Street complete as pdf file
to Settling Epsom, NH
as part of the Town's 275th Anniversary
Home Day, August 10, 2002
Town of Epsom was incorporated in 1727 with land
being granted to the taxpayers of Rye, New Castle
and Greenland each person receiving a section
of land in proportion to taxes paid in their native
town. There were several criteria which had to be
met, those being 1) That 20 dwelling houses be built
and settle families on them within 4 years; 2) that
a house be built for public worship; 3) that one
hundred acres each be set aside for a parsonage
and a school, as long as peace existed with the
Indians during the four years. In the event this
was not the case, an additional 4-year extension
would be granted. Along with receiving these land
grants, these taxpayers of Rye, New Castle and Greenland
became immediately responsible for paying the costs
of the charter and getting the land surveyed, and
were known as proprietors.
the beginning of 1729, the proprietors voted a committee
to survey and divide up the town according to the
Charter, and in May 1732 it was voted that a location
be selected for building a Meeting House and for
settling the 20 families who were to start the town.
It was decided that these twenty people each would
receive a fifty-acre lot in the section that was
set aside for the starting of the settlement, plus
thirty acres that would be laid out in another part
of the town. A committee was formed to find these
twenty men who would be able to pay the five shillings
and establish themselves on what is called the original
was a busy year for the proprietors. In June the
20 families selected for the home-lots drew them
with the following results: No. 1, James Seavey;
No. 2, Richard Goss; No. 3, Thomas Berry; No. 4,
Daniel Lunt; No. 5, Noah Seavey; No. 6, William
Locke; No. 7, Samuel Dowst; No. 8, Zachariah Berry;
No. 9 Ebenezer Berry; No. 10, Solomon Dowst; No.
11, Samuel Wallace; No. 12, William Wallace; No.
13, John Blake; No. 14, Josiah Foss; No. 15, Simon
Knowles; No. 16, Paul Chapman; No. 17, Joseph Locke;
No. 18, Jotham Foss; No. 19, Jedediah Weeks; and
No. 20, James Marden. In October of the same year
it was Voted, That the sd town shall be first
Laid out in to four Ranges, each one mile deep,
Reserving a Road of Four Rods wide between the first
and second Range, & between the third and fourth,
the Ranges to run the whole Length of the town,
the first Range to begin at the south corner.
Voted, That there be a meeting-house of thirty
foot Long and twenty-four feet wide, Imediately
Built at the charge of the Propriat, & that
Mr. Joshua Brackett, Mr. Willm Lock & Theod.
Atkinson, Esq., be a committee to a Gree for the
same with any Parson or Parsons shall do it soonest
and cheapest. These 20 lots were laid out
along both sides of a road (now Center Hill Road),
and each were one hundred and sixty rods in length
and fifty rods wide equaling 50 acres.
was less than a month later that the proprietors
met again, this time to draw lots in the four ranges.
One hundred and twenty eight men drew the following
numbers: No. 1, Nathaniel White; 2, James Seavey;
3, John Odiorne; 4, Benjamin Ball; 5, Israel Mark;
6, Samuel Haines; 7, John Foss; 8, Joshua Brackett;
9, Zachariah Foss; 10, Jonathan Dockam; 11, Richard
Jordan; 12, Samuel Weeks; 13, John Underwood; 14,
Robert Avery; 15, John Rindge; 16, Richard Tarleton;
17, Henry Trefethen; 18, Thomas Manneren; 19, John
Wilson; 20, James Marden; 21, John Othow; 22, Samuel
Seavey; 23, John Johnson; 24, John Brackett; 25,
Thomas Rand; 26, Alse Clark; 27, Walter Philbrook;
28, Joseph Weeks; 29, Robert Coats; 30, George Wallis;
31, Samuel Haines; 32, Joshua Foss; 33, Mary Randall;
34, Joshua Berry; 35, William Berry; 36, Jeremiah
Walford; 37, Samuel Chapman, Samuel Neale, John
Hinckson, Samuel Ring; 38, John Card; 39, John Tuckerman;
40, James Berry; 41, Chirstopher Amazeen; 42, Samuel
Berry; 43, William Haines; 44, Reuben Mace; 45,
John Leach; 46, Nathaniel Berry; 47, Samuel Rand;
48, John Blake; 49, John Philbrook; 50, James Johnson,
Ebenezer Johnson; 51, John Yeaton; 52, Elias Philbrook;
53, George Kenston; 54, Joseph Jackson; 55, John
Trundy; 56, John Bryant; 57, Jonathan Philbrook;
58, William Wallis Jun.;59, Edward Martin; 60, Daniel
Lunt; 61, Sampson Shiefe; 62, William Seavey Jun.;
63, Joseph Simpson; 64, Nehemiah Berry; 65, Joshua
Seavey; 66, Samuel Brackett; 67, Robert Goss, Robert
Goss, Jun; 68, Samuel Wallis; 69, Samuel Doust;
70, John Johnson; 71, James Chadwick; 72, Christopher
Treadwick; 73, Richard Goss; 74, Joshua Weeks; 75,
John Frost; 76, Solomon Doust; 77, Barnaby Cruse;
78, James Whiden; 79, James Philpot; 80, Joseph
Maloon; 81, John Stevens; 82, Widow Hitches; 83,
Nathaniel Rand; 84, Benjamin Parker; 85, Philip
Pane; 86, William Kelly; 87, Richard Neale; 88,
William Bucknell, Thomas Berry, Isaac Foss; 89,
William Perkins, John Berry; 90, Thomas Rand, Jr.;
91, John Youren; 92, Samuel Huggins, Nathaniel Huggins;
93, Foster Trefethen; 94, Colonel Shadrach Walton;
95, Nathaniel Johnson; 96, Benjamin Seavey, Jr.;
97, Joseph Youren; 98, Mathias Haines; 99, Samuel
Frost; 100, Deacon John Cate, William Cate; 101,
William Seavey; 102, Ebenezer Berry; 103, Mathias
Haines; 104, Benjamin Muserve; 105, John Whiden;
106, Henry Pain; 107, Jonathan Odiorne, Esq.; 108,
Walter Abbott; 109, John Sherborn; 110, Joseph Hill;
111, William Wallis; 112, Jonathan Weeks; 113, John
Brackett; 114, William Jones; 115, Widow Folsom;
116, William Marden; 117, Nathaniel Wilson; 118,
Samuel Davis; 119, Daniel Greenough; 120, Joshua
Haines; 121, Samuel Seavey; 122, Hugh Reed; 123,
Benjamin Seavey; 124, Captain Samuel Weeks; 125,
Theodore Atkinson; 126, James Randall; 127, John
Neale; 128, Nathaniel Morrell.
after all the men had drawn their lots in the different
ranges, plus the home-lots and their additional
30 acre lots elsewhere in the town, there was some
land left over. Some of this land was on either
end of the home-lots, and two thousand acres was
in the southerly part of the fourth range, and all
became known as common land. These lands
were later auctioned off as late as the fall of
the home-lots were drawn, the northern row were
numbered from East to West 1 through 10; the southern
row just the opposite from 11 through 20. One must
remember that in addition to the 20 home-lots there
had to be two additional lots one for a school,
another for a parsonage. Most likely these were
originally planned to be put at the eastern end
of the home-lots on the common land, but instead
they were inserted near a more central point of
the home-lots; in effect, home-lot number 7 became
a place for the minister and un-numbered, bumping
the lot numbers one lot to the east. To make things
just a little more complicated, they then took the
western most lot (home-lot #10, and attached it
to the eastern end near the now Deerfield line.
This then made the northern row of home-lots 10,
then 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, parsonage lot, 7, 8 and 9.
The same happened for the southern row of home-lots,
with number 11 on the west end being moved to the
east end near the Deerfield line. Their new order
from West to East would be 12, 13, 14, school lot,
15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20 and 11.
It appears that things moved rather quickly after
the lots were re-numbered as the road dividing the
20 home-lots had been built along with the first
Meeting House as shown in the following note from
a 1733 proprietors meeting: Voted, January
17, 1733, that the name of the Street from the Meeting-House
upward West Street & Down ward to Notingham
from sd Meeting-House East Street. Also in
the record is a request from the proprietors of
Canterbury to build a connecting road through Epsom
which would appear to be connecting West Street
up though what is now Goboro Road. From various
sources it is know that this region was not foreign
to Indians, though at this time it seemed relatively
calm and safe. The owners of the 20 home-lots, with
their first rough road and meetinghouse, appeared
able to begin to follow the Charter and establish
a home and 3 acres of cleared land for farming.
The Indians were not to be their first encounter.
the 20 home-lots began to be worked on, it must
have been quite a surprise to find a small section
of the town near Sanborns Hill to be already
occupied. Charles McCoy was one of many Scots-Irish
who arrived in Londonderry, New Hampshire. He had
property in Chester, New Hampshire in the fall of
1728, which he sold, with wife Mary signing, June
30, 1730. Rev. Jonathan Curtis, who wrote the first
history of Epsom in 1823, tells that they had a
daughter Mary born while they were living in Epsom
about 1731. She lived just short of age 100, and
it is almost certain that Rev. Jonathan Curtis
information was probably first hand from Mary herself
as she lived another 5 years past the date of the
Curtis history. In a document that survives at the
New Hampshire State Archives is this note to Constable
Paul Chapman from Epsom Selectmen dated June 26th
1733, which states in part, Whereas Information
is come to us that Mr. Charles McCoy hath come into
our town of Epsom to settle with out our leave
order you the constable to go and warn the sd Charles
McCoy out of the town
in fourteen days
which was done the next day as the reply from Constable
back to the Selectmen shows.
The immediate outcome of this warning out
is unknown, but was later resolved as he was still
shown of Epsom by a deed dated October
29, 1735. He was later town constable for Epsom
and held other offices, and his mark on Epsom history
was far from over. Charles McCoy is credited with
being the first settler in Epsom and it is likely
he was. It would seem that Charles McCoy may not
have been the only trespasser, as shown in the following
note from a proprietors meeting Dec. 19, 1734 -
Dec. 19, 1734: Voted that where as Sundry
Persons, whithout the Leave or License, got in upon
Sundry tracts of Land within this town ship, and
have committed Sundry Tresspases upon Sundry of
the Propriat perticular shears, which may, if not
Prosecuted, prove Detrymentell to the said town;
and whereas it will be attended with some considerable
charge to Prosecute on any one of them, which at
Present would be to great Burthen for the Prosecutors;
therefore voted that in case any of the Propts in
whose Shear any trespass is committed will prosecute
such trespassers in an action of trespass that it
shall be at the charge of the Propriars in proportion
to the Land or Shier each Propritor hath in sd town
& the Select men for the time being are hereby
impowered and Disired to furnish the prosecutor
with money for that end.
the home-lots where drawn in 1732, few, if any,
of the original proprietors ever lived on them.
Records are scant at best, and most of the owners
of the home-lots sold, deeded or bequeathed their
property with no remaining record. It is apparent
that the four year time line for establishing the
community was either extended or ignored. Samuel
Wallace of Rye was granted home-lot No. 11, which
was deeded to his son George Wallace June 1, 1741,
where he now lives establishing he was
residing in Epsom in some type of dwelling before
that time. The McClary family was also settled in
town early, having purchased several of the original
home-lots. Andrew McClary the immigrant settled
with his family earlier enough that son John had
a dwelling as early as 1740 which still remains.
John Blake of Greenland was an original proprietor
and was of Epsom December 2, 1743, and
was moderator of a proprietors meeting held in Epsom
that year. His son Samuel, according to Rev. Jonathan
Curtis history, was in Epsom in 1733 at age
fifteen, and a note to that effect appears on his
tombstone. John Blake Jr., brother to Samuel, had
a son born in Epsom in 1741, said to have been the
first white male born in the town. Historian John
Mark Moses, whose 4 part Early Settlers of
Epsom appeared in the Granite Monthly magazine,
speculates that about this time members of the Locke
family may also have been in Epsom. A note in the
proprietors meeting of May 26, 1736 sheds
some light on when houses were constructed. It reads:
That Mr. Joshua Brackett, Willm Haines, Willm
Wallis and Elias Philbrook a committee to agree
with one or more persones to build a saw mill at
Epsom, the undertakers to have the priviledge of
supplying the towns people with boards for
ten years, who are not to buy of any others till
the ten years are expired, and the owners of the
mill are to sell the boards at the prices they are
sold at in other new towns, provided they keep boards
to supply the towns people. With no
sawmill prior to this time, it would seem any dwelling
would have been relatively crude, and would indicate
that better homes were not built prior to 1736.
decade of the 1740s probably seemed pretty
bright when it began. Several families were starting
a life in the town; early roads were being built;
a meetinghouse was in place, and a proprietors meeting
was held for the first time in the town proper.
All this was still far short of meeting the 20 family
quota outlined in the charter. There was no minister.
In 1742 the proprietors authorized 30 pounds for
hiring a minister. In 1743 it was raised to 40 pounds.
In 1750 it was voted fifty pounds old tenor. In
1760 it was one hundred pounds. Whatever promise
seemed ahead of them in 1740, the French War of
1745 stopped. Indians once again became a real threat,
some of the families left town, and danger faced
those that remained. A small garrison was located
on the McClary property, near what was later known
as the Carter Place, but the best security was the
Nottingham Garrison (actually located in what became
part of Deerfield, NH), but it was quite a bit further
away. The most well known episode of Epsom residents
involving the Indians was that with the wife of
Jonathan Curtis in his Epsom History, has perhaps
the best account of what transpired, probably first
hand from Mary McCoy. Most of it is repeated in
the John Dolbeer History of Epsom from the Hurds
History of Merrimack and Belknap Counties,
so here I will relate how the story appears in Potters
can be seen by the that account, the name of McCoy
becomes forever linked with Epsom Town History.
The second tallest mountain retained his name, and
a second mountain, called Nats mountain, was
named for his son who got lost there. This, along
with the capture of his wife Isabella (by deed in
1730 his wife was Mary his wife that was
captured was Isabella his wife by deed when
he left Epsom was Mary, which would be three wives
throughout this period) and his early warning
out make him perhaps the towns most
1750 the Indian threat was gone. The proprietors
only met once in 1749, but on August 30 of 1750
they met and seemed to want to get back on track
as they voted That Doct. John Weeks And Francis
Lock Bee a Committe To See whather The men That
had the Twenty And 30 Akers Lotes Have Fulfiled
Acording to the Charter and agreement. Home-lots
continued to be bought and sold, and in 1750 the
Wallaces, McClarys, Blakes, Lockes and McCoys remained
in town. Finally some of the other home-lots started
to show signs of life. William Wallace of Greenland
now owned two of the home-lots, and on one of them
his son-in-law appeared, a Frenchman by the name
of William Blazo. In 1749 James Marden of Rye deeded
to his son Nathan one of the fifty acre lots. John
and Samuel Libbey bought home-lot No. 8 in 1742
along with shares in a sawmill and remained in town
for a time. In 1751 the Allen family came to Epsom,
John and Jude. Thomas Bickford was of Epsom
in 1754; Benson Ham in 1758, and the McCoys
sold out to the Sanborns in 1760. These core families
became the life of East Street as Epsom finally
began to grow.
through this period the original meetinghouse disappears,
as the following items appear in the Epsom town
OF NEW HAMPSHIRE.
EPSOM, JUNE 25, 1761.
a legal meeting held in Epsom at the house of Capt.
Andrew McClary, on thursday, the twenty-fifth of
this 1761 instant June, according to notification
dated June the 20, the free holders met according
to notification and thus
1. Voted Capt. John McClary moderator.
2. Voted Mr. John Tucke to be their gospel
3. Voted one hundred acres of Land as a settlement
as the charter allowed 50 acres laid out and the
other 50 in some Convenient place, reserving the
priviledge for seting of a meeting house and what
of this Lot is taken for seting the meeting be made
up in the other Lot.
4. Voted thirty pounds starling as a salary
for the first two years, reckoning dolers at the
Rate of a 6 pt doler.
5. Voted That an adition of five pounds be
made to sd minister next after the first two years
6. Voted That thirty cords of wood be annually
cut and hauled to his house.
7. Voted abraham lebee, Isaac lebee sen.,
John Blake, george wallis, cap. John mcclary, ephraim
Locke, Samuel blake, Left. Eliphlet Sanborn, nathan
marden be a committee to present a call to Mr. John
8. Voted six hundred pounds, old tenor, towards
building a ministers house, to be paid in
Labour if he accepts the call.
Town meeting ended.
NATHAN MARDEN, Clark.
14, 1761, it was Voted That the meeting house
shall stand on the same Lot where the old meeting
house formerly stood, at or near the Burying place.
August 12, 1761, it was
Voted Nathan Marden, George Wallis, ens. Thomas
Blake, Ephraim Locke be a committee to provide fro
the ordernation and to render account of the same
to the Select men.
Voted that the charge of the ordernation be
paid by the town.
Voted Benjamin Blake, benson ham, amos blazo
be a committee to assist the constable and tithing
men in keeping order on the ordernation day.
new meetinghouse was still to be built, even though
the new minister was engaged. The town appealed
to the Legislature for some relief, and those who
signed provide a nice list of those who inhabited
the town in 1762.
OF NEW HAMPSHIRE.
To his Exelency Benning Wentworth, Esq.,,
Capt. General, Govenour & Commander in Chief
in and over his Majestys Province of New Hampshire,
and to the Honable Counceill & house of Representatives
now Convened in General Assembly at Portsmouth.
the Petition of his Majestys Good Subjects,
Inhabitants of the township of Epsom, in said Province,
humbly beg leave to remonstrate our Very Poor Distressing
circumstances to your Compassion, & Most Earnstly
Crave your Pity, and pray your Honours to Relieve
us from our unsuportable Burden of Province tax
under which we are made to Grone, and Which we think
we Cannot Possibly survive Under unless your Honours
will be Pleased to Mitigate and free us from.
Gentlemen our Numbers are Very Small &
we are very much Exposed to Losses; our young Cattle,
Sheep and Swine are often Destroyed by Wild beasts,
and, further, we have Lately Selected a minister
among us which we are afraid we shall not be able
to Support; by Reason of the Poor circumstances
we are now under we are not able to Build a Meeting
Hous; that our Minister is obliged to Preach in
some of our Dwelling houses; the tax which was Laid
on us the Last year many of us were obliged to hire
the money to Pay; our Necessities are very Grate
by Reason of the Scarcity of Provisions we have
been obliged to Lay out all that we have got for
years Past & are now much in Debt. this is to
entreat your Honours to take of the heavy tax which
we now Labour under, & Restore us the money
we Paid Last year, & your Petitioners Shall
every Pray as in Duty Bound:
John McClary, George Walles, Nathan Marden,
John Black, Ephraim Lock, Reuben Sanborn, Jun.,
Eliphlet Sanborn, Reuben Sanborn, James Wood, Abraham
Lebbee, Abraham Walles, Benjamin Blake, Thomas Blake,
Isaac Lebbee, Isaac Lebbee, Jun., Reuben Lebbee,
Amos Blaso, Samul Bickford, Samuel Black, Thomas
Hins, John Blaso, Ephraim Bery, William Blake, Benson
Ham, John MCGaffey, Andrew McClary, Abner Evans.
In council, June 24th, 1762: Read & ordered
to be sent down to the Honble Assembly.
THEODORE ATKINSON, JUN., Sec.
the meetinghouse made the agenda.
19, 1764, it was
Voted, that a meeting-house be built in Epsom,
the length fifty feet and the bredth forty feet.
Voted, Isaac Libby, Sen., Thomas Blake, John
McClary, George Wallace and Nathan Marden be a committee
to carry on the work of said building, and they
shall have full power to act and do in behalf of
the town in the best manner they can, and take and
render accounts to such as shall have authority
to demand the same.
Also, sd committee to vandue of the pews in
sd meeting-house or the privilege for sd pews &
to take the security for the same.
Voted, on thousand pounds, O.T., to be paid
when sd committee shall call for the same.
was no further record of when the committee finished
or when the new meetinghouse was completed, though
in May of 1764, pews were sold by auction. The church
records gives two hints in records of Rev. Tucke
of a Church meeting in the House of God
was December 5, 1766; and Novr 14, 1765 Smart
Storm of Snow & Rain bad travilling Meet in
the Meeting House Thanksgiving Day.
the 18th of June in 1765, at the home of Andrew
McClary, the issue of the school was discussed.
Voted, John McClary, Esq., Moderator.
2. Voted, that the bigness of sd house, twenty-one
in Length & seventeen in breadth.
meeting then adjourned to the 25th of June inst.,
at the same place, at which time the following votes
1. Voted that the school-house be built on
the Lot comonly called the Scool Lot, whare the
Select men think proper.
2. Voted that the cost of sd house be paid
in Land or money.
3. Voted that sd house be bid of at vando.
Voted Nathan Marden, Vando master, sd house
bid of to Ens. Mcgafey, at 312 O.T., to raise bord,
shingle, clabord & flore.
was growing. The Canterbury road continued to expand,
the current Black Hall Road was constructed, and
families headed to New Rye and Short Falls. Mills
continued to be built, and farmland readied. Some
of the original settlers were aging and being buried
at the old burying ground near the meetinghouse
first being William Blazo August 14, 1761.
the town growing, the school addressed, the building
of the meetinghouse, and the hiring of Rev. Tuck,
the town finally met the original specifications
of the charter. To learn more about the growth of
the town and some of its people, it is possible
to examine more closely how the different home-lots
grew and changed hands.