Epping and Area History

March-April 2018 | Volume 11, Issue 2

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 (Mar-Apr) of this newsletter will be available in early Mar 2018. We will accept submissions through April 25, 2018 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

March is here, can SPRING be far behind?  I don’t think that “little rodent” in Pennsylvania is very believable this year. We coasted through February and the worst appears to be behind us.

With our new floor installed, the museum is so much brighter. As you know our building was built as an A&P store.  The store had two windows in the front, but no other windows in the store.  It was long and skinny for shelves, with space for a wood stove and a counter for the cash register. Restrooms were not provided. The manager of the store had an apartment upstairs, complete with separate entrance and basement.

The volunteers are very busy every Monday, each working on a different project. It takes many hands to organize and archive documents. We are still working on Don Sanborn’s collection. We just finished entering into the computer thousands of vital records that Don had collected over many years.

The Epping Historical Society is planning an open house for April. It is time we “show off” our collections to everyone. At the same time, if you have not been to the Society lately, look around at how we have changed. It is amazing what we have available for research; vital records, cemetery listings, school records, genealogies and lots of Town records.  We are working on a program for the same evening – more to follow.

Keep this date open: May 17th we are having a repeat program of “Olde Epping” This is always a very popular program. Come and bring your questions, maybe about your home, or homes you are curious about. We love to have the audience participate in our presentation. We always learn something new! This program is always free and open to everyone, with light refreshments to follow.

The Perkins Hotel

This large Hotel was built in the mid 1800’s. It was located in the center of the village, and was called the Pawtuckaway House for many years. The building was very impressive, built of brick with a covered piazza on two sides. The hotel also had a very busy tavern that was frequented by men from far and wide. Like many taverns of the day, they witnessed many fights and disagreements between men. The local police were frequent visitors in an official (and un-official) capacity many times. Right next to the hotel, there was a livery stable to accommodate the occupants of Pawtuckaway House. The hotel also provided a general meeting room for all kinds of activities. Remember, at this time Epping did not have a Town Hall that could provide rooms to hold special events. For smaller events, Bunker Hall was available. Bunker Hall was located where the Epping Historical Society is today.

Moses A. Perkins came to Epping from Exeter in 1870. He was a lumberman, but soon moved on to working as a Postal Clerk on the Portsmouth and Concord Railroad. In his biography, he “experienced some “fearful” accidents in his work. He soon acquired the Prospect House (the former home of Alice and Ed Lavoie) and was the proprietor for many years. Unfortunately, there was a fire at the hotel, which put the hotel out of business. He soon purchased the Pawtuckaway House, located on the corner of Main and Water Streets, and renamed it the Perkins Hotel. This was a very successful venture. But the handwriting was on the wall; all of the States were going dry. The Volstead Act was passed and prohibition was to start in 1920. Without ardent spirits, the Hotel and Tavern were doomed. At this time Moses Perkins decided he would retire, so he closed the hotel. The hotel sat vacant for about a year.

In 1919, there was a terrible fire, starting in the Livery Stable next to the Hotel. The stable, the Perkins Hotel, Bunker’s Hall, and a store were completely destroyed. Leddy’s store was also damaged, but did not completely burn.

In 1921, the Sally Plumer Chapter of the D.A.R. purchased the lot for $2,000.00, hoping to build a Town Library on the lot. First they had to have the rubble removed. It seems the remains of the fire were just left, what an eyesore! The building bricks, rubble, etc. were buried and forgotten.

Unfortunately, the D.A.R. never raised enough money to build a Library. So a Park was started and remains so today. In 1948, the American Legion installed a Memorial in the park to honor our veterans.

When the Sally Plumer Chapter of the D.A.R. disbanded, they gave the Park to the Town of Epping. Recently the Town of Epping, thanks to Jim McGeough, took on the project of improving the Park. A new walkway was installed, granite posts enclosing the Park, each paying tribute to all the wars we have endured. Epping never had a Village Green, but this Park is the next best thing.

Come visit us at the Society. We are open Monday morning, 8:00 to 12:00, or when the flag is flying!  If this is not convenient for you, please call 679-2944 for an appointment or email me at: 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:

We are currently booking 2018 & 2019 meetings. If you know someone, or would like to offer a talk to our group, please email: cwrtnh@gmail.com.

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. 

March 16, 2018 ~ John Hayward (NH author) - "5th New Jersey at Gettysburg"

April 20, 2018 ~ Ronald J. Guilmette - "First to Serve" (book on Massachusetts State Police creation out of the Civil War)

May 18, 2018 ~ Alan Brunelle (CWRT of NH member) -“In Defense of Pickett’s Charge”

June 15, 2018 ~ A. Wilson Green (retired head of Pamplin Park Museum) - "Petersburg"

July & August ~ no meetings - summer break