he was to Rice. Thomas Carr bought the place, took down the old house and built a new one. The place is now owned by Justin Stevens and son Henry. Benjamin M. Towle, 1936



Stephen Rand of Epsom married Betsey Wood Rand, daughter of William and Sarah Rand of Epsom in April of 1808. It is not known where the young couple resided during the early years of their marriage. In 1817 he bought land from Richard Rand, including buildings. The land was the lower end of Richard’s homestead property and bordered the Canterbury Road where it crossed the Suncook River at ‘the great bridge.’ During the years 1827 and 1828 Stephen Rand’s property was twice attached by the Sherriff. One was an action by William Bickford, who owned adjoining property, as Stephen Rand on several occasions ‘with force and arms’ went onto the Bickford property and removed grass for his own use, enough to make 5 tones of hay. The attached property was described as 50 acres with buildings located west by the Suncook River, north by William Bickford, east by the range way and south by land occupied by Sylvanus Moses. It is not known what the action was between Richard Rand and Stephen Rand, but it was won by Richard Rand, and the property was examined and divided into three parts, of which the third was described as follows: beginning at an elm stump on the easterly bank of the Suncook River about 14 rods northerly of the great bridge, then running north to the orchard wall then north to the range, then south to a marked pine tree, then north to the river to a marked tree, then northerly as the river runs to the first mentioned bounds.


Stephen had 6 surviving children with his wife Betsey, who died in 1831. Her death brought yet another suit to Stephen over the guardianship of his minor children, Rice H. and Sewel Rand, minors over fourteen years of age and Silver A. and Charles W. under fourteen years, and one daughter Judith P. Rand. The issue was over their legacy as bequeathed to their mother by her father, William Rand. Stephen is awarded guardianship and marries Mary Holmes, daughter of Jeremiah and Elizabeth (Lewis) Holmes. His second wife died in 1844, and he married third, a Mary Fogg in Pittsfield in 1845. Stephen died in 1863, and with his two first wives, is buried in a small family plot across the street from his house. In his will he deeded to his son Rice Rand, along with one half of the house, barn and barnyard of the homestead, part of the Bickford place excepting one third of the apples thereon. The balance of the estate was divided between sons Rice, Silver and Charles.


Rice Rand died in 1872, and the next year Silver A. Rand deeded his portion of the homestead to his brother Charles W., and Charles deeded his portion of the William Bickford place to Silver. Charles W. Rand had married Jennie L. Case, though the date and place is not known. Charles may have become ill by 1886 as the homestead was deeded to Thomas Rand of Epsom and back to the Charles’s wife Jenny on the same day. Charles died in February 1886 and the next month his widow Jennie sold the farm to William Goss. His heirs sold the property in 1887 to Mary Labonta of Pittsfield, who only kept the farm for two years when she sold it to Lizzie U. Fellows March 22, 1889. Lizzie became the widow of Franklin J. Fellows and married Samuel Bickford of Epsom in 1904 as his third wife. Shortly after her marriage she sold the Stephen Rand farm to Christopher A. Welch of Pittsfield who did not keep the farm, almost immediately selling it to Thomas J. and Caroline Carr who were already in Epsom and station agent for the railroad. The Carr’s took down the original house and built the current house on the property. For twenty years the Carr’s occupied the homestead and sold it in 1924 to Justin F. Stevens and his son Henry. After the death of Justin, his son inherited the house. Henry had married in 1927, Doris E. Burnham, daughter of William C. and Hattie A. (Pike) Burnham. Their son Henry and his wife Effie sold the house in 1985.


On the west side lived William Bickford. The house is now gone. It was a Cape Cod style house. He married Polly Rand and raised children. His son Henry, married Orilla Locke and lived in Epsom. Benjamin M. Towle, 1936.



William Bickford was born in 1801, a son of Joseph and Catherine (unknown) Bickford of Chichester. Joseph’s father, also Joseph, was a brother to John Bickford of Barnstead, Thomas Bickford of Pittsfield, and Samuel Bickford of Epsom. He bought land in Chichester in 1775 and moved his family there, having two known sons, John and Joseph. Joseph and Catherine’s children are recorded in Chichester’s town records, and deeds show his buying property in Epsom from John Gilbert, part of lot 114, in 1815, which he sells to his son William in 1826.


The next year Richard Rand, through a bond by Joseph and his son William, gives to Polly Bickford, wife of William, two tracts of land bordering that of Stephen Rand, north of the old Canterbury Road.

This land owned by Stephen Rand was sold to him by Richard Rand in 1817, and in December of that year, he sells to his son John, all his land and buildings as long as he is cared for during his natural life. His son John sells the same back to his father in 1820, ‘being all of the homestead occupied by said Richard Rand.’  This is the parcel, the original Richard Rand homestead, that comes to be owned by William and Polly Bickford. In 1845 there is a petition to the Probate Court, asking to approve part of an incomplete conveyance of the property by his father Joseph dated 1837, his father Joseph having died suddenly in 1838.


William married Polly Rand in Epsom in January 1826. She was the daughter of Richard and Anna (Lake) Rand, a different line of descent from the Rand’s of Goboro Road. She had sisters in Epsom which included Salome Rand, wife of John Babb; and Martha E. Rand, wife of John C. Hall and mother of Charles Sumner Hall. William and Polly had a family which consisted of the following children: Kathleen Ann who married Retyer M. Davis; Henry Warren who married Orilla H. Locke and resided on New Orchard Road;  Mary Elizabeth who married in 1851 Sumner A. Spaulding, and after his death an unknown Jockrow; Mary Jane who married Thomas J. Ames; John Tyler who died young; William Morrison who died young; and Caroline Maria who married Joseph W. Bartlett.


Polly (Rand) Bickford died in 1877 and William in 1887. The ownership of the house passed to their daughter Martha Jane who married in 1858, Thomas J. Ames. They had two children, and both died before their parents. Martha J. Ames became ill and her sister Mary E. Jockrow, came from New York to help care for her, and while here took ill and died February 21, 1893. Her sister died March 4, 1893.


William Bickford deeded the homestead to his daughter in 1879, and her husband sold it to Gorham P. Rand June of 1893, shortly after her death. The property became part of the Gorham Rand estate, which was sold by his daughter Cora to Herbert W. Etheridge in 1899. The house is no longer standing.



Gorham Rand lived next on the west side. He had trouble with his wife caused, so it was said, by her propensity to wave to the train as it went past. Aided By Lemuel Towle, she went away leaving her child Cora. Cora grew up there with her father. For many years Gorham used to set pumpkins on the gate post and label them “Lem Towle.” This place now owned by Etheridge. Benjamin M. Towle, 1936.



John Rand was the sole surviving son and heir of Richard and Mary Rand. Richard first bought land in 1775, part of two lots, 117 and 118. Additionally he bought parts of lots 119 and 120 on which he settled and had a home. He sold part of his homestead to Stephen Rand, and the remainder to William and Polly Bickford. His son John married in 1818 Judith Parsons Gray, and that same year bought part of lot 116 from Tobias T. Rand, land and buildings. There were many transactions that day as John immediately deeded two thirds of the property to his wife Judith, and Sarah Rand, wife of William Rand, deeded the same property to John.


Tobias had purchased the lot from his father William in 1814, already with buildings. This land appears to part of the original lot William bought with Samuel Rand from the Mardens in 1774. John mortgages his house and land to William Parsons of Boston in 1819. The one third part of the property (as John’s wife Judith had two thirds already in her name) was deeded to Judith by William Parsons in 1821.


John and Judith raised a family of seven, including William who moved to Rochester and remained unmarried; Susan who married Albon W. Perkins in 1847; James Gray who married Hannah Spofford and died at age 30; Charles Parsons who married Katherine Page in 1857; Mary G. who married Nathan S. Edmunds of Chichester in 1858 as his second wife, he having married first Hannah Y.Goss, sister to William Goss; Caroline who had a son James E. Rand; and Gorham Parsons Rand who married Theresa M. Hayes.


Judith Parsons (Gray) Rand died in 1855, and John Rand in 1861. By his will, his son Gorham P. Rand inherited the homestead. Gorham married Theresa M. Hayes from Maine in Epsom May 3, 1862 and they had one daughter. The couple eventually parted ways and Theresa legally changed her name back to Theresa M. Hayes in 1880. Daughter Cora Rand sold the estate, including land her father earlier bought from George H. Sanborn in 1863, and the former William Bickford property to Herbert W. Etheridge. Cora had a son by Erwin Coulter which died in infancy. She married in 1906, Moses H.O. Noyes who died in 1909; then married Charles M. Clogston in 1915, and finally Asa J. Libby in 1930. Herbert W. Etheridge remained the owner until 1940 when the house was sold to Norman and Mary Pauling of Lexington, Massachusetts. It passed through various owners until in 1973 it was bought by Walter (Billy) and Theresa White.


In the east side was the Sanborn place. Here Henry [this is incorrect, it was Jeremiah Sanborn] known as ‘Forty foot” lived. “Forty foot” was so called because he was very short. He always wore a tall silk hat. He married Shuah (Evans) probably Davis. He bought the Andrew Heath place and got involved and finally lost both places to Carpenter (Charles Carpenter). Benjamin M. Towle, 1936.



Names on deeds for this property included Climena Willey, Climena Parsons and Climena Sanborn. In 1852 Climena Willey, wife of Samuel S. Willey, bought from George Robey of  Chichester, 27 acres of land, including buildings, part of lot number 115. Robey had bought the land, already with buildings, from Joseph Wood in 1849. The property bordered land of John Rand, Benjamin Towle and James Sanborn. The Wood family owned several tracts on Goboro Road, and parts of lot 115 were sold from James to Joseph Wood in 1813. Joseph sold about 10 acres to Benjamin Towle in 1826 and at the same time sold land to Capt. James Sanborn.


Five acres of the lot where sold by Climena B. Parsons of Epsom to Benjamin G. Howe in 1860, being part of her homestead farm. In 1868, Eunice Little, Noah D. Willey and his wife Lucy A., and Sarah F. Cummings deed to Jeremiah Sanborn, the same land owned by Climena Sanborn, late of said Epsom, deceased. These grantor’s were siblings of Climena, and children of Daniel and Lydia (Towle) Sargent of Chichester.


Climena Sanborn died in Epsom September 11, 1868. She married Jeremiah Sanborn, as her third husband January 16, 1862. Her death record identifies her maiden name with the last name of her father, Sargent. Her second husband was Samuel S. Willey who she married in Lowell, Massachusetts December 18, 1844. Interestingly, her sister Lydia married a Noah D. Willey. Prior to that Climena had married William Ellery Parsons of Boston, at Lowell, February 10, 1834. She appears as Climenia, and as last name Pearson, in some records.


Jeremiah then, in 1868, owned his wife’s property, and he remarried in 1869, a Shuah (Evans) whose first husband was William H. P. Davis. They mortgaged the property in 1875, and added a small portion of land from Andrew M. Heath that same year. Jeremiah sold land and buildings, being the same that formerly belonged to Climena Willey, ‘afterward the wife of Jeremiah Sandborn’ consisting of thirty acres, to Daniel Rowe. Rowe only kept the house about a year when he sold it of Almah C. Leavitt of Concord. He and his wife Hittie (Richardson) sold it to Charles H. Carpenter January of 1892. The house appears on the 1892 map as A.C. Leavitt and is no longer standing.




Lot 114 on Goboro Road was the original right of William Jones of Newcastle. It stayed in the family until 1806 when various descendants sold off their portions to Josiah Sanborn of Epsom. Among the sellers were Abigail Amazeen, widow, and Mehitable Jones, spinster in 1806; Joseph and William Amazeen, both fisherman in 1806 along with John and Mehitable Trefethen and Henry and Nancy Trefethen, both of Massachusetts, in 1813. It was a large tract of land which Josiah sold to his son James in 1818, described as 160 acres, all the land in the on the east side of the Suncook River.  James Sanborn, son of Josiah and Anna (Locke) Sanborn of Sanborn Hill, married in 1814, Abigail Pearson, daughter of Caleb and Mary (Locke) Pearson. He raised his family on the farm, which included Sophia Ann, James, Charles Henry, Mary Pearson, and Lewis Durgin. His wife died a few years after the birth of their last son, and he remarried to Nancy Towle, daughter of Benjamin Towle and Betsey E. Wood in June of 1833. James added to the property over the years, selling the farm of 350 acres ‘it being the whole of my homestead farm where I now reside, including the land and buildings occupied by my son Charles’ to David M. Carpenter of Chichester. David Morrill Carpenter was a son of the Reverend Josiah Carpenter, and he married Mary Perkins in 1818. He deeded the former Sanborn farm to his son Josiah in 1855, a brother to Charles Hodgdon Carpenter who bought and sold much of the land around Goboro Road. William Howe was the next to occupy the large farm, still about 350 acres, making the purchase in December of 1857.


On September 6, 1862, James Sanborn, age 41, son of Capt. James Sanborn, enlisted as a Private in Company D, 15th New Hampshire Infantry Regiment, Union. He reported for duty on Oct 6, 1862. James died of disease on July 31, 1863 on board the steamer, Madison.


The Andrew Heath place on the east side of the road was occupied by Andrew Heath the elder and his son Andrew. The farm with the barn was sold to Sanborn, but the house was reserved and Andrew Heath the elder remained there. His son Andrew died rather young leaving three children I think. Will C. Heath of Manchester is his son. I am not sure whether the younger Andrew went away before his death. His family went to Manchester with his wife’s family I think. His house was sold to George Henry Rand and later burned.

The Sanborn’s finished off a room or two in the shed adjoining the barn and lived there somewhat. Later the Etheridges bought this. Benjamin M. Towle, 1936.




The 1870 US Census for Epsom shows the family of John M. Heath (with wife Abigail and daughter Mary E.) living in the same house as his son Andrew McClary Heath with his wife Lucy, daughter Minnie and son Willie C.. John McClary Heath was the son of Capt. Simon Ames Heath and Elizabeth McClary, and grew up in the old tavern on Center Hill. He married in 1823 Abigail M. Cate, daughter of Deacon John and Mary (Towle) Cate. Together they had three children, Mary E., who did not marry; Abby J. and son Andrew McClary Heath. Andrew was a soldier in the Civil War, 12th NH Regiment and was twice wounded. After the war he resumed farming with his father and teaching school some winters. He married Lucy Russell Green of Pittsfield in February of1866. He buys part of the James Sanborn farm from William Howe in 1865 including buildings already on the land, possibly the house where Charles Sanborn may have lived. The land bordered Lemuel Towle, Climena Sanborn, Gorham P. Rand and Thomas Rand and four acres were excluded that was previously sold to James McGuire. The land was part of lots 112-115 and was on both  sides of Goboro Road.


Andrew sells two lots of his farm. First, 40 acres of land, part of the farm formerly owned by William Howe to George H. Rand in November, 1874, and an additional 16 acres by a separate deed the same day. Additionally a third lot of 55 acres was sold to Shuah Sanborn. The sell off of his property continued into January of 1875 when another 70 acres was sold to William Lake of Chichester. Lemuel Towle and Charles H. Carpenter together bought 80 acres from Heath that same month with a right of way near Heath’s house. Again, Lemuel Towle purchases land that was ‘part of the homestead farm of said Andrew M. Heath.’


Another tract of land was sold to Jeremiah Sanborn the end of January 1875. It was described in part as ‘commencing at the highway leading from Chichester Pine Ground to Epsom past the dwelling house of said grantor and about one foot from the south side  of the barn and standing opposite said Heath’s house, containing one half acre including the shed.’


Capt. Andrew McClary Heath



Andrew M. Heath died in July of 1875. His widow Lucy within a month of his death sells the remaining land that he bought of William Howe, to his father John McClary Heath, including the house, the property having been left to her by his will. A few years later in 1879, she passes away. John M. Heath died October 1882 and in his will left the homestead to his wife Abigail and their daughter, Mary E. Heath. In December of 1882, they sold the remaining homestead to George H. Rand. The Heath's are buried at Floral Park Cemetery in Pittsfield.


On the same side was an old house where “Jim” McGuire lived and the Marston’s once lived there. George Henry Rand acquired this and it burned. Benjamin M. Towle, 1936.



Little is known of this house. It appears as part of a deed when William Howe sells land to Andrew M. Heath in 1865, reserving a four acre plot which he sold to Jim McGuire with buildings. There is no recorded deed for the transaction. In the 1870 US Census for Epsom, James McGuire is on Goboro Road with his wife Mary and children John, James, George and Thomas. He would have been born about 1821, and the census says he was born in Ireland. His occupation was wheelwright, and he worked at Gossville.


In 1867, William Howe sold land, again four acres, to Charles H. Carpenter, with the description that is was the field ‘on which the house now or formerly occupied by True B. Marston stands.’ It is likely the same piece of property. The same description of the boundaries appears in a sale from Charles H. Carpenter to George H. Rand in 1872, being the same premises ‘occupied by James McGuire.’


True B. Marston appears in the 1860 US Census in Epsom on Goboro Road, although the location of the house is unclear. He, given age 50 is with wife Martha and three daughters and one son, Joseph.

True B. Marston is also on Goboro Road in the 1870 census, living further up the road near Chichester. In the census he is shown age 63 with his wife Martha 38 and children Mary, 12; Arthur, 9; and Joseph 3. According to Marston genealogy, his first wife was Phebe Bowles, though no records have been found about her or their marriage. His second wife was Mary Jane Buzzell, daughter of Daniel and Joanna (Pettingill) Buzzell. Again, there are few records. His third marriage is to her sister, Martha Ann. They were married September 26, 1862 by Reverend Moses A. Quimby. Of his children, his son Arthur, who was born November 22, 1860, also resided on Goboro Road. He married Abbie M. Little, daughter of George and Eunice (Sargent) Little. They had one daughter, Ethel M. Marston. Eunice (Sargent) Little was a sister of Climena (Sargent) Parsons Willey Sanborn.


On the left (west) was the home of George Henry Rand. This now belongs to an Etheridge. Benjamin M. Towle, 1936.



William Rand, along with Samuel Rand, bought in Epsom lot 116 in Epsom in 1774. William sold part of this lot to his son Tobias T. Rand in 1814, the remainder of the lot stayed in the family for two more generations. He probably lived on this lot as when it was sold to Tobias it came with buildings. In 1790 William bought a parcel of land in lot 113 and in 1810 land in lot 114. He moved to this lot and it became the Rand homestead. William was a Revolutionary War veteran and married Sarah Rand in Rye in 1773. Their children included William, who moved to Clinton, Maine where he raised his family; Olive, who probably died young; Rebecca who married Sherburne Prescott; Molly Wood who died sometime after 1833; Sarah who married Samuel McConnell; Barkey who probably died young; Tobias Trundy who married Mary Stockbridge Lear, lived in Epsom before he removed to Allenstown; Thomas who married Sarah Batchelder; Betsey Wood who married Stephen Rand; and Billy Wood Rand who probably died young. Those who died young do not appear William’s will. Daughter Rebecca Prescott’s children are mentioned, and special consideration is given for the care of daughter Molly Wood. His son Thomas inherits the majority of property, with his children also given items from the estate. William’s wife Sarah died in 1825, William in 1833.


A family paper, by one of William’s grandchildren, Samuel G. Rand, son of William’s first son William, records the following account of his grandfather: He went to a neighbor one day, the path through the woods was by spot trees. It snowed, and on his return he could not see the spot trees. He lost his way and wandered about in the woods all night, froze both legs and had them taken off just below the knees. He was a large, powerful man. He is seen often with the middle name Hodskins/Hodgkins/Hodger/Harger.


William Rand deeded his homestead farm in Epsom on lot 113, along with the parcel he still owned on lot 116, to his son Thomas in 1826, a total of some fifty acres. Thomas married a Sarah Batchelder of Loudon, in Pittsfield in 1811. Their family included Elizabeth Batchelder who married Fisher Thayer with whom she had a daughter Helen before she died about 1850; Sophia who died young; Jacob Batchelder who married in New York in 1840, Belinda Thayer, a sister to Fisher Thayer (children of Peter Thayer) and had 10 children; Newell C. who married Mary Staniels of Chichester and had three children before he died in 1855; Mary Jane who married James C. Chadwick and had three children; Rebecca S. who married in Concord in 1846 a John R. Rand; and youngest son George Henry Rand.


Thomas sold the homestead farm to his son George May 7, 1864. The deed shows the land was bordered on the north by Lemuel B. Towle, Thomas J. Ingalls and George Grant, on the east and south on land of William Howe, westerly and south westerly by land of Edward Edmunds and the Suncook River. There were two exclusions: a piece of land owned and occupied by George, and a family burying ground lying on the westerly side of said road adjoining land of William Howe. The burial ground is not mentioned in later deeds, and a story said a barn was built over it. Apparently George had built a house next to his father on two acres his father sold him in 1859 on the northerly corner of his barn.


George Henry Rand married Sarah A. Ordway of Sanbornton about 1857 and raised their family on the family farm. They had nine children of whom four died young – Frank E. and George N. in 1862, Nettie F. in 1865 and Willie B. in 1867. Of the surviving children, Edwin N. born 1865, married Mary A. Breen and moved to Massachusetts, having no children; Frank L. born 1868, who did not marry; George Walter, born 1869 and was unmarried; daughter Jessie C. born in 1870, who married in1892, Marcus H. Gamage; and Richard Gilbert Rand who was born in 1873 and married Virginia Reed and resided in North Carolina. George Henry Rand died in Epsom in 1888 and his wife Sarah in 1890.


Members of the family signed off on various parts of the homestead, including the two younger children who were wards of Mary Tripp of Epsom, George W. and Dick G. Rand. Their portion was sold in 1893 to their brother Edwin. Frank L. Rand and his sister Jessie Gamage turned their portions over to Edwin the same year. Two years later in 1895, the entire homestead was sold to Daniel J. Etheridge by Edwin N. Rand. In 1907 Daniel sold the land and buildings to Ambrose Clifford Etheridge and his wife Etta F. Frost.


The Etheridge’s came to Epsom from Canada in 1892. It is not known what relationship Daniel J. had to the rest of the family who settled on various parts of Goboro Road. Ambrose C. Etheridge was the son of William and Eliza (Ingraham) Etheridge, and was here with his brothers John Freeman, Herbert William and George Dixon Etheridge. All the brothers settled and raised families.  John F. married Annie McDonald in Epsom in 1895 and had children Laura, Sadie, Jennie, Catherine and Mabel. Herbert W. married Katherine Grant in Canada in 1896 and had three children in Epsom, Stanley, who died young; William J. and Herbert L. Etheridge. George D. married Margaret Tattersall and had no children. Ambrose married first Etta Frances Frost and had children in Epsom, Doris L., Douglas F., Lawrence who died age 11, and Charles E. Etheridge.


Ambrose was still in Epsom in 1940 with wife Stella and sister Mabel (Crocker).  Ambrose died in 1951 and his second wife and widow, Stella, sold the farm to Herbert and Gladys Whiting in 1954 who sold it the same year to Alfred and Barbara Preve, the last family to farm the property. The Preve family left the farm in 1972 and it later became Lazy River Campground.




The original house on this lot was probably built by George H. Rand for his wife just before he entered the Civil War. His father died after he returned and left him the family home. The small lot with the house was likely sold, though no deed is on record, and by 1870, according to the census of that year, it was occupied by Stephen F. Weeks with his wife and family. In 1880 he is in the same location with no wife, his daughter Mary Stafford, son Walter and two granddaughters, children of his daughter Mary by different marriages, Herietta Berry and Edith Stafford. Stephen F. Weeks died in 1889 and by his will the house passes to his daughter Mary, now Mary Nutter, and her daughter Edith A. (Stafford) Gove. In 1896 they sell to Joseph Menard, who in two years sells it to Frank S. Weeks, a son of Stephen F. Weeks and brother to Mary. Franks S. Weeks buys the next house up the road in 1902 and sells his father’s homestead in 1903 to Walter Langmaid of Chichester. Langmaid did not keep the house as within a year it was sold to Charles N. Buzzell of Epsom. He had just married his second wife after his first wife, Ida Lear, died in 1894. He himself died in 1919 and his widow Etta (Pickard) sold the house in 1921. The house changed hands over the next few decades with some of the owners being Sadie B. Jones (1921), Julia Kilburn (1929), Edmund Beliveau (1930), to Wilfred Preve in 1951.


The Ingalls place has been lived in by various transient people and has stood empty a good part of the time. Benjamin M. Towle, 1936.




Thomas J. Ingalls is living in Chichester in 1850 with his wife Nancy, and in 1860 is living in Epsom on Goboro Road in the home of  Sally (Lake) Towle, widow of James Wood Towle, a brother to Lemuel B. Towle. By deed he is in his own home in 1864 as an abutter to the home of George H. Rand. He remains in this house in the 1870 and 1880 census. Not much is known of Thomas J. Ingalls, there are no vital records of his three marriages. His first wife, Hannah Hook Pike died in 1843 by whom he had his only known child, Charles Edwin; his second wife was Nancy Moulton, daughter of Jacob Smith and Nancy (Tilton) Moulton of Chichester, she having died in 1867. His third wife was Charlotte Ann Jones who outlived him and died in 1900. Thomas J. Ingalls died in 1886.


As few records exist for him, there are even fewer deeds. The only deed is from 1869 when he allows land for the Suncook Valley Railroad. This at least proves his ownership of the house, and it appears after his death is was sold to Stephen F. Weeks, and according to the 1892 map was occupied by his son Frank S. Weeks. Both Stephen’s and Frank’s house were part of Stephen’s estate which passed to his daughter Mary who sold the house to John J. Clark in 1897. John J. Clark, a son of Samuel J. and Susan (Alden) Clark had married Hattie B. Weeks, daughter of Frank S. and his first wife Maria Brown. John James Clark married Hattie in 1894, and sold the house to Joseph Marston in 1902. Before the end of that year, Frank S. bought the house and moved in with his family and his second wife, Lizzie (Locke), this being her third marriage. Her second marriage was to William Duplaise (Duplace) and their son, Roscoe, married Ella M. Frost in 1913. Frank and Lizzie sold the house to Roscoe and Ella Duplace in 1917.


George H. Yeaton handled the estate of Ella Duplace and sold the home to Gilbert and Ellen Marston of Epsom in 1937. In 1941 they sold the house to George R. Little of Concord who only kept the house four years. Clarence Briggs purchased the house in 1946 and sold it to Maurice and Carolyn Patterson that same year.



The old Lemuel Towle place is owned by Mrs. Mabel Bartlett. Lemuel Towle lived here succeeded by George who went to the Klondike and never returned. His family lived on the homestead. Benjamin M. Towle, 1936.




The Lemuel B, Towle farm is located on parcels of land that were part of original lot numbers 111 and 112. These lots stretched from Goboro Road to New Orchard Road. Lot 111 originally belonged toa William Wallace, and by 1771 was owned by Samuel Wallace when he sold the 100 acre lot to Henry Seavey of Rye. Seavey was of Rye when he sold the land to his son Joseph Seavey, with no mention of any buildings. Joseph apparently was living on the property when he began to sell off portions it, including 30 acres with his house to Nathan Libbey in 1797. A portion on the Goboro Road end was sold to Caleb Pearson, though the deed was not recorded, but is mentioned in a deed from Joseph Seavey to Josiah Barton, selling him land ‘except what is now owned by Caleb Pearson’ in the year 1794. Pearson owned a mill in Chichester just over the Epsom line, and sold his land in lot 111 to Abraham Wallace and Benjamin Towle in 1799. Abraham sold his half to Benjamin Towle a few years later. Reuben Yeuren sold Benjamin Towle and additional 60 acres in the lot in 1799. About a dozen years later Benjamin Towle acquired half of the adjoining lot 112, and an additional 20 acres from John True in 1835. This land belonged to James and Benjamin Langley, minors, sons of Amos Langley. Langley had married his daughter Maria W. Towle, she passing away the same year as her husband Amos. 


Benjamin Towle, (not to be confused with the Benjamin M. Towle line, which share the common anestor Jonathan Towle) was a son of Jonathan Towle and Elizabeth Jenness and a brother to Simeon M. Towle who settled on Black Hall Road. Benjamin married in Epsom in 1797, Betsey E. Wood, daughter of James Wood and Mary McCoy. Mary McCoy was the first child born in Epsom, and this Towle line is the only known direct line of descent. Benjamin and Betsey E. Wood had children: James Wood Towle who married Sally Lake in 1823, and he died in 1857; Maria W. Towle who married Amos Langley and died age 25; Betsey Jennings who married in Chichester in 1825, John True, who was guardian to the minor sons of Amos and Maria Langley’s sons after the death of their parents; Sally who died in 1886, unmarried; Nancy, who married Capt. James Sanborn as his second wife in 1833; Jonathan who married Almira Emery and died in 1899 in Andover, Massachusetts; Rhoda Harvey who died unmarried in 1863; and Lemuel B. Towle who married Mary Ann Prescott. Benjamin Towle deeded one half of all his holdings to his son Lemuel B. in 1834, in which he describes what was included in the family homestead (excerpted): A part of lots Nos. 111 and 112 in the fourth range of lots; land conveyed to me this day and is occupied by James W. Towle, said lands to contain about 150 acres, together with the undivided half of all the buildings, excepting what land may be necessary inaddition to the piece now enclosed for a family burying ground. Reference may be had to deeds dated 1794 from Caleb Pearson; March 27, 1810 by Caleb Pearson; and 1813 from Caleb Pearson. The other undivided half was deeded in January, 1851, and Benjamin Towle died six months later, his wife in 1854.


Lemuel B. Towle and Mary Ann Prescott, daughter of John Sherburne and Lydia H. (Drake) Prescott, where married in 1836. They had four children: Ann Maria who died about age 2; Charles Clinton who died in 1914, unmarried; Frank Clifton Towle, who married in 1870 Myra Gault, he died in 1895; and George Convers who married in 1882, Annie S. Shaw of Chichester.

Lemuel raised his family on the homestead, which was located very near the Chichester Railroad depot and served as a boarding house as the Suncook Valley House. (The first Suncook Valley House was operated by William Goss in Gossville). He died intestate and the full settlement of the estate was not fully settled for some time. Son George Convers left for Alaska and died in California in 1931, his wife Annie S. (Shaw) died in Epsom in 1930. Charles Clinton Towle’s share of the estate was handled by several trustees including Joseph W. Fellows, John H. Dolbeer and Elbridge Bartlett. Charles C. Towle died in 1914. The heirs became the two daughters of George C. and Annie Towle - Grace Shaw and Mabelle (Mabel) Nancy Towle. Grace never married and died in1933 leaving Mabel, who in 1909, married Elbridge M. Bartlett, as owner of the homestead farm.


Elbridge and Mabel had children MacBeth G.; Eleanor Elizabeth; Milton E., who died young; Elbridge M. (Jr.) and Carroll F. Bartlett. Elbridge M. died in 1955, and upon her death in1960, Mabel N. Towle left the estate to her daughter Eleanor. Eleanor, unmarried, died in 1999 and all her brothers either built or bought homes on or near the homestead property.


The house where Mark Wood lived is partly in Epsom and partly in Chichester. This house has been renovated and is occupied by a man named Gamage who married George Henry Rand’s daughter. Benjamin M. Towle, 1936.



If the 1850 US Census recorded homes in order, they appear at the end of Goboro as Lermuel B. Towle, Benjamin Towle, and James W. Towle. This would place Benjamin in this house while his son Lemuel has what was called the Suncook Valley House. It is not known which house was built first, but they were both in the family in 1850. The 1858 map shows these same homes as L.B. Towle and Misses S. & R. Towle (his unmarried sisters Sally and Rhoda); James Wood; and James W. Towle, the unmarried brother of Sally and Rhoda and brother to Lemuel. This middle house was sold by Lemuel B. Towle to James Wood in 1857. The deed describes the lot of 8 acres with buildings, situated partly in Epsom and partly in Chichester on the northerly side of the road leading from Chichester to Epsom by the dwelling house of said Wood. This might indicate James Wood was already living in the residence.


James Wood was a son of Joseph and Abigail (Bickford) Wood and was born in Epsom in 1824. His grandmother was Mary (McCoy) Wood, daughter of Charles McCoy, and the first child born in Epsom. James never married and died February 6, 1900, and John H. Dolbeer, administrator of his estate sold the house to Abraham L. West of Chichester a few months after James died. West held the property for nearly thirty years until he sold it in 1928 to Marcus H. Gamage. Gamage married in 1892, Jessie C. Rand, daughter of George H. Rand. Marcus and his wife lived in the house until just after she died in 1941 when it was purchased by James W. Frost and his wife Viola. Frost, after the death of his wife, sold the property to Elbridge and Winifred Bartlett Jr., in 1958.




The 1858 map showing residences includes one for James W. Towle that is gone by the map of 1892. The house was located on part of four lots, numbers 17, 18, 19 and 20. Each of these lots was 30 acres, and were set aside and chosen by those first 20 proprietors who chose home lots on Center Hill to settle the town. Over time these lots were bought by Joseph Sherburne, and 50 acres from these lots were sold to his son Joseph Jr. in 1791.


The elder Joseph married Olive Pitman sometime before 1769 and made their home on New Orchard Road, perhaps on the easterly end of these lots. His son Joseph married Dorcas Hall, and he sold the property to brothers, James and Joseph Wood. The connection was that James Wood had married Joseph Jr.’s sister Olive. Joseph Wood sold his half of the lot of 25 acres to his brother in 1813. Whether or not James and Olive lived on the site is unknown, but there were buildings on the property. James died in 1817, his widow Olive (Sherburne) in 1837. She still owned the property in 1827 when her guardian, John Cate, looks to sell some of her property, now 75 acres with buildings. She is described as ‘widow, and an insane person’ and the property is given as near Pearson’s mill and bordering Benjamin Towle’s land and the Chichester line. Of interest is land sold to Benjamin Towle in 1835 by James True as guardian to James T. and Benjamin S. Langley of Chichester, children of Amos Langley. These children would be nephews of Benjamin Towle as Amos married his sister Maria in 1819. The land bordered on land ‘formerly of Mrs. Olive Wood. James and Joseph Wood were sons of James and Mary (McCoy) Wood, and their sister Betsey E. was the wife of Benjamin Towle.


By 1835 the land and buildings no longer belonged to Olive Wood, and a portion of the property is in the hands of Benjamin Towle’s son Lemuel in 1851. A flurry of deed activity takes place in August of that year, with Lemuel selling 65 acres with buildings in the fourth range, lots numbered 17, 18, 19 and 20 to James W. Towle. At the same time, there is a bond where James W. Towle is to take care of his sister Rhoda ‘one of the legatees named in the will of Benjamin Towle, late of Epsom, from Lemuel Towle as the executor, that he furnish her with suitable accommodations in his own dwelling house in lieu of her right to use and occupy part of the deceased dwelling house as named in Benjamin Towle’s will’.


James Wood Towle died in 1857, his sister Rhoda in 1863.