TIME ENOUGH FOR many changes to take place has elapsed since the ordination of young Timothy Walker in a blockhouse in the wilderness. There, in 1730, the Reverend John Barnard of Andover, Massachusetts, who had come on horseback over the rough trail to the Plantation of Penny-Cook which he firmly believed to be the former […]
By Yankee Magazine
Nov 08 2018
TIME ENOUGH FOR many changes to take place has elapsed since the ordination of young Timothy Walker in a blockhouse in the wilderness. There, in 1730, the Reverend John Barnard of Andover, Massachusetts, who had come on horseback over the rough trail to the Plantation of Penny-Cook which he firmly believed to be the former seat of Satan, admonished his audience “to rejoice and strengthen the hands of their minister by their concord.”
It is possible that his words were recalled thirty-five years later, when the parish of Concord was set off from Bow. Perhaps some citizen of Rumford, as the plantation was called at its incorporation as a town in 1734, remembered the ordination sermon, and, believing that the inhabitants would endeavor always to “Live in Love and Peace,” asked that the name “Concord” should be given to the region. We have no record of this, but we do know that the name clung until 1853 when the town was chartered as the “City of Concord.”
To New Hampshire people Concord means not only a certain city on the Merrimack River, but stands as a symbol of the State where every two years the members of the ponderous General Court assemble to meet formally in the weather beaten State House and informally in the Eagle and Phenix Hotels.* It is said that no man from any section of New Hampshire,however remote, can walk down Main Street on two consecutive days without meeting some of his neighbors. If, as a party leader has declared, politics is one of the major industries of the State, the pivot around which it revolves is this city of churches and elm-trees.
Concord’s heart is Main Street, which was laid out in formal fashion in 1785. Known as “The Street” in the days when people came from outlying districts to trade at Mr. Jonathan Herbert’s store, the location of its business section has changed with the passing of time. The Old North Meetinghouse, which for a century stood on the site of the Walker School, for many years was the center of the commercial life of the town and it was not until the railroad station was built in the early forties that shops began to move toward the south. The street over which the great stage-coaches rolled on their way to the interior of the state and over which long lines of pod-teams plodded as they journeyed “down below” to Boston, still has reminders of the city’s past history in the Timothy Walker House, now the headquarters of the New Hampshire Arts and Crafts Commission, the building where the General Court first assembled in Concord, the Old Building of the State Historical Society, the Eagle Hotel built upon the ashes of the famous Eagle Coffee House, the Swedish Baptist Church, once the home of Franklin Pierce, the marked sites of the Old North Church and the garrison houses and, standing on a triangular piece of land bounded by Hall, Water and Hammond Streets, the Rolfe and Rumford Home for Orphan Girls which once was the residence of a New Hampshire countess.
*The local way of spelling the word.
It is a difficult task to gather up the many threads of Concord’s story and to weave them into a firm fabric among the legends of the peaceful Penacooks who made their cornfields along the intervals of the crooked river; with the sounds of the axes of the Eastmans, the Bradleys and the Abbotts hewing their way into the wilderness; with the life of the first pastor who led his people for over a half-century; with the warwhoops of Indians; with the cries of rivermen taking out mast-trees; with the preparations of soldiers leaving for war; with shouts of welcome to heroes and statesmen; with the voices of orators; and with the establishment of churches, schools, local government and business life which serve as the foundations of all Yankee communities.
Concord’s history began in the intervals and forests of the Plantation of Penny-Cook where Major Richard Waldron, trader and civic leader of Dover, and his partner, Peter Coffin, built a palisaded truck-house and planned to have the ground “broke up to be improved.” But the carrying in of “three Rundletts of Liquors” resulted in a white man’s murder by a drunken Indian and ended their scheme for trading for beaver and opening up the country.
It was not until 1726 that a real step toward settlement was made when a township seven miles square was granted to petitioners from the Massachusetts towns of Andover, Bradford and Haverhill. At a meeting at the house of Ebenezer Eastman of Haverhill, a committee from the General Court, after a careful inquiry into their characters, admitted one hundred persons as settlers.
As soon as the weather broke, a party went to the Plantation of Penny-Cook to view and survey the land. One record of their visit remains in Memorial Park on the east bank of the Merrimack in the form of a tablet, erected by the Congregational Societies of Concord and which bears this inscription: On the intervale below this spot, a committee of the Court of Massachusetts Bay, their surveyors and attendants, there present to locate and survey the Plantation of Penacook, conducted the first religiousservice ever held in the central part ofNew Hampshire, on Sunday, May 15,1726. Rev. Enoch Coffin-Preacher.
Meantime, John Wentworth, Lieutenant-Governor of the Province of New Hampshire, did not view this act of Massachusetts in a friendly manner. He asked the Assembly to take action in regard to this matter of trespass in “the very bowels of New Hampshire” and a committee was sent to Penny-Cook to investigate. But the Massachusetts men did not stop work and continued to fell trees in a most unconcerned way. To make matters worse the General Court still considered petitions for grants of land in the disputed territory west of the Merrimack which so alarmed Governor Wentworth that a year later he made an issue of the question by granting out all the unappropriated land south of the outlet of Lake Winnipesaukee and east of the Merrimack and divided it into six townships. One of them, called Bow, extended beyond the river and overlapped Penny-Cook, furnishing grounds for a long and bitter quarrel which made Parson Walker take three long and difficult trips to England to present the case to the Crown before the matter was settled at the close of the last intercolonial war and the Rumford people gained a clear title to their lands.
In the spring of 1727, Ebenezer Eastman, Joseph and Edward Abbott, John Merrill and forty or fifty others had arrived at the plantation. They cleared and fenced lots and built a block-house to be used as a garrison and a meetinghouse. Captain Eastman, his wife and six young sons, the first family to live in Penny-Cook, were occupying their house the same year. By 1731, seventy-one houses were completed, eighteen others were partly done and sixty or seventy of them were occupied. It was not long before a sawmill and gristmill were erected and a blacksmith was induced to join the settlement.
It was now necessary to have a pastor for the church and Timothy Walker, twenty-six-year-old Harvard graduate, was invited to become the settled minister. His meagre salary was supplemented by money given him to build the house which is still owned by the Walker Family and which is said to have been the first two story house erected between Haverhill and the Canada line.
From the time of his ordination the welfare of Timothy Walker’s community was “as the apple of his eye” until that Sabbath morning, fifty-two years later, when his sudden death was announced to his parishoners who were waiting to hear him preach.
Parson Walker’s daughter, Sarah, widow of the wealthy Benjamin Rolfe, married·nineteen-year-old Benjamin Thompson, who was later made a count of the Holy Roman Empire by the Elector of Bavaria for his work in science and philanthropy. He chose for his title the name of the place where he started his career and was known as Count Rumford. His daughter, Sarah, Countess of Rumford, died in the Rolfe Mansion, now the Rolfe and Rumford Home for Girls. Lucretia Walker, great granddaughter of the first minister became the wife of Samuel F. B. Morse who gave the Concord people three big surprises; painting portraits of them which they could recognize; winning the hand of the most beautiful girl in the town; and giving the officiating clergyman at his wedding the largest fee received up to that time. Timothy Walker’s sons and grandsons and their descendants were men of influence in the community. Their names are remembered to the present day.
When the first settlers came to PennyCook, they found only a few remnants of the Penacooks still living in the region and for some years they had no fear of the Indians. Then, in 1744, war between France and England broke out and the old people began to whisper of the Indian outrages of their youth. Some spoke of Mrs. Hannah Dustin of Haverhill who, fifty years before, with the help of her nurse and a captive boy, had killed and scalped ten Indians who had murdered her week-old babe and carried her far away to an island where the Contoocook joins the Merrimack. And now there were real dangers again for scouts were bringing in reports of Indian gatherings. Men carried their muskets into the fields and to church and Parson Walker kept his gun—the best in the settlement—with him in the pulpit. Following attacks at Keene and Charlestown the people of Rumford sought refuge in the seven standing garrisons and three temporary ones to which they had been assigned. The Bradley Massacre occurred on August 11, 1746. On the fatal Monday morning a party of men who had gone on horseback up the Hopkinton road to get their corn ground were attacked by Indians Samuel Bradley, Obadiah Peters, John Bean and John Lufkin were killed and it is said that the people at the garrison of James Osgood which stood at the junction of Main and Depot Streets “wept aloud” as their mutilated bodies were brought in on an ox-cart. A monument erected in 1837 by the grandson of Samuel Bradley was placed on the side of the road in their memory. This was not the only Indian depredation in the locality, but the Rumford people did not suffer too badly. As they stated in the depositions in the Bow Controversy, they “stood their ground against the enemy, supported themselves with all the necessities of life, and also yearly spared considerable quantities to the neighboring villages, which must have suffered very much before if they had not had their assistance.”
Much of the history of Concord centers around the Old North Meetinghouse which was used not only for religious services but for civic and political gatherings as well. Its raising took three days and the women of the parish cooked the food for the workers on the spot. They also bought the horse-block, a large stone, twenty-two feet in circumference, paying for it by giving a pound of butter each. After the Revolutionary War the meetinghouse was enlarged by a seven-angled projection built out on the front sides and east and west porches, a gallery and steeple were also added. Twelve hundred people could be seated on the floor and in the galleries and it was said to be the largest church in New Hampshire.
From it on the Sunday before the Battle of Bennington went out volunteers, dismissed by Parson Walker in the midst of his sermon, to make preparations to join the New Hampshire troops, commanded by General John Stark, which were to help cut off Burgoyne’s march to Albany. On June 18, 1788 the convention which ratified the Constitution of the United States assembled in the meetinghouse. The convention had been called in Exeter in February, but fearing that the adoption of the constitution could not be secured at that time, the Federalists had secured an adjournment to Concord in June. The hundred delegates included the most distinguished men of the state and they spent four days in debating whether or not they would accept a measure giving so much power to a central authority. Then on Saturday, June 21, at one o’clock, the rollcall was taken with fifty-seven “yeas” andforty-seven “nays.” Nine states wereneeded for ratification and when NewHampshire, the ninth state made its affirmative decision, mounted riders who were waiting outside the church sped awayto carry to the New York Convention insession at Poughkeepsie and to the VirginiaConvention assembled in Richmond thegreat news that the United States ofAmerica had been born in the Old North Church of Concord.
A gay crowd gathered in the church on the evening of June 22, 1825, to listen to the oratorio given by the New Hampshire Musical Society in honor of the Marquis de Lafayette’s visit to the capital. Concord entertained the Nation’s Guest with unrestrained magnificence. He had spent the night in Pembroke, and, in the morning, rode to the Concord line in a barouche drawn by six matched dapple grays. Here he was received by a committee and escorted into the town which from that minute until late at night was filled with festivities of all kinds. In the afternoon a “sumptuous repast” to which sat down between seven hundred and eight hundred people, including “two hundred Revolutionary heroes,” was served under a huge pavilion put up in the State House Area. The so-called Lafayette Elm on the grounds is said to mark the spot where the Guest sat. It was at this dinner, too, that the name “Granite State” was first applied to New Hampshire in a song written by Colonel Carrigain.
Lafayette was entertained at the home of William A. Kent, one of the famous hosts of his day, who offered his hospitality to more distinguished people than any other person in Concord. Daniel Webster declared years later that the Kent home was one of the houses of the neighborhood where he “met intelligent and cultivated society.” It was Mr. Kent who pulled John Greenleaf Whittier into his hallway to save him from the egg-throwing, mudslinging crowd which threatened the poet when he came to Concord to speak at an anti-slavery meeting. Ralph Waldo Emerson who preached for a short time at the Second Congregational or Unitarian Church was married to Mr. Kent’s stepdaughter in the north parlor of his house. The announcement of the wedding in a newspaper of October 5, 1824 states briefly:
Marriages: In this town on Wednesday evening last by Rev. Mr. Thomas, the Rev. Ralph Waldo Emerson of Boston to Miss Ellen Louisa Tucker.
On the evening of July 18, 1817, Mr. Kent gave a party in honor of President Madison who spent a week-end in Concord. The Kent House, the scene of so much gaiety in the early nineteenth century, stood on the site of the South Church on Pleasant Street but later was moved to South Spring Street.
In 1845 the historic church of Concord was the scene of an event which shaped political policies for the next fifteen years. On the evening of June 5, John P. Hale, the first anti-slavery United States senator, met General Pierce in a debate which filled the floor and galleries of the meetinghouse with members of the legislature and visitors. Slavery was the most discussed question of the times. It had required courage for Hale to take his stand on the question and antagonize the party which had sent him to Congress. Therefore, there was genuine feeling and true sincerity underneath the rounded periods with which he closed his speech. “The measure of my ambition will be full, if, when my wife and children shall repair to my grave to drop a tear of affection to my memory, they may read on my tombstone, he who lies beneath surrendered place and power rather than bow down and worship slavery,” he said.
Franklin Pierce, his opponent, became the Fourteenth President of the United States. After his return from the Mexican War he was known to his fellow townsmen as “The General.” Military honors were heaped upon him. The New Hampshire Legislature presented him with a handsome sword. To Concord came his friend and college classmate, Nathaniel
Hawthorne, who left his work on The Scarlet Letter to attend the ceremony.
Mrs. Pierce opposed her husband’s entrance into public life and fainted when she heard that he had been elected President of the United States. Mrs. Jefferson Davis records that Jane Means Appleton greatly resembled Elizabeth Barrett Browning and tells us that, saddened by the death of her children, she entered little into the social life of Washington.
At various times President Pierce lived in three different houses in Concord. With his wife and children, one of them Little Benny who was the victim of a railroad accident, he lies in the Old North Cemetery.
A murder trial is a strange event to take place in a church, yet one of the two trials of Abraham Prescott for the murder of Mrs. Sally Cochran of Pembroke was held in the old meetinghouse. Prescott, twice tried for murder and twice sentenced to be hanged, was defended by Charles H. Peaslee who unceasingly worked for legislation for the insane and by the famous lawyer, Ichabod Bartlett. Both attorneys believed that their client was demented and was not morally responsible for his act. However, the case was lost and the murderer was hanged publicly in January, 1837, before a large throng in the town of Hopkinton. The trials, nevertheless, bore fruit, for the two lawyers and their supporters redoubled their efforts to bring about measures which would establish a state asylum for the insane. In 1832, Governor Dinsmore had appealed for legislation in the matter but six years of struggle and opposition passed before a charter was granted. There was great rivalry among various towns as to the location of the hospital and its present situation on Pleasant Street is the result of a bitter controversy between the North and South Ends of Concord in which the South End won.
The old State Prison, made of New Hampshire granite, was completed in 1812. President Timothy Dwight of Yale College, who visited Concord the same year, commended it highly and called it “a noble edifice of beautiful granite.” Its first inmate, convicted of horse stealing, was committed to the prison in November. From time to time the buildings were enlarged to meet the needs of existing conditions. It stands upon the west side of the Daniel Webster Highway about one and two-thirds miles north of the State House.
For over forty years Election Day Sermons were delivered in the Old North Church by clergymen appointed by the legislature. To be asked to preach one of the sermons was considered a high honor, but finally the custom became so much involved with politics that it was abolished. After the new governor had taken his seat and had addressed both houses, a procession was formed and marched to the meetinghouse for the sermon. Election Day, on Thursday of the first week in June, was the great event of the year and even took precedence over Independence Day and Musters. The people of Concord began in May to prepare for it by getting necessary work out of the way and by putting their homes and places of business in order. From ten o’clock in the morning until late at night crowds of people took possession of the streets. Itinerant peddlers put up bough-trimmed booths in the State House yard. Sheet gingerbread and other viands were for sale. ‘Lection Day Cake was made at home and hard drinks flowed freely. Election Day festivities continued for some time after the sermons were given up. In 1852 there were over ten thousand people in the town, many of them brought in by the five railways and others by private conveyances which lined both sides of Main Street from “Parliament Corner” to Free Bridge Street and filled stable yards and vacant lots on the other streets. The local pa per noted that this year there was “no rioting or rowdying.” After 1860 the governor’s famous Horse Guards with their uniforms of white dolmans, green body-jackets and trousers, and gray and gold lace trimmings were very much in evidence at the inauguration and Election Day procession.
The famous meetinghouse was vacated in 1842 when the third house of worship of the original church society was built farther south. The old building became the property of the Methodist Biblical Institute which later removed to Boston and became the Theological School of Boston University. Both the first and second buildings were destroyed by fire and another edifice has taken the place of the second church. The site of the old meetinghouse is occupied by the Walker School.
Rev. Asa McFarland was the last settled minister of Concord and his ordination almost rivalled Election Day in importance. Booths for the sale of refreshments and liquor were put up near the meetinghouse. The Council, accompanied by a band, marched to the meetinghouse for the services and to crown the event a splendid ball was held in Stickney’s Tavern which stood on Main Street just north of its junction with Court Street, and which was known for the excellence of its food as far as the Canada line.
Gale Tavern was the resort of the post-riders; the Washington Hotel where supper, lodging and breakfast, with a cigar and a glass of rum thrown in for good measure, were served for fifty cents, and Butters Tavern were frequented by teamsters, some of whom came to bring freight for the canal boats which started for Boston from the boathouse near Concord Bridge.
But, during the early nineteenth century, the four principal hotels on Main Street were the Columbian, the American House, the Phenix, and the Eagle Coffee House. The American House was built in great haste on the corner of Main and Park Streets to be ready for the opening of the legislature in 1834. It was favored by members of the Democratic party. The committee of the Democratic National Convention who came to Concord to notify Franklin Pierce of his election stayed here and from its second south balcony “the elegant and captivating” Hon. Pierre Soule of Louisiana addressed the crowd which had assembled in the street. James Buchanan, James K. Polk, then Secretary of State, John A. Dix and Nathaniel Hawthorne were among its guests.
The old Phenix Hotel, opened to the public in 1819, was popular with the Whigs. The most “respectable citizens” gathered in its large bar-room which was decorated with long rows of suspended crooked-neck squashes. On its register appeared the names of Daniel Webster, Horace Greeley, Adelina Patti, Edwin Booth and Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln, on his way from a visit to his son Robert who was at school in Exeter, spoke at a “Grand Republican Rally” in Phenix Hall. A man who saw him describes him as “a unique specimen of the human family,” but records that for nearly two hours he held his audience spellbound. He adds that Lincoln’s address was “unquestionably the most candid and effective speech we have had in Concord for years.”
The old Eagle Coffee House was built in 1827 and contained a large and elegant Grecian Hall with a graduated floor for dancing. The celebrated Landlord John P. Gass managed both the Eagle and the Columbian. He was a genial host and a wit, and described himself in the words of Falstaff as “A portly man, i’ faith, an a corpulent, of a cheerful look, a pleasingeye, and most noble carriage.” He spokeof his hotel fare as being so good that itgave him the gout.
On the evening of the hotel’s opening, January 8, 1828, a ball was held in honor of General Jackson’s victory at New Orleans. The dance-hall was decorated with paintings of the Battle of Orleans and full-length paintings of Jackson, Jefferson and Madison. Between dances patriotic songs were sung, among them “The Hunters of Kentucky,” which was repeated from the great dinner given at the State House in the afternoon.
“Old Hickory” on his visit to Concord stayed at the Eagle Coffee House where he is said to have neglected all the rich dishes provided by the manager and to have eaten only bread and milk. No bed in the hotel was considered fine enough for him to sleep upon, so a mahogany four-post bedstead was borrowed from a Concord matron for the occasion. President Jackson was accompanied by Lewis Cass, Levi Woodbury of his cabinet and by the elegant bachelor, Vice-President Martin Van Buren.
When the fire of 1851 swept away all the blocks on the east side of Main Street, the Coffee House was burned but the next year was rebuilt as the Eagle Hotel. For years it was the finest hotel in New Hampshire, with rates of one dollar a day for guests and one dollar and a half for tourists to the White Mountains. In 1890 it was again enlarged and remodelled.
The State House, built of Concord granite and completed in 181 9, was enlarged between 1864 and 1866. The first sessions of the legislature were held in Exeter with the exceptions of the years 1777 and 1780 when the members assembled in Portsmouth. From 1782 until June, 1808, it was a migratory body and met, not only in Concord, but also in Hopkinton, Amherst, Charlestown, Dover and Hanover. On January 8, 1782, the houses in session in Exeter adjourned to assemble again at the Old North Meetinghouse in Concord on March 13. But because the weather was cold and there was no means of heating the church, Judge Timothy Walker, who had influenced the members to come to Concord, fitted up a room in his store on North Main Street for them and the “President” of New Hampshire and his council met in the parlor of Parson Walker’s house. This meeting place of the legislature in Concord is now a dwelling-house with its historical significance designated by a tablet.
The establishment of the seat of government at Concord was an act of gradual growth and was accompanied by controversies among various towns, notably Hopkinton, Salisbury, Pembroke and Boscawen, as to the location of the capital. In 1790 Concord voted one hundred pounds which was supplemented by private gifts to build a house for the civic meetings of the town and for meetings of the legislature when it assembled there.
By 1814 the town house was not considered large enough to house the General Court, and two years later the governor and council were authorized to locate a new building. When the State House was completed five years later, visitors from all over the state and from other parts of the country came to see it and it was pronounced one of the finest buildings in the United States. The author of A Book for New Hampshire Children in Familar Letters from a Father waxed eloquent and said, “I have seen many elegant buildings in the course of my life; but I never saw one so elegant as the State House.” He also reminds his young readers that the front of the building has a “noble projection and pediment with a large elegant door; and the whole is set off with a most beautiful cupola, with a great gold eagle on top of it.”
The raising of the eagle took place with exercises which included an address by Philip Carrigain, as well as the inevitable procession and toasts. With the exception of two years when the building was being enlarged the golden bird has remained on his perch for a hundred and fifteen years.
The State House has been remodeled twice and the grounds have been improved from time to time. The Legislature of 1864, in order to stimulate action in enlarging the grounds, stipulated that improvements must be made on or before August 15. Concord citizens worked hard to build Capitol Street and at nine o’clock of the designated day, to the accompaniment of the blowing of whistles and roars of cannon, a six horse team was driven through the opening to show that it was passable.
Fiery debates and controversies, which have included Democrats, Whigs, FreeSoilers, Black Republicans, and progresives of all parties have taken place under the dome of the State House-and have been carried not only into the political life but also into the social life of Concord. At the Stagemasters’ Ball held at the Eagle Coffee House in the early forties where “everything was done up in the neat and captivating style, peculiar to the gentleman of the whip on such occasions,” a ballad which took the political leaders of the time to task was sung. One stanza of the song declared—
“Our august politicians in driving delight Yet neglect the direction to keep to the right, But thick and thin dash to become public feeders Till the people to check them just pull up the Leaders.”
The memories of the picturesque figures of New Hampshire political life make part of our Yankee traditions. Again we see young Daniel Webster making an impassioned address to the Federal Gentlemen of Concord on Independence Day, or in imagination attend the inauguration of Governor Samuel Bell, the first governor to take his oath within the State House walls. In the corridors still linger stories of Moses L. Neal, for many successive sessions clerk of the House of Representatives, whose burden of some three hundred pounds was supported by a plank surmounting a common flag-bottomed chair; of Henry O. Kent, Postmaster of the Senate and Commander of the Governor’s Horse Guards; of Ruel Durkee of Croydon, the Jethro Bass of Winston Churchill.s Coniston, who wore a swallow-tailed coat, full and flowing trousers, and a double waistcoat, buttoned to his chin in both summer and winter, and who for thirty years attended all sessions of the legislature, seeking information but giving nothing in return; of Edmund Burke of Newport, who, with the exception of Franklin Pierce, knew more national public men than any other person in New Hampshire; of John G. Sinclair, the brilliant debater who was one of the giants of the Democratic party; of Walter Harriman, one of the best stump speakers of the old political campaigns; of Cyrus W. Sulloway, “the tall pine of the Merrimack,” of William E. Chandler who was to become a national figure—and so we might list for hours the men who gathered in Concord when the legislature met.
Three sessions are still discussed by older men who have kept in touch with state affairs; the celebrated session of 1887 when both the Boston and Maine and the old Concord and Montreal Railroads, in an attempt at “hooking-up,” introduced bills which were battled over for days with the ultimate veto of the governor on the Boston and Maine’s winning bill; the session of 1871 when the Farm-Labor party held the balance of power and a sick member from Webster was brought in on a cot to cast his vote for the Republican Speaker of the House; and the session of 1913 when the last United States senator to be elected by the legislature was chosen and the balloting continued for over a hundred times.
But in spite of partisanship and intense hours of political seriousness, the General Court of New Hampshire has had its lighter moments, as in the session of 1923 when House Bill 137 “to secure a minimum of eight hours of sleep for everyone” was introduced, and in 1927 when a bill “To Prevent Improper Discrimination Against Tall Men” was written.
Today the offices and departments have overflowed from the State House and are quartered in various nearby buildings. Across from it on Park Street is the State Library, and beyond on the same street is the new building of the New Hampshire Historical Society. The United States Post Office stands at the rear of the State House, as does the Christian Science Church given by Mary Baker Eddy.
Pleasant Street, also known as “The Hopkinton Road,” winds up the hill by the State Hospital, the Odd Fellows’ Home, the residence of Ex-Governor John G. Winant, and Pleasant View Farm, where Mrs. Eddy lived during the years she spent in Concord, until it passes the grounds of St. Paul’s School. It is difficult to believe, as one glimpses its extensive grounds and buildings, that this school, now one of the most famous in the United States, started in 1858 at the summer home of Dr. George G. Shattuck with only three pupils. Its founder, Dr. Henry A. Coit, was both a great man and a great educator and his ideals have been maintained.
Concord has been called the “city of churches” and its school system is one of the best in New Hampshire. Concord coaches have been sold all over the world and granite from its quarries was chosen for building the Congressional Library in Washington. It has been the home of clock-makers, piano builders and silversmiths. Its spindles have contributed their part to New Hampshire’s industrial life. It contains a plant which publishes national magazines. Its streets and roads have grown from cartways to broad highways; its old ferries are gone and its canals and covered bridges are things of the past, yet notwithstanding the changes in its industrial and social life, Concord still remains essentially the same, a Yankee capital of a Yankee state.by Ella Shannan Bowles