20 Main Street, New London NH

Current Use

  • Residence (Rental)


  • 1919 - 1962 — Home of Dr. and Mrs. William P. Clough, Sr.; medical office of both Dr. William P, Clough Sr. and Jr. until 1941
  • c.1873 - 1919 — Home of Brig. Gen. and Mrs. Joseph M. Clough
  • 1857 - c.1863 — Home of Israel Hunting; owned by his son, Albert R. Hunting
  • 1855 - 1857 — owned by Dr. Herman Hunting of Boston
  • 1851 - 1855 — owned by Dr. Solomon Whipple
  • 1846 - 1851 — Home of Dr.and Mrs. Hezekiah C. Bickford; medical office of Dr. Bickford)
  • Before 1846 — Home of William Messer and Mary (Blake) Messer
  • 1829 - 1839 — Home of Mr. and Mrs. Aaron Leland Sargent; Sargent built the house
  • prior to 1829 — land owned by David Everett

Building History

David Everett sold four acres of land to Aaron Leland Sargent (1802-1839) on December 18, 1829. Sargent, a shoemaker, had married Jane Addison of Springfield two years earlier. Sargent built this house, probably in 1830.[1] The original structure was a story-and-a-half cape.

Before 1846, William Messer (son of Zaccheus and Hannah Messer, 1794-1860), lived here briefly. Two years after his wife, Mary (Blake) Messer died in 1844, he moved to Haverhill, MA with his family.[2]

The next owner, who probably owned the house from 1846 to 1851, was Dr. Hezekiah Cook Bickford (1817-18??). He graduated from Jefferson Medical College in March of 1845 and began practicing medicine in New London the following month. In June of 1846 he married Paulina Colburn, and from that time lived "in the General Clough house," which he afterwards sold, together with his practice to Dr. S.M. Whipple." He moved to Billerica, MA in 1851 and later to Charlestown, MA.[3]

Dr. Whipple acquired the property on May 10, 1851, including 4 acres "with buildings," which he mortgaged to Amos Page, being the property "previously occupied by Dr. Hezekiah Bickford." On May 29, 1855, Whipple sold the land to Herman Hunting (1828-1872) "of Boston, physician." Hunting was born in New London to Israel and Lucinda Everett Hunting. Whipple held a mortgage for the property. In April of 1857, Herman Hunting sold the land to Albert R. Hunting, his brother, then living in Boston. Their father, Israel Hunting seems to have lived in the house during this period, after living in several other places in New London. Israel resided in "the General Clough house, where he died October 5, 1863."[4]

Joseph Messer Clough was born in Sunapee in 1828 and first came to New London with his parents, Hugh and Hannah (Messer) Clough in 1840. In 1849 he married Abiah Bucklin (1828-1873). After living in Enfield, Suncook, Lowell, and Manchester, Joseph and wife returned to New London in 1857, living in "The Retreat," across from the First Baptist Church. (A daughter had lived only a year, and their son, Charles, was born in 1857). Clough enlisted in the Civil War in 1861 and was mustered out in 1865, having risen to the rank of Brigadier General. He then returned to New London. He seems to have acquired this house by 1873 and possibly before. That year his first wife died, and in 1874, he married Cornelia (Smith) Chase, a widow with a daughter, Minnie. The General and Cornelia had a son, William Plummer Clough, in 1879. By the 1890s, the Cloughs were taking in summer boarders, calling their home "Soldier's Rest."[5] In 1908 the Argus Champion notes: "Gen. J.M. Clough is greatly improving his house by adding a large two story bow window and tower at the front."[6] General Clough died in 1919 and his wife in 1927.

Their son, William Plummer Clough (1879-1958) attended Colby Academy, Dartmouth College, and Dartmouth Medical School, from which he graduated in 1910. He had married Bertha (Ross) Clough (1885-1962) in 1905, and they moved to Sutton in 1911 where the new doctor practiced medicine. During WWI, Will served as a Major in the Medical Reserve Corps, including thirteen months overseas. After his discharge in 1919, the family, now with two sons — Joseph II (born 1909) and William P., Jr. (born 1911) — moved back to the New London house to be with Dr. Clough's mother, recently widowed. Both sons became doctors. Joe became an opthamologist and eventually resided in Boston, while William, Jr., joined his father's medical practice. The office was in this house until they purchased 356 Main Street in 1941. Several changes were made to the house: "The addition to Dr. Clough's residence, consisting of a new kitchen and heated garage, is rapidly nearing completion. The work is being done by Will Smith."[7] The following year the newspaper notes the changes that Mrs. Clough made to the gardens, "with the moving of the two car garage to the west side, the lawn has been extended over the whole east side.... Paths of stepping stones have been laid and a bird bath and rose arbor added."[8] Dr, William Clough, Sr. lived here until his death in 1958, and Bertha Clough died in 1962.

Photos & Images


  1. ^ Lord, p. 379
  2. ^ Lord, p. 267
  3. ^ Lord, pp. 328-329
  4. ^ Lord, p. 257
  5. ^ Summer Rest, August, 1891, p. 20; August, 1894
  6. ^ Argus Champion, October 16, 1908
  7. ^ New London News, November 11, 1931, p. 1
  8. ^ New London News, June 19, 1932, p. 1