Site No. 28.  102-106 Main Street – the Barnard Building.

    Before 1800 Cram’s blacksmith shop was here.   Sometime after the mills came to town in 1823, a three-story wooden tenement was built here.  E. P. Pinkham was making boots and shoes downstairs around 1890 when Jacob Barnard purchased the property.  The new owner lived in Massachusetts and had no known family connection to Newmarket.  He owned other properties in town, and by 1893 he was also a Director of Newmarket National Bank. 

    This was Newmarket’s first building to have plate glass windows, and it had an impressive brick archway.  Construction began in April and was done by September 1891.  E. P. Pinkham moved his goods in and opened the corner shop next to the Silver Hotel. 

    Several months later, tragedy struck.  Joseph Edgerly was a Newmarket veteran who had survived many battles during the Civil War.  He was walking by the building when the brand-new archway collapsed onto him.  Mr. Barnard immediately put Mr. Edgerly up at the Silver Hotel next door and paid for his medical care.  But Edgerly died ten days later, and his family sued Mr. Barnard for $10,000.   That ended any plans to add a third story to this structure. 

    But the building –with its rebuilt archway—did survive the two Durgin block fires in 1894 and 1899.  After the second fire, Mr. Pinkham the shoemaker started selling fire insurance on the side. 

    The building remained in a Barnard family trust until 1953.  A variety of tenants rented space upstairs.  In 1916 the two political parties planned their campaigns here.  Republicans had an office over Billy Martin’s Barber Shop; the Democrats were upstairs from the Rousseau Shoe Store.  Also upstairs were the undertakers Cassily & Stevens, but it’s unclear whether—or how—they brought their clients up to the office.  

    While upstairs tenants came and went, downstairs things didn’t change so much.  On the north side, customers shopped for shoes—first with Mr. Pinkham, and later from the Rousseaus.  The south side hosted barbers.  Billy Martin was the first.  After he died in 1923, the multi-talented Bennie Kendrigan moved in. 

    Bennie studied medicine at Tufts Medical School, and then violin at the New England Conservatory.  He originally learned the barbering trade to pay tuition, but when it came time to earn a living, he abandoned the stethoscope for the razor. 

    Bennie’s barber shop here was ideal – just across the street from the bandstand, where he could dash across to play during a concert.  He and fellow musician Mary Gordon formed the Kendrigan-Gordon Orchestra which played for years.  They both played for the silent movies down the street at the Star Theatre.   And his barbering skills must have been decent, as Bennie didn’t retire until 1961.

    Site No. 29 is right next door – the Willey House.

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

    Site No. 28 — Barnard Building (1891) – Horseshoes and Boots, a Shave and a Haircut.

    An 1800 map shows a building here, labeled “Cram’s”. Deacon James Cram (1730-1809) was living in Newmarket prior to 1776 and he had his blacksmith shop at this site.  His homestead, wharf and barn were across the street, along the banks of the Lamprey. More about his life can be found at Site #22 Lang’s Blacksmith Shop, in the section about the town’s earliest blacksmiths.

    After 1823, NMCo bought up all the property they could along the waterfront, and commercial wooden buildings sprang up along Main Street. A three-story tenement occupied this site with a boot and cordwainer shop on the main floor. In 1887 E. P. Pinkham owned and operated this establishment. Prior to February 1891, Jacob W. Barnard purchased this property.
    J. W. Barnard, Investor in Newmarket Real Estate

    Jacob Warren Barnard (1833-1903)

    Mr. Barnard was one of Newmarket’s absentee landlords. His early life was spent on his father’s farm in West Andover, MA. As a young man he began business for himself on Pearl Street in Boston, opening a wholesale boot and shoe business—which would be destroyed by fire in 1872. In 1852 he opened a shoe factory in Andover and carried on a retail shoe and boot establishment.

    According to his obituary, J. W. was one of Andover’s most wealthy and prominent citizens at the time of his death. He was a member of the Old South Church, and the Odd Fellows. He was President of the Andover Home for Aged People. He was also a Director of the Andover National Bank and Newmarket National Bank. He was a major stockholder in Andover Electric Light Company, and had large real estate holdings in Andover, MA and Newmarket, NH. Barnard was a founder of the Barnard Prize for Composition at the Punchard High School in Andover.

    In 1862, Jacob married Elizabeth Foster. Their son and daughter’s activities were followed by and published in the Newmarket Advertiser:
    •         Gertrude H. (1863-1944) who married Francis Bergstrom of Minneapolis, MN. They eventually settled in the Andover MA area.
    •         Henry W. (1869-1938) married Marion Paradise Barnard Cole. Henry took over operations of the shoe factory (J.W.Barnard & Son) before his father’s death.

    Following the Trail of J. W. Barnard’s Newmarket Holdings
    It is unclear why J. W. Barnard began investing in Newmarket real estate. There doesn’t seem to have been any family connection to the town at all. In addition to the Barnard Block J. W. had bought the old Methodist Church on Chapel Street, which he turned into apartments. This was later managed by his son, who advertised it for sale in 1920. Apparently it never sold, as later in Nov. 1953 Clarence Tower, trustee under the will of Jacob W, Barnard sold the land and building on Chapel St. and three parcels of land & buildings on Main Street to Robert D. Rousseau and Harry P. Marelli.

    Robert D. Rousseau and Harry P. Marelli later sold off the Barnard real estate:

    • land and building on Chapel St. (old Methodist Church) to Giacomo Marelli. (Harry Marelli later renovated that apartment building.)
    • land and building on Main St. to Joseph A. Blanchette of Newmarket. (Blanchette’s Bakery)
    • land and building on Main St. to Adelard Rousseau.
    In other Newmarket dealings, J. W. Barnard participated in the July 1892 S.A. Haley Estate Sale, purchasing the London Brothers store and dwelling building and a 4/7 share of the Brooks Building. And by 1893, he had become a Director of the Newmarket National Bank.

    Construction of the Barnard Block

    Plans were drawn up to replace the existing wooden structure with a new, modern 3-story brick building. The existing wooden tenement was moved to the rear of the brick building, and E. P. Pinkham moved with it—a temporary arrangement until he could set up his shop in the new building.  

    The Newmarket Advertiser applauded the plans which would bring more brick to Main Street, complementing the adjacent building—and making the area less susceptible to fire. Barnard contracted Samuel Savage and Sons Builders to construct the building, and they started work in April. Charles Tuttle of Dover did the masonry work. and they were set by Newmarket resident and painter George O. Hodgdon.

    By September it was ready for occupancy: there were two ground floor stores—each with a plate glass front—and a second floor for offices. A third floor to be used as a large hall was planned, but that never came to pass.

    (Newmarket Advertiser article from September 5, 1891 lists details of modern touches in Pinkham’s shoe store)

    When it opened, E. P. Pinkham moved his goods in and opened the north end corner shop closest to the Silver Hotel. He offered an array of commercially produced shoes: Ralston shoes for men, LaFrance and Estella shoes and boots for ladies.

    Unfortunately, within a few months a major problem arose. During a severe windstorm in December 1891 the original archway gave way.

    When it collapsed, it struck shoemaker Joseph Edgerly as he walked by the building. The bricks pinned him underneath, and people came out of shops to dig him out. Once released, he got up, claiming at first to be unhurt. Joseph Edgerly (1834-1892) died due to internal injuries ten days later. He was 58 years old.

    A Civil War veteran, Mr. Edgerly had taken part in six battles between 1861 and 1862 with the 3rd NH Infantry. Reenlisting in 1863, he joined Sheridan’s 1863-1864 Shenandoah Valley Campaign, and was also in the Battle at Appomattox Station & Court House (April 9 — 700 men killed). Here Mr. Edgerly witnessed Lee’s surrender ceremony.

    He had an illustrious battle career—all unscathed. What a cruel trick of fate for him to succumb to a freak accident while walking down Main Street!  Mr. Barnard, upon hearing of the accident, Mr. Edgerly up at the Silver Hotel next door and paid for his medical care.

    Nevertheless, the Edgerly family sued Mr. Barnard for $10,000. A year later the suit was settled out of court.
    Due to the pending litigation and the 1893 fiscal panic and recession, the planned third story was never completed.

    But the building did prove its resilience to flames, surviving the great downtown fire of 1894 that started next door in the Durgin block. While the original old wooden tenement in the rear was destroyed, damage to this brick structure was minor: on the south side ground floor, Felix Clement’s confection and lunch room sustained some water damage; and there was smoke and water damage in the second floor offices of Attorney A. L. Mellow, Tailor James T. O’Neil, and the business of Miss Mary Doe.
    When fire hit the Durgin block again in 1899, Mr. Pinkham took on a new business: selling fire insurance.
    When J. W. Barnard died in 1903, the building remained in the Jacob Barnard Trust until 1953 when it was sold to Robert Rousseau and Harry Marelli.

    A Few of the Upstairs Establishments

    Over the years the second floor has housed numerous offices. Here are some of the establishments that rented there:

    Before the 1894 fire, there was mention of several tenants: Attorney A. L. Mellow; tailor James T. O’Neil; and the business of Miss Mary Doe. (It’s unclear what kind of business Miss Mary Doe had, but it was no doubt something quite respectable.)

    By May 1896, James O’Neil had moved on, and a Dr. Lebel from Montreal had moved into that space.
    Later on, it was the site of Mina Newman’s 1909 Parisian millinery shop featuring ostrich feathers, hats, velvets and ribbons.

    Newmarket Attorney Arthur L. Churchill had his law officers uptairs for a little over 50 years, he was there when the building was sold in 1953.

    In a 1916 Newmarket Advertiser, page 1 had two ads the Barnard Block businesses. One was for the Cassily & Stevens funeral parlor. (As this was a second floor space, maybe it was just for their offices.)
    In 1916, there were offices for the political parties here as well. Republicans had an office over Martin’s Barber Shop; the Democrats were upstairs from the Rousseau Shoe Store.

    In 1918 Dr. George Towle, Jr. moved his practice here to the Barnard Building, upstairs over Rousseau’s Shoe Store. He kept his office here for many years.
    And in 1921 a dentist, C. H. Manning moved upstairs as well.

    North Side Shoes

    For almost 100 years people visited the north side corner shop to buy shoes—first from E .P. Pinkham, and then after WWI, from Adelard Rousseau. After the Second World War, Adelard’s son Robert took over the business, and Bob’s Shoes became a household name.

    More recently, the space has been a photography and art studio and today it is the home of  Three Monkey’s Tattoo Parlor.

    South Side Shaves

    Felix Clements moved his confection and lunchroom here in July 1892. While the 1894 fire had spared his business from serious damage, it’s unclear how long Mr. Clements remained after that. (Newspaper accounts of the fire noted that he had been living in the old wooden tenement—and that building was a total loss.) By the turn of the century, his south side ground floor space was home to a barber shop—and would continue to be so for many decades to come.

    Billy Martin was a successful barber in town for 40 years. His first shop (sometime before 1896) had been a bit north of here, in a building at Main and Central Streets. At some point he moved to the Barnard building. His barber shop was here for many years, until February 1923, when Billy suffered an aneurism while in his shop. He collapsed and died shortly after.

    The Kendrigan Years

    Joseph Kendrigan and his family had moved to town from Barre, VT. He took over the lease in the Barnard Building for his son Benjamin In November 1924. In 1925 Ben opened his own barbershop. But it turned out that he brought much more than barbering skills to town.

    Ben had studied medicine at Tufts Medical School for three years, and then violin at the New England Conservatory. While in medical school he had learned the barbering trade to pay for his tuition. He then moved to Barre, VT where he opened a barber shop and played violin at the Barre Opera House.

    Once in Newmarket, within a few months he created his own band, which played for years. The Kendrigan-Gordon Orchestra included Ben on the violin, Mary (Mae) Gordon on the piano, and Manuel St. Laurent on drums, as well other musicians who came and went over the years.  They played for various functions and halls in the area. He also played background music for silent movies at the Star Theater. He was known as “Bennie Kendrigan the popular violinist and orchestra leader with a picked orchestra.” He also played violin during services and on religious holidays for the Newmarket Community Church.

    Bennie’s wife Eunice was a Newmarket Library Trustee for several years.  She owned and operated a pre-school kindergarten, and served as PTA President for the Newmarket School District, and later as President of the NH State PTA. Their daughter Barbara Jean graduated from Newmarket High School in 1941.

    The family was involved in town, school and church affairs, as well as with the Newmarket Grange. After Ben’s retirement in 1961 he and Eunice and moved to Enfield, NH to be closer to their daughter and their two grandchildren. Bennie died in 1974; Eunice in 1984; and they are buried in Enfield.
    His barber pole was a fixture on Main Street from 1925 until 1961. It now hangs in the Stone School Museum.

    The 1960s – More Haircuts

    In 1960 two Newmarket men completely renovated the shop, added air conditioning, and replaced old equipment with new. They continued barbering services under the name of the MacDonald-Gagnon Barber Shop.

    Richard MacDonald had served with the US Army in the US and Germany. Jacques Gagnon was a US Army veteran who had served three years as a paratrooper at Fort Bragg, NC. Both men had graduated from Newmarket High School and had played basketball throughout their school years. After their military service they both received their training at the Legion Barber Shop in Manchester. MacDonald did his apprenticeship in North Hampton; Gagnon did his with Henry Homiak on Central Street.

    While this space is no longer a barber shop, it has seen a number of establishments come and go—including vintage clothing and a juice bar.