Home Lot # 2

Richard Goss of Rye was the original proprietor of Lot #2. “A Sketch Covering Four Generations of the McClary Family” by Horace P. McClary, says the family moved to Epsom in 1738. Andrew McClary is seen in deeds as being “of Epsom” by deed as early as 1741, and was selectman in Epsom 1742, and back in Nottingham in 1744 when the proprietor’s records indicate he was there with the Epsom town books. It appears that the actual purchase of the lot was not until February of 1756 when by deed, the lot was purchased from Joseph Brown and his wife Abigail (Goss) Brown and Samuel Shaw and his wife Margaret (Goss) Shaw, both spouses daughters of the late Richard Goss (died by 1735), original proprietor. What arrangement there was is unknown, but Andrew McClary built his house and tavern prior to the purchase of the lot on the highpoint of along with a small garrison house, used for safety from the Indians if they could not get to the larger garrison in Nottingham. Andrew’s oldest son John built a home on the home-lot across from his father about 1741. This firmly establishes the McClary’s as one of the earlier settlers of Epsom. Life during the time was described in brief by Horace P. McClary in his book. “There was little time for idleness in the McClary household; the large farm must be tilled, the potash factory looked after, the stores to attend, and presumably some portion of land to clear each season – plenty of healthy work to develop brawny muscle. There was, outside of the home, work waiting for everyone – roads to build, churches and schoolhouses to locate, erect and maintain, dams to construct, mills to build and the thousand and one other things which play a necessary part in the change from the forest primeval to the cultivated and productive farm.”

It is easy to see why the McClary family was so influential. They had mills, the tavern and the garrison. In these times, the largest dwelling was the social gathering place for a small town. With no church or meetinghouse, it is clear that this early lot was where many of the decisions relating to the growth of the town were made. From a Manchester Union newspaper article of 1893, “At this time the whole country was unbroken wilderness, a log cabin was built in which they lived until the two sons, Andrew and John built large houses but a short distance apart on the brow of the hill. The house erected by Andrew was long ago destroyed by fire. The place where it stood may be seen from the roadside marked by an embankment and a few rocks. There is a depression in the ground, just below the site of the old house, which is said by tradition to be the spot where the log cabin stood.”

The original lot and dwellings passed from the emigrant Andrew McClary to his son Andrew. This son, the Major Andrew McClary died at Bunker Hill, and the property passed to his son James Harvey McClary who kept up the business and the tavern until he sold the property, including both home lots 1 and 2, to Joseph Lawrence in 1807. Not long after this the homestead burned, and Joseph Lawrence built a new home, but according to a newspaper article of September 14, 1848, this house burned as well. The article read “Fire In Epsom. - The large three-story house in Epsom, which, for many years, has stood so boldly in the traveler's eye as he passed on either of the leading roads in Epsom, owned by Mr. Joseph Lawrence, was consumed by fire, last Wednesday morning, soon after sunrise.” His tavern and business was very prosperous and allowed for several generations of this family to retain this property well into the 1960’s.

The 30 acre out lot was drawn by Richard Goss, and was lot #14 in the third range. No further record has been found to date with regard to the out lot.


48-458 February 17, 1756
We, Joseph Brown of Rye, husbandman and Abigail Brown, his wife; Samuel Shaw of Hampton, husbandman and Margaret Shaw, his wife, to Andrew McClary of Epsom, gentleman,
A parcel of land in Epsom containing 50 acres on ye east side of East Street in said Epsom, bounded, beginning at a maple tree running Northwest and by West by said East Street to a red oak tree thence running Northeast and by North one hundred and 60 rods to a stake and stones, thence running South East and by East fifty rods to a stake and stones, thence running South West and by South to the bounds first mentioned. – Joseph Brown, Abigail Brown, Samuel Shaw, Margaret Shaw.

179-51 August 14, 1807
James H. McClary, Esq., to Joseph Lawrence, husbandman,
A parcel of land in Epsom, being 2 of the home lots numbered 2 and 3 (original 1 & 2) lying between the road leading to Northwood and land owned by Henry Chapley (Shapley) and the same land that the said McClary formerly lived on and occupied by said Lawrence, to contain 100 acres by grant. – J.H. McClary and Elizabeth McClary relinquishes dower.

IPHOTO: The Joseph Lawrence Home