TOUR OF NEW ORCHARD ROAD - 1892 - G.H. YEATON
It is now the winter of 1963 and I am living in the village
of Gossville, but in memory my thoughts take me back to seventy
or more years ago, when as a boy of nine, I was living on the
New Orchard road and of the families who lived on the road at
at the turnpike, at the southerly end of the New Orchard road,
on its westerly corner lived, Maurice C. and his wife Mary P.
They had been married September 22, 1890, and moved to this
house the following February 1891. At this time M. Philbrick
was serving as Town Clerk of Epsom and in later years served
continuously as Town Clerk for more than forty years.
On the opposite corner lived Mrs. Emily A. Hoyt, Mrs. Hoyt was
the grandmother of Charles E. Cilley of Lockes Hill.
next place was the farm of James O. Fiske, this farm was on
the east side of the highway at the foot of the long hill. Fiskes
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.
Joseph P. Locke and his wife Lydia (Thompson) Locke, lived on
the road at the junction of the New Orchard and the Range roads.The
Locke buildings being on the west side of the New Orchard Road.
Joseph P. and Lydia Locke did not have any children, but a nephew
of Mrs. Locke, Arthur O. Friel, stayed with them at various
times, when he was a boy. Mr. and Mrs. Locke made shoes by hand
did some farming besides.
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.
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, Alice
who married Fred Giles and was living in Northwood Narrows.
Their daughter Annie B. and their youngest son, Charles S. Bickford,
were living at the Bickford home at this time. (picturd left
- Stanleys Poultry farm with the Henry Bickford house
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)
Stanley. Mr. and Mrs. Stanley made shoes by hand, they also
had quite a lot of land and did some farming.
Their son Herbert S. Stanley Bert, as he was usually called,
was at home with his parents, not married at this date.
we come to the Perly 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 shoemakers 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 Perly 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 like fat pork. My home was a short
distance beyond the Perly 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 oclock, 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 Concord) and was living on the turnpike
near the Epsom Town Hall.
had at my home, oxen, steers, cows, young cattle, hogs and hens.
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 wifes name was
Adelia Dotey, they had a daughter named Carrie M., who married
Everett B. Edmunds. Carrie M. and her husband Everett B. Edmunds
had one daughter who they named Pearl Adelia Edmunds. Henry
E. Dotey, at one time lived in Dublin, N.H. (left side of photo)
The Lewis family lived a little ways beyond Mr. Doteys, 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 Maine in the
Franklin D. Holt died suddenly in the year 1885. He was Prudential
Committee of the New Orchard Road school. Mr. Holt came from
the state of Maine about the year 1878 and bought this farm.
(Now the Lewis farm) His widow Ellen J. Holt, married for her
second husband, on August 27, 1888 at Windsor Vermont, Hill
E. Ober, born in the year 1816, the son of Benjamin Ober and
Elvira (Kimball) Ober.
A. Lewis sold the farm in the year 1893 and the Lewis family
moved to Concord, N.H.
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 Pittsfield to live.
The son, Fred Woodbury was an optician in Pittsfield for a long
time. 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 New Orchard Road
school house, which was built in the year 1884, it replaced
the old school house on the Sherburne Road, nearly one-fourth
of a mile beyond the new school house.
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.
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 oclock.
Now I am leaving the school house, the scholars, the teacher
and old memories.
The next place some distance above the school house on the Sherburne
road is the farm of Lucus S. Clark, almost one mile distance.
Here lived Lucus S. Clark his wife Olive M. and their two daughters:
Lizzie E., Sadie O., and a son John S. Clark.
The Clark home was the former Constantine Woods farm, a large
colonial style house on the west side of the road.
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.
Now we come to the Silas B. Paige farm situated on the west
side of the road.
The Paige family at this time consisted of Silas B., his wife
Emma A. (Glines) Paige, their four daughters, Grace E., Myrtie
H., Eva M. and Bulah Adelaid, and a son Harry L. Paige.
This farm was formerly known as the J. Paige 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
The farm next beyond the Paige farm was the Ebenezer Barton
farm, some of his descendants were living there at this date
(1892) or at least they owned it.
Now I am thinking of the Locke Hill road which commenced at
the end of the Sherburne road at the school house.
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 any one living with them at
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 Albion Locke.
The Grant farm was at the foot of Lockes Hill with the buildings
on the east side of the road.
It was a long climb to the Albion Locke homestead, here lived
Albion Locke, his wife Mary Anna Locke and their married daughter
Ada L. (Locke) Cilley, her husbands name, Charles E. Cilley.
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 Lockes Hill (and still is
1963) No children at this home at this time but a daughter,
Helen Marie Cilley, was born May 21, 1896.
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 Lockes Hill in the years, 1798 to 1800. The Albion
Locke farm being another of the Locke Brothers homes.
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 where the Ames family lived was the original William
In later years Mayland P. Ames lived at this farm with his
last wife, Ada C. (Wheeler) Ames, and their children.
Mayland P. Ames, died at his old home, July 16, 1950, age 70
yrs. 10 mo. 3d.
Mayland P. and Ada Caroline Wheeler, the daughter of Frank P.
and his wife Lillian C. (Hilliard) Wheeler, were married in
Chichester September 3, 1932. They were the parents of four
children. Three daughters and one son. Mrs. Ada C. Ames, lives
in Concord, N.H. (1963)
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. But memory
takes me back to the home of Joseph P. Locke and the southern
end of the Range Road.
THE RANGE ROAD
I will let memory take me up this road, by the Red Gate,
the Jo Marden Place, the Leaning Rock, the
Devils Den, the Leaning Birch, the Old
Lamprey farm, the Lamprey Ledges, the Spring,
Odiorne Pond and the Darrs Field. Then taking the
winter path at the foot of the hill I soon come to the Amos
P. Barton farm.
This was the original David Philbrick farm and was the first
of the four large farms near the north end of the Range Road.
At this time the Barton family consisted of: Amos P. Barton,
his wife Mary E. (Philbrick) Barton and their five children.
Children of Amos P. and Mary E. Barton were:
Ruth M. Barton, who married, True Osgood. children
David Barton, who married Virginia M. Batchelder. No children
Louis M. Barton, who married Harriet Williams.
Mary Barton, who married George Fred Richardson. Children
Albert Barton, who married Mary (Molly) G. Knowles. Children.
The next farm was the farm of Warren E. Hilliard, another of
the large farms of Epsom, this was on the west side of the Range
Road and to reach the farm buildings one went up quite a long
The Hilliard family at this time were: Warren E. Hilliard his
wife Sarah A. (Dow) Hilliard and some if not all of their nine
children: another (one had died in the year 1890).
Children: Harleon L., Clara, Ada M., Orah L., Frank R., Lillian
E., Oscar A., Ralph R., Grover P., and Harold C. Hilliard. Harold
C. Hilliard is now the only one left of the Hilliards
ten children, Aug. 20, 1964.
The next place was the Lowell Brown farm, some distance down
the hill from the Hilliard farm and around a sharp curve in
The Lowell Brown farm and buildings became the property of Albert
Barton in the year 1904 or 1905, as he married Mary Genella
Knowles of Epsom August 16, 1905 and moved to this place soon
afterwards. Mary G. Knowles was the daughter of Henry S. Knowles
(the storekeeper) and his wife Genella (Cate) Knowles.
At the Lowell Brown house there was a sharp turn in the road
and to reach the last house on the Range Rd. one went in a southerly
This was the home and large farm of David M. Philbrick and at
one time this was probably the largest or one of the largest
farms in Epsom.
This farm had an acreage of six hundred acres or approximately,
that number of acres.
At the Philbrick home (1892) lived David M. Philbrick, his wife
Sarah A. (Stearns) Philbrick and some of their eight children:
Clara J., Daniel, David, Mary A., John S., Susan, George H.
and Augustus T. Philbrick.
The David M. Philbrick farm home is now owned by his granddaughter,
Eunice S. Philbrick, who lives there alone. She is the daughter
of George Henry and his wife Amy E. (Lull) Philbrick.
Amey E. Lull came from Concord, N.H.
The children from these four large farms, near the northerly
end of the Range Road all went to the school at South Pittsfield
(at one time a few went to the North Road school) in the old
This school was known as Union School District Number
In the year 1841 a Pittsfield School District and Epsom School
district number 6 were united to form Republican School
District. Merrimack County, State of New Hampshire.
Taken from the records of the New Hampshire General Court.
The Range Road: from its junction with the New Orchard Road
to the driveway of the David Barton farm is now closed.
This is all wrong, for if any one wishes to visit the upper
end of this road they must go through the town of Pittsfield
or if they chose to go by the way of the North Road they still
must go through a part of South Pittsfield to reach the Range
Road. There are other reasons why this road should not be closed.
First: if a fire was raging on the New Orchard or the Locke
Hill road, traveling towards the east, there would be no way
to get fire trucks and men up the Range Rd. to make a stand
and extinguish the fire. A dirt or gravel road makes a wonderful
place to stop a fire.
Second: if a fire was being driven by an east wind from the
North Road the difficulties would be the same.
Third: now in the case of a house fire at the upper end of the
Range Road, as it happened in December 1961, in which three
lives were lost in the fire. The fire trucks and men must now
go by way of Pittsfield, or down towards Northwood, to the end
of the North Road, then up the North Road, through South Pittsfield
to reach the northerly end of the Range road, making several
miles of extra travel.
The Range Road, being closed for travel, we can only visualize
the rustic and scenic beauty of this road, that saw so much
travel in the old days.
Today January 1963, among nearly one hundred people who were
living on the New Orchard, the Sherburne, Locke Hill and Range
roads, back in the year 1892, there are only seven of us left.
One lives in Chichester, one in Epping, one in the State of
Florida, two in some western state, one in Concord and one in
Epsom. Of the old families only five are represented on these
roads, of the original families in the year 1892. Two on the
New Orchard road, and three on the Range road. But: everything
is changed, the school on the New Orchard road, and the one
at South Pittsfield, have been closed these many years.
The Suncook Valley Rail Road, to which many of the farmers brought
their milk to the Epsom Depot to be shipped to Boston, is a
thing of the past. The State of New Hampshire has destroyed
all of the native fish in Odiorne Pond and stocked it with Bass.
I spent many happy hours fishing at Odiorne Pond, in the days
now long gone.
All that is left of the Amos Barton farm buildings is the long
barn, all the other buildings are gone, the long sheds connected
with the barn have been demolished and the house and large shed
connected to it were destroyed by fire in the year 1961.
After reading this memory story over and seeing the mistakes
I have made in spelling and in composition, I am wondering:
why do I try to put these old memories down in writing, for
others to see?
To be sure I find much pleasure in searching the old records
and in thinking of the ones who were here in the days now long
gone. But: there is a feeling of sadness associated with this
pleasure and as I think of the changes in the families, the
old homes, the way they lived and the way they did things in
the old days, then: when I compare the way we live and do things,
in this ever changing world of ours, at this present time, it
makes me keep wondering: were the people happier in these old
days or are we the happier ones in this modern and high tension
way of living.
I was born in the year 1883 and it is now the year 1963.