FARMS-NEW BOSTON. (SC)
Map of 1894. Note that the Railroad in the middle right is “proposed.” The distance from the railroad up to the Gregg (Lang) property is about 1/2 mile. That would make the distance from the farm into town about 2 and 1/2 miles. Johnston Collection. Malcolm’s second house is just to the northwest and above-marked A. T. Lull.
In June 1895 Lang started a Guest Book for the “House of Lang,” his summer home in New Boston, New Hampshire. Among the first guests to sign were Emeline Burrage who visited that first month, June 1895, (6753) followed by Edward Burrage and Julia Severance Burrage, June 22, 1895. (6754) Elizabeth May Marsh, a B. J. piano pupil visited June 25, and the critic William F. Apthorp visited in July 1895 writing, “Push it along, it’s a good thing.” (6756) Edward Burlingame Hill signed on August 3, 1895 and included four measures of a song. (6757) Martha E. Homer signed on August 6, 1895 as did Charles H. Burrage and Lydia L. Burrage on August 19. 1895 (6758-9) Caroline Severance Burrage stayed from September 2nd. until the 5th., 1895. (6760) E. Cutter then arrived on September 5th. and stayed through the 7th. leaving both an eight line poem and a musical quote from [his?] Fugato-Suite in G Minor. (6761) The next day, September 8, 1895 Herbert E. Burrage as did Ruby M. Burrage. (6762) Isabella Stewart Gardner signed on September 28, 1895 (6763) and she seems to be the last guest of the first season.
The first guest of the second season was Benjamin Lang, B. J.”s father who wrote: “Well done my boy, I’ve seen the farm. Its hill and dale and every charm. May heaven always bless you all.” Dated June 14, 1896. (6764) The singer Lena Little visited July 11-12, 1896 (6765) and Arthur Sturgis Dixey signed on August 3. 1896 and left a colored sketch.(6767) Emeline Burrage, Caroline Severance Burrage and Edward Burlingame Hill made return visits during September 1896.(6768) Winslow Homer’s brother, Charles and his wife, Martha E. Homer also stayed during September.(6769)
In the summer of 1897 Richard C. Dixey and Rosamond Dixey were guests. (6770) Helen Hood’s visit during July 1897 was remembered by an original song, Reminiscence. (6771-73) Apthorp and his wife Octavie both signed with verses on July 10, 1897, (6775) followed by the third visit of Edward Burlingame Hill who left an eight measure piece for piano, A Hedge Log[?] Danca. (6776) Severance Burrage returned for a third time, July 31-August 4, 1897 and drew two flowers found on the farm. (6780) The following week saw three more Burrages-Ruby M. Burrage, Alice Burrage and Eleanor ? Burrage. (6781) The conductor Georg Henschel’s visit on September 16, 1897 left a verse and a three measure musical quote. (6782) Arthur Foote, on September 24, 1897 also left a four measure theme. (6783)
Emeline Burrage returned in June 1898 together with Emma Burrage as did Charles S. Homer and his wife Martha. (6784) B. L. Whelpley, a Lang piano pupil left a cartoon figure labeled “M. B. L.” and a note: “I never in my life did dream of having twice a day ice-cream until I visited Lang Farm. (It’s done me anything but harm).” (6785) Edward [?] Burrage and his wife Julia Severance Burrage visited July 10, 1898 for the day.
Another Burrage, Elsie Aldrich Burrage stayed August 8-10, 1899 (6788) One guest left a four page, typed story with pen an ink illustrations about his visit dated September 4, 1899 – the initials seem to be J. H. B. The title was “An Idle (Idyl) (Uncommon Particular Metre).” (6790-94) The story mentions that “your train leaves shortly, just after noon.” (6794) Arthur Foote’s daughter, Katharine was a guest in 1899. (6795)
Isabella S. Gardner was an early visitor, June 28, 1900, (6796) followed in July by Emma Burrage and then Emeline Burrage. (6797) Mrs. Apthorp came on August 17, 1900. (6798)
The visit on July 27, 1901 by Frederic Ruthven Galacar produced a four stanza poem, “A Soliloquy” in German. (6801)
Emma Burrage and C. S. Homer and his wife Martha visited in June 1902. (6804) Isabella Stewart Gardner visited again on July 15 and left two quotes, (6805) while a week later Charles Henry Burrage (oldest Uncle) followed on July 25th., and then Harry Lang Burrage and Marguerite Kimberly Burrage arrived on July 26th. and was followed by Caroline Severance Burrage on July 28th. (6806) Catherine A. Codman visited between August 5 and August 8, 1902 to be followed by Ellen Sherham on August 13-13; she was “our children’s nurse in Munich 1885-6.” (6807) Other family friends followed throughout the month and Lena Little again visited on September 16, 1902. She was followed by another visit from Catherine A. Codman, September 16-20. (6808) Elizabeth May Marsh wrote “Twice blest” on September 19-22, 1902 and Gerog Henschel visited again on September 27-29, 1902 and his daughter, Helen signed “Please, we loved it!” (6810)
Catherine A. Codman returned in 1903 (6811) as did Caroline S. Burrage and Emma Burrage. (6812) Isabella Stewart Gardener wrote “The world is so full of a number of things, I’m sure we should all be as happy as Rings” after her stay July 24-29, 1903, and Martha E. Homer wrote just after that, “Another delightful visit, and Tristan!!” dated August 1, 1903. (6813) Dated September 1903, J. A. L. Blake wrote: “My thirteenth visit beginning on Friday. All superstitions disproved.” (6814) Blake would be Malcolm’s best man at his wedding in September 1910.
Emma Burrage returned July 16, 1904. (6816) During July 6-13, 1905 Catherine A. Codman again visited, and soon after were Edward Burrage and Julia Severance Burrage and Emma Burrage. (6818) Isabella Stewart Gardner returned July 3 until August 3, 1905 (6819) and right after her signature are those of Shisui Rokkakui and Kakuya Okakura. Rokkakui was a craftsman in Oriental lacquer; Mrs. Gardner offered the cottage at her Brookline estate for his use during the summer of 1905. Okakura Kakuzo later worked for the Boston Museum of Fine Art. (6820)
Malcolm Lang and Frances M. Lang signed for the period of November 8-15, 1905. (6823)
In 1906 Mary J. Codman visited for June 26-28 as did Frederic Ruthven Galacar on June 27-July 2. (6824)
Catherine Amory Codman signed on June 24, 1907. (6825) Isabella Stewart Gardner’s visit August 6-8, 1907 was remembered through a four line poem. (6826) Catherine A. Codman returned on August 9, 1907 (6827) and again September 16-21, 1907. (6828) Frederic Ruthven Galacar’s visit in 1907 was in mid-September and he left a two-line German phrase. (Ibid)
Bertha Cushing Child visited in 1908 as did Emma Burrage. (6829) Catherine Amory Codman visited September 21-28, 1908. (6830)
During April 24-28, 1909 Rosamond Lang and L. A. Wells visited, and after Malcolm Lang’s signature dated July 3-6, 1909 is the phrase in his hand, “A fire lighted every night and not for looks either.” M. R. Lang and C. A. Codman signed for the period July 15-25, 1909. A note at the end of the page said: “Malcolm and I came by electric car all the way from Boston. 5 hrs 25 minutes.” (6830) During the last third of the Guestbook are various photos of the farm and various people who had visited.
The Langs bought the farm at auction in the fall of 1894: two-ninths from Zella Gregg (guardian, Hannah E. Gregg) for $1,043.34 and the remaining seven-ninths from Hannah E. Gregg and Flora Philbrick for $3,651.66=$4,695.00. These purchases were recorded on November 19, 1894, and eight additional purchases were made from properties adjoining the Gregg Farm between December 1894 and August 1899. (Hillsborough County Records)
Originally called the Gregg Mill Farm after James Gregg who built a saw mill with water-driven wheels. He arrived in New Boston 1730/40 with nine children, one more was born after the move. (Marden) His son, Joseph was born in 1777, and together with his father operated the mill, later adding onto the mills and including his son, David in the family business. David was born in 1816 and he was the third generation to live in the house built near the mill. Later, after David had married Hattie Todd and moved to California to be part of the Gold Rush (he later returned to live in Wilton), the property was sold at auction to settle Joseph’s estate. It was bought by Daniel M. Gregg who rebuilt the mills and operated them until his death in 1893. In September 1894 B. J. Lang purchased the property for a summer home. The farm manager lived in an apartment in the Ell-Horace Barass, originally from Canada, lived here while he worked for Lang. After Lang died, Clyde Heath, a Vice-President of New England Telephone and Telegraph, based in Boston, bought this for his summer home. Mrs. Heath sold the farm in the fall of 1971 to Jay and Dottie Marden, the current and fourth owners, after Mr. Heath died. Jay’s family has been in New Boston for about 200 years.
In 2014 the Mardens offered the main house plus 150 acres together with water rights on 1/2 mile of the river. They had made sure that the view from the main house would remain unchanged by encumbering all the fields around the house. Thus the view will remain the same as that seen by the Langs. The Coldwell Banker “Property Detail” listed 5 bedrooms, 2 full and 2 partial bathrooms, 105 acres, and living area of 5,689 square feet. “An equestrians dream and a fisherman’s delight.” Also mentioned were two rental units attached to the house.(Listing, July 2014)
In September 2015 the farm was the subject of an article in Yankee Magazine. It mentioned that the dining room walls had stenciling by the 19th. century itinerant artist, Moses Eaton during the winter of 1810. During the period between 2014 when the farm was first offered and September 2015, the Marden’s built a new home just south of the main property. Their “retirement home” has four bedrooms and a barn. The extra bedrooms were for visits of the Marden’s three children and their families; their daughter and family live just up the street. Jay had hoped to rebuild the mill with the idea that it would produce electricity for the whole farm, but so far this hadn’t been accomplished. The article also mentioned that there were five barns-next to the house was the carriage barn, then the hay barn, then the cow barn followed by the horse barn, and finally the equipment barn-all these barns were connected which made it possible to feed all the animals without going outside. (All the information in this paragraph was from an article in the September 2015 Yankee Magazine, “The New England Farmstead” by the “Moseyer,” photos by Jennifer Bakos).This image and the other historical views were provided by Lisa Rothman of the New Boston Historical Society.Pond, Bridge & Lang residence, New Boston, N. H.
Lang House-the Ell to the left of the house; built in 1740 with the main house being built later. Photo by Quent and Carolyn Peacock, 2011.Front portion of the Lang house 2011. Photo by Quent and Carolyn Peacock.
The Lang farm as offered by Mr. and Mrs. Jay Marden in 2015. Total 107+/- acres. The Mill Pond is just below the house with the dam to the upper left. This is on the middle branch of the Piscataquag River. Photo provided by Mr. Marden
In a 1907 article Margaret mentioned that she also had a studio at their summer home in New Hampshire, a “farm which is well stocked with horses, sheep, cows, poultry, etc. at New Boston, N. H. She enjoys the advantage of a picturesque lake in her front yard…and her studio is in an old mill with a very deceiving exterior. The outside of this mill is as tumble-down and old-fashioned as you please, but inside you will find a modern billiard room and a well-furnished studio, containing two grand pianos. Here Miss Lang usually spends the morning hours in composition and in absolute solitude.” (Boston Post, August 25, 1907 by Olin Downes). An article in 1911 recorded that:
“One notes the wistful glint in the smiling earnest eyes when she speaks of the summer of music making at the famous Lang farm in New Hampshire. Here an old mill has been turned into a music house, with two grand pianofortes and a desk at a wonderful window.” (Christian Science Monitor, March 25, 1911, p. 3) Amy DuBois’s mother, Angela, spent summers at the farm, and she remembered three Steinway Concert Grands pianos in the mill, and another one in the main house. (Interview) Jenkins adds that the farm was “on the banks of the Piscatisquog River, (and) reached by a covered wooden bridge.” (Jenkins, Beach, 10) Making the connection with Amy Beach, he mentions that the farm was only twenty miles from the old Cheney home in Henniker, N. H., the home of Amy’s parents. He also adds that Charles H. Morse (music instructor of Wellesley College and then Dartmouth College) and his brother, Frank Morse (well-known vocal teacher in Boston) owned adjoining farms near the Lang’s farm.
Provided by Mr. and Mrs. Rothman. This photo appeared in “Images of America-New Boston,” published in 2004. The caption was: “Here is a photograph of the Gregg Mill. This mill was in operation in 1872 and remained in the Gregg family until 1893, when Daniel Gregg died and B. J. Lang purchased it. The Lang family summered in New Boston until 1937, when the farm was sold once again. This photo was taken by Dr. Albert Snay in 1949.” (p. 66) The mill no longer stands (2014). It had begun to lean into the river, and after contacting current members of the Gregg family to see if they wished to help preserve this landmark, the decision was made to take it down. Some of the beams were used in remodeling the original house, and other beams were used in building a smaller home south of the main house. (Marden) Recent members of the Gregg family include Hugh Gregg (New Hampshire Governor 1953-55) and his son Judd Gregg (U. S. Representative 1980-88, N. H. Governor 1988-93, U. S. Senator beginning in 1993). (Marden)Looking north with the bridge to your right and the Mill behind you. Johnston Collection.
Another copy exists of the exact scene, but uncolored, published by E. D. Putnam of Antrim, N. H., which has the handwritten notation: “Lang Road, stable in distance.” Johnston Collection.
Yet another! No publisher info. on the back. Postmark 1913. Johnston Collection.
Lang’s Station-the stop on the New Boston Railroad close to the Lang’s Farm. Photo 2011 by Quent and Carolyn Peacock. This line, 5.2 miles in length, from Parkers to New Boston, opened in 1893. “The New Boston RR built this obscure branch line and leased it to the Concord and Montreal RR. It passed to the B&M in 1895. Bad track closed the line in June 1931, and abandonment followed four years later.” (Karr, 91)
Provided by Lisa Rothman, New Boston Historical Society member.
Near the Lang house there was a stop on the “New Boston Rail Road” called Gregg’s, later called Lang’s Station. The railroad had been “completed in January of 1893 and formally opened in June. It ran five miles from Parker Station in Goffstown and cost $84,000 to build-$14,000 over budget. Seventy Italian stone masons blasted granite and built stone culverts. The railroad was built so that J. [Joseph] Reed Whipple (September 8, 1842-June 15, 1912) could supply his Boston hotels from his New Boston farms-he managed the Parker House and owned Young’s Hotel and the Hotel Touraine. (Internet: “J. Reed Whipple and Boston Hotels)
There were two daily runs each way, with a flag stop at Lang’s Station.” (New Boston Historical Society website, acc. July 11, 2011) This site has two photos of the stone Lang Station stop with the caption: “Summer boarders could get off at Lang Station which stands by Gregg Mill bridge.” (Ibid) The NH Land Conservation Investment Program purchased the area around the station in 1993 and it is now known as “Lang Station State Forest.” The “New Boston Rail Road” later became part of the Boston and Maine System, and their time-table for April 1925 “Table 68-North Weare Branch” showed one direct train each way per day: you could leave Boston at 3:00PM , change at Manchester at 5:10PM, and at Parker the train would divide with probably only one car and an engine headed to New Boston with arrival at Lang’s Station at 5:42PM! Going back to Boston required leaving Lang’s Station at 6:04AM with a Boston arrival of 8:42AM. (B & M Timetable, April 26, 1925, p. 36) There were also two other local runs: Parker to New Boston at 5:40AM and the reverse, at 5:50PM, both with stops at Lang’s Station. (Ibid) The line ran north of and followed the course of the South Branch of the Piscataquog River. The town on New Boston recently built a new foot bridge over Otter Brook to replace what much have been a railroad bridge at this point.
The original plan was to have the New Boston railroad run from Parkers stop on the Manchester to Henniker line, down to Milford where it would connect with the Nashua and Lowell Railroad. “The New York-based architect Bradford Lee Gilbert had been appointed to design a lavish through station at New Boston. A fire destroyed all but the stone and stucco in 1895, and Gilbert was again appointed to undertake rebuilding, producing an even more grandiose structure, featuring a rotunda and spire-capped roof and an exposed field stone chimney piercing a mock half-timbered gable.” (Lindsell, 125)
Card sent October 3, 1909. Johnston Collection. Provided by Mr. Rothman, New Boston Historical Society. This photo was used in “Images of America-New Boston” published in 2004. The caption there was: “Here are some railroad workers resting in front of the Depot. Rail service began here in 1893 much to the rejoicing by the townfolk. Service was available between Parker’s Station and the Depot in New Boston center, with one stop about halfway at Gregg’s mill. Passenger service ended in 1931.” (Images, 72)
Back side of the Station, from the river. Shows three horse-drawn carriages. There were two copies of this PostCard offered on EBay June 4, 2016-one for $49.99 and another for $9.99. No date of printing, nor the printer’s name. Johnston Collection.
To the right of the house on the left you can just barely see the bridge over to the train station. Johnston Collection.
This is from a Boston and Maine RR Schedule dated 9/28/1913 which doesn”t mention Lang Station. However a schedule from 1925 does show Lang Station as a regular stop. Provided by Lisa Rothman, New Boston Historical Society member.
If there were too many weekend guests, the overflow probably would have been accommodated here. Card postmarked 1907, published by Wm. P. A. Averill, S. 87139, printed in Germany. Johnston Collection. C. H. Dodge’s General Store is on the right. Johnston Collection.
New Boston in the Future. Airships to Boston; trollies to Mt. Vernon; elevated railroads to New York; personal air balloons; sight-seeing cars; package delivery by underground tube. Published by C. H. Dodge who had the general store at the right of the picture. Johnston Collection.
LANG STATION STATE FOREST
The New Hampshire Land Conservation Investment Program bought the land In 1993 and it became the Lang Station State Forest. (Town of New Boston Website: “Railroad Trail Footbridge Installed”) The area included 220 acres of the original c. 500 acres that the Marden’s bought in 1971. (Marden)
Malcolm followed his father’s lead when, in 1923, he bought “Lull Farm” in New Boston from Phyllis Robbins for $3,000. It had 80 acres, and the price included the furniture and furnishings. (Scrapbook)Lull farm 2011. Photo by Quent and Carolyn Peacock. First built by Benjamin Goodwin, “Amos Lull lived here from 1880 or before until his death in July 1895 at the age of 69, and his widow lived there until it was sold to Phyllis Robbins, an opera singer from Boston, as a summer home. Maude Adams, also an opera singer, [Amy suggests that she was an actress/pop singer-she was, her most famous role being in Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie] used to spend part of the summer here with Miss Robbins. In 1909, in the Herald Society Section, it was noted that “Miss Phyllis Robbins (one of the best singers in the Vincent Club) is a member of the Cecilia Chorus.” (Herald,March 28, 1909, p.31, GenBank) In 1923 it was sold to the Langdell Lumber Co., and the following year Malcolm Lang bought it, for his former summer place, the Dickey Place on Beard Rd. had burned. Probably many remember Malcolm’s family of five girls, who were active in town in sports, especially in tennis and caring for horses. After his family grew up and Malcolm died, the place was sold to Lawrence Chisholm and is now owned by the Doug Barnett family. This place on the river is on the once highly traveled Lull Road until the bridge was closed, and it is now a dead-end road. It is believed the Lang family remodeled the house and it is not known who removed the barn, but it is possible that Miss Robbins had it taken down.”
Jay Marden, the current (2014) owner of the Gregg/Lang farm was told the story that it was known that Malcolm’s five daughters liked to swim in the nude in the river at a rocky section near the road. The Postman, “Speed” Strong would try to time his mail deliveries to coincide with their swims. (Marden)Postcard dated 1963. On the backside, in addition to the original message, are two notes: (1) “Above Marden’s, where the other Lang’s lived,” and (2) “41 West Lull Place.” See next paragraph. Provided by Dan and Lisa Rothman.
Malcolm, as a young man, probably of college age, went to visit Ms. Robbins. As he approached the house, he saw Maude Adams hanging out an upper story window squeezing out a sponge. This was a special moment for him as Ms. Adams was a heart-throb of his. (Amy DuBois interview, June 20, 2013)Maude Adams (1872-1953). 1892 Photo, aged 20. The incident mentioned above probably happened about ten years later. Wikipedia (November 1, 2013).
From the book Maude Adams by Ada Petterson, facing 2.