Benjamin Chase.

History of old Chester [N. H.] from 1719 to 1869 online

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Butterfield's, between Xos. 21 and 22, 2d P., 2d D.,— the
road from the Lane road up to the J. Norton place.

March 17, 1760. From Derry line, near James Adams's
(now Robert Adams's), passing Hearne and Prcsljy, to Mc-
Duffee's mill in Auburn.

March 17, 1760. From David Witherspoon's, on the
soutlieast side of Gov. Wentwortli's farm of two hundred
and fifty acres, in Auburn, northeast over the hill, instead
of across the corner, as it now goes, and was at first laid
out.

June 14, 1760. From the outlet of Jones's pond, and
passing the northeast corner of the 37th lot, old hundred,
to Jonathan Bean's house in Raymond, to the road tliere
laid out, in April 6th, 1744.

Sept. 30, 1760. Beginning near Dudley's mill, at the end
of the road laid out June 12, 1759, running westerly, enter-
ing Xo. 27, 3d D., between a swamp and a great ledge of
rocks, some thirty or forty rods north of the present road
at Oandia and Raymond line, and passed up the valley to
near the Village school-house in Candia. There was an
article in a warning in 1775, "To see if the Parish will vote
to have the highway flung up that leads from Jeremiah
Bean's to Joseph Homans'." Past in the negative. Ho-
mans lived near Bean's Island. There was a Smart above.

Feb. 11, 1761. Beginning near Jethro Batchelder's
house, at the road laid out May 5, 1750, thence north 29°
east to the northeast end of lot 122, old hundred, then west-
northwest to Lane's.

Dec. 9, 1761. At the request of Josiah Fogg, Robert



208 HISTORY OF CHESTER.

Page, Elislia Tole, Jedediah Brown, and Jonathan Brown,
from the old Freetown road, across lots 31, 13, 12, 11, 10,
9 and 8, old hundred, to the road laid out April, 1757, near
the old burying-ground.

April BO, 1762, A road was laid out the northwest side
of additional lots Nos. 40 and 39. Began nearly opposite
the Jacob Chase place, then southwest the length of those
two lots, then southeast to the road from the Fitts place to
Morse's. If this was ever built there is none there now.

Nov. 27, 1702. From Enoch RowelFs (Candia Corner),
passing between Emerson's house and barn, passing to the
west of Samuel Tole and Jonathan Tole, down by French's
to Jacob Griffin's, to near the Methodist church in Chester.

Nov. 27, 1762. From the new or Dearborn saw-mill, in
Auburn, crossing Nos. 57, 58, 59, 60, 61 and 62, on to the
reserve, then north 29° east, so far as No. 113, 2d P., 2d D.,
to the "clay pits," so called, in Candia. The last part of
this road on the reserve was sold by Candia in 1797.

March 24, 1763. From Lane's in Chester to Lane's in
Raymond.

March 24, 1763. North Pond road from Nathan Morse's,
across the Governor's farm, and on to Southwick's. Altered
Feb. 2, 1767.

Nov. 25, 1763. From William Preston's, near Pufus
Phillips' in Chester, to the Fowler place (now Savage's in
Auburn), to the road laid out March 1, 1756. Afterwards,
May, 1768, changed to its present location above Charles
Chase's, between 45 and 46 additional.

The path from what is now called" Bunker Hill," in Au-
burn, to the pond and Calfe's mill, left the present road
near the school-house, and crossed the farm of the writer,
near the lower end of the field, sixty rods from the present
road, wdiere David White first settled, and on in that direc-
tion until it came to the base of the Mine hill, then
along near the base of the hill to the present road, near
where Mr. Haynes lives. Wells Chase drew boards for
bis house over this path in 1771.

Sept. 1764. From Massabesic Pond, by William Craig's,



HISTORY OP ROADS. 209

(the Moses Hall place) by William Adams' (S. Kiml)airs),
and on the reserve at the end of David White's lot (B.
Chase's), on to the road by Lieut. Basford's (it came out
at the north of H. Dockham's) ; afterwards altered across
the lot to the school-house.

Sept. 2, 1766. From the old main road in Hooksett, at
the March place, to the river '' where Lousy brook empties
into the river" (at Martin's Ferry); then beginning at
the west bank of the river and running nortliwest to the
line of the town.

June 27, 1767. From Charles Moore's, now Daniel San-
born's, east end of No. 5, 2d P., 2d D.,northeastto Whittier's
land. No. 30, old hundreds, then northwest to the highway
by Joseph True's.

March 3, 1768. From the end of the highway by David
Foss's additional lot No. 107, on the reserve, northeast to
the road to the Branch.

June 10, 1768. A road from near I. M. M. Elliott's, on
Chester street, southwest eighty rods. This road led down
to additional No. 39, where Jacob Wells formerly lived,
and Joseph Colby then lived. Discontinued.

Jan. 5, 1769. From southwest of Prescott's (now Wil-
liam True's), northwest on the reserve to the road from the
meeting-house to Lane's.

March 3, 1769. From the old Berry place, at the end of
the road, laid out April 17, 1744, to where Simon Haselton
now lives, south of the Methodist church.

Aug. 22, 1769. From Sandown line, up by the Waddel
place, and to the road by Jacob Hill's.

April 6, 1771. The northwest corner of additional lot
No. 2, and running southeast to a beech tree, being the
southeast bounds of the town, also the present main road to
Derry line.

April 26, 1771. Across additional lot 101, from the
Manley Lane place (now Davis) to Sandown line.

Dec. 29, 1772. From the southwest corner of No. 100,
2d P., 2d D., (on the Folsom place) southeast, crossing the

14:



210 HISTORY OF CHESTER,

Derryfield road, and on by Brown and Pierce's mill to the
road to Derry from Auburn, at N, Presby's. (Probably no
part of it is traveled now.)

Sept. 14, 1773. From Robert Calfe's (now Nathan
Griffin's) over Campbell's bridge, to Candia line, towards
Anderson's.

March 28, 1774. From Hugh McDuffee's mill, at the
Long Meadows, west-northwest on the reserve, to the Derry-
field road near Mrs. Shannon's. There is no road there
now.

Marfth 30, 1774. From the southeast corner of Abner
Hill's land, northwest on the reserve, between the additions
and 2d P., 2d D., " to the highway by William Kendall's and
Daniel Dolbear's" (to the road to Lane's).

Feb. 21, 1775. From the house where " William Gross
now lives [James Hooke's] to Raymond line."

March 26, 1776. At Candia line at the northeast of lot
34, 2d P., 2d D., by Griffin's (now John B. Rand's) to the
road from Simon Haselton's to Lane's. Discontinued.

Sept. 14, 1784. Beginning at Candia road, northeast
corner of additional lot No. 74, thence west-northwest to
the northwest corner of No. 77. This was to go to No. 39,
2d P., 2d D., where Griffin had formerl^/ and Eliphalet Poor
then lived.

Dec. 15, 1788. From near Clark's saw-mill in Auburn,
towards the John Crawford place, towards Candia. It was
altered, May 16, 1805.

Dec. 9, 1791. At the request of Nathaniel Emerson and
twenty-nine others of Candia, a private way was laid out,
beginning on Candia line, on lot No. 108, 5th D,, crossing
lots No. 103, 102, 115, 116, 117, 118, 119 and 120, to Al-
lenstown line. It was laid out for the purpose of going to
Suncook to mill, and to Concord.

April 4, 1792. Beginning between John Graham's and
the " Little meeting-house," where the Rev. James Holmes
now lives, northeast to James Wason's, now Stephen Kim-
ball's ; between 69 and 70 2d P., 2d D.

Oct. 12, 1792. Beginning near David Patten's, where E.



HISTORY OF ROADS. 211

A. Heath lately lived, on No. 102, 2d P., 2d D., across 104
and 105, to the pond, and across the " straits " (the pond)
and through " Deer Neck " to Derrjfield line.

In 1794 the Legislature passed an act laying out a road
from Hale's bridge, in Walpole, to Chester, a distance o
sixty miles, in order to take the travel to Portsmouth. It
passed Amoskeag bridge, and over Bald hill, and terminated
at a pine tree on Deer Neck, where, or near where, the
above road ended. I think the road was cut out so as to be
sometimes traveled, but was never made either in Chester or
Derryfield. There was a bridge built across the strait of
the pond, the remains of which were there until about 1810.

Oct. 15, 1792. The present road from McKinley's in
Auburn, over Rattlesnake hill by the "Fang" of the pond
to Derryfield .line, near the Island-Pond House. This is
instead of a highway laid out March 16, 1748.

Dec. 9, 1801. From James Wason's (now Stephen
Kimball's) in Auburn, northerly over the hill to the north-
east corner of the parsonage lot ; thence west-northwest
across two lots to the " Kent place."

Dec. 8, 1801. From near Hugh Crombie's in Auburn, to
near the Oswego mill.

Jan. 12, 1803. From near Joseph Carr's (George W.
Clark's, in Chester), west-northwest, crossing Chester turn-
pike, to Cyrus D. Wood's in Auburn. It is nearly on the
range'way between the additional lots.

April 4, 1804. From the main road near Otterson's, to
the mills at Hooksett.

May 16, 1805. From the end of the road laid out Dec.
15, 1788, from Clark's mill by Crawford's to Candia line
towards Anderson's.

Nov. 23, 1805. From Chester turnpike, near where
Alfred Sanborn now lives, southwest by Coleman's, to meet
the road laid out Dec. 9, 1801.

Dec. 6, 1805. From the main road near Nathaniel Mar-
tin's in Hooksett, to Thomas Wicom's.

Dec. 1805. From the Murray saw-mill yard, to the turn-
pike at Hook's mill in Auburn. Altered March 10, 1810.



212 HISTORY OP CHESTER.

Dec. 26, 1805. The " White Hall " road, a continuation
of Candia High street, crossing Cliester turnpike at Rowe's
corner, bj "White Hall" mill (then Wheeler's), Daniel
Davis's, Martin's school-house to Martin's Ferry, It was
indicted Sept., 1815, and discontinued to evade the indict-
ment Sept., 1816, and laid out again as a private way Oct.
13, 1820.

A very large share of the country trade was at Newbury-
port, and a large portion of it passed through Chester,
which was a great thoroughfare from the upper part of the
State to Newburyport, Haverhill, and to a considerable
extent to Boston. The transportation was all with teams,
especially horse teams, in the winter. More hay and less
grain were fed then than now. I have heard Dea. E. H.
Kelly say that frequently he had drawn home a load of hay
and fed it out baiting horses without ever unloading it into
his stal)le. Perhaps this current might have been checked
by the construction of the Middlesex canal, but it continued
to a much later day. The road through Chester woods was
bad, — few people living on it to repair it, and the town had
nearly every year to appropriate money- to repair it, over
and above the highway tax. The road was very hilly, and
various plans were devised as a remedy. One was to take
the travel down the North Pond road, and save going on
the street, and also save Robie's or Stockman's hill. Hence
the petition of Joseph Blanchard and others, for a road
from Long's Corner to the two-mile stone. Also the peti-
tion of Gideon George and others, to go from Joseph Rob-
inson's to Nathan Webster's, keeping the south side of
Robie's hill. The travel could then go through the south
part of Sandown, Hampstead Peak, and over the Rocks
bridge. Another plan was to go down the old road to the
brook ; then near Benjamin Hills', and keep east of Ingalls
hill, — when one might go out on to the Haverhill road by
Mr. Tenney's, or on to the Sandown road. Still another
route, petitioned for by Mr. David Poor, was to leave the main
road near Capt. Emerson's, and by Hall's Village, keeping
west of Ingalls hill to Ordway's Corner in Hampstead.



HISTORY OP ROADS. ' 213

This route, according to Stephen Chase, Esq.'s, survey,
would be in Chester five hundred and eighty-five rods ; and
the whole length, twelve hundred and fifty-five rods. The
old road, thirteen hundred and thirteen rods, making a sav-
ing of fifty-eight rods. The road was opposed by London-
derry and Chester, and was not laid out. The road was
widened and straightened from Blake's tan-yard to Benja-
min Hill's, Feb. 20, 1807.

At the August term of the Court of Common Pleas,
1807, Benjamin Fitts and sixteen others presented a peti-
tion for a road, from the end of the road running southwest
from said Fitts's dwelling-house to the southwest side of
Moses Sanborn's land. The petition was not granted.
The great move, however, was the building the turnpikes.

Chester turnpike was designed in order to have a better
road, and shorten the distance from Pembroke to Chester.
The turnpike was fourteen miles and two hundred and
forty rods long, and shortened the distance two miles and
twenty-eight rods. It was said that a Pembroke man, in
his enthusiasm, said that when the turnpike was completed
it would be all down hill from Pembroke to Chester. A
bystander inquired how it would be the other way. He
replied, " About the same." But it was a very hilly road
both ways. There was, however, a large amount of travel
over it, and Anderson's tavern was widely celebrated as a
stopping place. In the end it proved a dead loss to the pro-
prietors. It was, however, on the whole a public benefit.
It opened a road to a section that otherwise would not have
had any, and gave a great stimulus to building roads.

Before the building of the turnpikes it was not practiced
to elevate the centre, and have gutters on the sides to carry
off the water. They merely cleared the traveled road of
the worst obstructions — stumps and stones, — and caus-
wayed the wet places with logs. If the side of a hill
became gullied, they carted in small stones, and covered
them so that it soon became a rather uneven pavement. In
consequence of this mode the roads were laid out narrow.

A petition was presented to the Legislature, at its June
session, 1802, showing



214 HISTORY OF CHESTER.

" That the distance from Concord Bridge to Chester
East Meeting house may from actual survey be shortened
three miles ; that the road leading from s*^ Bridge to said
meeting house is much used in traveling, and in the trans-
portation of Country produce carried from the westerly
part of this state and from the state of Vermont to market.
Perhaps no one road in the state of the same distance
would be more useful to the Publick than this, provided
it were as good as it might be made. But we despair of
ever seeing such a road made in the way that has been
heretofore Practiced. Ten or twelve miles' distance of said
Road is through land scarcely habitable, and those who
settle on such land cannot reasonably be Expected to do
much in the repair of highways.

" When Persons belonging to Vermont or the upper Part
of this state arrive at Chester, they have generally an oppor-
tunity of knowing what place will afford the best market
for the articles they have to Dispose of, and they can from
8^ Place, without any material inconvenience, go to Exeter,
Portsmouth, Haverhill, Newbury Port, Salem or Boston.
This advantage over any other Road has heretofore induced
People to travel through Chester on their way to the sea-
port towns, notwithstanding the extreme badness of the
Roads.

" Your Petitioners are of opinion that a Turnpike road
may be made, and supported for such a reasonable toll as
will greatly relieve the Publick from the inconveniences of
the road they have been so long subject to.

" Your Petitioners therefore humbly pray that they, with
such others as may hereafter become proprietors with
them, be corporated into a Body Politic & corporate, for
the purpose of making a Turnpike road from Concord
Bridge to Chester east meeting house, under such regula-
tions and restrictions as you may think reasonable ; and as
in Duty bound will ever pray.

" Chester, June 9"^, 1802.

" Joseph Blancliard, John Bell,

John Wingate, Pearson Richardson,

Beuj" Brown, Eben' Townsend,

Thos. Sargeaut, Joseph Robinson,

Amos Kent, Simon Towle,

Isaac Hill, Daniel French,

Benj" Kitterage, Ozias Silsby,

Stephen Hill, NatW Head,

John Emerson, Henry Sweetser."
Ezekiel Blake,



HISTORY OF KOADS. 215

Tliere was a day of hearing appointed, and an order of
notice, but the prayer was not then granted.

June 19, 1804, Henry SweetSer, Asa Robinson, John
Bell and Amos Kent, and their associates, were incorporated
into Chester Turnpike Corporation, and were authorized to
make a road from Chester street to Chester lin^, in the
direction of Pembroke street, and to erect gates and take
tolls. They were not to take tolls of persons going to
meetings, funerals, to mill, or ordinary business in town,
nor of soldiers going to attend military duty. The State
might in forty years repay expenses and nine per cent,
interest, and the road be the property of the State.

The stock was divided into three hundred shares, of
which were taken in Chester, by Brown & Sweetser, eight ;
John Bell, ten ; Amos Kent, ten ; Thomas Sargent, three ;
Simon Towle, four ; Ben. Brown, two; James Wason, Jr.,
three ; John Wingate, four ; Isaac Hills, four ; E. Hills,
two ; Dr. B. Kittridge, four ; Asa Prescott, two ; Samuel
Shackford, three ; Daniel French, two ; Jacob Elliot, two ;
John Emerson, two ; David Hall, 3d, Ebenezer Townsend,
B. P. Chase, John Melvin, John Folsom, Joseph Robinson,
Benjamin Currier and Jethro Sleeper, one share each.
The shares were assessed ninety dollars each, making
twenty-seven thousand dollars.

December 5th, 1804, the grant was extended to Pem-
broke street. Damages were assessed to known land-
owners to the amount of 8895.80 ; to unknown, one dollar
per acre.

The road was built by contract. Jonathan Richardson
contracted from the lower end to one hundred and sixty
rods beyond the spruce swamp, the path to be twenty-six
feet wide, the center to be thirty inches above the gutters ;
the causeways to be twenty-two feet wide, and covered with
gravel eighteen inches deep ; the bridges to have seven
string-pieces, beveled so that the plank touch not over one
inch ; the planks to be four inches thick. The hills were
to be reduced so that the ascent should not be more than
eighteen inches in a rod. Richardson was to be paid 83.75
per rod.



216 HISTORY OF CHESTER.

Simon A. Heath of Epsom, contracted for a mile and a
quarter from Pembroke street, excepting Suncook bridge, at
$2. 12i per rod ; and also for a piece beginning at an angle
on the easterly side of Lakin's hill, to the south side of the
stream below Hall's mill, including the bridge, for $J:.50
per rod. Stephen and Daniel J. Mack contracted to build
from the brook at Hall's mill to Jona. Richardson's job, for
$3.72 per rod. John Mclvin and Abraham Sargent con-
tracted to build over Lakin's hill, for $3,000, if the road
measured a mile and three-quarters, or in that proportion.
Asa Robinson contracted to build the bridge over Suncook
river, for $1,000. Samuel Cochran, Asa Robinson and
David Kimball contracted to build a tavern house at the
upper gate for $1,990, and to build a stable for $150.
James Sargent to build a barn for $265. Abner Blasdel
contracted to build the lower toll-house for $225, exclusive
of the chinmey. Simon French was paid $187 for the lot
at the upper gate. Tbey hired ten acres of it cleared.

By an account rendered to the Superior Court, from Jan.
1806, to Jan. 1812. they had received for tolls and rents,
.$6,487.67. From 1808 to 1815, they made dividends
amounting to $18.55 to each share.

An act passed the Legislature, July 4, 1838, repealing
the Chester Turnpike Corporation, which made a public
highway of it.

I have not been able to find the records of the London-
derry Turnpike Corporation, but it was laid out in 1805,
from Butters Corner in Concord, leading towards Boston.
John Folsom and John Melvin, of Chester, contracted to
build fifteen miles from Hooksett bridge for $1,050 per
mile, and $1,000 for straits bridge across the pond. The
road was built in 1806 and was the great thoroughfare from
the country to Boston. Head's and Folsom's taverns in
Chester, and Redfield's, afterwards Melvin's, in Derry, were
thronged with guests. But afterwards, before the rail-
road was built, the travel went down the west side of the
river ; and much of the way now, on either Chester or Lon-
donderry turnpike, there is seldom even a solitary traveler.



HISTORY OF ROADS. 217

A public highway was laid out over the Londonderry
turnpike in 1839.

Feb. 20, 1806. Across the Blanchard mill-pond instead
of going up to the Calfe place (Nathan Griffin's).

June 17, 1807. The selectmen laid out a road from
Long's Corner to the Sandown road, near the second mile-
stone. Discontinued by vote of the town, July 27, 1807.

At the January term of the Court of Common Pleas,
1808, Joseph Blanchard, and forty-seven others, petitioned
to have it laid out. The Court laid it out, and in the Jan-
uary term execution was issued for $65.38.

The plea for the road was, that the travel to Xewbury-
port would turn off the main road and go down the North
Pond road, to avoid the hills.

To evade building it, and another petitioned for by Gid-
eon George and fifty-five others, January term, 1807, pray-
ing for a road from Joseph Robinson's to Nathan Webster's
to go to the southwest of Robie's hill, it was voted Sept. 7,
1807, " lo raise half a day on the poll and estate accord-
ingly, and have it laid out under the direction of Stephen
Chase, Esq., on Robie's hill." George's petition was not
granted.

Oct. 9, 1807. From Caudia line by Benjamin Eaton's to
the Murray saw-mill.

March 8, 1819. From near where James Underbill for-
merly lived in Auburn, 106, 2d P., 2d D., by the Kent place,
to near the bridge, across the Blanchard mill-pond.

Sept. 12, 1822. From near John Wilson, Esq. (now
James Towle), by James Wason's to Richard Basford's,
additional Nos. 102 to 110.

Sept. 12, 1822. From the bridge below " Oswego mill"
to Candia line, towards McDuifee's.

From 1830 to 1836. There were various roads widened
and straightened which it is not necessary to detail.

There was a stage run from Dover to Lowell through
Chester, which went with the mail to the office of Daniel
French, Esq., and Orcutt's tavern. A shorter route to pass
a mile southeast of the meeting-house was planned by Derry
people.



218 HISTORY OF CHESTER.

Dec. 2, 1834. A petition was filed by Henry "Willey and
others, with the clerk of the Court of Common Pleas, set-
ting forth that there was a large amount of travel from
Dover to Lowell, and asking to have the old road widened
and straightened, and a new road made from Epping Cor-
ner to Col. Mark Fisk's in Derry. Thomas D. Merril of
Epsom, Jacob Freese of Deerfield and Jeremiah Wilson of
Gilmanton were appointed a committee.

In Chester they laid out a road from near John Lock's,
by Long's Corner and Hall's Village to Derry line. The
damages assessed were $1,722, and the cost of making
estimated at $1,722.

February term, 1836. Chester petitioned for another
committee, and Titus Brown of Francestown, Stc[)hen
Webster of Haverhill, and Josiah Bellows of Waljjole,
were aj)pointed. The committee reported against making
this piece of new road on condition of the selectmen laying
out the following, which was laid out Aug. 15, 1837.

August 15, 1836. The road from the Worthen saw-mill,
by Shackford's mill to the old road near the bridge (which
was built), thence diagonally across the farms to the old
Melvin place on the street, thence across the farms to Dr.
Rufus Kittredge's, on the Derry road (which was discon-
tinued by vote of the town, Aug. 28, 1838) ; also from the
school-house No. 2, southeast nineteen rods, thence to
Derry line.

Whole damage awarded $2,043 00

Shackford road 293 08

Towards Derry 613 46

The discontinued part was not paid for.

Sept. 2, 1836. Laid out from near Webster's, to connect
with the above.

Oct. 2, 1837. The road from Poplin line to Daniel San-
born's was widened and straightened ; from Daniel San-
born's to near the river, a new road ; thence widening and
straightening to Hale True's ; thence a new road to Joseph
True's land; thence widening and straightening to Benja-
min French's.



HISTORY OF ROADS.



219



June 2, 1836. A new road from John Prescott's to the
Worthen saw-mill laid out.

Sept. 1, 1836. A petition of John Folsoni and others
for a road on Londonderry turnpike was presented.

February term, 1837. A viewing committee was sent
out. The proprietors of the turnpike objected, unless they
could have some pay. The road cost 867,248, but they
did not expect that. The committee reported in favor of
laying it out. Ambrose Cosset of Claremont, Horace Chase
of Hopkinton and Jacob Freese of Deerfield were ap-
pointed a committee, who laid it out and awarded 82,000
damage, of which Chester was to pay 8279, which was
refunded by the county, return February term, 1839.



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