Epping and Area History

Nov-Dec 2017 | Volume 10, Issue 6



Newsletter Schedule

Have we missed your group or event? Please let us know. Our purpose is to include as many Epping groups and events as possible.

The next issue (Jan-Feb) of this newsletter will be available in early Jan 2018. We will accept submissions through December 21, 2017 to be included in the next issue. Please send your content, including contact information, for consideration by using the CONTACT US section of our web site or by emailing us.

Epping Historical Society

Here it is, November already! Are we ready for what is to come? Thanksgiving is such a wonderful holiday, a time for friends and family to reunite, and enjoy the delightful food of the season. Of course, many of our family really look forward to the many football games to enjoy. Then, right around the corner Christmas arrives! I love the Christmas season, both the religious and the commercial side of the holiday. Everyone is so friendly and giving, it is hard to find an unhappy person at this time of year. I only wish the spirit of Christmas could be year round.

Recently a former Epping resident, Elwyn Dearborn, died in Kennebunk, Maine. He was born in Epping in 1920 and graduated from Watson Academy in 1938. He served in World War II, and went on to work for the Government at Fort Dix for 40 years, producing shows for our soldiers. He was a very successful writer, producer and director of many plays in New York City. He also owned and operated an Art gallery in Portland, Maine. His family has very generously donated several pieces of memorabilia from Elwyn. Included is a wonderful portrait that hangs in a place of honor at the Society. The Epping Historical Society would like to thank Peter and Peg Brewitt for their donations.

How about purchasing a unique gift for your friends and family? It sure will bring back memories, especially if they are living away. We have a wonderful cookbook created by some of the greatest cooks in Epping; “Images of Epping” a book filled with old pictures of Epping, including a brief history of our town written by Cory Blanchard; and don’t forget, we also sell memorial bricks for our walkway.

In the month of November, we are having our roof replaced at the Epping Historical Society. This is a much needed repair to our building, and thanks to many generous people, we are able to have the roof replaced before winter.

We had a very interesting visitor from Manchester recently. This man, a retired History teacher in Manchester, is doing research on his family with roots right here in Epping. While looking through his family tree, we pointed out to him a shocking revelation, which inspired him to do more research. He returned two weeks later with additional information, which he shared with us. This inspired me to write a brief story of this family.

Reginald Brooks Locke, was born in Epping in 1851 and died at the age of 15 years. His mother never recovered from his terrible death. She was an invalid, and after his death she developed a mania for attending funerals. They had no other vehicle but a wheelbarrow in which her husband wheeled her to the Church (Congregational, now Community Church). His mother died at the Concord Insane Asylum, burial unknown. His surviving sister married Mark Foss, and lived here in Epping.

The following story is not for the faint of heart!!

A Shocking Accident at the Mill

The following accident took place at the Norris Mill, located on Mill Street in Epping. This Mill manufactured cording, and they also performed cloth dressing. This story is taken from the Exeter newsletter, word for word.

Brooks Locke, son of James Locke of Epping, met with a terrible death on Saturday, July 20, 1867. We gather the particulars from a former resident of the town, which are as follows.

Young Locke entered Norris’s Mill to grind an axe, a short time afterward the attention of those in hearing was attracted by the breaking of a window and rushing to the scene they found that the young man had got entangled in the machinery which had literally torn him limb to limb, nothing remaining perfect except his head. The breaking of the window was caused by the striking of the young man’s body against it at every revolution of the shaft.

His age was 15 years. His father is a worthy man, and served three years in the Army during the War. By this sad catastrophe the young man’s mother is rendered nearly insane, it being her only son.

The shocking revelation the Epping Historical Society provided to his relative was: He was buried in a bushel basket at Central Cemetery. 


Come visit us at the Society, there are many stories similar to this, about our past history. The “Good Olde Days” were very harsh and unforgiving. We are open Monday morning, 8:00 to 12:00, or when the flag is flying! If this does not work for you, please call 679-2944 for an appointment or email: joysgarden@hotmail.com

Submitted by Joy True, curator, Epping Historical Society

The Civil War Roundtable of NH

The Civil War Roundtable of New Hampshire welcomes anyone with an interest in the American Civil War who would like to be with others who share the same desire to learn more of this time in American history. We are an informal club with the only requirement being a Civil War enthusiast.  If you or a friend has an interest in the American Civil War, we invite you to come check us out.

Founded in May 1991, the Civil War Roundtable of New Hampshire is a group of men and women, young and old, who share our interests, both blue and gray, in the pivotal era of American history known as the Civil War.  We are open to the public and welcome all!  As our slogan goes, “There’s no time like the present to join us in the past.”

For more information on the group and a complete schedule of meetings and news, please visit the web site: www.cwrt-nh.org or email cwrtnh@gmail.com.

This is the upcoming CWRT-NH schedule:

Note: The schedule is subject to change without notice.  You can access the CWRT-NH website for the current schedule.  If a meeting is cancelled, a notice will be put on ETV. 

November 10, 2017 – Eileen Foley Bennis (CWRT-NH member) – “Female Nurses of the Civil War and How That Led to the Founding of the American Red Cross”

December 2017 – No meeting

January 19, 2018 – Mike Schroeder (pres. CWRTNH) - "Union Combined Operations: Freeing the Upper Mississippi - 1862."

February 16, 2018 – William Quigley “Pure Heart” (book)