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Barnstead, Chichester, Epsom, Gilmanton, Northwood, and Pittsfield NH

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Suncook Valley Sun Historical Archive


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Pittsfield NH News

January 9, 2013

The Suncook Valley Sun News Archive is Maintained by Modern Concepts. We are NOT affliated in any way with the Suncook Valley Sun Newspaper.


Those Celebrating Birthdays are: January 9, Barbara Smith, Kelly Blackey; January 11, Jay Hubbard, Anthony Bender; January 12, Lurene Riel; January 14, Lyn Ward; January 15, Carole Abbott, Daniel Ward, Sr.


A Very Happy Birthday To One and All!



Celebrating Anniversaries are: January 15, Robert and Wanda Boston.


Best Wishes!



School Lunch Menus

January 14 - January 18, 2013




Winter Melt

Ham and swiss melt, lettuce, tomato, and pickles, oven fries, fresh fruit



All American!

Cheeseburger with all the fixin’s, baked fries, cinnamon apples



The Big Cheese

Macaroni and cheese, warm bread, green beans, pears



Brunch for Lunch

French toast sticks, baked ham, roasted potatoes, applesauce



Fresh Picks Pizza

Cheese pizza or chef’s topping, cucumber wedges, raisins




Lunchtime Classic

Build your own chicken sandwich, potato wedges, peaches



Taste of Morocco

Moroccan spiced chicken, couscous, green leaf salad, cinnamon orange slices



The Big Cheese

Macaroni and cheese, garlic bread, green beans, pears



Brunch for Lunch

French toast sticks, baked ham, home fries, applesauce



Winter Melt

Turkey tomato and bacon melt, fresh carrots, fresh fruit



Between The Ponds: Historical Sites Along Route #107

White’s Pond To Jenness Pond


White’s Pond in and of itself is an historic treasure of Pittsfield. It was built in 1899 by William H. White, a wealthy leather manufacturer from Lowell, Massachusetts. He owned the property along with the Wentworth Place, now opposite the shrine on Fairview Road. The dam he erected backed up water from Berry Brook which originated high up on Catamount Mountain. The pond served as a recreation area for his ill daughter. In later years the property was occupied by Governor and World War II ambassador to England, John Winant. His wife ran a summer camp for children there for several years.


Pittsfield Catamount_Road-190_Berry_House.jpg

The Thomas Berry Place, now Hunsberger’s.


Continuing up Catamount Road a short distance is the old Thomas Berry Place built in the very early 1800s at the intersection of Fairview Road, now the Hunsberger Place. As a young man Mr. Berry worked in the saw mill at the outlet to Berry Pond. In 1812 he married Nancy Shaw, daughter of John Shaw after whom Shaw Road and Shaw Pond are named. Mr. Berry is buried in the next historical site, the Major William Berry Cemetery, a short distance on Catamount Road to the East. 


According to headstones, the first person buried in this cemetery died in 1830. Rachael and William Berry, progenitors of those buried in the cemetery, were interred there in 1834 and 1847 respectively. Several other town founders and dignitaries are buried there as well, including Ned Berry who owned the Berry Resort on Fairview Road, merchant John Berry who built his store in the village in 1818, and William Foster Berry, senior vice president of the New Hampshire Fire Insurance Company. Until 1890 the cemetery was typical of early family gravesites but that year William H. Berry, the wealthy secretary of the N. H. Fire Insurance Company, erected the massive cut granite wall surrounding it, making the place one of the nicest in the area.


Pittsfield Catamount_Road-222_Sargent_Hall.jpg

Sargent Hall where Catamount Apartments is now located.


Just past the cemetery, is a structure erected as a summer resort about 1875, originally called the Mountain View House. The main building contained 20 rooms, nearly every one of which included a marble fireplace. The renowned Dr. Frank Sargent purchased it in 1906 and ran one of the nation’s first alcohol and drug rehabilitation clinics there. The names of patients, many of whom came from large cities to the south, were kept in the strictest confidence to avoid any embarrassment.


The next notable site is a little up the road and on the right hand side where the Clayton Wood Family now resides. When the large home was built has not been learned. However, the well known Civil War veteran, inventor and freighter Philester Elliott lived there all of his life. He was born in 1839, the grandson of Isaac Seavey, who is alleged to have been one of the “loyalists” who guarded Fort William and Mary during the first battle of the Revolutionary War.  Mr. Seavey came to Pittsfield about 1787 and did not pass away until the year of Mr. Elliott’s birth. Undoubtedly he either resided or visited the place many times.


On both sides of the hill just up from the Elliott Place were facilities long since removed. Allegedly, an old Baptist Church was built on the same side of the road sometime before 1836 after which the Baptists built a church in the village. On the left a bit further up was an old shingle mill run by one of the town’s founders, Joshua Berry, Jr. The mill took its power from Berry Brook and operated in the late 1700 and early 1800s.


Pittsfield Catamount_Road-450_Joshua_Berry_House.jpg

The Joshua Berry double colonial.


Across and slightly up the road from the mill is a very early cape-style home that was built well before the 1850s. A few hundred yards above this house was the famous Joshua Berry, Jr.’s blacksmith and wheelwright shop where allegedly the first trip hammer in the State of New Hampshire was used. Across the street is another of the old Berry Places on Catamount Road. This one was built by Joshua, Jr. about 1808 and still retains its character today.


Just up the hill and around the corner is the home built about 1778 by Captain Joshua Berry of Revolutionary War fame. He was on the famous trip to Ft. Ticonderoga with General Knox to retrieve cannons for use in the Siege of Boston. He later served at the Battle of Stillwater and was at the surrender of Burgoyne at Saratoga. The double colonial, fronted by a stone wall, is well kept today.


Across the road from his house is a cemetery named after him. He, his wife and many of their off-spring are buried there. The first was 30 year-old Elizabeth, wife of Eben Berry. Captain Berry was buried there in 1825. One of his well known sons, Captain Thomas Berry who gained his rank during the War of 1812, is buried there as well. He is the man who made the famous 80 mile round trip to Portsmouth in nine hours, changing horses six times, to obtain medicine for those afflicted during the horrendous Spotted Fever epidemic of 1813. The beautiful, ornate headstones are among the loveliest in Pittsfield today. 


At the crest of the mountain on the left side is the colonial home of Major William Berry which he erected about 1785. There, he and his wife Rachael raised 11 children, several of whom made a substantial impact on the Pittsfield community. He was a farmer and saw mill operator. In his elderly years he was referred to as “the patriarch of Catamount,” and was much revered for his integrity, hospitality, industry, and kindness. 


Passing over the crest of the mountain and down the far slope to Eaton Pond, remnants of Eighteenth Century life have long since disappeared. Absolutely nothing is left of the old school house that Henry Ford tried to purchase for his museum. Similarly, the only remaining homes of that bygone era are those just out of sight on Thompson and Old Governors Roads. And the old Thomas Berry Place further up the hill on another section of Old Governor’s Road burned years ago.


The next historic site on Catamount Road is just up and around the corner from Old Governors Road just mentioned. The farmhouse on the left side, originally built in the early Nineteenth Century by members of the Tucker Family, later passed to the Watsons who acquired it by attending to two elderly Tucker ladies. It has been in the Watson Family for at least three generations. Charles and his wife Jean now occupy the homestead.


The original William Watson and Tucker Family farmhouses which would be the next notable sites have long since been destroyed. However, one of their family cemeteries lies a short distance from the Watson Place of today. Currently the stone wall at its front is being reconstructed by Dan Schroth. Located just before the incline of Tucker Hill it is the resting place for John Watson who died in 1853. There are several rocks indicating where other members of the family are buried. Most assuredly, some of those burials predate John’s interment. John A. Locke, who served in the Civil War, probably in the New Orleans area, is also buried there, along with his mother and father.


As one descends Tucker Hill towards Jenness Pond there is another historic family cemetery on the left side of the road. Known as the Fogg-Joy Cemetery, it contains several headstones that are not inscribed which denote places of very early interments. Buried there with an inscribed headstone is Jonathan Fogg, one of two men known by that name from Pittsfield who served in the Revolutionary War. He was not the Jonathan “Jocky” Fogg taken prisoner at Quebec, but rather the Jonathan Fogg who also served at Bunker Hill and was with Washington at Saratoga when General Burgoyne surrendered ending the war. He died on February 20, 1805. Sarah, his wife, is buried next to him. 


The final site, at the bottom of the hill below the cemetery just in on Jenness Pond Road, is one of Pittsfield’s earliest school houses. Stephen Watson was paid a little over $14.00 in 1834 to build a school there. It operated until the close of the school year 1919-1920. Since then it has been used as a residence. In recent decades it has been remodeled and a bell tower added. 



2012 Christmas Tree Lighting And Children’s Store

(Sponsored By The Greater Pittsfield Chamber Of Commerce)


On Saturday, December 1st, The Greater Pittsfield Chamber of Commerce kicked off the Holiday Season by sponsoring the annual Children’s Store and Christmas Tree Lighting Celebration.


The day started with the PES PTO sponsored Breakfast with Santa.  Many families enjoyed the delicious breakfast and visited with Santa. The First Congregational Church hosted a craft fair during the day too.


The much anticipated Children’s Store was held at the PES Gym from 9 – noon. The Store is for “kids only” to purchase new or “nearly” new items – mostly priced at 50¢ each.  The Store is open to All kids ages 16 and younger.  Thanks to the tremendous help of over 65 volunteers (acting as elves, gift wrappers, donation collection sites or crowd control) close to 200 kids were able to shop for their families.


We are constantly collecting items for The Store all year long. We desperately need gift bags and items for men. (Some items for men are work and winter gloves, coffee cups, small tools, flashlights, current calendars and baseball caps) Please keep us in mind when you are doing your “after Christmas” shopping and cleaning out! Call Andi Riel at 435-6346 to make arrangements for pickup. Thank you to all who made donations, items and monetary.


Holiday Storytime with Mrs. Grainger was held in the afternoon at the Library.  Kids (and adults) enjoyed the stories. The festivities moved to Dustin Park later in the afternoon. Many thanks to everyone who helped to make the event a huge success. Samantha and Stacy Locke provided the horse and wagon rides, the Joyce family provided the Holiday music, the Fire Department delivered Santa via fire truck and he posed for free photos with all the kids. Bob Legg took the photos and then they were posted to the town website and could be downloaded.  Thanks to Cassidy Kearns for providing the face painting. PYW sponsored the annual Gingerbread House Display and Raffle and hot soups, chili and chowder could be picked up inside too. (Thanks to all the cooks who donated food!)  Free hot cocoa, cookies, popcorn and candy canes were provided (thanks to members of the Park St. Baptist Church, Women of Rotary, CHF, 4-H Club, So. Pittsfield Community Club, Police Association, Parks and Rec, Chamber of Commerce and Lions Club).


Many thanks to the Pittsfield Youth Workshop and the Park St. Baptist Church for allowing people to come inside and warm up. PYW housed the pictures with Santa, the Gingerbread House display, face painting, hot food items and decorated wreath contest. The Park St. Baptist Church housed the cookies, cocoa (which they made!), and popcorn. Thanks to all the helpers in the kitchen and to those who helped pass out the treats too.


A decorated wreath contest was held and the winner by popular vote was Vintage Hill (represented by Carol Lewis and Connie Larrabee). They won a Holiday Gift Basket donated by Carolyn Allhiser of Northway Bank.


The Blue Star Mothers joined the celebration, providing stars with military member’s names to be added to the Tree. Thank you to Lea Adams for organizing this wonderful tribute. The local Girl Scout troops led everyone in singing many Christmas Carols – great job girls!


At 6 pm, we counted down and the Tree was lighted.  (Many thanks to the “official” tree lighting and decorating committee).  Louie and Patty Houle, Fuzz Freese, Dave Hartley, Mark Riel and Bill and Linda Provencal (I hope I didn’t forget anyone) string and test the lights for the Tree and the wreaths on the light poles. The Tree and Park looked very festive – Thank You!


Thank you to the Pittsfield Area Senior Center and to the Parks and Recreation Commission for sponsoring and hosting the Holiday movie after the Christmas Tree Lighting.  We hope to make this an annual activity so keep that in mind for next year.


This annual event takes many volunteers from local groups, churches, town departments, family and friends. There is a lot of things that happen behind the scenes – (especially for The Store).  I’d like to thank Mike, Tucker and Casey Wolfe and my husband, Mark Riel for helping with a lot of that behind the scenes stuff!  Thank you to all who helped to make it a great day.


To learn more about the Greater Pittsfield Chamber of Commerce, please visit our website at  or to volunteer to help next year or make arrangements for any donations – call Andi Riel at 435-6346 or email [email protected].


Happy New Year to all!




Grace H. Wagner


Grace H. Wagner, 84, formerly of Foss Ave., died  December 23rd at the Epsom Manor Health Center following a long illness. 


She was born in Boston, the daughter of Thomas and Martha ( Stafford) Hill. She worked as an administrative assistant in the shoe industry in Pittsfield, She was the widow of Frederick L. Wagner, who died in 1984, and members of her family include four daughters, Ruth Casey, Karen Wagner and Grace Wallace all of Pittsfield and Margaret Cook of Hopkinton; four grandchildren and four great grandchildren. She was predeceased by a daughter Martha Wagner.


In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Pittsfield Fire Dept. Rescue Squad, Pittsfield, NH 03263


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