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A Short History of Sutton

Sign post at Shadow Hill Rd. circa 1890

 

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Short History of Sutton

Based on information found in

The History of Sutton, New Hampshire by Augusta H. Worthen

Sutton is located about 25 miles northwest of Concord. It is a hilly town with several small lakes, ponds and streams. Hundreds of miles of stonewalls criss-cross the landscape. The land between the walls had been cleared by the early settlers for their farms, pastures and roadways. Today, most of the cleared land has been reclaimed by the forest. The summit of Mt. Kearsarge, the highest point in Merrimack County, lies just beyond the eastern border of Sutton.

The Masoinan proprietors gave Obediah Perry of Haverhill, MA and fifty nine others a grant to land on the "west side of Kyarsargy Hill" (Mt. Kearsarge) in 1749. The tract of land was called Perrystown. In the succeeding years attempts to attract settlers from Massachusetts and southern New Hampshire failed and the grantees had to petition for a renewal of the grant for Perrystown. David Peaslee was the first settler in Perrystown, arriving with his son, Samuel, in 1767. The next settlers arrived in 1770. The citizens of Perrystown voted to petition the General Court of New Hampshire to incorporate as a town in 1784. The General Court granted their request and Perrystown was incorporated and named Sutton. There is no record as to why the citizens changed the name of their town. One speculation is that Baruch Chase, a lawyer from Hopkinton, NH, helped draw up the petition and he was rewarded by being allowed to chose a name for the new town. His choice was Sutton for his native town, Sutton, MA.

For nearly sixty years Sutton's population experienced steady growth. The new settlers came form Massachusetts, southern New Hampshire and neighboring towns. They built farms on the hillsides and mills on nearly every stream in town. Farming the rocky soil was difficult and water flow in many of the streams was not dependable. Better soils in the west and and the big mills in the cities drew away many of Sutton's citizens. In 1820 Sutton attained its greatest population, 1573. From 1820 to 1960 there was a steady decline in the population. The 1960's began a reversal of that trend and by 1990 the population reached 1457.

During the 1800's several of Sutton's citizens became well known as leaders in politics, industry and education on the state and national level. Among them were Matthew Harvey, Jonathan Harvey, John Pillsbury, George Pillsbury, John Eaton and Lydia Wadleigh.

Today, Sutton is a quiet bedroom community with activities centered around the villages of North Sutton, Sutton Mills and South Sutton. Kearsarge Regional High School which serves Sutton and six of its neighbors is located on the North Road. The Vernondale Store is located in a building which has served as the general store for North Sutton since the late 1700's. The Harvey Homestead and Musterfield Farm Museum, a working farm museum dedicated to the preservation of our ancestors agrarian ways, is located in North Sutton. Pillsbury Memorial Town Hall, the Sutton Free Library and Sutton Central Elementary School are found in Sutton Mills. The Sutton Historical Society owns the South Sutton Meeting House and the adjacent one room school house. The two buildings are located on a small hill just above the common. The meetinghouse is the home of Sutton's annual Old Home Day celebration. Nearby, next to the common, is the Old Store Museum which is owned by the town.

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Biographies

Jonathan Harvey coming soon

John S. Pillsbury coming soon

Matthew Harvey coming soon

George A. Pillsbury coming soon

Gen. John Eaton coming soon

Lydia Wadleigh

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Maps

1892 Sutton (entire town)

1892 Village of North Sutton

1892 Village of South Sutton

1892 Village of Sutton Mills

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Cemeteries

Coming Soon

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Photographs

Coming Soon

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Sutton Resources

 

Marjorie Friel, Town Clerk
Pillsbury Memorial Town Hall
Sutton Mills
PO Box 85
North Sutton, NH 03260
(603) 927-4575
 
Sutton Free Library
RFD
Main St.
Sutton Mills, NH 03221
(603) 927-4927
 
Sutton Historical Society
PO Box 457
South Sutton, NH 03278
 
Musterfield Farm Museum and
Harvey Homestead
PO Box 118
North Sutton, NH 03260
(603) 927-4276

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Links

The following family pages have genealogical information about families and individuals with ties to Sutton:

Other Links:

Make a Query

To make a query click on the e-mail icon. Write "Sutton Query" and the family name in the subject line. Write what information you need in the message. I will attempt to find the information you need and will respond as soon as possible.

Volunteers are needed to do look ups. Please send an email if you are interested in volunteering.

This page was created by Don Davis. I welcome all comments and suggestions.

 

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Updated: December 7, 1999

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