84 Main Street, New London NH


Current Use

  • Barn Playhouse

Formerly

  • 1968 - ???? — owned by Norman Leger and Dede Meyers
    1955 - 1968 — owned by Mike Jackson and Norman Leger
    1948 - 1955 — owned by N. Warren Weldon, Jr.
    1934 - 1948 — owned by Josephine Holmes; called "Barn Playhouse"
  • 1928 - 1932 — owned by Robert Knight
  • 1885 - 1921 — barn owned by A.J. Sargent
  • 1852 - 1885 — barn owned by James Morgan
  • 1816 - 1852 — barn built by and used by David Everett, oldest son of Jonathan, below
  • c. 1789 — farmland of Jonathan Everett (earlier barn was probably here)

Building History


The property on which the Barn is standing was acquired by Jonathan Everett (1748-1816) who came to New London from Attleboro, MA before 1789. He built a log cabin and then a frame house across the street from this barn. He and his wife, Mary Messenger, had eight children. Jonathan may have built the barn, but it is believed to have been erected by his oldest son, David, who inherited the farm when his father died in 1816. The frame itself is hand-hewn, indicating an early date.

David farmed the land until 1852. His first wife, Amy (Snowden) Everett died in 1850, he married Mrs. Sarah Fuller of Hopkinton and moved to that town, where he died in 1866.[1]

From 1852 to 1885, the farm was owned by James Morgan. He in turn sold it to Andrew Jackson Sargent who lived in the farmhouse until it burned in August of 1907 and then built the house at 132 Main Street where he lived until his death in 1921.

Robert Knight, who owned the house next door, owned the barn as well. He lived at 132 Main Street until 1932. The following year Mrs. Josephine Holmes from Mount Holyoke College, came to New London and met with a committee to discuss opening a summer theater in New London. The first play was held in the Town Hall on July 11, 1933.[2]

In 1934 Mrs. Holmes acquired the barn as the site for her theater. "Running water and electricity have been installed, a dnwhat new lumber was necessarily used will be stained to match the old hand hewn beams and siding of the original barn."[3]

In March of 1948, the Barn Playhouse was bought by N. Warren Weldon, Jr., a young New York director and playwright, associated with the New York Theatre Wing. In 1955 he sold the Playhouse to Mike Jackson and Norman Leger, who owned it until 1968. Jackson's wife, Maggie Grindell assisted, appearing in many roles from 1951 forward, and supervising the management of the residence house.[4]

On June 5, 1958 the Barn Playhouse continued to be owned by Norm Leger, with Dede Meyers buying Mike Jackson's share. Meyer became business manager, musical director, as well as associate producer, and his wife, Priscilla, was box office manager and official hostess.[5]


Photos & Images


84-1.jpg
Barn Playhouse




  1. ^ Lord, pp. 239-240
  2. ^ Squires, pp. 151-152
  3. ^ New London News, June 20, 1934, p. 1
  4. ^ Celena Todd Scrapbook #9, p. 54
  5. ^ Celena Todd Scrapbook #9, p. 54; and Scrapbook #46, p. 54