Everett Schermerhorn Stackpole.

History of the town of Durham, New Hampshire : (Oyster River Plantation) with genealogical notes online

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Joseph Davis •



Stephen Jones Timothy Davis

James Davis Joseph Jenkins

Joseph Hicks Nathaniel Randel

Daniel Meserve Thomas Leighton

Nichlos Meader Jeams Basford

Gorg Chcsle James Davis

Elias Critchett Benj» Thomas

Job Renells John Smith.

The matter was considered in court and the following deposi-
tions are filed in connection with the case.

The Deposition of Moses Davis Testifieth & saith that Nathaniel Hill or
p'sons by his order hath fenced up the high way that Leads frorri Oyster
River falls unto y= freshet by Edward Smalls and also the Landing Place at
Oyster River falls by Gcorg Chesles fence and have also in croch upon the
thorow fair Rhod that Leads to Cochecho & hath maintained the fence from
the first of march last past unto the 2 day of June 17 19, and Daniel Davis
Testifieth to all that is above writen. Sworne in Courte June 2d 1719.

Theodore Atkinson, Clerk.

The Deposition of John Williams Testifieth and sayeth that for thirty years
and upwards that he was a Long with Bartholomew Stevenson that Capt
Peter Coffen came a Long by and told y afores<i Stevenson y' h-^ must not
fence in that way for it was a Loud for a high way: which way was upon y»
north side of oyster River falls from y falls near y freshett and so by Edward
Smalls. [Sworn in Court in the same action. No date. See Court Files,
No. 17372.]

This indicates that the old cellar above mentioned, where
Mr. Ballard is said to have built a house, marks the former abode
of Edward Small, and that the road along the north side of the
mill-pond antedated by several years the road now known as the
Mill Road.






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HISTORY OF DURHAM 225

The continuation of the Mill Road toward the west is men-
tioned in the records of a town meeting held 28 May 1718:

"Hoginning at the End of Highway formerly laid out to Chesleys mill on
the south side of s^ River, the way to be foucr Rods wide along the old way
Leaving Moses Davis Jun' his forty acre Lott on the south & Bartholomew
Staveson his ten acre Lott on the North & so along the Comons Leving
Daniel Missarve his Thirty acre Lott on the Northwest and so on the Comons
Leving Moses Davis sen' his four score acre Lott and Thomas Stephsons Three
score acre Lot on the west and so on the comons to William folletts hundred
acre Lott at Maharamuts Marsh, to two Trees marked H fower Rods Distance.
This way Laid out by us the thurtcenth Day of June 1719." Signed by James
Davis and Thomas Tibbctts.

This road is still traveled. At its end lived, a century ago,
on the north side, Lieut. David Wiggin, and his old house is still
standing. The family burial place, surrounded with an iron
railing, is a little west of the house. The Stevenson family, on
the south side of the road, long ago disappeared, and their only
remembrancer is a lonely graveyard in the eastern part of a large
field. Milliard F. F'ogg owns and lives on this old Stevenson
farm.

Turning to the south at the end of the road above described
one soon passes the Griffiths burial ground and comes to the
beautiful residence of the Griffiths brothers, with shaded and
well-kept lawn and broad, fertile acres of Moharimet's Marsh,
which stretches away into Croxford's swamp.

March 18, 1689.

Then laid out at the head of William Beards Creek a Certaine percell of
Land there on the west side of the Creeke for the Conucnicnce of a landing
place and high wayes; the bounds of the said land and high wayes as followeth :

At the Creeke 8 rods wide & from thence following North & by West unto
the North side of John Woodmans land North Nor west unto the King his
high waye & from the head of the said Woodman his land ffourty hkIs North
east unto a Certaine p'cell of Rocks there, where wee have appointed & Laid
out two high wayes of 4 rods wide, and Runs ouer the Brooke neare North
west & then north north east & by east unto the high waye unto Newtowne:
and from the afore said Rocks AnothiT high wave runs North west & by North
on the North side of the aforesaid John Woodman his land into the Commons,

These landing places and high wayes were laid out by virtue of an order
from the townsmen bearing date Sept. 24, 1688,

By us — John Woodman

J.AMES HlCKIXS.

The al)ove named landing place was sold, by vote of the town,
to Jonathan Woodman in 1779.

15



226



HISTORY OF DURHAM



The landing place at the Falls, though in use from the time of
the erection of the first mill there, about 1650, was formally laid
out by vote of the town taken 27 October 1701. A portion of
the report of the committee has been given on page 71. Begin-
ning where that leaves off the report reads, "and alsoe the mast
path is laid out fower Rods in bredth as ye sd path now lyeth or
Leadeth from ye sd Landing place to the outmost of our Towne
bounds for a publick Heywaie. Wee have alsoe Laid out a high-







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The Road to Bagdad
(Not far from Beard's Landing.)



way from ye Chesley mill at Oyster Riuer to the mast path to
be fower Rods in bredth a Long as ye path now Ledeth from sd
mill to ye mast path as may appear by fower trees markt H and
standing at ye fower Corners of ye said way." Laid out 14 June

1703-

Another road was laid out the same year, which is described
as follows:

We the subscribers hereof have laid out the highway from oyster bed to
oyster Riuer, through the Country road to durty gutt by Abraham Clark his
house, beginning at ye Usuall wadeing place att oyster bed at a Pine tree on
the East and white oak on the West at 4 Rods distance markt H each of them,
from thence North Easterly to the west side of ffollet his Rocky hill, aboue
ffollet his barn, and then it Runes on the East side of the next Rocky hill by



HISTORY OF DURHAM 227

James Bunker his barn and from thence to the Cartway at the head of Bunker
Creek and so a Long threw as the old way formerly Lay till it comes to a Rock
at the southwest Corner of Nath Lamos his Land, from thence as it is markt
till it comes to the bridge at Durty gutt, to lye 4 Rods wide Clear threw, and
allso a highway from that leads from Ltt Dauis his house, beginning att a white
oak marked H I B and 4 Rods in bredth a Long by the head of Joseph Bunker
his land from thence to the King's thorrofair Road.
Laid out this 9th of Aprill 1703 by us

j no tuttle
Jere Burnum
James Dauis

of the Comittee.

Abraham Clark lived near the boundar}- line between Oyster
River parish and Dover proper, now Madbury. The highway
above described was a continuance of the road from Cochecho.
After fording Oyster River to some point near the old church
the path continued along the highway between the parsonage
lot and that of William Williams, later of Stephen Jenkins, and
so in a direct course through Long Marsh to Lamprey River,
now Newmarket. This part of the road or path was discon-
tinued long ago. The part of it north of the river is spoken of
in a deed dated 3 October, 1720, from Joshua Davis to Amos
Pinkham, as the road "leading from James Bunker's into ye
main road that goes to Cochecho."

WhEREAS we the subs«" hereof being chosen with others to be a Comitte
to survaie and Lay out highwaies in the seueral parts of the ToAvne of douer
for the Conueniency of the Inhabitants, and being desired by Lt. James Daues
and Joseph Aleader to lay out a highway from the heads of their Lottes to
the King his road, thoro fair Road according to a vote in generall Towne meet-
ing, ye 27th October 1701, and being Apon the place or ground with John Ger-
rish Esqr., one of his Maj'" Just^» of Peace, haue laid out as followeth Viz —
from two stumps at or near the aforesaid Dauis and Meader their land at about
fower Rods distance and to Rune about 12 Rods north westerly. Then turning
moer westerly keeping the hey land till it comes to a hemlock tree in the nor-
west Corner of Mathew Williams his forty acre grant, in the tenure of Joseph
Smith, and so to the old path that leads to Abraham Clarks and so Clear Thoro
to the king his thorofair Road as the way now goes, to be fower Rods wide.
Given under our hands this 29th of October 1701.

j no tuttle
Will ffurber
Tristram Heard

of the Comille
JONE Gerrish, Just. Pe.



228 HISTORY OF DURHAM

In response to a petition of James Langley, dated 25 July 1715,
in which he states that Bartholomew Stevenson had penned him
up to a way only eight feet wide or thereabout, a road was laid
out from his house to the main road.

Wee whose names are under Written being chosen by the Towne of doner
with others to suruaie and Lay out high waie in the seuerall pts of the Towne
and being desired of James Langley to Lay out a way of too Rod wide begin-
ning at will Drews old possession joyning to the bond high way so running
sow west and by west to a pine tree on the south East side of this highway
and so keeping the two Rods in breadth to a little hill Leaueing the Spring
Seuen Rods on the nor west side of the highway, keeping the same breadth
south southwest to the highway that goeth from Willeyes Creek to Oyster
Riuer falls to a white oke markt H. L S. and william drews wood lott on the
south east of this highway.

James Davis
Jeremiah burnum

Recorded may ye 28, 17 16 Thomas Tebbets

This old road over the "little hill" can now be easily traced,
though its course has been changed toward the west, to avoid
the hill. William Drew's house and wood lot are mentioned,
though he had been dead forty-six years. There was an old
landing on Giles' Creek, that was connected with this road, as
shown by a deposition made about 1710 by "Bat Stimson,"
[Bartholomew Stevenson], aged about 50, that "there is a land-
ing place laid out against Thomas Drew's dore on ye south side of
Mathew Goyles [Giles'] Creek and buts against the waye that goes
to Oyster River falls, and Thomas Pitman have got a marked
tree in his possession as the waye was laid out." [Court Files,
17372.]

Here is the Long Marsh Road:

It is the request of thirty eight of the Inhabetance of the Parrish of oyster
Riuer to haue a high way of three Rods to bee Laid out from a highway that
Leads to willeys Creek to ye Kings Thorowfare Road that Leads to Lampereel
Riuer and it is laid out as followeth, beginning att the hed of the Lane att a
Place Called Team hill and so along between fransis Matheus Twelue Acre
Lot and the Lott hee bought of John Wille and ouer the South Corner of Math-
eus his Seauenteen acor Lott and ouer the north Corner of the Poynt wood
Lott and soe along whear the Path now goes and on the north East side of a
grate Rock and soe on the north side of John Willeys indwelling hous and so
Down to the Long marsh and over the Marsh to the highway that Leads from
oyster Riuer falls to Lamperell Riuer Bridg. This highway Laid out and
bounded the 22 Day of February 1720/21 by us,

Thomas Tebbets
John Smith
fransis Mathues.



HISTORY OF DURHAM 229

At a General Session of the Peace, 6 March, 1710/11, com-
plaint having been made about the want of roads from town to
town, a committee was appointed in each town to run such roads
as they thought necessary, laying them out four rods wide. The
Dover committee consisted of Capt. Tuttle, Capt. James Davis
and Joseph Jones. The laying out of the road through Durham
was as follows:

From Lampereal River as Strait as it may be to the old Bridge by ye Moat
so as ye way goes to Graves [William Graves] his Land thence to the falls, to
make the whole four rods wide, and there ye way is to open on ye Left at Stim-
sons [Bartholomew Stevenson's ?] and at Robert Huggins [Huckins] his house.
So at Wm Jacksons pasture to ye head of Jacksons Creek Strait as ye old Road
went then Joseph Jenkins to open on ye Left & all others to make ye way four
Rods wide to Fields Garrison.

At the last point it entered the Back River Road to Cochecho.
[N. H. Town Papers, XI, 539.]

June 9, 1738, a road was laid out from the highway at New-
town saw mill, on the south side of Oyster River, in a south-
west direction by the land of John Sias, following the old way to
Solomon Sias' land, and so on to the mast road that leads from
Little River. [See Town Records, Vol. I, p. 21.] This mill was
afterward known as Layn's Mill. It is in Lee.

Aug. 10, 1745:

Then laid out a high way from a picked Rock by Thomas Willeys new house
where he now dwelleth and from thence on a straight Course to James bun-
kers northwest Corner bound of his twenty five acrees, it being a great oak
Stump, then East & by north forty Rods to said bunkers north bound then near
north East to the Maple brook so called, this high way to be on the north side
of the above sd Courses three Rods wide tell it Comes against the Rock first
mentioned, laid out by us,

Dan'- Smith Select
John Williams men.

Here is a road in the western part of the town :

A highway laid out on the Common Land from a place called Camsey [Camp-
sie], from the head of Mr. Robert Tomsons fence to Mr. William Drews and
So to the River be Low Deans mash and from thence to the head of the Town,
by a partition [petition] under their hands directed to us, the present Select-
men for said town, and by their request we have laid out the way and bounded
it as followeth, beginning on the north side of the Mast Road on the south or
west corner of Mr. Robert Tomsons fence called Camsey and from that fence
is bounded by the Spoted Trees as they now standeth Runing westerly four
Rods from Joseph Jones barn then by the spoted trees so between Mr. Wil-



230 HISTORY OF DURHAM

Ham Drews and Ely Clarks house. Then by the spoted trees to Newtown
River below Deans mash and then by the Spoted trees Runing near Richard
Glovers House and then by the spoted Trees to a way called Willes way so
as that way leads to the head of the Town being fouer Rods wide; Laid out
and bounded by us the present Selectmen this 29 day of January in the year:
1733/4- [Signed by Joseph Jones, John Williams and John Woodman as
Selectmen.]

Dean's Marsh, doubtless, took its name from the John Dean
who was the first one killed in the massacre of 1694, and "the
place called Camsey" is explained in connection with the Kin-
caid family.

The road known as the Wine Cellar Road was laid out as fol-
lows:

By and at the Request of sundry of the inhabitants of the town of Durham
we have laid out a high way from Luberland to the Kings Rode between Rich-
ard Denbos field and John Buss Jun^. We began at a great Rock between
John Smiths house and John Does marsh & from thence by said Does marsh
and so between Jos Whelers land & John Smith Jun' land to Tho" Langles
land & from thence to the wine selers & so along on the sow west of Joseph
Edgerleys land and so along on the N Est side of John Willes Jun' house to
the Rode between John Burnum fence and the s^ Willes land to a great rock
marked H and from thence by John Buses fence to the Countrey Rode this
Rode is three Rods wide from the last Rock marked H the other part from — ■ —
town to luberland is laid out four Rods in wedth all along s'' Rode. Laid out
and bounded by us this 16 day of March 1735/6. [Signed by Jonathan Thom-
son, John Woodman and Samuel Smith, Selectmen.]

In company with Dea. W. S. JVIeserve I rode over this road in
April 1913, and probably no wheeled vehicle will ever go over it
again. The carriage as well as the lives of the horse and riders
should be well insured before making the attempt. Such de-
clivities and superabundance of ledge and boulders make us won-
der how any selectmen ever dared to lay out a road there; but
the people living at Lubberland wanted a shorter route to the
meeting house at the Falls. The road started near the house of
the late Valentine Smith and from there to the Back Road,
through Horn's Woods, it is known by the name of Simon's Lane,
most likely from Joseph Simons, who, 8 February 1727/8, mar-
ried Elizabeth, daughter of Elder James Nock, who lived in this
vicinity. Perhaps it is the lane through which Joseph walked
to woo Elizabeth, for we may well believe that this road was
used as a bridle path some years before it was "laid out." After
reaching the Back Road it followed that easterly for perhaps
twenty rods; then it struck through the woods and rocks again



HISTORY OF DURHAM 23 1

to the Long Marsh Road and followed that, as it formerly ran,
to the Newmarket Road near Denbo's Brook, or Horsehide
Brook, as it is now sometimes called. John Buss seems to have
been living here, perhaps on the ten acres of ministerial marsh
land granted long before by the town and concerning which there
was a law suit between the Rev. Hugh Adams and the Rev. Mr.
Gilman. Most of this old road was long ago abandoned. Only
Mr. Patrick Connor lives on it now, without whose kindly as-
sistance we would hardly ha\e gotten through alive. He dis-
owns all relationship to the Timothy and James Conner who
were from Ireland and residents of Durham about the time of
its incorporation.

There is a huge overhanging boulder along this abandoned
road, that according to tradition was the sheltering place of wine
in the old days, and hence the name of the Wine Cellar Road,
but notice that in the return of the road, given above, the phrase
is "wine selers." Were there those who sold w^ine living there?
The names in the return of the road indicate owners of land
along the way rather than residents, for there is hardly room be-
tween the rocks for more than one family to live.

The northerly end of this road seems to be further described
in a highway granted 20 May 1727 and laid out 15 June 1734.
It was granted to John Willey, Jr., " from His House to y® Contre
Rode between John Buss and Richard Denmor [s] Field," a road
three rods wide, " by s*^ Willeys House and From thence to a grat
Rock marked H on y^ west Side of said way which is called John
Buss Corner Bound next to s*^ Willeys House so from s*^ Rock
Bounded between John Buss and Richard Denmor to ye" Contre
Rode."

At the request of several of the inhabitants of the town of Durham that we

the subscribers should lay out a highway for the Privilcdg of the town above

said from the Kings highway tq the Salt water and for a Priviledg to Pass to

the meeting house at the falls in sd town and according to their Request we

have laid it out Beginning at the East Side of the Kings high way on the South

Side of the Bridge at Oyster River falls in sd town sow Running by the Kings

high way to the Land of Daniel Rogers where he now lives and then Running

Partly by sd Daniel Rogers Land and Partly by the Land of Mr. Hugh Adams

down to the salt River and bounded by the River up to said bridge a high way

laid out and bounded by us for the Benefit of the Town.

Joseph Atkinson 1 <;■ , ,

The 14 Day of March 1742/3. Ephraim Davis \

•^ ~ men.

Ebenezrr Smith



232 HISTORY OF DURHAM

This highway ran around the old meeting house. Some claimed
about this time that the house of Dr. Samuel Adams, now called
the Sullivan house, stood partly on land belonging to the town
landing, and a committee was appointed to investigate the mat-
ter. No report has been found. June 29, 1744, an article in
the town warrant was to see if the town will build a bridge over
the falls "where the old bridge now standeth also what man-
ner of bridge whether a cart Bridge or a horse bridge and what
breadth the bridge shall be built." It was voted to build a cart
bridge fifteen feet wide. It is probable that the old one, — how
old can not now be said, — was a horse bridge for the accommoda-
tion of those riding horseback and very narrow.

October 12, 1737, John Woodman and Samuel Smith, select-
men, "Capt. Francis Mathes being present and assisted in Lay-
ing out this High way But deceased before Sinning" [signing],
laid out a road as follows:

We began at Wensday Brook the said Road is three Rods wide Running
by Nathaniel Meaders Land so along by a great Hill and then it Runeth over
the South Side of Said Hill to a gutter between Thomas Stevensons Land and
Thomas Footmans Land so Running between said lots till it Comes to the
Turn and then Runing between Meaders and Smiths Land till it comes to
Joshua Woodmans Land." [See Town Book, Vol. I, p. 40.]

April 4, 1752, Samuel Smith, Joseph Wheeler, and Joseph
Thomas, Selectmen, laid out a road two rods wide, beginning
"at Moses Davises fence seventy nine Rods from Lent Joneses
fence so caled near folets Swamp at the head of John Woodmans
land next to or near Jonathan Mouses [Munsey's] land and from
thence it Runs west north west seventeen Rods to or near a stone,
then it Runs near north to sd Moses Davises Land, this high way
laid out at his Request and for his use for ever." [Town Book,
Vol. I, p. 33-]

April 9, 1753, Joseph Wheeler and Joseph Thomas, selectmen,
laid out "a small peice of Land for a high way," "beginning at
the sd Rode or high way that leads from ye Point to sd Oyster
River falls at where Joseph Wheler joins to sd Rode or high way
and Running bounding on sd last mentioned high way untell it
comes to the above sd high way that leads from sd Oyster River
falls to Lampereel River falls then Running by sd last mentioned
highway to land in possession of Ichabod Chesle then Running
by sd Chesles possession to land in possession of Joseph Wheler



HISTORY OF DURHAM 233

then by sd Whelers possession to where we bagan, to be an open
highway for the use of the town forever." This seems to be the
piece of land in front of the old pound, at the intersection of the
roads coming from the Point and from Newmarket. [Town
Book, Vol. I, p. 36.]

On petition of Miles Randall and others the Court of General
Sessions of the peace ordered a highway to be laid out in Durham,
which was done 20 July 1763, beginning at the "northwest cor-
ner of Joshua Woodman's land by Col. Smith's land and run-
ning by land of John Langley to Lampereel River where the
bridge formerly stood, over said river to land of Stephen Pen-
dergast, then past Samuel Joy's land to David Davis's land,
thence to Major Thomas Tash's land, thence to land lately John
Smart's, to pisscassick mill priviledge, then over the bridge to
the dividing line between Newmarket and Durham." [Town
Book, Vol. I, pp. 57, 58.]

March 4, 1765, a road two rods wide was laid out from Joseph
Stevens' land on the east side of Johnson's Creek unto Dover
line, bounded on the southeast by land of Nathaniel Lammos.

March 13, 1758, a road was laid out from Wadley's mill pond
in Lampereel River to Little River, in what is now Lee. Men-
tion is made of lands of John Durgin, Joseph Durgin, Edward
Woodman and Ebenezer Smith.

At the General Court convened 11 February 1768, there was
a petition for a highway two rods wide from Lamprey River
bridge to the road leading from Durham Point to Durham Falls.
Lands of the following parties are mentioned along the route
proposed, Joseph Ham, Walter Bryant, Esq., Abraham Bennet,
Samuel Smith, Joseph Chesley, heirs of Ebenezer Smith, Esq.,
deceased, John Smith, Thomas Stevenson, Joseph Footman,
Dependance Bickford, John Durgin, Heirs of Ebenezer Smith,
to Mathes Creek, so called, near the mill, and over the creek
between lands of the Hon. Peter Livius, Esq., and John Kent,
John and Joseph Drew, to road leading from Durham Point to
the Falls. This petition was signed by David Davis, Moses
Edgerly, Jr., Trueworthy Durgin, Jr., Stephen Wille, Jr.,
Nathaniel Norton, George Bickford, Valentine Mathes, John
Mead, Ede Hall Burgin, Zebulon Doe, Jr., Jonathan Doe, Ed-
ward Smith, Bradstreet Doc, James Cram, Thomas Stevenson,
Joseph Drew, John Drew, Joseph Wormwood, Jr., Dependance



234 HISTORY OF DURHAM

Bickford, Francis Mathes, John Edgerly, John Smith, George
Tuttel, Timothy Murray, and John Mundro. March 7, 1768,



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