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    Site No. 24.  From 1847 till 1944, there were two brick buildings here between the church and Mill No. 6—Newmarket Town Hall and Newmarket House.   Way before that, the village’s earliest industry was here, with the hulls of ships resting on shipways.  Carpenters and blacksmiths prepared each vessel for its guided slide into the Salt River.  The larger ones would float down to Portsmouth for rigging and finishing.

    The earliest recorded structure here predates 1800.  Jeremiah Young’s Shop was just uphill from the shipbuilding area.   At age 35, Jeremiah died suddenly.  His many timber and shipbuilding assets were sold off to pay debts, leaving his widow with little more from the estate than a “mansion house” and a pew at the meeting house.

    In 1823 another construction crew framed Mill No. 1 here.  Young Samuel Ayers Neal was one of the workers.  In 1848 the Newmarket Manufacturing Company leased the site for a new town hall.  Bricks were from a local brickyard, and costs came in at $3700.  According to some people, that was too much money.  At the 1849 town meeting, fistfights broke out, and the meeting was adjourned before approving a school budget.  The town schools had to close due to lack of funds, and several of the teachers set up private academies.

    Newmarket Town Hall got a tower and a cupola about 40 years later; and in 1911 the front entrance was extended for more office room, and a horseshoe balcony was added.  Over the years it hosted banquets and basketball games, vaudeville shows and movies, campaign events and Christmas fairs.  It was home to the Municipal Court, the Police Department and Town Offices.  On Sept. 19, 1987, it was destroyed by fire.

    Built about the same time, between the Town Hall and the Church, there was Pa Tuttle’s three-story brick hotel—the Newmarket House.  It had a separate stable out back with a story all its own.  When mass-produced roller skates became affordable, it started a craze.  In 1884, the Town Hall was rented out to roller skaters nearly every night of the week.  Attorney Charles Smith saw an opportunity and transformed the second floor of the Newmarket House stable into a roller-skating rink.   There were weekly newspaper ads promoting this “innocent and healthful amusement”.  But the Baptists up the street disagreed.  One pastor claimed that “fourteen girls had been ruined by these sinks of iniquity.”

    But for the Newmarket House owners and managers, it was the Temperance movement that eventually dried up profits.   Prohibition in 1919 was the final straw.   The mills bought the property and set up the Newmanco Club which remained a popular social organization until the 1929 strike.  When the mills left in 1932 the building reverted to the town, but its usefulness was pretty much over.  Shell Oil later bought it, intending to replace it with a gas station.  That idea was abandoned after a vehement public outcry, but in 1944 the old Newmarket House was finally torn down.  The site became a parking lot, and eventually Rivermoor Landing bought it for the exclusive use of its members. 

    After the Town Hall burned down in 1987, it was nearly a decade before Arbor Park was created.  That story can be found online.

    To see Site Number 25, there’s no need to move.  It’s the Post Office just across Main Street.

    END OF AUDIO TEXT. See below for photos and more information.

    24 – Arbor Park – (1996) – is the site of the old Town Hall (1847-1987) and the  Newmarket House Hotel (1847-1941).


    Arbor Park - Most Recent History

    In 2010 during the construction of a new street and sidewalk configuration, the town received $16,264 in grant money from the Federal Transit Administration (via COAST) toward bus stop improvements.  The plantings in the existing park were removed but were not slated to be replaced as part of the project.  Woodburn & Co. of Newmarket was asked by neighbors of the project if they might help recreate a garden centerpiece at this site; the result was a detailed landscape and plant design.

    With the help of the Newmarket Gardeners, the resulting garden created a quiet oasis to enjoy a wait for the bus, have a noontime picnic or just a rest on a sunny day.   The flagpole was provided with funds donated by the Newmarket Women’s Club at the time they disbanded.

    But that doesn’t tell the whole story.  Arbor Park, which covers less than half an acre of land (.4 acre to be exact) is perhaps the costliest footage in town, state and federal grant history.

    Since 1987

    After the Town Hall burned down in 1987, there were many discussions as to how to utilize the property.   However, it would be nearly a decade before anything definitive was decided. 

    1992:  Newmarket sent a representative to the regional group, Lamprey River Advisory Council. 


    • Newmarket Town Council supports the inclusion of Lamprey River in the national Wild and Scenic Rivers Program. 
    • The Lamprey Riverwalk Committee was formed.
    • The town worked with Jack Mettee of Appledore Engineering on plans for a park that would provide a gateway to the waterfront from the Main Street COAST Bus Stop.
    • The resulting application for a NH Coastal grant described the location of the new park as being the site of the old Town Hall. 


    • Appledore presented its feasibility study for the Lamprey Riverwalk in 1996; this included a landscape design for the park drawn up by the Calderwood Company.        
    • Mark Klein and Leslie Parker donated Heron Point to the town as conservation land;
    • Redevelopment of the “Essex Mill Complex” (Bryant Rock Condominiums) was underway;
    • The Lamprey Riverwalk Committee managed construction, which was carried out by Newmarket Public Works and local contractors.  It was funded in large part by the Newmarket Conservation Commission and the COAST Bus service. 
    • The 1995-96 “Report of the Town Council” noted “The new bus stop, park and planned riverwalk are just the beginning…”
    • The 1995-96 Lamprey River Park and Riverwalk Committee report included the plantings:

    Funded by the Newmarket Conservation Commission, the park plantings include four lilac trees, three Selkirk crabapple trees, and some clusters of rhododendron. The park is surrounded by hedges along three sides, burning bush, seagreen junipers, and deep green euonymous Sarcoxie.   Along the retaining wall outside the park a variety of plants provide color and fragrance—spirea, barberry, butterfly bush, mugo pines, magnolia, azaleas, viburnum and hydrangea.

    1997:   It was reported that “The Lamprey River Park opposite the Post Office was completed in the Summer of 1997 with the painting of the pergola.” 


    By 2000 it seems that town efforts and funding turned east toward the waterfront.  In the years that followed, improvements and beautification of this park were often the work of volunteers.

    2000-2005:  Funding received from a NH Coastal program provided for materials and construction of what became Schanda Park.  Another grant funded the riverfront park in front of the Lang’s blacksmith property.

    2001:  When the Town received funds to put its downtown utility lines underground, part of the plan was to remove the Memorial Bandstand (Site No. 32) so that the road could be widened.  A veterans group sought donations to move it “to the Main Street park at the site of the old town hall.”  This committee envisioned its placement at the back of the park, with a bell tower closer to the front, to house one of the old mill bells.  That plan nevere 

    2007:  About 100 Timberland volunteers along with sixth graders in the Linked-in program spent an afternoon in September landscaping and planting mums in Arbor Park, Schanda Park, Heron Point, and the newly created Pocket Park.

    2008:  The Arbor Park fence which matches the fence along the Riverwalk had been purchased from a grant for $8,200.   The damage caused by a snowplow in January was not covered by the grant.  That was an additional expenditure the town had to pay to repair the damaged section.

    For the Water Street Gateway project the Town appropriated $25,000 to make some landscape improvements down Water Street to improve the Boat launch. Plans were prepared by the Richardson Architects from engineering provided by the NH State Fish and Game Department.

    Funding for Arbor Park improvements was not included.  At that time Woodburn & Company provided pro bono services for the landscape renovation of the gardens surrounding the existing Arbor Park at the bus stop.

    2010:  Newmarket Riverwalk Advisory Committee disbanded

    In a contentious Town Council meeting in January 2010, the Newmarket Riverwalk Advisory Committee was disbanded effective August 31st.  The group had worked on the entire waterfront project since its inception, and had seen its funding reduced drastically from the Capital Reserve Fund from $15,000 to $5,000 over the previous two years.

    Committee members stressed the point that their work was designed to make the Riverwalk into a destination for residents and visitors linking the various areas of the downtown together. As such, their focus was not limited to the Arbor Park and should be continued into the future.

    Councilors stated that any future expansion of the Riverwalk would require negotiations with property owners at Rivermoor Landing for an easement; and at that time Rivermoor was not in favor of granting such an easement.  With a vote of 5 to 2, it was decided to impose the Aug. 31 deadline for the completion of the Arbor Park, with the dissolution of the group immediately following.  Ever since, the Town Public Works Department has been responsible for maintenance and planning of Arbor Park.

    This is the latest chapter in a long history for this piece of downtown property.  It—along with the parking lot that sits next to it—has been a place to build ships and mill supports, to vote, to pay taxes, to play (basketball), to eat, to sleep, and to drink (until Prohibition).

    On This Spot Once Stood…


    • a Shipbuilder’s Shop
    • a Framing Station
    • the Town Hall
    • the grand Newmarket House
    • a stable with a dubious reputation



    The Shipbuilder’s Shop

    The earliest recorded building on this site was a shop belonging to the trader Jeremiah Young, captured on a map of Lamprey River Village, listed as J. Young’s Shop prior to 1800.  Young sold dry goods and household items from his shop; we also know from the inventory of his estate that he was actively involved in the shipbuilding trade.

    Jeremiah Young (1758-1793) was born in Newmarket, the son of Joseph and Anna (Folsom) Young.  During the Revolution, at age 17 he enlisted in Capt. Winborn Adam’s Company from May to August, and on Oct 4, 1775 he received a soldier’s blanket and was paid four dollars coat money for services at Medford.  

    In 1781, in a ceremony performed by Reverend Nathaniel Ewer, he married Sarah (AKA Sally) Cram, the daughter of David and Susanna (Clough) Cram.  The 1790 census lists seven people in his household: Jeremiah and a boy under age 16, and 5 females. He served on the town committee to build the Second Meeting House (on the road to Exeter, near Ash Swamp Rd.) in 1790.  The following year he bid out/purchased pew No. 11 and gallery pew No.23.

    The family lived in the north part of Lamprey River which at the time was in Durham.  When at the young age of 35 Jeremiah died (we assume suddenly) in Newfields, he left no will.   His dwelling was granted by Judge Parker of Rockingham County Probate Court to be given to his widow as her “right of dower”.  The property was described as a “Mansion house and homestead” containing half an acre of land. It was along the Lamprey River in Durham (today in Newmarket) and bounded by James Cram’s property.  This would be in the vicinity today of the Cram family cemetery by the Newmarket/Durham town line on Rte. 108.

    His estate listed several pieces of land and tenements in Newmarket, it also included:

    • a warehouse and 18 acres in Durham
    • 1/3 ownership in a schooner
    • a half ownership in a gundalow
    • 198 feet good oak planks and 7 tons of beech wharf timber at Lamprey River Landing  
    • 2 ¾ tons of ship timber and 1 ½ ton pine wharf timbers at Newfields Landing
    • Blocks, logs and ½ interest in a sawpit
    • horse & sleigh  

    That’s not all—the list goes on for several pages—as does a list of business debts.  From all that, after the debts were paid, Sarah was left a young widow with young children, a house with half an acre of land, pew #11 in the Meeting House, and not much else.  While there is little information about his family after his death, according to Fitts’ History of Newfields, “his widow was on the old church list in 1814.”

    The Mill Framing Station

    Before the Newmarket Manufacturing Company started construction on Mill No. 1, company officials quietly acquired most of the land in Lamprey River Village—including this site. By 1823 it was a construction site, where crews framed the first mill.  One of the workers was 26-year-old Samuel Ayers Neal. 

    In 1881, when Samuel Ayers Neal died at age 84, there was a tribute printed in The Newmarket Advertiser.  Town historian John F. Chapman wrote of a conversation he had with Mr. Neal years earlier.  He recalls Mr. Neal saying that:

    he helped cut the frame of Number One Mill in this place.  The timber was cut on the shores of Crommitt’s Creek, at Durham Point, and rafted up the bay and river, and landed at the town dock at the foot of Water Street. The framework was done on the very spot where now is located the Newmarket House Hotel.  The only person now living [1881] who had a hand in that transaction would be Elijah Edgerly, then a resident of Durham, but now of Dover”.    

    While there is no written evidence that this site was used in the construction of Mills No. 2 and 3, it very well could have been.  There’s no indication that it was used for anything else, and it was land owned by NMCo.  

    Then in 1848, two buildings were constructed on this site:  the former Newmarket Town Hall and the Newmarket House followed later by the Skating Rink  in the three links listed at the top of this site above the printed Audio text.