Everett Schermerhorn Stackpole.

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

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Online LibraryEverett Schermerhorn StackpoleHistory of the town of Durham, New Hampshire : (Oyster River Plantation) with genealogical notes → online text (page 21 of 34)
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Capt. Thomas Chesley was appointed agent for the town to an-
swer this petition. This road, or path, must have been in use
for more than a century. It is a hard, rough road now, much
of the way, and it would impoverish the town to fit it for auto-

March 24, 1752, a road was laid out from a small pitch pine
bush on the north side of the way or path by the Spruce hole,

Spruce Hole
Near boundary of Lee, 100 feet deep, five acres.

running south southwest to the pitch of the hill by James Hall's
house, thence to Jethro Furber's land, thence as the way now
goes to John Davis' grist mill, then crossing the Little River
about two rods above said mill it runs southwest and by south
to Samuel Chesley's line and then on Chesley's and Smith's lines.
Laid out. by Joseph Thomas, Samuel Smith and Joseph Wheeler,

March 15, 1771, Ebenezer Thompson and John Smith, Select-
men, laid out a road at the request of Joseph Stevens,

leading from said Joseph Stevens Pasture to the highway near Chesleys Grist
Mill in Durham as follows, Viz., Beginning at said Stevens Pasture at a saplin
pine markt I on three sides standing on land of Francis Mathes thence through
said Mathes land North nine degrees East Eleven Rods to land in Possession



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of George Chesley, Thence North Forty one degrees East Eleven Rods thence
North forty four degrees East Twenty Rods thence North Eleven degrees
East Eight Rods to a heap of stones, the highway laying on the Eastern side
of the aforesaid lines and from thence to the aforesaid highway to Chesleys
mill as the fence now stands between the aforesaid George Chesleys land and
land in Possession of the heirs of Edward Small Deceased, said fence to be
accounted the middle of the highway and the highway to be Two Rods wide
the whole length. Said highway being laid out as near as can be ascertained
where a highway was formerly laid out and a return thereof entered on Dover
Town Book of Records Leading from Chesleys mill to Second Falls on Lam-
pray River." [Town Book, Vol. I, p. 532.]

A petition, dated 23 November 1791, and signed by certain
inhabitants of New Hampshire, was addressed to the General
Court, asking for a road from Concord to Durham. The peti-
tion represents that the roads from the sea coast inland are

Relics of Pascataqua Bridge

crooked and indirect and that the trade would be greatly facili-
tated by straightening the same; that a road can be built from
Durham Falls to Concord in thirty miles, and will save to the
consumer the expense of forty-five miles of carriage, all of which
has been demonstrated by survey and plans already drawn. The
General Court appointed a committee, 10 December 1791, with
full powers to survey and establish a road from Concord to Dur-
ham Falls and to Newmarket Bridge. This first New Hamp-
shire Turnpike was followed by fifty-two more in the state before
the year 1812. After a time most of them failed to yield revenues
and their charters were surrendered. Others were dissolved
under a legislative act of 1838, which gave the towns the right
to convert a turnpike into a highway upon appraisal and pay-
ment of damages.

In the laying out of this Turnpike mention is make that it
"joins the now road at the end of a causeway near John Thomp-
sons" and goes on to "the road leading to the Lee meeting house,
thence leaving Lee road." Damages were allowed to Jonathan
Warner, Col. Stephen Evans and John Thompson. The report



was signed 16 June 1792, and accepted by Cicncral Court 21
June of the same year.

This Turnpike was continued on the north side of the river,
to Meader's Neck, after the construction of Pascataqua bridge
in 1794. This bridge was 2,362 feet long and 38 feet wide, built
from Fox Point in Newington to Rock Island, thence to Goat
Island by an arch of 240 feet, thence to Meader's Neck or Tickle
Point, where there was a toll gate. The architect was Timothy

Boston «;\: .M.mne Railroad Station, l)rKiiAM
Erected 191 1

Palmer of Newburyport, Mass. There was a draw for the pas-
sage of vessels. A sketch of it was made by Robert Gilmor of
Baltimore in 1797. The Original cost of this bridge was $65,-
947.34 and it was sold half a century later for $2,000. It gave
way in 1830 and again in 1854, and 600 feet of it, on the New-
ington side, was carried away by ice, 18 February 1855. It was
not rebuilt. The construction of the railroad turned the course
of travel. The vicinity of the Durham terminus is still known
as Pascataqua Bridge, and the school district here is known by
the same name. For more minute description of this bridge see
Miss Thompson's Landmarks in .Ancient Dover.


As early as 1792 a stage was run through Durham to Boston
from Dover but was discontinued through lack of patronage.
Twenty years later two lines of stage were started from Dover
to Boston, one running by the way of Haverhill and the other
through Newbury port. They continued to run till 1841, when
the Boston and Maine Railroad Company opened its line from
Exeter to Dover.

The road from the Falls to Madbury formerly led around
through Bagdad, where Dea. W. S. Meserve now lives. It was
straightened early in the nineteenth century, so as to pass di-
rectly by the Judge Thompson house. March 12, 181 1, it was
voted in town meeting that the selectmen let the building of this
road to the lowest bidder, although for two years the building of
it had been opposed.

The ferries from Fox Point in Newington to Meader's Neck
and to Oyster River Point, the latter called Bickford's Ferry,
Furber's Ferry from Furber's Point in Newington to Mathes
Neck and to Durgin's farm on the west side of the mouth of Crom-
mett's Creek, the ferry across Lamprey River, etc., have been
repeatedly and sufficiently mentioned in this book and in the
Landmarks in Ancient Dover.


The oldest graveyard of which we have any knowledge w^as
near the meeting house, built in 1656, on the south side of Oyster
River, in the vicinity of the oyster bed. The site was sold with the
parsonage lands to Daniel and Robert Mathes, 13 April 1837, and
no reservation of the burial ground was made. All traces of the
old meeting house, the parsonage and the graveyard have dis-
appeared, except that near the river may be seen some flat,
oblong pieces of rough granite, scattered about, that may have
marked the resting places of some of the first settlers in this
vicinity. It is believed that careful investigation, with the use
of the spade, would reveal this earliest cemetery.

Only a few families, however, availed themselves of this
resting place for their dead. On nearly every original farm may
be found a sacred spot, marked with granite, unlettered stones
and low mounds. The new owners of the old farms have some-
times respected such spots, and sometimes they have not. The
dead were buried near the garrisons or private houses, where
the graves of loved ones could be seen and cared for every day.
Nobody knew how to polish and chisel granite, and slate head-
stones were expensive and hard to be obtained at any price.
A mound and two roughly split stones were the usual memorials,
and doubtless, while relatives survived, flowers grew and faded
on those little mounds. Even to this day new residents some-
times place a handful of flowers upon graves of the unknown.
Ought not the many prosperous descendants of the first settlers
to fence and properly mark the resting places of their ancestors?
This has been well done in several instances.

On the north side of Oyster River, and near its mouth, several
generations of the Meader family li\'cd, died and were buried,
on land now owned by Edward L. Emerson. Other portions of
the Meader farm are owned by Elisha R. Brown, Stephen P.
Chesley and others. Tradition says that six or seven persons
from Durham Point, on their way to the boat from a religious
meeting held at the garrison house of Col. James Davis, were
waylaid and slain by Indians on the Meader land, just below



Davis' Creek. Their bodies were discovered a few days later
and buried where they lay. Their graves can still be pointed out.

On the other side of the Turnpike road, on the Odiorne farm,
now owned by David W. Watson, are the graves of the Odiorne

On the Emerson farm, a little further up the river, are the
graves of the early Knight family.

Above Davis' Creek, in the field overlooked by the site of the
garrison, were buried the families of Ensign John Davis and of
his distinguished son, Col. James Davis.

Still further up the river are the graves of Joseph Smith and
many descendants. His headstone states that he was the first
European to till the soil where he is buried. This burial lot has
a split stone wall around it, and the present owner of the farm,
Forrest S. Smith, keeps the place in admirable condition. Near
by are the graves of Col. Gilmore's family.

Crossing Bunker's Creek we see the remains of the old Bunker
garrison, on the hill north of the highway. Near by is the house
sold by Fred M. Bunker to Clarence Fowler a few years ago,
near which are some of the Bunker graves, but the oldest Bunker
graves are in the field across the highway and near the river.
The field is now owned by Mrs. Joseph Smith. Here were buried
James Bunker, the emigrant, Benjamin Bunker who took part
in the siege of Louisburg, and others.

On the farm owned by Clarence Fowler, across the road from
his house, are the graves of some of the Twombly family, once
resident on this farm.

There are Ransom graves on the farm of Friend Pinkham.

Passing up the highway, or Turnpike as it is called, and crossing
Jones' Creek we come to the land first owned by Stephen Jones
about 1663. Down to the present generation the Jones family
have been buried on a high knoll, in sight from the Turnpike.
'A massive stone wall has been built around a spacious burial
lot. It ought to stand for centuries. It is the best built burial
enclosure to be found in this section of the country.

On the south side of the Turnpike is the farm of the late
John T. Emerson, at one time owned by the Leathers family.
Near the river is the Emerson tomb. On another farm near by,
owned by the heirs of the late George P. Emerson, are more
Emerson graves.


On the north side of the Turnpike, west of the Jones farm, on
land now owned by the heirs of the late William P. Ffrost,
formerly the town farm, and before that owned by the Chesley
family, is the old Chesley burial place, where PhiUp Chesley,
the emigrant. Col. Samuel Chesley and many others of the Chesley
family were buried. A later Chesley burial ground is fenced
about in the open field. Near by, on land owned by Samuel
Kidder, are Foss graves.

On the George B. Palmer farm, formerly the Jackson farm,
are Jackson graves, which were near the barn, but not visible
at the present time, as the plow has removed all traces of the
graves within a few years.

Near the point of intersection of the Dover road with the
Turnpike road is the Coe burial lot, where Joseph Coe, ship-
builder, son of the Rev. Curtis Coe, is buried.

Passing over the creek near the Coe farm we come to the farm
of the late Dea. Albert Young, and here are buried his father's
family and also his Chesley ancestors, descendants of George
Chesley. Here also lies Charles S. Davis, a soldier of the Civil
War, the father of Walter S. Davis, who lives in this neighbor-
hood. There are gravies on the land owned by the heirs of the
late Samuel Runlett.

Durham has no public cemetery. The nearest approach to
it is the graveyard near the \illage school house. March 24,
1796, Jonathan W^oodman, Jr., of Durham sold one acre of
land near Durham Falls "for the sole and exclusive use and
purpose of a burying place of them and their several posterities
forever to Ebenezer Smith, Jonathan Steele and Ebenezer Thomp-
son Jun'', cscjuires, Joseph Richardson, James Durgin and Jacob
Woodman, gentlemen, John Blydenburgh, Benjamin Thomp-
son, Robert Lapish and William Ballard, traders, John Angier,
physician, Noah Jewett, joiner, James Leighton, tailor, Joshua
Ballard, hatter, John Stevenson, cordwainer, Curtis Coe, clerk,
Thomas Pinkham, hatter, Samuel Yeaton, Cooper, and John
Langley, blacksmith, all of Durham." There is little space left
in this graveyard for burials. The Rev. Federal Burt and wife
arc buried here, also Dea. Abraham Perkins and wife, and
families of men above mentioned.

The New Hampshire College has a residence for its president,
built upon the site of a former house erected by Lieut. Benjamin


Chesley, born 24 January 1743. He is buried across the Turn-
pike in the field that the College bought of the heirs of the late
John McDaniel. On the college farm, on land formerly owned
by John W. Emerson, are more graves.

Near the village on the Mill Road, lie the bodies of Moses
Davis and his son, killed by Indians, 10 June 1724. His negro
slave avenged his death by killing one of the leaders, a son of
Baron de St. Castine. Love Davis, daughter of Moses, in view
of the slave's fidelity gave orders that he should be buried at
her feet. This was done and their graves may still be pointed out.
Further from the village, on same farm, were buried the parents
of Love Davis and there is a stone marked "Aaron."

Near the residence of Lucien Thompson is the Thompson
burial ground, where are buried many generation, including
John Thompson, Sr., Robert aad Judge Ebenezer.

On the next farm are buried Capt. John Woodman, builder
of the old Woodman garrison, as w^ell as his descendant, John
Smith Woodman, a noted professor at Dartmouth College.
This burial place, often called the Indian burying ground, per-
haps because it was once used by the Indians as a place of bury-
ing their dead, is cared for by a trust fund held by the town of
Durham. The W^oodman monument is a conspicuous object.

Near the Woodman garrison was the Huckins garrison, and
in sight, August, 1689, eighteen persons were massacred by the

On the college farm, hear the railroad station, on land bought
of J. W. E. Thompson, are graves of the early Hill family. They
are unmarked, on the brow of the hill, among the oak trees
close to the road. Close by, on land formerly owned by a
daughter of Timothy Hussey, are some graves of the Joseph
White family. North of the road and westerly of the college
farm, on land owned by Miss Martha A. Stevens, are Stevens
graves. Among those buried here are two of her brothers, who
served as soldiers in the Civil War, Samuel Stevens and James
M. Stevens.

In the rear of the George Mathes place is a burial ground,
where Lemuel Woodman and family are buried.

Not far from the Oyster River boundary line, in the woods,
lies buried Eli Demeritt, the emigrant from the Isle of Jersey.
Capt. Samuel Demeritt, his grandson, settled on land granted


to his grandfather before 1700 and left parts of his homestead
to his sons, Nathaniel and Israel. On each of these farms are
Demeritt burial places.

Close to the Madbury line, on the farm owned by Edward
Pendexter, are the graves of the Pendexter and Joy families.
On another part of the same farm are Marden graves. There
are Woodman graves on the Moses G. Woodman farm. On
land owned by Ira B. Hill are Indian graves mentioned 4th
of 9th month, 1652, and also Chesley graves. Nearer Munsey's
bridge, on land owned by the first Munsey of Durham, are
graves of that family.

On the farm owned by George G. Hoitt, formerly the farm of
the late Demeritt McDaniel, is the McDaniel tomb, where are
the remains of at least two generations of the McDaniel family.

There is an old burial ground nearly opposite the residence of
Leonard B. Bunker, on the Mast Road leading toward Lee,
where are numerous graves, unmarked, belonging to the Thomp-
son family.

In this vicinity, over the line in Lee, is a large cemetery where
many of the Durham people are buried. Passing by the resi-
dence of George E. Chesley in Lee towards Packer's Falls, we
go by the Corson place, where the Corsons are buried. Then
we reach the David Wiggin place, and back from the road in
the woods are W'iggin graves.

Across the road, on the Milliard F. Fogg farm, are two burial

places, one of which contains the remains of the Stevenson family.

Next is the Griffiths farm, on which are the Meader and the

Griffiths burial places. On the George Dame farm is the Dame

place of sepulture.

In this section are the burial place and tomb of the descendants
of the late Dea. Samuel Hayes. In this tomb are also relatives
by the names of Bennett and Young. The Hayes place is now
owned by the Morse family, and the granddaughter of Dea.
Hayes, Miss Alice Hayes of Cambridge, Mass., has filed with
the town clerk a list of those whose bodies are in this tomb.
A trust fund has been left to the town, the interest of which
is to be used in caring for this burial place.

On the farm owned by Albert Brown, formerly known as the
Young place, are graves of the Young family.


On the Pendergast garrison farm, now owned by John H.
Scott, the Pendergast family lie buried.

On the farm owned by H. H. Dame, formerly the Joseph R.
Chesley place, are Chesley graves, and in this place George
Chesley was killed by lightning, 12 June 1878.

On the Joy farm, now owned by Mr. John Gooch, is the Joy
cemetery, well cared for, in which are buried the Joy family,
one of whom was Dea. Samuel Joy. Here also is the $3,000
monument in memory of David F. Grififiths and his wife, Sarah
E. Griffiths. Mrs. Griffiths gave a trust fund to the town to
insure the care oi this monument.

On the Eben M. Davis farm, near the Newmarket line, once
stood the David Davis garrison, and on this farm four or five
generations of the Davis family have lived and died and been

On the Daniel T. Woodman farm are three burial places, the
oldest of which is the Pitman, then the Moses Wiggin, then the
Woodman. There are graves on a farm in this vicinity owned by
Joseph Bascom.

On the farm now owned by Herbert Tuttle and formerly
onwed by the Bennett family are the Bennett graves. Here
lies Capt. Eleazer Bennett, who was one of the party that cap-
tured the gunpowder at Fort William and Mary in December
1774. On the George Dame place are graves of the Dame family.

On the Ezra Parsons farm, formerly the Clough farm, are
Clough graves. There are Bickford graves on the farm owned
by Roscoe Otis. On the Newmarket road leading toward Dur-
ham village, near the residence formerly of Lester Ladderbush,
is the Mooney burial place, enclosed by a stone wall. Here are
buried descendants of Col. Hercules Mooney. Cogans are buried
on the Levi Davis farm, now owned by Frank E. Doe.

In Lubberland, on the farm of Peter Smith, are Chesley graves,
and the garrison built by Joseph Chesley about 1707 was located
in this vicinity.

On the farm owned by Frank Emerson, at Lubberland, are
graves of the Drew family, among which is that of Nicholas
Drew. On the old Smith farm are buried Judge Valentine
Smith and his ancestors.

On the farm owned by John B. G. Dame are the graves of
the Dame family and also of the Bickford family, the remains


of some of the Bickford family having been taken up near the
residence of Hon. Jeremiah Langley and reinterred here.

On the farm of Joseph M. R. Adams, formerly known as
Mathes Neck, is the Adams tomb, where lie the remains of
Rev. John Adams, known as " Reformation John Adams. "

On the Eben Kent farm are buried eight generations of the
descendants of Oliver Kent. On the next farm north, formerly
that of Thomas Drew, lie buried Thomas and his wife, Tamsen,
and many of their descendants, in the middle of the field, west
of a little gully.

On the Rollins farm, commonly called the Clark Mathes farm,
are buried many of the Fernald family who once lived here.

On the farm owned by James D. Meader are some old graves
unmarked by headstones, whence some bodies of the Edgerly
family were removed.

At Durham Point, on the farm owned by Hon. Jeremiah
Langley, down in the pasture back of an old Bickford cellar, are
the graves of the Bickford family.

The Mathes cemetery, at the Point, is the burial place of many
generations of that family. It is well fenced and cared for.
Near by is the mound where the family of Charles Adams, all
massacred by the Indians in 1694, are buried.

The graves of "Deacon Langley and Mary his godly wife,"
as the record of the Rev. Hugh Adams has it, are said to be on
the old Langley farm, earlier that of William Drew. On the
Stevenson place, next west, and in the middle of a field are
indications of early graves.

On the Clarence Smart farm, once owned by Abijah Pink-
ham, at least a part of it, is a burial place overgrown with bushes.
The marble headstones have all fallen, but the inscriptions can
be read. Here lie the remains of Abijah Pinkham and some of
his family. This is about ^half way between the Falls and the
Point, and not far from the road.

The Burnham cemetery is situated in the field of the old
Burnham farm, between the river and the hill on which the
garrison of Ambrose Gibbons was built. It is well fenced. There
are a dozen graves with granite headstones. Here also are buried
Samuel Pickering, who died 15 July 1856, aged 55, and Simeon
Pickering, who died 1854, aged 80 years, 3 months.

On the hill back of the Sullivan house is an old burial place,


which has recently been cleared up and well walled. The oldest
inscription here is that of Phebe Adams, wife of Dr. Samuel
Adams, showing simply that she died in 1743. A row of low
mounds indicates that probably her husband and his father
and mother, the Rev. Hugh Adams and wife, Susannah, are
buried here. They ought to have suitable memorial stones, for
in spite of his eccentricities the Rev. Hugh Adams and his son,
Dr. Samuel, did many good deeds for Durham. This place
is also honored as the resting place of Maj. Gen. John Sullivan
and family, and Judge Jonathan Steele.

A few rods distant is the Simpson graveyard, where the old
sea captain and his wife lie buried, who left their property of
$18,000 to the church in Durham and the Durham Library Asso-
ciation, and a small legacy to the town, the interest of which is
to be used in caring for these graves.

The Lapish family and the Drew family are buried on the
farm now owned by the Ffrost family. Here in an unmarked
grave lies the body of James Britton, a soldier in the Civil War
in both army and navy. Close by are many rough granite
headstones that indicate the graves of early members of the
Smith family, for James Smith and his descendants owned this
farm many years.

Above the tidal part of the river, on a sightly knoll, lies buried
the late Hamilton Smith, Durham's only millionaire. His
widow erected a costly stone chapel, in which services a.re some-
times conducted in memory of him and his wife, for whom the
citizens of Durham had the greatest respect.

On the Olinthus Doe farm, near the moat, now owned by the
town of Durham are at least four generations of the Doe family.

On the Leonard Bunker farm, on the Mast Road, are the
graves of Ichabod Chesley's family. On the Coe place, between
the turnpike and Bucks hill, in the pasture, are probably the
graves of Jonathan Chesley's family, as he owned this place,
and there are graves of the family of Ezekiel Leathers.

On the Walker farm, close to Beech hill, owned by the late
Albert DeMeritt, are the graves of the family of Joshua Chesley.

Near the Huckins graves, on the farm of Dea. W. S. Meserve,
are buried four generations of Capt, Samuel Emerson's family.
In another spot on same farm are the graves of four slaves.

Money has been bequeathed to the town, only the interest of


which can be used, to insure perpetual care of the Woodman,
Simpson, Griffiths, Wilson, Furness, and Hayes cemeteries and
graves. All families having ancestors buried in the town would
show love and respect, if they would give or bequeath money

Online LibraryEverett Schermerhorn StackpoleHistory of the town of Durham, New Hampshire : (Oyster River Plantation) with genealogical notes → online text (page 21 of 34)