Background Notes to the Charles L. Peirce maps of Stoddard
Charles Peirce (1874-1963), from Beverly, MA, moved to Stoddard in 1902 when he bought the Gerould farm/J.H. Scott place (where the Faulkner Elementary School is now located). Peirce is credited with producing a number of annotated historical maps of Stoddard that were based on records of the town, the Cheshire County Registry of Deeds, and the State Archives. He is also credited with collecting and taking over 100 photographs of the old houses and scenes of Stoddard.
Peirce makes reference in the text of the 1897 Gould History of Stoddard to the locations of old roads and to the homes of numerous early settlers of Stoddard by lot and range number. These locations can be found on the various maps that Peirce is known to have produced. The locations of the original Peirce manuscript maps are not known. All maps are in facsimile. The known Peirce maps, which provide annotated information on early Stoddard history, are as follows:
I: TOWN OF STODDARD, N.H. 1892. CHARLES L. PEIRCE.
II: HUNTERS AND HIKERS MAP OF STODDARD, N.H. 1921-’56. CHARLES L. PEIRCE. [based on] Sept. 3, 1926 U.S. Geol. Survey.
- Click here for Link to Hunters & Hikers Map (at + 7 mbs)
III: [Four separate large-format overlapping maps of the quadrants of Stoddard as follows. Heavily annotated with information on the history of Stoddard based on the Gould History, and on Peirce’s observations and interviews with numerous town residents. With scale in rods and in feet. Map Legend: public roads, discontinued roads, standing houses, cellar-holes as of 1952.].
These four maps appear to have been Peirce’s “base” maps. They were continually updated over the fifty years of Peirce’s interviews with older Stoddard residents, examinations of written records, and explorations of all of Stoddard’s old roads and locations.
THE SOUTHEAST PART OF STODDARD, N.H. MAP OF THE TOWN OF STODDARD, N.H. DRAWN BY CHARLES L. PEIRCE. FROM SURVEY RECORDS OF MR. ELGIN A. JONES AND FROM ACTUAL MEASUREMENTS AND EXPLORING FROM 1902 TO 1952.
THE NORTHEAST PART OF STODDARD, N.H. DRAWN BY CHARLES L. PEIRCE. 1902 TO 1952.
THE SOUTHWEST PART OF STODDARD, N.H. DRAWN BY CHARLES L. PEIRCE. 1902 TO 1952.
THE NORTHWEST PART OF STODDARD, N.H. DRAWN BY CHARLES L. PEIRCE. 1902-1952.
IV: MAP OF THE TOWN OF STODDARD, N.H. DRAWN BY CHARLES L. PEIRCE. FROM SURVEY RECORDS OF MR. ELGIN A. JONES AND FROM ACTUAL MEASUREMENTS AND EXPLORING FROM 1902 TO 1952.
[This single map appears to have been produced by joining the above quadrant maps into one single map].
This map has been digitized with thanks to Arnie Stymest, Stoddard.
- Click Here for a Link to This Map (Note at 70mbs!).
Besides Peirce’s desire to record details of the early history of Stoddard on his maps, he spent considerable time determining and correcting errors on the maps showing the various boundaries of Stoddard, especially among the original Proprietors’ Grant Records, and the various records and surveys that followed such as the Clark and Towne map of 1815+/-, the Carrigain Official State map of 1816, the Cheshire County map of 1858, etc. These Peirce maps are as follows:
V: MAP OF RYE POND MADE BY CHARLES L. PEIRCE. January 6, 1905. “Note. I measured these lines by pacing on the ice. The paces are measured just thirty inches in the snow, heel to heel. This map was made to show how much of each town lies in each town [n.b. Stoddard, Nelson, & Antrim], and where to find the Stoddard and Nelson corner. The pond outline is the extent of ice on the above date.” Charles L. Peirce.
[further notation on the right side of the map describing King Street’s entrance into Stoddard]: King Street. The report of a committee on roads and settlements sent to Limerick (Stoddard) by the Proprietors, on Page 10, Vol 8 of the Masionian Papers, and Batchellor State Papers Vol XXVIII says:- (on page 283)
“Limerick, Aug 1st 1771. We arrived on the 26th, applyed closely to business, viewed the new road that we layed out last fall from the Great Road in Limerick called King Street (which we then layed) through the Southeastern Corner of Limerick and in the land called Society Land around the great and difficult mountain called Rollstone Mountain [n.b. to west of Rye Pond], and found the same to be an excellent road when compared with that that went over the top of the mountain, - - - etc. etc. Whose height has been a great embarrassment to the settlements whose inhabitants were obliged (as our road lay before we searched out and cut the new road) to ascend with panting and descend with trembling the mightly left of loft of the Rollstone which has been constantly asserted could not be avoided.”. This report further states how honorably one John Mitchell cut the new part out.
VI: Comparative Map of STODDARD, N.H. Drawn by Charles L. Peirce Oct. 1907. Printed June 21, 1911 Scale 1 ½ inches to 1 mile. [with Peirce manuscript note as follows]: Note: The purpose of this map is to compare the towns as shown on the county map of 1858 with the layouts according to the records of Proprietors’ Grant, and the records of perambulations in various years, and the survey made by Fred Clark and G. Towne Esq. [n.b. 1800 to 1815] which is in book 4 of Plans of Towns in the office of the Secretary of State of N.H. The 1858 map has the roads and houses and the object is to combine this with the ranges and lots for use in locating land.
VII: DETAIL OF NORTH WEST CORNER OF SULLIVAN, N.H. AND PART OF STODDARD. CHARLES L. PEIRCE. FEB. 1909. “The distances are from pacing at 30 inches to a pace making 6.6 paces=1 rod. done by me in Sept, 1908.”.
[In Stoddard, shows locations Taylor Pond and site of old rake factory. houses of Daniel Swett, Dunn, Marcus Davis, and grave site. Shows extensive details along Stoddard-Sullivan town lines.
VIII: TOWN OF STODDARD, N.H. 1910. CHARLES L. PEIRCE. Scale 1 ½ inch to 1 mile. [shows boundary lines of Stoddard, all of the divided lots in town. with locations of roads, etc.
IX: MAP OF TROUT POND OR ROSE LAKE STODDARD, N.H. SCALE 10 RODS=1 INCH. SURVEYED BY CHARLES L. PEIRCE DEC, 2, 1912. [Shows location of “old school, and “camp of Robert F. Perkins”].
X: MAP OF WHITE POND LYING IN THE TOWNS OF WINDSOR AND STODDARD N.H. CHARLES L. PEIRCE WED. FEB 26, 1913. Scale 10 Rods TO 1 Inch.
[with extensive notations related to disagreements on the exact border between 1836 and 1838. With report of committee and surveyor to the court on April 3, 1838 that settled the dispute. Roads and Sessions Records Vol 2. Page 141. Keene, N.H.].
XI: TAYLOR POND STODDARD, N.H. Scale 10 rods=1 inch. Measured by pacing on snow shoes. Thursday, Feb. 26, 1914. 6.6 paces of 30 inches=1 rod. CHARLES L. PEIRCE. MAY 23, 1914.
XII: BARRETT POND STODDARD, N.H. Scale 10 rods=1 inch. 6.6 paces of 30 inches=1 rod. Measured by pacing on snow shoes on Tue. Weather clear - Thermometer 8° below 0 at 6:30A.M. Charles L. Peirce May 16, 1914.
XIII: COLD SPRING POND FORMERLY ABBOTT’S POND. ON G TOWNE MAP OF 1814+/- HENRY POND. Measured by pacing on snowshoes Wed. Feb. 25, 1914. Charles L. Peirce May 24, 1914 [shows Robert M. Burnett Cottage, and sites of Luther Abbott, Old Carding Mill, Blacksmith Shop, and the Lymann Copeland and Tarbell places on Queen Street].
Peirce is also known to have copied or traced early maps in the possession of the N.H. State Archives and other archives. Some of these Peirce maps are as follows:
XIV: PLAN OF SOCIETY LANDS 1753. This Plan of Royal Society Lands copied from a survey orginally taken by Robert Fletcher Esq. [signed] John Parker Jur. Portsmouth May 1778.
Pursuant to the Request & Desire of Col. Blanchard Esq, I have laid out into fifteen Equal shares all that Land on Contoocook River between the place called Key’s his Farm on the North & and the great Falls so called against Crotched Mountain on the South in the following manner (viz.). The Interval Land divided for Quantity & Quality into fifteenth equal shares & so much upland adjoyning as to make up the quantity of Five Hundred Acres to each share and where the Land is not so good there is added so much in Quantity as is equal to five hundred acres of the best land which is marked and delineated herein & the Interval lotts on the Contoocook River & the upland adjoyning belonging to the same share is numbered with the same number which numbers are from one to fifteenth. ... Portsmouth October 17th 1753 by me. Robert Fletcher, Surveyor. and Geo. Jaffrey Proprietors Clerk.
This is a copy of the Plan of the Society land (so called) as rendered by Robert Fletcher Surveyor October 17th 1753 attest. N.B. the numbers Rivers and Brooks are not exactly of ye size nor laid just as in ye Original by nearly so-.
Traced by Charles L. Peirce Feb. 8, 1936 Sommervile Mass. See Batchellor N.H. State Papers, Vol. 28, Page 258.
XV: MAP OF THE MERRIMAC RIVER WITH PART OF NEW HAMPSHIRE. [c.1750]
Traced by Charles L. Peirce. 1908 from a photograph of a map in the British Museum, Boston Public Library (Special Library Floor) No. 9 in *Map.42.7
XVI: [Map of New England] Retating to the settling of the dispute as to the boundary between the Provinces of Massachusetts Bay and New Hampshire. [with the following note by Piscataqua Harbor on the paper]: Province of New Hampshire 60 miles Deep into the country granted Council of Plymouth to Capt. Mason Nov 1629.
Note: This map was traced from a copy in the New Hampshire State Papers Vol XiX, page 628 by Albert Stillman Batchellor, and verified and the shading added from two photographs of the original which is in the British Museum. These copies are 20 ¼” x 10 ¾” and are in the Boston Public Library nos 8 & 9 in *Map 118.5 The photograph copies show shading and the stamp of the British Museum. Traced by Charles L. Peirce 1908.
Richard L. Betz