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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

February 27, 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: February 28, Irving Gadoury; February 29, Andrew Cressey; March 1, Nicholas Tuttle, Erin Dame, Chris Briggs; March 3, Casandra Lank; March 4, Michael Bender; March 5, Keriann Lank.


A Very Happy Birthday To One and All!



Celebrating Anniversaries are: February 27, Herb and Ann Emerson; March 4, John and Judith Dunne.





Play Ball! 


Pittsfield Youth Sports would like to announce softball and baseball signups for girls and boys aged 4-18.  Signups will be held in the Pittsfield Community Center on Tuesday, March 5 (5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.), Saturday, March 9 (9:00 am – 2:00 p.m.), and Thursday, March 14 (5:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.).  If your child is new to the program, please bring a copy of his/her birth certificate to signups. If you have questions, please contact Glenn Amnott at 435-7905.



Providing For Pittsfield’s Needy:

The Vendue System And The Poor Farm - Part III

Income From The Farm


The Town Farm had income from a variety of sources. A major income producer was “hiring out” residents to work on private farms. Considerable income was also generated from the sale of crops: barley, corn, hay, flax, beans, pumpkins, rye, onions and cider (40 gallons was sold to Charles Hillsgrove in 1861).


Similarly, a great deal of income was produced by the sale of livestock: calves, pigs, heifers, steers, oxen, chickens, and turkeys. Products derived from livestock were sold as well: horse hair, calfskin, manure, eggs, lard, butter, cheese, pork, and bacon. There was also income produced from the sale of lumber and in one instance, stakes.


Other Benefits Of The Farm

It is clear that the Town benefited from the labors of the residents of the Farm in ways other than simply raising crops and animals.  At times residents were put to work doing special things to help the community. Beginning in 1844, for example, a man on the Farm was ordered to keep the town hall clean for the ensuing year. Two years later the voters instructed the selectmen to have six ladders made on the Farm to be used in fire fighting.


Town Farm Overseers

The names of early overseers of the Town Farm are not known. One of the earliest may have been Solomon Watson, likely the son of one of Pittsfield’s early settlers, Daniel Watson.  In the 1841 Pittsfield Town warrant, he sought pay for two years services. Inexplicably, however, the article was dismissed and apparently he was not paid.


At some point in time Jonathan Cram, a descendant of the town founder, became Overseer of the Farm. How long he served is not known. Lewis Joy replaced him in 1858. Mr. Joy was the final Overseer of the Farm and served for the next eight years until it was sold. He was born in Pittsfield in 1807, the son of Richard and Sally (Nobel) Joy. Presumably he was educated in local schools. He married Ann Parshley of Strafford and had nine children. Mr. Joy passed away at the age of 91 in 1898 and is buried in Floral Park Cemetery.


Initially he was paid $180 per year, but in 1860 his salary was increased to $200. It remained at this level until the Farm closed in 1866.


Deaths On The Farm

It is clear that many individuals passed away while residing on the Farm, which is to be expected as many of the residents were elderly citizens. The known deaths include: Bertha Mervels, September 12, 1850, Jon Eaton, December 13, 1850, the wife of Sam Bassett, August 4, 1853, Bildad Jones, December 13, 1853, the child of  Abraham Sanborn, June 17, 1854, Josiah Clough, May, 1856, Mirriam Clough, about March 4, 1859, Annar Bassett, January 25, 1862, and  Rhoda Ring, about July 28, 1863.


Evidence of seven other deaths is found in records of Lewis Joy. He reports paying an undertaker 50 cents for use of his hearse on January 1, 1860 and June 10, 1860 (William Knowlton was paid $6.00 for digging a grave the same day) and $4.00 for coffins on December 5, 1860 and January 8, 1862. Moses Dennett was paid $1.50 for digging a grave on May 15, 1861. Elders Mooney and Harvey were paid $1.00 for funeral services on the Farm on November 29, 1864 and February 16, 1865 respectively.


Where these people were buried has not been learned. All attempts to locate a cemetery on the Farm by Pittsfield Historian E. Harold Young and the present writer have failed. Nor is there a record of any of these people being buried in any known Pittsfield cemetery.


The End Of The Town Farm

During the Civil War there was a movement in the county to purchase a farm that would care for the needy within its geographic area. At the March 1863 Town Meeting, Pittsfield’s representatives to the legislature were admonished not to support the idea. However, on April 15, 1865 the county purchased the John Patrick Farm in Boscawen. That brought the local Town Farm to an end.


On November 14, 1865 a special town meeting was held and it was voted to sell the Farm and all the personal property in it. Abram French, 2nd and Benjamin Emerson were chosen as agents to handle the transaction.


The Aftermath

A little over a year later, the Farm was sold to John A. Walker for $2,500.  Mr. Walker was a very distinguished member of the Pittsfield community having served as a selectman on numerous occasions and a representative to the legislature in 1872. He and his wife Emma lived on the farm until 1889 when they sold it to Calvin Joy for $2,400. Mr. Joy passed away in 1905 and bequeathed the farm to his brother Walter E. Joy.


Unfortunately, Mr. Joy did not have use of the buildings for very long. At 1:30 a.m. on Saturday, October 19, 1907 they burned to the ground. Foul play was suspected. As the local newspaper reported, “[T]he fire caught in the woodshed and is thought to be of incendiary origin as there had not been a light taken into the shed for a long time.”


The son of J.D. Perkins, who occupied the Farm with his family, discovered the blaze.  By that time it was raging and the building’s occupants barely escaped with their lives. A considerable number of the livestock in the barn were killed. Fortunately, most were out to pasture and thus remained unharmed. The loss was complete. Mr. Joy did not have insurance on the buildings and the Perkins Family did not have insurance on their personal property.


After the fire, Mr. Joy retained the land and when he passed away in 1928 it was valued at $700. Thereafter, the property passed to Adolphus Shonyo (Chagnon), then to Dennis Chagnon, and finally to Robert and Paulette Chagnon, who own the property today.





Dear Pittsfield Voters:

There are 3 people running for a single planning board position. One has an article on the ballet that proposes to completely get rid of zoning in Pittsfield. Yet, he wants you to elect him to the Planning Board. Not only that, but he flagrantly and publicly states (repeatedly) how he does not abide by the zoning ordinance and never will. Please send him a message by, not only voting down his article to repeal zoning, but by not voting him onto the Planning Board. 


The second person suddenly is interested in getting elected to the Planning Board, but showed no interest in attending Planning Board meetings to get first hand knowledge of how the Planning Board functions. Just reading minutes of meetings does not provide experience or knowledge of how to research law or information that is vital to the decision process.


The only sensible choice is to re-elect Jim Pritchard! He has a proven record of conscientious decision making, in  depth research into state land use regulations, and case law to support his positions and concerns. Jim continues to strive to ensure that the Planning Board is acting in the best interests of Pittsfield and within the law.  Finally, as Planning Board secretary, he has saved thousands of dollars in cost to Pittsfield taxpayers since no one was needed to be hired to perform these duties.


I strongly urge you to re-elect Jim Pritchard to the Planning Board on March 12th.



Ted Mitchell





Dear Pittsfield Voters:

I ask that you vote for Jim Pritchard to continue his excellent work on the Planning Board. I have been going to Planning Board (PB) meetings for quite some time now. There is no one who is more prepared or more knowledgeable of local and state laws than Jim. I have watched as other PB members have embraced the type of due diligence for which Jim has always set the standard.  Most importantly, I have watched the PB starting to work as a team and having intelligent conversations on substantial issues vs. the petty squabbles of the past, for which as a citizen, I am very grateful.


Please take the time to vote for Jim on election day.  


Respectfully submitted,

Carol Lambert



Letter To The Editor


Why do we work to repeal zoning in Pittsfield? We are exercising our rights in hopes of gaining more.


Dan Schroth Piermarocchi



School Lunch Menus

March 4 - March 8, 2013




Happy Birthday, Baby!

Turkey and bacon melt, corn, stone soup, Dr. Seuss’s birthday cake with peaches



The Sneeches

Hot dog on a bun, baked beans, carrots, pears



The Lorax

Mac and cheese and truffletta trees (broccoli), cucumber slices, apple



The Grinch

Roast beast (turkey), who hash (sweet and white roasted potatoes), dinner roll, mixed fruit



Fresh Picks Pizza

Cheese pizza or chef’s topping, garden salad, fresh fruit




Spring Melt

Turkey, tomato and bacon melt, garden salad, tomato soup, spiced peach cake



Go Red Sox! (vs. Puerto Rico today)

Texas chili, cornbread, carrots, pears



Get Your Calcium Here!

Mac and cheese, dinner roll, steamed broccoli, apples



Roast Feast

Roast turkey, sweet and white roasted potatoes, dinner roll, mixed fruit



General’s Fav

General Tso’s chicken, Asian vegetables, sesame noodles, pineapple




Vote “No” On Repealing The Zoning Ordinance


Here we go again discussing the merits of the Zoning and Planning Boards. At a recent Planning Board meeting, Dan Schroth stated we do not need a Zoning Ordinance. We did not have one 200 years ago and we do not need one now.


I disagree with this opinion. We now have a more densely populated town. No longer can one resident do as they please without affecting, or infringing upon, a neighbor’s property, or rights.  We need a zoning ordinance!


Homeowners purchase a home with the expectation that their neighborhood will remain a residential area, not populated with commercial development next door. There are areas of town for commerce/industry, and areas for homes.  The zoning ordinance protects the homeowners and brings order to the community.  Please vote “No” on repealing the Zoning Ordinance.


Paula Belliveau




Yes On Article 3


I support Ballot Article 3, the citizen petition to add “town or state maintained roads” as a requirement for subdivision development. Pittsfield’s Master Plan states: “The town has 9.5 miles of Class VI roads with the potential of a large number of lots that could be developed. Significant road costs and liability could exist for the town unless a plan for this land use is developed.” A Yes vote is the first step in taking action on this plan.


Currently, the Planning Board cannot distinguish between a minor subdivision (3 or less lots with restrictions), or a major subdivision with many lots, or the complexity of a cluster subdivision proposed on a Class VI road. The risk to the town is obviously different for each.


The owners of Class VI road property state that the frontage definition is unfair. In fact, NH State Law has already taken away the right to subdivide on Class VI roads! State websites have much information on Class VI development and none of them recommend permitting subdivision on Class VI roads. A review of the surrounding towns shows that they all have a “town or state maintained road” requirement. Why don’t we?


A yes vote on Article 3 would not eliminate a landowner’s possibility of Class VI subdivision. It would instead forward the plan to the Zoning Board.  They would, in turn, scrutinize the proposal based on a different list of requirements. What about the claims that Class VI property owners cannot subdivide to provide lots for their children? If their request is supportable, the Zoning Board can grant a variance.


Please carefully review Ballot Article 3 before you vote.  I hope you will agree that a Yes vote is in the town’s best interest.


God Bless Our Country,

Clayton Wood



Pittsfield baby copy.jpg

Another 5th Generation arrives on Valentine’s Day for Alvah Robinson. Born on 2/14/13 at 4:19 am, weighing 7 lbs. and 20 1/2 in. long is Jaxson John Souza, son of Ryan Souza and Felicia Robinson of Tiverton, RI; grandson to John and Lisa (Kimball) Souza of Portsmouth, RI; great grandson to George Kimball of Leitchfield, KY; and Fred and Mary (Robinson) Briggs of Cincinnatus, NY; GREAT GREAT Grandson to Alvah Robinson of Pittsfield, NH.



Retirement Party For Ruth Strickhart At Josiah Carpenter Library

Pittsfield ruth_image003 copy.jpg

The community of Pittsfield at large, and the patrons of Josiah Carpenter Library in particular, are invited to honor, Ruth Strickhart, at her Retirement Party, from 2:00 to 4:00 pm on Thursday, March 7th. Ms. Strickhart has retired after eight years of service as Volunteer Library Aide at Josiah Carpenter Library.  Ruth has also been a generous benefactor of the library, donating books, monies and equipment, including two barcode scanners used at the circulation desks.  Affectionately known on a first-name basis by patrons and staff, Ruth turned 93 on March 5th and felt she needed to slow down just a little in the afternoons.


In addition to volunteering two or three afternoons weekly at the library, Ruth has also volunteered three mornings weekly for a number of years elsewhere in town. She completes three hours of volunteer data entry at the Pittsfield Historical Society one morning and three hours of volunteer work with multiple supervisory responsibilities at the local food pantry, two mornings each week.


Ruth was selected in May 2011, to receive the Joseph D. Vaughan Award.  This award is presented annually to recipients from ten counties, by the State Committee on Aging and EngAGING NH, for outstanding leadership or achievement as a volunteer on behalf of older citizens in New Hampshire.


The Trustees, Staff and Patrons of the Josiah Carpenter Library have come to cherish Ruth, and will certainly miss her quick smile and witty banter. Ruth has been an invaluable resource as she assisted staff and helped patrons over the years. Please drop into the library between 2:00 and 4:00 pm, on Thursday, March 7th, and join us in wishing her a very fond farewell and a happy retirement.




Submitted By Terrie Azotea


We have some interesting stuff coming up at TOPS. We are running a contest for the upcoming weeks and that hopefully will give us a kick-off toward the spring months on the way. I, for one, cannot wait for spring, to see the buds coming on the trees and hear the water flowing in the streams when I walk in the morning. That is the best time to get out and enjoy a walk and get it done for the day. Before you know it we will be swatting black flies and complaining about them and mowing our lawns. 


Kudos to the best loser and those who were second. Some of our members went to the Inspiration Workshop and we talked about our up coming SRD that will be held up north. 


If anyone is interested in joining us, we meet on Tuesday nights at the St. Stephen’s Church on Main Street in Pittsfield at 5:30 for weigh in and at 6:30 for our meeting. Any questions please call Laurel Tiede at 269-8721 or Pat Smith at 435-5333. They would love to answer any questions for you. 


“Life is full of surprises... Why should today be any different?”


Hope everyone has a good week and see you all lighter next week!








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