George Hill Yeaton (1883-1970) in the
early 1960s began to fill notebooks of his memories and recollections of
growing up on
1858 As the group left the Concord to Portsmouth turnpike and started north on the New Orchard Road, they found that Dr. Leonard W. Peabody lived in the house on the westerly side at the corner of the road and directly opposite, on the easterly corner was the home of Benjamin L. Locke.
1892 James O. Fiske, this farm was on the east side of the highway at the foot of the long hill. “Fiske’s Hill”
The Fiske family, at this time, consisted of James O. Fiske, his wife Augusta A., a son Kidder C., and a son George V. Fiske who later became a medical doctor and practiced his profession in the city of Manchester for many years.
The Fisk home does not appear on the 1858 map, and was probably
built by Samuel and Kezia Batchelder
before 1868. Samuel was a son of Dearborn Batchelder
who owned the corner lot of
James O. Fisk married Mary J. Mouton in
Thomas R. Yeaton moved his family to
this site in 1931, He was the son of Alvah L. and Etta (
1858 Up the long hill, across a flat and came to the “Shop Hill” where in past years a shop had stood but was now gone; then a short distance downhill to the home of D. Brown.
1892 Joseph P. Locke and his wife
This property went through several owners, eventually being bought
by the widow Tamson Bunker in 1837. The prior owner,
David Sherburne, bought the lot in 1835, the deed not indicating any house on
the site, though it does when it is bought by the widow Bunker. Tamson was the daughter of Moses and
John and Tamson sold the home in 1842 to
Cotton W. Drake of
Simon sold the property back to David Philbrick in 1858, who perhaps allowed David Brown to reside in the home, but with his wife Eunice, sold the house to William Brown of Epsom in 1860. William and his wife Lucretia sold the home the same day of Joseph B. Cass and Joseph Lawrence of Epsom. This was strictly a business deal as four days later it became the property of Andrew J. Sherburne of Epsom.
Andrew Jackson Sherburne was the son of John and Abigail (Page)
Sherburne, who married at Northwood in 1856, Laura O. Ham, daughter of George
Benson and Olive Ann (Bickford) Ham. They had two daughters who apparently died
young, one unnamed in 1858, and a Nellie J., 1859. The family in the 1860 US
Census is living at this
Joseph Prescott Locke was one of five children of Simeon Prescott
Locke and his wife Sarah of Locke's Hill. He married at
Arthur C. Locke married late in life, the same year he bought his
Epsom home. His spouse was Carrie L. Francis, (also seen as Francier)
who had married a George B. Locke in 1875 at
Grace MacKay owned the home for twenty years, and passed through
her estate to Marilyn Martel of
In the foreground, the home of Henry W. Bickford with
1858 - No house on the site.
1892 Henry W. Bickford lived a short distance beyond the Locke home and on the same side of the road, their home was in the “Hollow” opposite the Old Tannery Pond. Mrs. Bickford was a sister to Joseph P. Locke, her name was Orilla H. (Locke) Bickford. Mr. and Mrs. Bickford had a family of four children but at this time, their oldest son, James H., Bickford had married Elma D. Fiske (the daughter of James O. Fiske) and were living out of town. An older daughter of Henry and Orilla Bickford,
This three acre lot did not have a home in 1858, though it appears
one was built shortly thereafter. The property was owned by Joseph J. Moses and
John S. Cate when it was sold to John Sherburne of
Epsom in 1853. John likely built the house and sold 'land in Epsom with all the
buildings I own' beginning on the
John Sherburne and his wife Abigail (Page) had up to ten children,
of which probably there were a David, Daniel and Nancy, of which little if any
information has been obtained. The couple married in 1816, and known children
included George Washington; John Colby; Mary Jane; Lucetta
(or Rosetta); Martha A. and Jessie Stevens. Son Andrew Jackson Sherburne for a
time lived next door. This house and lot was sold by John to his son John Colby
Sherburne in 1860, who died unmarried in 1878. At this
time his estate was settled by his brother Andrew J., and the home was sold to
William Clark of Pembroke.
Henry Warren Bickford was a son of William and Polly (
1858 At this point the
1892 Then next beyond the Bickford home was the Samuel B. Stanley place, this was at the top of the hill and on the same side of the road as the Bickford and Locke places. Mrs. Stanley was another sister of Joseph P. Locke, name, Mandana C. (Locke)
What was later known as the
Nathaniel Sherburne settled in Epsom with his wife Molly (aka Mary) Sanders, daughter of George Berry and Anna Perkins (Page) Sanders, who was born in Epsom in 1771. The marriage was in Epsom in 1789, and the children included: John, born 1790 and married Abigail Page; Abigail born 1771, who married Jesse Stevens; Mary (aka Polly), born abt. 1795 and married William Rand of Deerfield; Elizabeth (aka Betsey) born 1798 married John S. Rand of Deerfield, brother of William; David, born 1800, married Fanny Prescott; and Nancy who is mentioned in a newspaper article of 1807, and of which nothing more is known.
Nathaniel died in 1818 and was buried in the family lot on the
property, his wife Mary and two sons, John and David inheriting. John mortgaged
88 acres of lot 99 to John Rand of
Samuel Stanley was born in
Samuel Stanley died in 1904 leaving the homestead by will to his wife Mandana. Mandana died in 1919, and the property, by her will, passed to son Herbert S. Stanley.
Herbert S. Stanley was born in Epsom, November 27, 1873 and
married in Rumney November 13, 1895, Carrie Grace
Keyes, daughter of Joseph Carpenter and Almira C. (
George Fowler Dowst was the son of Ernest George and Martha Susan (Fowler) Dowst, Martha being the daughter of Horace and Ida M. (Holt) Fowler. George Fowler Dowst married Norma F. Jevnager at Epsom on September 11, 1939 and had children Richard Ernest and Christine M. Dowst. George died in 1975 and his widow Norma sold the property to George F. Carlson.
The tannery across the road was sold to Jacob Hall, one acre, in 1847, which he sold to Joseph J. Moses and John S. Cate in 1850, which included land John Sherburne occupied sold to him by the widow Mary Rand in 1848.
The cemetery on the
1858 A short distance beyond but on the easterly side of the road lived the M. Sherburne family. (Mary ‘Molly’ Sherburne)
[1858 Perley C. Giles, east side of road before M Sherburne, not mentioned by George H. Yeaton]
1892 Next we come to the Perley C. Giles place but on the opposite side of the road, here lived, Perley C. Giles his wife Clarissa S. (Grant) Giles, their daughter Viola A., son Herbert P., daughter Nettie and Ella M. Giles. Perley C. and his wife Clarissa S. Giles made shoes by hand. This made three families where the husband and wife were shoemakers, all within a radius of one-fourth of a mile.
I can close my eyes, think of the old days and seem to hear the sound of the mallets and broad faced hammers that the men were using on the sole leather, before they were sewed and again after sewing and turning the shoes. In the warm weather, when the windows at the shoemaker's homes were open, the sound of these hammers would carry a long distance through the air and I can recall hearing them when quite some distance from the homes of the shoemakers. In memory I can see the large fat hogs that Perley Giles had every fall, they would be in a small yard on the south side of his barn. They would be so fat that they could hardly waddle up to the feed trough when Mr. Giles came with their feed, and their eyes; there was so much fat around their eyes that all one could see were slits, in the rolls of fat where their eyes were supposed to be. I guess the Giles family liked fat pork.
Perley C. Giles was from Deerfield, NH where he
was born on April 22, 1834, and married in Epsom, Clara (Clarissa) Grant in
1855. She was the daughter of George Wells and Sally (Foss) Grant of Epsom,
born March 30, 1839. Perley bought the Nathaniel
Sherburne farm from William Sanders in 1857, and the map of 1858 shows his home
actually across the street. The deed included the transaction being subject to
the dower of the late Nathaniel's wife, Molly (Mary) Sherburne who appears to
occupy a residence just to the north of the Giles homestead. The Sherburne
Perley bought additional land from Samuel
Stanley in 1870, being on the east side of
The Giles family were a staple of
The widow Mary Sherburne remains shrouded in mystery, despite the
fact her dower rights are mentioned in many deeds, though n document has been
found stating exactly what they were. Presumably her rights included a place to
live, and by 1858 that was just above the Perley
Giles home. In the 1860 census she is living between her grandson John C.
Sherburne and Perley C. Giles, age 87, but there is
no value given for any property. She appears paying tax for buildings and 27
acres of land in 1860, and appears again in 1862 and 1864 with the same land
and no buildings, and does not appear in the records in 1864. She also does not
appear in any record of deaths for the town or
1858 Now around a curve in the road, up a small hill and they came to the J. S. Cate farm; this farm was settled about the year 1776, by Deacon John Cate. Deacon John Cate built a saw mill on the Odiorne Pond brook, just in back of the Cate home, the mill was in operation at this time.
1892 My home was a short distance beyond the Perley Giles place, but on the west side of the road, it was the original Cate farm. Deacon John Cate settled on this farm about the year 1776. It was at this house where I was born, on a Friday morning at one o’clock, A.M. December 21, 1883. I do not remember about it, all I know is what I was told in later years. I lived at this home for over fifty years, our family at this date (1892) consisted of my father James Yeaton, my mother Annie R. (Crockett) Yeaton, a brother John C., (he was seven years older than I) my sister Helen Elisabeth and my great Aunt Ruth E. Prescott. My much older brother (23 yrs. older) Edwin R. Yeaton who was born on June 25, 1860 had married a sister of Charles Eastman (of
The Cate farm was part of lot 100 originally
drawn by John and William Cate, and in 1773 William Cate Senior and Eleazar Cate of Greenland, sold the 112 acres to John Cate, joiner, of
A biography of Deacon John Cate appeared in the Suncook Valley Times newspaper, August 4, 1870, probably by John French:
"There are many worthy men whose names are not prominent in military exploits or great business enterprises who have by example and precept filled an important part in the everyday civil and religious life of Society. Such a man was Dea. John Cate, of Epsom.
As early as 1660 we find the names of John and James Cate, two brothers from
been retained, in the different generations, with the usual Puritan custom.
John, the subject of this sketch, was born in Greenland, 1733 and
in 1766 married Abigail Sherburne of
Dea. John Cate was
intimately connected with the town and church affairs for over fifty years,
during its most prosperous and eventful history. His patriotism or integrity
was never questioned and though age had crept on at the time of the war he took
an active part in aiding soldiers and serving the town. Until the day of his
death he wore his three cornered hat as one of the sons of
He was the first Deacon in Epsom and one of the leading men in church offices. The church records of Epsom belong to the Historical Society at Concord and a copy of them is in the possession of Samuel G. Drake, Esq., the historian of Boston, a grandson of Rev. John Tuck the first minister of Epsom and no name appears in these so frequently as Dea. John Cate. He clung with tenacity to his church creed and to old manners and customs. For many years with Dea. Locke he occupied the Deacon's seat and with a huge white wig and long staff by his side would read or deacon off the hymn and sing with a nasal twang according to the custom of "ye olden times."
He died of old age. Rev. Jonathan Curtis preached the funeral sermon from the text, "And he worshipped leaning upon his staff." He left three sons; Ebenezer, John and Samuel, who have all followed their father to his long home. His grandson John Sherburne Cate lives upon the old homestead settled one hundred and twenty years ago or more. Dea. John Cate was a man of great simplicity of character, pure motives, industrious, frugal and a devoted Christian. His long life, trusting faith and exemplary habits have a lasting influence. He felt great personal responsibility and discharged his duties with caution and conscientious fidelity. The Sabbath was a day of rest to him and was sanctified in his own house. In society he was a peacemaker and he ever aimed to keep a conscience void of offence towards God."
Deacon John Cate deeded part of his
property to his son Samuel in 1813, 41 acres, and he acquired the remainder
after the his father's death in 1821. Son Ebenezer moved
James A. Yeaton was the son of John and
Sarah (Bickford) Yeaton, born January 11, 1832, and
married March 3, 1858 in
Annie R. Crockett was born in 1853, and with James A. Yeaton had three children: John Crockett, born May 19, 1875 and married in Epsom in 1897, Nellie B. Perkins; Helen Elizabeth Prescott (Helen E. P. ), born July 22, 1878, married at Epsom in 1897, Charles McClary Steele; and George Hill Yeaton, born December 21, 1883, married at Pittsfield in 1909, Ada Lucy Brown, daughter of Charles Jonathan and Lenora (Jones) Brown of Gilmanton, New Hampshire.
A biography was printed of James A. Yeaton
"James Yeaton, a well-known farmer
James Yeaton was educated in the schools
of his native town and at
Mr. Yeaton is a member of the Free Will Baptist church. In politics he is a Democrat. He served as Town Clerk for two years in succession, and has been several times elected a member of the Board of Selectmen. As a public official he was able and efficient. He is much respected by his townsmen."
Among the many stories George H. Yeaton related in his many notebooks, was a detailed look at what it was like growing up on the family farm. The way of life had not changed much since before the Civil War, and his account is well worth preserving:
LIFE ON A FARM YEARS AGO
MARCH 1890 AND MARCH 1962
At this season of the year my father and my older brother would be finishing “working up” our wood pile, nearly fifteen cords. In those days the trees were cut “sled length” in the woods. This was the quickest and the easiest way to “get up” a woodpile, we had a yoke of oxen which were used to haul the wood to the dooryard.
At this date wood was “fitted” by hand. The large logs that were to be used for wood had to be cut into stove wood length with a crosscut saw. This small job was done by my father and brother, as I was not old enough to handle one end of a saw. They always planned to do most of the sawing in the afternoon then at night stand the sawed blocks of wood on end. In this position they would freeze and the more frost in the chunks, the easier they would split the next morning.
The splitting was done by the use of wedges and a mallet or more commonly called a maul. My father made his own mauls, he would find a white oak log eight inches in diameter, remove the bark, cut a twelve inch length from it, put an iron band on each end, bore a hole on the side six inches from each end, make a rugged handle and drive it into the section of oak log and there you were, ready to split the big chunks of wood.
I would be with them at the woodpile mostly watching and asking questions, my time would come later when the wood box needed to be filled.
one or two crows would be seen flying about. In those days the old people, if
they saw a crow in the month of March would say “the heart of winter is broken, I saw a crow fly over the other day.” It was in the
month of March that the hogs were slaughtered and taken to market, sometimes to
In our cellar kitchen there was a large set kettle, this was used to cook the hog feed in. At butchering time we used this same kettle to heat water in, as one must have plenty of hot water to scald the hogs with so that the bristles could be easily removed with the liberal use of powdered rosin.
A butcher would come to our farm, kill and dress as many hogs as we had for fifty cents each. We would heat the water, furnish the rosin and help in handling the hogs.
After finishing the woodpile and slaughtering the hogs, we would tap the maple trees and make some syrup.
We had no regular maple orchard or sap house, but there were plenty of maple trees in the dooryard, beside the highway and scattered over the farm. My mother would boil the sap into syrup in the house over the kitchen stove.
next event came the first day of April when the Selectmen would come to take
inventory. They always came by way of the
Commencing at the lower end of the road, they would reach our place about nine or nine-thirty in the morning. This was a busy morning, carding the cattle, making things tidy about the yard and in the barn. On this day we always swept the long barn floor before the Selectmen got there.
The month of April was the odd jobs month, besides taking care of the live stock, bagging the ears of corn in the corn barn and taking the corn to the grist mill where they ground it cob and all. Then there were the potatoes to sort over, keeping only enough to eat and plant. The rest we would sell.
Some years in the month of April there were snow drifts left in the roads, after much of the road was free of snow, then whoever had charge of the highways would get men to shovel out these drifts so that the entire road would be made passable with horses and wheels. I can well remember riding through drifts after they had been shoveled out. The snow on each side of the road would be as high as the horse's back and in many places the drifts would extend for a considerable distance (the first part of April). April was the month that the farmers would look after the farm implements needed for the early spring work. If plow points on cutters on the “breaking up” plows were badly worn, they must be replaced.
The month of April being one of the short months of the year, before one realized it, spring came. Then with the cleaning of the barn, plowing, fencing (pasturing time was May 20) taking off the storm windows, hauling away the banking, opening up the cellar windows and getting the pen ready for the pigs, which my father would soon buy, there were not many idle days.
Then there was the soft-soap to be made. My father would place an old vinegar barrel just outside the cellar-kitchen door. This barrel rested on a raised platform, made of boards a little larger than the barrel and having quite a large groove on the sides and back end, but made so that it came together in the front with an outlet at the edge. The barrel had some small holes in the bottom. Next my father would bring out the wood ashes, which he had been saving during the winter months, filling the barrel with the ashes. He would then add several pails of water, this would cause the lye from the ashes to form and drip out onto the platform, from the small holesin the barrel, filling the grooves with lye. This lye was caught as it drifted from the platform in a wooded tub or large wooden pail. It would take two or three days for a barrel of ashes and water to leach out. He may have added more ashes and water to the barrel from day to day. After the lye had all leached out he would hang some large kettles on the crane in the fireplace that was in the cellar-kitchen, put the lye into the large iron kettle, together with the “soap grease” that my mother had been saving since the last soap making. This mixture had to be cooked a considerable length of time. It was then taken off, allowed to cool and then put into the soap barrel in the cellar.
This barrel was a queer looking barrel, it was made of heavy staves (straight staves). It was much larger at one end than the other. The large end was the end on which it stood, the smaller end open. There was always a long wooden paddle in the barrel which was used to stir the soap. My mother had a bowl which she only used to bring the soap up in from the cellar. I can well remember this bowl and bringing it up the stairs filled with soft-soap.
By the last of May the spring work was done, including the planting, all but the beans, some late garden seeds and the hills of cucumbers. Cucumbers should be planted the first day of June, before sunrise, and then the cucumber bugs will not trouble them. As beans will sprout and come up quickly, it was not a good idea to plant them too early on account of the late frosts we were apt to have the first part of June.
The corn which would be up would be killed by a late frost, but it would grow again, it only set it back a few days. Potatoes the same, but not the beans.
In the month of May the hens would be traveling around the dooryard with their broods of chickens. My mother would set a number of hens in the month of April. Strange how each little chicken would know its own mother and would only follow her.
District school commenced its spring term about May 1st and
that meant back to school for me. But there were other things outside of school
that interested me for it was in the latter part of April and the early part of
May when the large suckers came up the brook from the Little
In the early spring season, suckers were good eating, many families would capture a lot of the fish and salt them down in barrels. In this way they could have fish at any season of the year.
In dressing this kind of fish the best way was to skin them, cut off their heads and about two inches of the tail. These two inches of a sucker's tail were full of small bones, and when you cut off the two inches, you not only got rid of these small bones, but eliminated the muddy flavor which some folks thought the suckers had.
To salt down fish: first, remove the skin, cut off the head and tail, put a layer of fish in the barrel, sprinkle on some salt, then more fish and more salt. The moisture from the fish with the salt made its own brine.
Mrs. Yeaton and myself got caught in a heavy rainstorm in the town of Gilmanton, NH many years ago, as it was nearly night, the family on who we were calling asked us to stay over night. The next morning for breakfast we had fish, baked in milk or cream. After we had eaten we were told that the fish we had just eaten were suckers they had caught in the spring and salted down in a barrel.
family lived on the
remember another time in the early spring, several men, of whom I was one of
the group, were repairing a section of the road near
the Epsom-Deerfield town line. The brook which crossed the highway, near where
we ate our noon lunch, was alive with large suckers. I suppose that they came
The brook from Odiorne Pond ran through the pasture and field not far from my home where I lived as a boy.
This was also a trout stream and many the trout I have caught in this brook.
also spent many hours fishing at Odiorne Pond when
young. It abounded with fish of all kinds which were native to our
speaking about horned-pout, a cousin of mine from
afterwards I went horned-pout fishing in the big
back to the brook trout again. There was a small brook (and still is), which
came from the old “Tannery” pond on the
It finally came the last of June and then the New Orchard Road school closed its doors for the summer vacation, then with fishing, swimming, playing baseball, Sunday School and Fourth of July picnics, helping with the haying a little, picking blueberries for my mother to can and soon the summer was gone.
We would set a few traps for the woodchucks that were eating up the beans, watch the early apple trees so that I would not miss the first ripe one, then it was time to go back to the New Orchard Road school.
Now the blue jay could be seen and heard, especially if you went anywhere near a field of corn.
In the early part of September the farmers would commence to shock their field corn or instead of shocking it they would cut the stalks on the hills of corn. Albion Locke who lived on Locke’s Hill, a high hill where the frosts come late in the fall, would cut the stalks.
My father and his near neighbor Mr. Dotey, would shock their corn. Either way had its advantages but whichever way a person did it, it was advisable to do it before the frosts came. About this same time the beans must be pulled and stacked. After that came potato digging time and if one had any cranberries on their farm it was best to pick them before the hard frosts came. The month of October was apple picking time, that meant work for everyone on the farm. The best winter apples were picked and put in barrels in the house cellar, falls and seconds were peeled, quartered and strung on twine then hung on the apple drying racks. To protect thedrying apples from the flies, we would cover the apple racks and apples with a screen or cheesecloth.
At one end of our orchard there were two or more large pumpkin-sweet apple trees, the apples from these trees were mostly made into boiled cider apple sauce, a few were kept to eat in the winter months.
My folks always made a barrel of boiled cider apple sauce, the barrel was kept in a back room where there was no heat and when the weather became cold the barrel of sauce would freeze, then we would be obliged to use a heavy knife to cut it into small chunks before one could get any from the barrel. My, but it was good, sometimes when my mother made doughnuts she would fill a part of the “batch” with this boiled cider apple sauce, others she would fill with mincemeat. She made a “batch” of doughnuts every week, and pies: apple, mince, pumpkin, squash and cranberry. Always had pies on hand of some kind, besides the kinds mentioned above there would sometimes be a custard or lemon pie to eat for supper, then there were the blueberry and rhubarb pies in their season.
Molasses cookies: have not seen or tasted a molasses cookie like the ones she used to make. Oh! My wife is a wonderful cook, but somehow her cookies do not taste like the ones my mother made when I was a boy. (Perhaps it is in me). Then the apple dumplings with the sauce she made to eat on them or if one preferred, cream and sugar, either way, they always went.
The apples not made use of in any other way went into cider-apples.
In the fall the companies which made vinegar would buy these apples, delivered at the railroad station, where they were loaded into box cars.
We would keep some to make into cider to fill the vinegar barrel which was in the corn barn and every fall my father would boil down a whole barrel of sweet cider into boiled cider. This was how we got the boiled cider to put into the mince meat, the apple sauce and mix with the summer drink, made with so much molasses, so much ginger, so much boiled cider and so much sugar, then after we had put these ingredients in the jug, We filled it with water.
In making the boiled cider we would first get out the big old copper kettle, hang it in the fire place on the crane, fill the kettle with sweet cider, then boil it until it became of the right consistency. A barrel of sweet cider would only make a few gallons.
When all the harvesting was done it was something to look at in our house cellar. Bins of potatoes, rows of barrels filled with apples, boxes full of beets, turnips, then the pork barrels filled with salt pork, the barrel of soft-soap, and the row of jugs filled with boiled cider.
And then the shelves in the dairy, row after row and tier after tier of canned fruits, berries and such, which my mother had put up during the summer and early fall. There were cans of blueberries, blackberries, pears, grapes, apple sauce, apple jelly, currants, gooseberries, cranberries, crab-apples, strawberries, maple syrup, pickled beets and small cucumbers.
Then there were the stone crocks filled with cucumbers pickled in brine, pickled pigs feet and sliced hog shoulders.
These hog shoulders were sliced quite thick, first they would put some sage leaves, salt and pepper into the stone crock, then a layer of the sliced shoulder, then more sage leaves, salt and pepper and so on until the crock was full. We had a row of sage bushes in our garden near the gooseberry and currant bushes.
It was in the spring when we had the sliced shoulders to eat. My older brother was especially fond of meat preserved this way. I can still remember the aroma that came from the kitchen when this meat was frying.
Then there were always one or more crocks filled with butter which had been “packed down” in the months of June and September.
The cabbages, pumpkins and squash were kept in the coolest part of the cellar. They would keep better in a cool dry place. The butternuts were gathered in the late fall and spread on the floor in a vacant chamber or in the shed room, together with the chestnuts.
Cranberries which were not canned would keep in a chamber or similar place, they would stand quite a lot of cold weather before they would freeze.
Right away after harvesting was done, stove wood was put in the shed. This must be tiered in the shed as twelve or fifteen cords of stove wood just thrown in would take up a lot of space.
By this time the corn was all husked and put in the big slatted bin in the corn barn. Then the men came with their thresher and threshed the grain. We raised mostly oats. The grain was then put in the big bin in the corn barn. Inone corner of the corn barn was the vinegar barrel and then in the space between the corn crib and the oat bin there was a row of barrels, empty stone barrels, ready for the beans after they were threshed. A different kind in each barrel, pea beans, red kidney beans, yellow eyed beans, horticulture beans. There were two kinds of these beans, the bush cranberry and the pole cranberry bean. We sometimes raised a few black beans, can’t remember their name.
Then there were the long traces of field corn, which was to be saved for seed, to plant the next spring, also a few traces of popcorn and some of sweet corn. These were hung from spikes driven in the floor timbers of the overhead floor in the corn barn.
Then there was another row of spikes from which would be hung pieces of meat, which would freeze solid and keep all through the winter months (if we didn't eat it up). This meat would be part pork and half beef.
think I forgot to mention the long row of
Then there was the very large pear tree (for a pear tree) near the corn barn, the pears from this pear tree made wonderful preserves, the pears were a little larger than a Bartlett pear and of a more solid or meaty texture, much darker when cooked. There were also some pomegranate trees quite near the back shed, and two or more grapevines, one was a Concord grape.
In those days a good farm was certainly a land of plenty.
There were plenty of wild strawberries one could have for the picking.
We did not have any chestnut trees on our land. If one wanted chestnuts, they woud go up on Sanborn Hill or in that vicinity. The crab apples, which my mother would can, either came from my older brother’s farm or our next door neighbor Perley Giles.
Then there were the home cured hams and bacon, the purple plums from the plum trees and the large red cherries. The cherry trees were large trees and bore large red cherries which, when they were dead ripe, turned much darker.
There is one thing, which I feel quite sure I forgot to mention about the apples we used to bake. My motherwould wash a number of the large pumpkin sweet apples, which came from the southeast corner of the orchard, and bake them in a large cookie or biscuit tin. My but they were good eating with milk, or cream on them. Then there was another kind of sweet apple that grew in the same orchard; they too were baked in the same way.
way which we baked the
In the month of November they would be seen or heard on their migratory flight to the southern waters where they would spend the winter months.
After the death of James A. Yeaton, his widow Annie deeded the property, 65 acres including the saw mill and excepting the burying ground, to their son George H. Yeaton. George and his wife Ada Brown had three children: Esther Ruth, who married in 1948 Percy S. Nelson; John Brown (Johnny B.), who married in 1947, Anne Lydia Sedjo; and Marjorie Annie, who died unmarried.
and his wife
1858 After leaving the Cate farm and a short visit at the saw mill, the group came to the home of J.J. Moses, this was also on the west side of the road, and at an earlier date had been a part of the original Cate Farm. This was the house, where in later years, Walter Cox, the greatest horseman of his generation was born.
After the Cox family left the New Orchard Road farm and moved to Manchester, Charles E. Cox, the father of Walter Cox, in later years was appointed Warden of the New Hampshire State Prison, he served in this position for nine years; he then resigned and returned to Manchester to live. His son Walter Cox was one of four sons. Guy W. Cox became president of the John Hancock Life Insurance Company, his brother Louis S. Cox was appointed Judge of
1892 Henry E. Dotey was living on the farm next above us, his farm was originally a part of the old Cate homestead. Mr. Dotey was a Civil War Veteran, his wife’s name was Adelia Dotey, they had a daughter named Carrie M., who married
Though the Cox family is mentioned, there are no deeds showing any
family of the name on
While Samuel Cate owned the Deacon Cate farm, his brother John recieved property from his father just to the north. John Cate married Mary Towle in 1797, daughter of Abraham Perkins and Abigail (Moulton) Towle. for children they had: Abigail M., born 1799 and married in 1823 John McClary Heath, son of Capt. Simon Ames Heath, and resided in Epsom; Eliza, born in 1802 and married in 1823, Enoch French of Pittsfield; Hannah, born 1804, married in 1829, Joseph James Moses, son of Mark and Betsey (Cate) Moses; and Polly, born 1810 and married October 8, 1829 in Epsom, John Sherburne Dolbeer, son of John and Sally (Sherburne) Dolbeer, and lived in New Rye.
John Cate died in 1829, and the heirs, namely Enoch French, Joseph Dolbeer, and John M. Heath, all who had married his daughters, signed off on the homestead to the remaining daughter, Hannah and her husband, Joseph James Moses. He was the son of Mark and Betsey (Cate) Moses, born in Epsom in 1803, and married Hannah Cate in 1829. They had one daughter, Elizabeth S., who was born in 1836 and married Sherburne D. Cass, son of Jonathan Stickney and Eliza (Sherburne) Cass.
Joseph J. Moses moved to
Henry E. Dotey was born in
The next occupants of the property was
Charles Sumner Bickford, who bought the home with his father Henry in 1907.
Henry Warren Bickford was the son of William and Polly (
The deed of 1907 gave Charles S. Bickford half the property with
the provision that he care for his parents. Haney W. died in 1915, his wife Orilla in 1916, with Charles inheriting the homestead. He
and his wife Katie had two children: Elmore Alfred, who married Hattie
Elizabeth Ambrose in 1930, daughter of Albion N. and Susie F. (Coburn) Ambrose;
and Orville Sumner who married in 1937 Jennie C. Wilhemina
Johnson, and moved to
1858 After the group left the J. J. Moses farm they came to the home of Mark S. Moses, this was a large farm and the house was a large colonial style house that a former owner, Jonathan A. Knowles, son of Josiah Knowles, who settled at this place about the year 1776, built. It was on this farm that the “Old Swimming Hole,” was located.
Some of the last ones to use the “Old Swimming Hole,” were: Arthur O. Friel, who left the
The third one who spent many hours with these two was, George H. Yeaton. Another a Massachusetts boy, who came to Locke’s Hill with his parents summers, and afterwards became a physician and lived in California, came to my home here in the village of Gossville, in the year 1962, and said that he also used to go swimming with Arthur and Walter in the same place many years ago.
Mark S. Moses bought this farm about the year 1850. Fifteen years later (1865) Mark S. Moses died at age 57 years. His son John M. Moses, was only ten years of age when his father died, but his mother; who was a woman of wide reading and intellectual interests, lived to see her son, John M. Moses, graduate from Dartmouth College. John M. Moses taught for a time, at Coe’s Academy, in later years he devoted much of his time to writing articles for the Granite Monthly and working on the genealogy of different families. He was a man of much strength but only used it in emergencies.
In the year 1900, when I was a student at Coe’s Academy, there was a fire near the home of Mr. Moses in Northwood. One building was a large two story house the other building which burned was a school house. When the school house caught fire and there was no way to save it, John M. Moses went into the building and grasping a combination seat and desk in each hand wrenched them free from the floor, they were fastened to the floor with screws, carried them out of the burning building, then returned for two more. I saw the piles of seats and desks, after the school house had burned.
1892 The Lewis family lived a little ways beyond Mr. Dotey's, but on the opposite side of the road, this was a large farm colonial style house, a long shed connecting the two barns (the two barns were end to end.) One of them had been moved from the Cate farm and placed on the east end of the other barn, or the barn on the west end had been built onto the old Cate barn.
The Lewis family consisted of Cyrus A. Lewis, his wife Nellie M. Lewis and their five sons, named: Frank W., Harry D., Stacy A., Ernest E. and Walter C. Lewis. Ellen J. Holt was the daughter of Samuel Harmon and his wife Eunice Johnson. Ellen J. Holt was born in Hartson,
Franklin D. Holt died suddenly in the year 1885. He was Prudential Committee of the
The Franklin D. Holt or Cyrus A. Lewis farm had an acreage of 176 acres in the year 1886. The new owner of the Lewis farm was: Silas B. Woodbury, who died five years after he bought the farm. His widow, their son and the grandson all went to
Jonathan Knowles married about 1806, Margaret Locke, daughter of Francis and MaryAbigail (Katherwood) Locke. His father deeded the family farm to him in two deeds, one in 1810, and the other in 1824. Jonathan and Margaet had children: Josiah, born in 1809, his wife unknown, but one daughter, Esther Jane; Samuel B., born 1811, married in 1835, Olive Stevens Bunker of Barnstead; Esther, born 1815, married about 1833, Samuel Dennett Nutter of Northwood; Francis, died young; Francis Locke, born 1816, married in 1844, Sarah W. Locke. Margaret died in 1817, and Jonathan married second, Ruth Philbrick, daughter of Daniel and Ruth (Merrill) Philbrick of Epsom. Jonathan and his wife Ruth had children: Ruth Morrill, born 1818, married as his second wife, Samuel Dennett Nutter, who had married her step-sister Esther; Margaret, born 1821, married Ezra Merrill in 1845; Ann Maria born about 1822, married George W. Baker; Jonathan Ayer, born 1824, married in 1843, Susan G. Bickford, daughter of Nathan and Eliza (Dickey) Bickford; Martha Cate, born 1826, married in 1850 at Epsom, Alden Thayer; and Sarah Elizabeth Ayer, born1829, died in1833.
Jonathan died in 1843, had built the house and willed the property
to his wife Ruth during her natural life, then on her death, to son Jonathan
Ayer Knowles. Jonathan and wife Susan had two daughters, Grace V., born in
1844, and married in 1867, James H. Snow, and as a widow was murdered in 1925
by Charles S. Hall; and Ida W., born 1850, and died in 1893, unmarried.
Jonathan became a minister, and was hired to build the Epsom town house. The
Reverend Jonathan A. Knowles sold the family homestead in 1854 to John Langley
Mark Sherburne Moses was born in Epsom, July 7, 1808, son of Mark and Betsey (Cate) Moses, his mother a daughter of the Deacon John Cate. Mark married in 1835, Elvira L. M. Dolbeer, daughter of John and Sally (Sherburne) Dolbeer, who died in 1853, having no children. Mark married second in 1854, Mary Abigail Towle, daughter of Robey Marston and Mary Abigail (Nelson) Towle. The couple had two children: historian John Mark Moses, born 1855 and died unmarried in 1919; and Cyrus S., born in 1860 and died in 1864. Mark S. Moses died in 1865, and his second wife remarried in 1868, the Reverend George Smith as his second wife. As guardian of the young John Mark Moses, Mary A. Moses sold the property to Michael McClary Steele and Henry F. Sanborn, and the farm passed through many owners - 1869, Benjamin F. Mudget; 1871, Michael M. Steele; 1875, William L. Otis; 1877, back to Michael M. Steele; 1877, Isaac Russ and Samuel Cofran; 1878, Franklin D. Holt of Hopkinton.
The deeds all excluded the family burying ground. Franklin Holt died in 1885 and his widow, Ellen, sold the farm to Cyrus A. and Ellen M. Lewis of Epsom.
The Lewis family remained in Epsom at the old Knowles farm for
eight years, selling the property to Silas B. Woodbury of
All interest in land and buildings in Epsom of Marion Brewer, who
died in Quincy, MA, left as sole heirs, her husband, brother William J.
Whiting, and sister, Sarah E. Wilson, heirs of law of Francis F. Brewer, her
husband, who died also in Quincy sold the property to Sarah E. Wilson in 1942.
The farm was next owned by James and Mary Keeler of Hopkinton, who sold the
farm in 1946 to Walter B. and Harriett A. Chase of Epsom. The Chase family
owned the farm until 1976 when the widow Harriet sold the land and buildings to
Gunnar and Anna M. Hagstrom of
1858 Schoolhouse - As the group left the Mark S. Moses homestead they went by the family cemetery, on their left down the hill, across the two brooks and bridges and came to the Locke Hill road which branched to the right, they left this for later in the day and went up the “School House Hill” and soon came to the OLD New Orchard Rd. school house, this building was on the east side of the road.
1892 Schoolhouse - Now in memory I am sliding down the long hill (the Lewis Hill) down the hill across the “little brook,” where we got our drinking water for the school, then across the “big brook,” which was the outlet to Odiorne Pond, and I am at the fork of the road. At my left is the
Yes, Mayland Ames is coming down the Locke road with his round tin dinner pail in his hand, there was something about the shape of the pail that made one remember it. Mayland has on his felt boots this morning, Ernest and Walter were here when I arrived. There now, Silas B. Paige is bringing, Grace, Myrtie and Eva to school this morning. The other scholars must be in the school house, Charlie Bickford, Burt or Herbert Stanley, my brother John, my sister Elizabeth and the others. There: the teacher has just come to the door with the bell in her hand it must be nine o’clock.
Now I am leaving the school house, the scholars, the teacher and old memories.
1858 It was quite some distance beyond the school house to the home of David Brown who lived at the top of the hill, his house was also on the east side of the road. A short distance beyond the David Brown house was the home of L. Brown, this house was on the west side of the highway.
No houses in 1892
The original property of lot 109 in the fourth range belonged to
John Sherburne. The book 'Henry and John Sherburne of
John Sherburne married Hannah Jackson and had children Noah;
Simeon, who died by 1753; Hannah, who married John Blunt; Catherine, who
married first Ebenezer Odiorne, and second Dr. Thomas
Deane; and Mary who married Capt. James Randall. Noah Sherburne of
Thomas Ordiorne of
Samuel Brown was born in Kensington in 1771 to David and Elizabeth (Winslow) Brown. He married in 1796, Comfort Speed. He was one of eight children of David and Elizabeth, and his father died in 1800, leaving besides son Samuel, a son Simon who died young; Dudley, born 1773; Dorothy, born 1776; Levi, born 1778; Maury, born 1781; Simon (2) born 1783; and Patience. Samuel and his wife Comfort sold 90 acres to his brother Levi in 1804, reserving to his mother Elizabeth the improvement of one half of the premises during her widowhood.
This Levi Brown, and this Brown line of Kensington, is not to be
confused with the Levi Brown and his son Levi who lived on
Meanwhile, Levi Brown sold 90 acres of the lot in 1806, to Peter
Levi Brown throughout occupied a house on
David Brown was born about 1814, and at an unknown date, married Mehitable Jones, daughter of Bildad
Jones, and whose sister Mary, married Addison Davis and lived next to the site
of the Free Will Baptist Church. David and Mehitable
occupied the property until David died in 1875. His widow Mehitable
sold the property the next month to Samuel T. Page. Page sold the
property in 1885 to Christopher Welch of
1858 Then they came to the Constantine Wood place, another of the Colonial style houses, on the west side of the highway, with a stone wall between the highway and the door-yard, a gateway and short driveway led to the house, which stood on a slight elevation.
1892 The next place some distance above the school house on the Sherburne road is the farm of Lucas S. Clark, almost one mile distance. Here lived Lucas S. Clark his wife Olive M. and their two daughters: Lizzie E., Sadie O., and a son John S. Clark.
Joseph Sherburne was born in
Joseph was a soldier of the Revolution, and with his wife Olive
reared a large family which whose record of births appear
in the old
In his will of 1805, Joseph deeded the homestead to his wife Olive, and on her death to sons Daniel and James. He died September 11, 1807, and was buried in a family lot not far from the family home. The cemetery was also used by the family of his brother William who lived across the road. Buried with Joseph are his wife Olive, who died in 1832; her mother Olive Pitman, who died in 1817, age 99; son John who died in 1822. These four graves are nicely carved fieldstones.
Daniel deeded his portion of the homestead farm, less 25 acres, to
his brother James in 1821 and moved eventually to
James Sherburne married Sally Prescott, daughter of Jesse and
Abigail (Towle) Prescott, July 11, 1822. Their
children were: a child born and died in 1823; Emeline
Rebecca, born 1824, married Jacob S. Hall; Alvah Jason,
born 1826, died 1842, unmarried; Abbie Maria, born
1828, died in Ohio, nothing more known; Oliver J., born 1830, died 1875 in San
Francisco, CA., drowning in the harbor; Henry French, born 1832, married Sarah Chesley, died at Beaver Dam, Wisconsin; Orlando Prescott,
born 1834, resided in Wisconsin, died at Leadville, CO.; Sarah Lake Leavitt,
born 1836, married John Gould, died in 1891 in Nebraska; Joseph Tilton, born
1838, died either in Pittsfield in 1863, or, Appleton, Wisconsin, according to
a family Bible. James Sherburne died in 1851, his wife Sally, in 1852, leaving
minor children. His estate was sold through various guardians of his children
in 1854; Joseph J. Moses for Sarah and Joseph; Benjamin L. Locke for
Constantine Wood was born in Epsom about 1813, and married
Sally Burns of
Samuel Lucas Clark was born July 20, 1861 to Samuel J. and Susan
1858 Just beyond (the Wood residence) and on the same side was the W. B. Perkins home, then a short distance, but on the other side of the highway, was the D. (David) Sherburne place.
1892 The next place, a farm, was where Daniel N. Lewis now lived, this was the original D. Sherburne place, with the house on the east side of the road and the barn on the west side with land on both sides of the road.
The Sherburne's that settled on
William Sherburne married in
Lot 110 was the original right of Joseph Hill of Greenland, who
sold his right of Epsom land to Mark Jewell of
William and his wife Sarah had children: Polly (Mary) born in 1773, married Thomas Leavitt of Chichester in Epsom 1797; Abigail, born 1775, married at Epsom in 1799, James Munroe Locke, son of Moses and Mary (Organ) Locke of Center Hill and removed to Stanstead, Canada; Sarah, born 1776, married in Epsom in 1800, Thomas Rand of Chichester, son of Edmund and Abigail Rand; Jane, born 1779, probably in Epsom, married in Epsom, 1804, James Blake of Epsom, son of Samuel and Sarah (Bickford) Blake, resided in Chichester; David, born 1780, married Betsey Sherburne Moses; Ruth, born about 1782, married in Epsom in 1832, Benjamin Shaw of Chichester as his second wife; Ann, born 1786, married about 1811, Thomas Cass, son of Simeon and Elizabeth (Locke) Cass and removed to Stanstead, Canada and died in Indiana; William, born 1791, died unmarried in 1829; Betsey, born 1793 and married in Epsom, 1815, a Samuel Drake; and Nathaniel, born 1798, married in Loudon in 1813, a Jane Piper, nothing more known of this couple, though a Nathaniel appears in the 1850 census in the home of David Sherburne of Epsom, perhaps his brother.
William Sherburne died in 1808, his wife Sarah in 1829. The family home was inherited by his son David, who added additional real estate. Forty acres were purchased in 1811 from John McClary and 23 acres from Levi Locke in 1825. David raised his family with his wife Betsey Sherburne (Moses) daughter of James and Elizabeth (Sherburne) Moses, whom he married in 1807 in Epsom. Their family included: William, born in 1808 and died unmarried in 1822; Capt. James Moses, born 1811, who married at Chichester in 1837, Betsey Chesley (Blake) daughter of James and Jane (Sherburne) Blake and resided on the Sherburne Road; Eliza, born 1813, married in 1834, Jonathan Stickney Cass, son of Levi and Mehitable (Osgood) Cass; David, born 1815, married in 1841, Mary Cate, daughter of Samuel and Abigail (Prescott) Cate of New Orchard Road, resided Lowell, MA; Sarah, born 1818, died 1826; Jane Moses, born 1821, married in 1841, John Sherburne Cate, brother to Mary Cate who married her brother David; William, born 1823, married Sarah Jane Prescott, he died in 1855 and she married second Greenleaf Osgood; Mary Ann, born 1827 and was living with her bro
David Sherburne died in 1856, his wife Betsey in 1869. The family
is buried in the
Samuel True Page cannot be identified or placed with any Page
family. By deeds, it is known his wife was Almira,
and the couple can be found in 1860 living in the home of Moses and Nancy Dame
Daniel N. Lewis was from
Charles E. Morrell 3rd, was born in 1873
and married April 10, 1896 in
Charles and Rachel had one son, Charles E. Morrell 4th who was
born in 1906. His father died when he was only age 6 in 1912. He and his mother
moved north for a time before returning to Epsom. Rachel lived until 1967, and
she and her husband Charles are buried in the
Charles E. Morrill 4th married Alice M. McDowell of
1858 Next to the D. Sherburne home was the J. Page farm, but this was on the west side of the road. [also seen Paige]
1892 Now we come to the Silas B. Page farm situated on the west side of the road.
The Paige family at this time consisted of Silas B., his wife Emma A. (Glines) Page, their four daughters, Grace E., Myrtie H., Eva M. and Bulah Adelaid, and a son Harry L. Page.
This farm was formerly known as the J. Page farm, as shown on a map of Epsom published in the year 1858.
This farm at the date of this writing is the farm and home of Lloyd E. Kimball and his wife Ruth H. (Yeaton) Kimball, and family.
The Josiah Page family of
which would indicate that this is his mother. The family of Joseph Page would appear to be as follows: Joseph Page, died shortly after 1840 had wife Mehitable who died in Epsom, March 17, 1846, having had children Carherine R., born about 1791, still living with her sister Rhoda in 1860; Sally, born about 1795, married January 13, 1814, Amasa Eaton; Rhoda, born about 1798, still living in 1860; and Josiah, born about 1799, married at Pittsfield, NH September 7, 1822. Hannah Marston, daughter of Joseph and Hannah (Brown) Marston.
Josiah Page of Chichester bought land
from Philip C. Kelly of
Josiah and Hannah deeded the homestead farm to their son Silas B.
Page in 1867, and in turn he is to care for his parents and their 38 acres,
land and buildings. Silas is found living in the home of his parents in the
census years of 1860 and 1880. He married at Epsom in 1879, Emma A. Glines of
Myron B. Kimball was born in 1883 in
Known as the Kimball farm, ownership passed to Lloyd E. and his wife Ruth, and remains in the family.
The Grant Farm
1858 The group now retraced their way to where the Locke Hill road leaves the New Orchard Rd. Starting up the Locke Hill road, they crossed the Odiorne Pond brook, then up the hill to the home of Daniel Buzzell, he lived on the east side of the road, as you came to the top of the hill.
1892 As I started up the Locke Hill road, the first family on the road was the family of Mr. and Mrs. William T. Grant, (a Civil War Veteran) and a brother of Mrs. Perley C. Giles.
Mr. and Mrs. Grant did not have anyone living with them at this time.
Mr. Grant had a large fruit orchard and did some farming. In the
winter months he would drive a large pair of oxen for his neighbor
The Grant farm was at the foot of Locke’s Hill with the buildings on the east side of the road.
Daniel Buzzell appears in Epsom in the
1840 census being between the age of 50 to 60 with a son and daughter under the
age of five, two females between 5 and 15, plus his wife. He died on either
August 14, 1841 (Dolbeer records of deaths in Epsom,
or August 24, 1842, transcript from family Bible. His son Daniel appears paying
poll tax by 1846 for one cow and a building, but no land. His brother William
appears with him by 1848. When Jonathan A. Knowles sells his homestead to John
Langley in 1854, there is an exception of 'one
acre of land situated on the northwest side of said premises bounded at a point
on the east side of said Locke Road six rods north of the house now occupied by
Daniel Bussell (Buzzell)
thence southerly by said road, thence easterly at right angle with said road
thence northerly on a line parallel with said road, thence westerly to the
first mentioned bound.' The description seems to include the one acre with the
house, occupied, as opposed to owned, by Daniel Buzzell,
and remained separate from the rest of the Knowles estate.
The Bible also gives the following death dates: Daniel died August 24th 1842; Lucy Maria died Dec. 18th 1842.
The parentage of Daniel remains unknown, and he was born about 1785, and married first in Epsom 1816, Sally Pettingill. She died in 1820, perhaps having one child born 1820 and died in 1826, and Daniel married second, Joanna Pettingill. It is unclear whether the Pettingills were daughters of Elijah or Jethro Pettingill, sons of Ephraim of Epsom. John Mark Moses gives Elijah, but Pettingill genealogy suggests Jethro. Of Daniel and Joanna's children, Daniel B. died unmarried in Epsom in 1883; Aaron married Sarah Hall and died in Plymouth in 1883; Sarah married Ephraim Downing; William married Huldah J. Locke, resided in Chichester where he died in 1910 and is buried in the Pineground Cemetery; Mary Jane married True Brown Marston; Emeline, of which nothing more is known; Clarissa, of whom nothing more is known; Martha Ann who married a Briggs; John T., a soldier in the Civil War, died in Deerfield, unmarried November 7, 1887, buried in the McClary Cemetery; and Lucy who died young.
Joanna Buzzell died in
Just above the Buzzell home on
William T. Grant was the son of George Wells and Sally (Foss) Grant and was raised in that part of Epsom known as New Portsmouth. He married in 1856, Sarah A. Twombly. They had at least two daughters, Eunice H.born in 1857 and Mary A. born in 1858.
John Crockett Yeaton was the son of
James A. and Annie Rebecca (Crockett) Yeaton of New
Orchard Road, born in 1875. He married Nellie B. Perkins in 1897, who died in 1905. He married second, in
Herbert S. Little was the son of George S. and Abby A. (Goss) Little.
He married Ada Florence Marden,
daughter of Cyrus and Angie M. (Marden) Marden in 1904. After his death in 1921, she married second
a Mr. MacKay. Herbert and
1858 Now a long climb to the original Locke homestead, built on
the west side of the highway, here lived Deacon David Locke and his son-in-law
1892 It was a long climb to the Albion Locke homestead, here lived Albion Locke, his wife Mary Anna Locke and their married daughter
The Locke home was on the west side of the road, large and well kept buildings. There was a large fruit orchard on this farm, one of the largest in Epsom at this time. Albion Locke and his son-in-law Charles E. Cilley did a great deal of farming, shipping their milk on the train each morning from the Epsom Depot.
It was a wonderful view from Locke’s Hill (and still is in 1963) No children at this home at this time but a daughter, Helen Marie Cilley, was born May 21, 1896.
The Lockes settled on lot 102, the
original right of Ebenezer
Known as Deacon David Locke, he had married in 1789, Anna Towle, daughter of Abraham Perkins and Abigail (Moulton) Towle. They had children: David, born 1790 and married in
1819 at Canaan, NH, Polly Carleton; Abigail, born 1796, married Jonathan Green,
son of Jabez and Anna (Smith) Green of Epsom; Nancy,
born 1801, married at Chichester in 1826, Ebenezer
Gove of Kensington; and John, born and died in 1807. In 1848, Deacon David
deeded half of some of the property to his son David, which included the farm
formerly owned by Simeon Locke which had been deeded to brother
Levi and by him sold to David in 1820. Deacon David died in 1856, his
wife in 1839 and are buried in the
David Locke died in 1872, property to son-in-law Albion Locke who married his daughter Mary M. Locke in 1848.
David Locke deeded his homestead to his son-in-law Albion Locke,
who married his daughter Mary Anna at Epsom in 1848, with the covenant that he
could use the property during his natural life.
ALBION LOCKE OF LOCKE’S HILL - Geo. H. Yeaton
Albion Locke was born in Lyman, April 28, 1822, died in Epsom September 4, 1901. He was the son of Doctor William Locke and his wife Esther (Knowles) Locke. Dr. Locke was a physician in Lyman until 1824, he then went to Irasburg, Vermont, where he died March 3, 1841. He was born in
After the death of Deacon Locke,
The present gristmill was built about the year 1880 by Henry S. Knowles, who bought the store in 1876 and a little later bought the mills. There was a large orchard on the Locke's Hill farm which
The old gristmill built and operated by Henry S. Knowles about 1880 was torn down about the middle of October 1966.
In the years 1896 and 1897, Albion Locke, one of the large land owners and farm operators in Epsom, tried to interest the town of Epsom and went to much expense himself, to have a new road built which would connect the New Orchard Road with Epsom Depot and the village of Gossville, making it a much shorter distance to these places and at the same time eliminating eight hills, all on the New Orchard Road from the schoolhouse to the end of the road at the turnpike. The proposed road would have had only three its entire length.
There were at this time several winter roads which led to the depot and were much in use in the winter months.
Mr. Locke was one of those who made much use of the winter road from the
A road with no hills, level ground or a slight downgrade all the way from the Range Road to the turnpike, but the selectmen and others went against Mr. Locke and his proposed road, they could only see a small increase in their taxes and failed to see the advantages of this road. One of the Selectmen even said “If I was to go up the
1858 Just before they came to this home, which was another of the colonial style houses, they saw, on the easterly side of the road, the well and foundations of another set of buildings, this was where one of the three Locke Brothers lived at one time. A short distance beyond and on the west side of the highway was the home of Simeon Prescott Locke, son of Levi.
1892 The next farm was the home of Alden M. Tilton, the grandson of Levi Locke, who was one of the original three brothers to settle Locke’s Hill in the years, 1798 to 1800. The
The third of the Locke brothers built his house just north of
Deacon David. Levi was born in 1770 at
Simeon and his wife Sarah had children: Mandana C., born 1835 and married in 1855, John W. Page, and married second after 1870, Samuel Stanley of New Orchard Road; Dexter H., born 1838, married in 1864, Sarah A. Page, daughter of Josiah H. and Hannah (Marston) Page of New Orchard Road; Horace M., born 1840, was killed by a falling wagon in 1866, unmarried; Joseph Prescott, born 1842, married at Pittsfield in 1862, Lydia Meader Thompson, daughter of Lewis and Elizabeth (Locke Thompson, and resided on New Orchard Road; and Orilla H., born 1845, married in 1863, Henry Warren Bickford, son of William and Polly (Rand) Bickford, also resided on New Orchard Road for a time. Simeon Locke deeded the homestead to Albion Locke, but was later owned by his sister Lucy Maria who had married Daniel Tilton.
Daniel and Maria had children: Daniel P., born 1831; Anna M., born
1833; Alden Murray, born 1838; Angela F., born 1840; Joan F., born 1842; and
Josephine S., born 1844. Lucy M. Tilton of
Locke’s Hill derived its name from the three brothers that settled
on this hill. They were Simeon, David and Levi Locke. Locke’s Hill in Epsom,
NH, elevation 600 feet is in the third range of lots, about the center of
Simeon Locke and his brother Reuben Locke enlisted in Captain Parson’s Company July 4, 1777 and served in the Revolutionary War. In the early days it was customary to cast oxen on their side when shoeing them. Helping in this work when quite young he lost an eye by an ox throwing back his horn, but in spite of this handicap he became an excellent marksman. At the close of the war in 1783 he came to Epsom. At that time bridle paths and blazed trees were the means of reaching many parts of the town. Simeon Locke first settled in a clearing located about half a mile west of the Sherburne road in the north part of the town. A few years later he bought and moved upon the farm on the top of Locke’s Hill where he was joined in June 1792 by his brother David, who settled on the next farm, south and in 1799 or 1800 by his brother Levi who settled on the next farm north. The three brothers at this time owned all the beautiful round topped hill and much of the land in the adjoining valley. To the south of them stretched the valleys of the Suncook and the
The road over Locke’s Hill was laid out in 1784. In the same year a William Ordeon sometimes spelt Odiorne, had a house at or near what was later know as the
After the death of Levi Locke in the year 1850, the farm was kept by his family or some of his descendants until the year 195? when it was sold to other parties having been in the Locke family for more than one hundred and fifty years.
The original Locke homestead was kept by the descendants of the David Locke family until the year 1915, it was then sold to Charles A. Reid. It is still owned by a member of that family, Neil G. Reid. It is quite evident that after Simeon Locke moved to the intervals of
I believe that the view from Locke’s Hill is the most beautiful to be found from any home for many miles. “Locke’s Hill” (the name) is only a memory now as the Reid family having lived there nearly fifty years, it is naturally and properly called Reid’s Hill.
1892 It was some distance to the home of Henry C. Ames where he, his wife Ella O. and his mother Harriet O. Ames, (the widow of Charles Ames) lived. Charles Ames had died in the year 1887.
It was at this home where Mayland P.
Ames, the boy previously mentioned, wearing the felt boots and carrying the
round dinner pail lived, being the son of Henry C. and Ella O. Ames. This farm
In later years Mayland P. Ames lived at this farm with his last wife,
I am now leaving the Ames farm with its maple sugar orchard, the memory of going fishing at Odiorne Pond with Mayland, seventy years ago, the maple sugar he gave me one day at the New Orchard Rd. school, taking it from his odd shaped dinner pail.
No further information.
NATURAL DEATHS & ODD CIRCUMSTANCES
Was it just a coincidence or is it dangerous to take a bath in the winter? Charles Ames, who lived on the Locke's Hill Road in Epsom, had some business to transact in the village of Pittsfield, so directly after taking a bath he went to Pittsfield. The next day he was stricken with Pneumonia and died February 4, 1887 at the age of 70 years, 2 months and 20 days. His family believes that the bath he had taken just before leaving for
According to John Mark Moses, William Odiorne was in Epsom by 1776, an is one of two residents who refused to sign the Association Test. In 1784 he apparently had a home on Locke's Road, as when that road was extended it passed 'southwest of Mr. Odiorne's house.'
Charles Ames bought his property from Benjamin L. Locke in 1857 on the easterly side of the Locke Hill Road, and it contained 120 acres, passing through Odiorne Pond. He was the son of Amos and Susannah (Moses)
Charles Ames died in 1887, and his son Henry deeded the home farm to his mother Harriet a few months later. Henry continued to reside at the homestead. Harriet deeded 80 acres, her homestead farm, to her grandson Mayland P. Ames, son of Henry C. and Ella, in 1908. The deed included the right of his father to occupy two rooms in the westerly end of the house during his natural life. Harriet died within a month of the deed. Mayland Parker Ames was born September 13, 1879, and married Martha A. Staniels of
Mayland married second December 2, 1922, Mildred Ethel Little, born 1905 to Herbert S. and
Mayland Parker Ames died in Epsom in 1950, his wife Ada C. at Merrimack, NH, 1994.
The property, 115 acres with buildings, taxed to Mayland P. Ames, was bought at tax sale by the town of
Winter roads of Epsom, New Hampshire
Winter roads were in use many years ago and some were used as late as the year 1920, although not as much at that date. There were many such roads in Epsom, some of considerable length, but at this writing I will only tell of the one of which I was most familiar. This was the one which commenced at the
The ox and horse teams of those early days left the highway at the corner of the school yard keeping on the north side of the Odiorne Pond brook for a long distance. The first land one crossed was the
After leaving the Goss pasture the road crossed the
This was a busy place in those days as teams came from all parts of Epsom, from Chichester,
Besides loading wood and lumber direct from the sleds, there was a great deal of wood and lumber stacked and piled on the land near the railroad. This would be loaded on the cars later.
One day I counted twenty-five horses and mules at the depot wharf at the same time, all had brought loads of lumber. This was in the summer time and the reason there was one horse more than twelve pair was that Will Breen was using a three horse team that day. Some of the teams would load up with freight express and grain to take back to Northwood with them for the stores in that town.
Now, not all who came over this winter road from the New Orchard, Sherburne and Locke's Hill roads unloaded their loads at the depot, as many of the teams continued on to the sawmill of George H. Burnham. Mr. Burnham, besides doing custom sawing of lumber and shingles, bought large quantities of logs, which he manufactured. As at that time he, Mr. Burnham, operated a box shop in addition to his sawmill and other sidelines such as clapboards, laths, etc. Others who used this winter road would take their milk and eggs to the train, or some might sell wood in Gossville village. Some of the ones who used this road were Albion Locke, Charles E. Cilley, William T. Grant, who drove an ox team for Albion Locke; Henry C. Ames, Horace Locke, Mayland P. Ames, S. Lucas Clark, Silas B. Paige and others from South Pittsfield. Other men who did not live on the Sherburne, Locke's Hill or New Orchard roads made much use of this road.
Large amounts of wood, logs, sawed lumber as well as hemlock bark came from this section of the town. One day I saw a team with a casket loaded on their sled on their way to the cemetery at Gossville. The body in the casket was one of those who died of spotted fever (the winter of 1905) when an epidemic of this disease struck in
Hay from the Goss meadow was hauled over this road each summer for many years.
This road from the
In later years when I became old enough to own and drive a pair of horses, I would use this road when I came home after a day's work with my horses hauling lumber from Northwood, and I have carried my milk to the Epsom depot by this old road. I would leave the regular path in my father's field, cross the bridge by the old Cate mill site, and come through the pasture a short ways to my barn. There was another way which I sometimes used through the
I remember going on wheels to the R.R. Station where Silver and Young were unloading cars of grain and getting a two-horse load of grain, going and coming by way of this winter road. One winter, Charles S. Hall, who had a lot of wood cut between the
Now when they came down the Range Road and reached a place near the foot of a hill, they would cross the pasture of Samuel B. Stanley (at this date 1962) of George F. Dowst, coming a short distance across his field onto the New Orchard road, to the Stanley dooryard then turning to the right, go a few rods and turn into a path directly in front of the Perley C. Giles house (now the Chase home 1962). After a short distance in this pasture which belonged to Samuel B. Stanley, they would cross a brook and join the road which came up from the
There was another winter road which came down through the valley, starting at this end of Odiorne Pond in the Albion Locke, or the Philbrick pasture after leaving the Locke pasture then continued southerly through the wood lot (now Bartons), then across the Holt or Lewis pasture (now Walter B. Chase 1962) into the pasture of Henry E. Dotey, next into the wood and timber lot of James Yeaton on into the Stanley pasture where it joined the road which came from the Range Road. One could now continue in this winter road to the
Another winter road joining the other three making four all convening into one route to the Epsom depot.
The beauty of the horse teams was the bells which were attached to each horse, some teamsters had two bells on each horse, these bells, many of them were deep toned and could be heard from a long distance, and when several teams were traveling this road at the same time, no one but those who have heard their musical tones ringing in the cold winter air can appreciate their beauty.
But this era is past and gone. Now when I am out in my yard or driveway on a winter's day, what do I hear? Not the sweet music of bells but the sound of an automobile horn, the squealing of tires, or the screeching of brakes. Oh well, we are now living in modern times and an old man, like myself (79) can not be expected to appreciate the beauty of these times. The blare of the automobile horn, the squealing of tires and the screeching of brakes.
More about the winter roads of long ago. There was another old winter road which came from the west side of Odiorne Pond. One could enter the road about half way between the
As one left the big woods they came into the
We now have eight branch roads, which were all merged into one before it reached the Goss meadow.
It was the custom of the empty teams when meeting loaded teams to turn completely out of the road, if it were possible.
The Locke field is now the Reid field, Grant field now the Carroll Clark field.
As a boy living on the
When teams from this main winter highway as well as those which came from the seven branch roads, came to the Albert D. Sherburne buildings, they passed right through the dooryard and very close to the house. There is one member of the Sherburne family left, who as a young girl saw the string of teams passing to and from the Epsom depot. This is Miss Nellie F. Sherburne, and although not quite as old as myself, she tells me that she can well remember when this road was used by all these teams going to and from the depot or village from morning until night over this winter highway. I can think of no one else other than Miss Sherburne and myself who is left of those which saw the teams passing to and from over this winter road, and can remember the music of the bells on the horses. I can remember of George V. Pike telling me that as a young man, he worked for David Barton, driving a four ox team hauling wood to the Epsom depot over the winter road.
That was a long time ago as George V. Pike was born in the year 1864 or 1865. It is now the year 1962. I have been told that my father and older brother used some of these winter highways before I was born (I was born in the year 1883). Most of the men who drove the horse teams took great pride in the looks of their horses and the harnesses trimmed with red, white and blue ringed tassels on the horse's bridles, the brass on the harnesses polished until it glistened in the sun. The horses were clean and well groomed, some with ribbons braided in their manes and forelocks.
I now live in the village of Gossville and many times have looked at the Sherburne house and buildings including the stretch of road which passed the house and thought of the men who drove their teams over this stretch of road in the winter (years ago). There are not many of those left, none of the older ones, and very few of the ones who made the last use of old winter roads. At this writing I can think of only two, Myron B. Kimball and myself. It is now the month of January 1962. I left the New Orchard Road in the year 1936 and my son John and myself made some use of the old road from the farm to my home in the village of Gossville, but after a few years we gave up this way of travel between the two homes as most of our traveling was done by the use of automobiles and trucks. From where I live I only need to look out my kitchen window to see a part of this road and the Sherburne buildings. I am not certain but I think that the part of this road which I can see from my home here in Gossville was at one time what was once the old “Canterbury Road” as “going over the hill north of Gossville”, and today January 1962, one could not get through the old winter highway that saw so much traffic in the old days, except on foot, and they tell me that trees and bushes are commencing to obliterate the road in many places.