The very early settlers of bartlett
1780 - 1800
The French and Indian Wars fought in the 1700's and skirmishes with the British during this time were not of great global importance but they did set the stage for war heroes to obtain vast tracts of land as reward for their services to their various governments.
Such were the times from 1765 to 1775 when then Governors Benning Wentworth and John Wentworth granted a combined 14,000 acres to Colonel Andrew McMillan, Captain William Stark, Lt Vere Royce, Adj Philip Bayley, Major James Gray, and Robert Furniss of the Royal Navy. Most of those who received such grants rarely settled on the land themselves.
In 1790 this land became the Town of Bartlett.
Most of these grantees had little interest in their land with the exception of William Stark who offered land to anyone who would come and settle. One might wonder if they considered their bequests as a "booby-prize" being isolated and uninhabited lands and nary a Pub for 70 miles ? (editors comment only.)
Thus, around 1775, arrived brothers Enoch and Humphrey Emery along with Nathaniel Harriman. They settled in today's Jericho and their descendants live there to this day.
John and Martha Pendexter arrived in the winter of 1776 and settled in the Intervale area and in 1777 came Daniel Fox, Paul Jilly and Captain Samuel Willey who all settled in the upper Bartlett area.
Richard Garland came to Bartlett in 1783. A man of considerable stamina, he lived in the Hall Neighborhood near today's Sky Valley about a mile east of the Village.
Joseph and Alice Pitman first settled in Harts Location and later moved to Bartlett. Alice is Martha Pendexter's sister.
Jonathan Tasker, a revolutionary soldier arrived in Bartlett about 1789.
Brothers, Obed and Ebenezer Hall, came from Madbury NH about 1788 and farmed in Upper Bartlett as well as operating a "house of entertainment" in the Village.
By June 1790 Bartlett had become an Incorporated town.
We today might have a hard time comprehending how difficult it was for our forbears to settle in an untamed wilderness. One may also wonder what thoughts motivated them to move from the relative comforts of southern New Hampshire to an area that offered little except isolation and hardship.
They faced the perils of isolation, the fear of Indian raids, the ravages of wild beasts, the wrath of the rapid mountain torrents, the obstacles to communication which the vast wilderness interposed, — every form of discomfort and danger was apparently protection for these grand mountains as impassable barriers to intrusion and occupation.
One man once went eighty miles on foot through the woods to a lower settlement for a bushel of salt, the scarcity of which had produced sickness and suffering, and returned with it on his back.
Several of the earliest settlers lived for years without any neighbors for miles. One man was obliged to go ten miles to a mill, and would carry a bushel of corn on his shoulder, and take it back in meal. But often these brave men did not even have the corn to be ground : they were threatened with famine, and were obliged to send deputations thirty, fifty, and sixty miles to purchase grain.
These families were tried by the freshets that tore up the rude bridges, swept off their barns, and even floated their houses on the meadows. On the Saco intervale, in the year 1800, a heavy rain swelled the river so that it destroyed every cabin and shed that had been built on it.
They suffered much from the inadequate legislation of those early times, and their patience was often tried to the utmost, when they sent petition alter petition to the legislature without receiving an answer until years had passed.
But these hardships, privations, and sufferings did not dwarf their intellects or diminish their physical powers, and a good character of solidity, intelligence, and industry has ever been connected with the inhabitants of this county. Men distinguished in the domains of law, literature, medicine, and science, with just pride, point to Carroll County as the place of their birth, while the county with equal pride claims them as her sons.
1793 prominent citizens of Bartlett
These Men, and the women who may have accompanied them, might be considered the founders of the Town of Bartlett. The names include: Richard Garland, Enoch Emery, Joseph Hall, Obed Hall, Levi Seavey, Samuel Seavey, Simon Seavey , John Scribner, Jonathan Seavey, James Rogers, Jonathan Place, isick Stanton. James Baset, Samuel Fall, Peter and Nicholas Stillings, Jonathan Tasker, John weeks, Jonathan Hutchins, John wooster, Humphrey Emery, John Pendexter, Joseph Pitman, Levi Chubbuck, george woodes, Thomas Spring, Timothy Walker. Joseph Pinkham, Joseph D. Pinkham.
There were others whose lives did not include exceptional traits that would have made them memorable, and like the majority of people, their names are soon forgotten.
In the 1780's there were less than 5 non Indian people residing in what is now Bartlett. Fifty years later in 1830 the population had grown to only 644 and to about 775 by 1860. It has taken another 159 years to reach our 2019 population of perhaps 3000 people. This low growth rate, at least by today's standards, demonstrates that only the adventuresome choose to live in this desolate wilderness.
Early bridges were no match for raging rivers
Details about some of The early pioneers of the 1790's
1796: Peter Stillings came to Bartlett in 1796 and settled in the extreme upper edge of Town on about 200 acres of land which included all of the land now occupied by Garland's Mountain Home Cabins as well as property on the north side of present day Rte 302. This land extended to the Town line of todays Harts Location and included Sawyers Rock. The land extended to include both sides of the Saco River. Peter's deed was given by George Hart. Later he sold half his land to his son, Samuel.
Peter was married to Elizabeth Tuttle in 1770. They had four children, Nicholas in 1773, Peter Jr in 1774, Hannah in 1776 and Samuel in 1780.
Samuel Born in March of 1780.
Samuel Stillings, the son of Peter, operated a wayside tavern on the site for about 40 years, probably from 1806 until 1846. In 1846, at the age of 66, Samuel sold his farm and Inn to his son, Nicholas.
This rare1860 stereo-graph photo is believed (but not confirmed) to be the Upper Bartlett House or The Stillings Tavern and Stage Stop. It would have been located in the vicinity of today's Mountain Home Cabins on Rte 302. Titus Brown's Tavern was in this area 60 years before, about 1800.
Nicholas Stillings, son of Samuel, may have been born sometime around 1815. He was a teamster who hauled produce from upper Coos County and Vermont to Portland and on the return trip brought salt. From this beginning, about 1835, Nicholas became first, a partner in The Abbott & Osgood Company, a stage line that ran from Conway to Crawford's, and later became the sole owner. Nicholas distinguished his stage company by using only matched gray horses to pull his stages. He operated this company for eleven years during the summer months and used his teams for logging operations during the winter.
In 1846 he purchased his father's (Samuel) farm. By 1854 Nicholas had built The Upper Bartlett House, a two story inn, on his father's former farm and Inn. This was located on the north side of Rte 302 near today's Mountain Home Cabins and near the location of the previous Titus Brown Inn.
During the brief existance of the Upper Bartlett House it became well known and respected for comfortable beds and good food. It was mentioned in the highly respected "Eastman's White Mountain Guide" Nicholas was a natural showman and hired storyteller's to entertain his guests, and he himself was known to spin many "tall tales", some of which may have actually been true.
Nicholas was an energetic and ambitious man and in 1866 he moved to Jackson and in 1869 built a starch factory and a store in that town. In 1876 he built a hotel as well. It was named the Glen Ellis House.
During his Bartlett years he served six terms as Selectman and was a State Representative in 1862. He was the recruiting officer in Bartlett to see that sufficient numbers of men were recruited for the Civil War. He himself was a Captain in the Militia.
Source: Incidents in White Mountain history - by Rev. Benjamin G. Willey
Bartlett, NH Tavern Fire, Apr 1879
THE BARTLETT FIRE.----Our Conway correspondent writes that the loss to Mr. N. T. Stillings of Bartlett, whose tavern stand and out-buildings were destroyed by fire on the 3d, is $5000, with no insurance. The loss will be a heavy one to Mr. S., whose popular tavern and stage lines were so well known among the pilgrims to "the Switzerland of America." The fire is thought to have originated from a defective chimney. The family of Mr. S, was away at the time of the fire.
The New Hampshire Patriot, Concord, NH 13 Apr 1879
From the book, "Lucy Crawford's History of the White Mountains":
In December of 1783 Richard Garland was one of only five inhabitants of this location and there were but few inhabitants within 36 miles. Dover was the closest town for purchasing provisions. At one point Mr Garland had a small farm cultivated and one of his neighbors offered him a team of horses if he could find a plow. Mr Garland then went 7 miles and borrowed the nearest one. He carried it home on his back, plowed all day and into the night, then carried the plow back. During this same day he went 2 miles to buy a 50 pound bale of hay, which he also carried home on his back. When Bartlett was incorporated in 1790 Mr Garland was the town's first constable and collector of taxes. Mr Garland also helped Captain Rosebrook in his endeavors to found a highway through the notch by bringing the first load of supplies (rum) through the notch to prove it could be done.
And, from "The History of Carroll County", 1889, Georgia Drew Merrill
Richard Garland was a soldier of the Revolution, a native of Dover, and lived to an advanced age, dying March 5,1853. His wife was Sarah Watson, of Rochester. Their eldest son, Eben, remained in Bartlett, and married Lydia Hayes, of Rochester. They had three sons, Alexis, Richard, and Otis (the two Latter died young), and four daughters. Alexis made his home in town and married. His four sons were: Benjamin C., Eben O., Richard A., and Fred E. Eben O. is a resident of Bartlett, and carries on merchandising and an Inn, The Garland in the upper Village..
December, 1783, Richard Garland, as he told Lucy Crawford, " was one inhabitant among five who came into that location, and there were but few inhabitants distance of thirty-six miles, mostly woods, and they were seventy-five miles from Dover, where they had to go for their provisions, and had them to draw in a hand-sleigh in the winter over a little bushed path, without a bridge.
After several years Mr Garland had a small piece of land under cultivation. Tradition has it that at one time he walked seven miles to plow, as two of his neighbors would each lend him a horse. He carried the plow home on his back, then walked a mile and a half to buy hay. After a good day's work he returned the plow, then went home to his supper, having walked thirty miles. I've seen that the work of planting civilization here was not a holiday play, and the story of Mr Garland could he almost duplicated in the experience of any settler. Out of dangers, hardships, sufferings, and exposure, was loped a kindliness to others, and on this broad and liberal principle was civilization founded. The same spirit is a ruling passion with the descendants of the pioneers who live in town to-day.
Another Version of the same story (1889).
CAPTAIN NICHOLAS TUTTLE STILLINGS who was for many years well known as a successful business man BORN in Bartlett, April 1:'., 1818, and died in Jackson. Grandfather, Samuel Stillings, an early resident of Bartlett. located in the " Upper District." Samuel, Jr. in 1790, and learned the trade of ship carpenter, but purchased a piece of wild land on the north side of Bartlett, where Waller Stanton now lives, and after developing it bought the J. B. Brown farm, and kept a wayside inn. Married Martha, daughter of Benjamin and Jane (Folsom) Tuttle. (Mr and .Mrs Tuttle were from Lee, moved to Eaton and then in 1816 to Hart's Location, and subsequently to Jefferson, where they lived out their last days.) The children of Samuel and .Martha (Tuttle) Stillings attaining maturity were: Nicholas T., Alfred, Miiin F., and Clarinda J., who married Elias M.- Hall, of Bartlett.
Mr Stillings was an honest, industrious, hard-working farmer. He was never known to deviate from the strictest truth, and lost several lawsuits by telling the facts, without any attempt to omit, pervert, or mystify them. Politically he was a Democrat : religiously a Universalist, and he lived a good and useful life. He died in lStlS. his wife surviving him
Nicholas T. Stillings attained a strong and robust physique in his home among the mountains and was noted for his great muscular strength. He worked for his father until his majority, then started in life on his own, purchasing a farm for seven hundred dollars on credit, his only capital being a pair of colts.
However he soon took to himself a help- bright, vigorous woman, who with her willing hands helped turn wheels of honest labor with good results. Mr Stillings paid for his farm in seven years. He was obliged to work hard to do this, as money was and labor and stock brought small prices.
He would go to Portland, buy a load of salt, and draw it to Vermont and Upper Coos, where he would dispose of it for part money and part produce, with which returned to Portland. In 1846 he bought the farm of his father, and kept a stage tavern until he moved to Jackson. (This house was burned in 1879.)
He then commenced lumbering, and not long after purchased the stage-route from the Glen to the Crawford House, and dined the rs at his "hotel." He ran this line summers for eleven years, turning it only with the advent of the railroad. The horses he used in the winter, thus combining two enterprises very successful, a pair of " seven foot" oxen for forty dollars. And fully during his life continued to purchase and operate large tracts of timber. He had an energetic, active temperament was always ready for hard work and the promotion of new enterprises.
In 1866 he built a Starch mill in Jackson, and in 1869 removed thither, and. with his daughter Sophronia, established a store as N. T. Stillings & Co. His next work was the building of the Glen Ellis House, which was opened for guests in 1876. This is a solid structure located near the Ellis river. When Mr Stillings was asked why he put so much work into it, and did it so thoroughly, he answered that he was going to build it to stand as a monument to show that he was once on earth.
In August, 1839, Mr Stillings married Patience Stanton, daughter of William and Patience Jenkins. She was born in New Durham. August 1817. Their children were: Sophronia, (married Silas M. Thompson, and had one child, Harry Alonzo, born in 1884), who inherits many of her father's characteristics; Alonzo (nee.); Emeline (Mrs .lames Nute. of Bartlett). Democratic in politics, and often serving as selectman in Bartlett and Jackson, Mr Stillings was recognized as a keen business man possessing rare good judgment. He had great perseverance, and when he started an enterprise he invariably carried it through. He was public-spirited and generous toward anything that appeared to him just and right, but was never a time-server, and could not nor would not fall in with every scheme presented to him. He was a captain in the militia and a good disciplinarian. A strong, rugged character, he was one whose personality was in keeping with his surroundings, and impressed himself upon all who knew him. He will not soon he forgot ten. and few have done more tor the benefit of the town.
Source: "The History of Carroll County", 1889, Georgia Drew Merrill
This picture shows Mountain Home when James and Emeline Nute owned it. (James with the beard and his son with suit and tie), perhaps Emeline sitting on porch) They operated a large farm extending westward to Silver Springs, Eastward to about where The Bartlett Inn is located today and Northward to the Saco River. The farm also included what was then "Silver Spring Cottage" just a tad to the east on the opposite side of the street. This was formerly a part of the Stillings lands. The Nutes sold the pictured building and land to Clifton and Lucille Garland about 1930. Looks so idyllic - but the reality was much different.
Levi Chubbuck Born in Abington, Plymouth, Massachusetts, on 15 Aug 1761 to Jonathan Chubbuck and Hannah Marble. Levi Chubbuck passed away on 16 Jan 1832 in Bartlett, Carroll County, New Hampshire.
During the American Revolution he enlisted for a year in 1776 as a fifer, and then re-enlisted for a full three-year tour of duty. He was wounded in his left knee by a musket ball. He was discharged in 1780 at the ripe old age of 19, where after he moved to Bedford, NH, to be with the rest of his family. He applied for a pension but was denied.
He apparently got married in Bedford and then moved to Bartlett, NH, where he spent the rest of his life.
Between 1785 and 1809 he fathered 12 children, 8 girls, 4 boys.
He served Bartlett on a Committee to locate and layout roads in1793.
He died comparatively young, but left a large family. His sons Levi and Barnet settled in town, Levi occupying his father's homestead. Hannah married John Thompson, of Conway; Sally married John Carlton; Betsey married a Walker: Jane married David Carlton. Levi the younger married Ann Davis, and had children: Edwin: George; Mary A. ; Emeline (married Hon. (i. W. M. Pitman) ; Rhoda (married Tobias Dinsmore).
Incidents in White Mountain history - by Rev. Benjamin G. Willey
"The History of Carroll County", 1889, Georgia Drew Merrill
Bartlett NH - In the Valley of the Saco - Aileen Carroll - 1990
Lucy Crawford's History of the White Mountains - circa 1860
REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS OF The State of New Hampshire • BOSTON -
NEW ENGLAND HISTORICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY 15 COURT SQUARE 1902
Captain Nicholas Tuttle Stillings is buried at the Jackson, NH cemetery
Here is an interesting account of the 1834 Willey Slide and Rescue as told by Ebenezer Tasker, who was the son of a member of the rescue party. Names mentioned are Edward Melcher, Jonathan Rogers, Samuel Tuttle, Abram Allen, Samuel Stillings and Isaac Fall as members of the group. Reference to Judge Hall's Tavern and Tasker's 116 acre farm.
This article was published in The New York Times, August 20, 1894. Here is a link to a PDF version of the story:
New York Times Article
REPRESENTATIVE CITIZENS OF The State of New Hampshire • BOSTON -NEW ENGLAND HISTORICAL PUBLISHING COMPANY 15 COURT SQUARE 1902
1892 Map showing from town line at Harts Location to Chandler's Farm and another showing Center Bartlett and Jericho. Names indicate which family names from 100 years previous still had a presence in the town. You can see these high resolution maps in their entirety at the David Rumsey Map Collection here: