195 Main Street, New London NH

Current Use

  • Artisan's Workshop
  • Office space


  • 2008 — Artisans' in front of building, owned by Marcy Vierzen
  • Mesa International
  • 2000 — Jiffy Mart, Paula Wyeth - CPA, Timberpeg, Ausbon Sargent Land Preservation Trust
  • 1988 — New London Upholstery in ell of building, next to Accents II
  • Jiffy Mart (still there in 2006) in front of building
  • 1981 — Kidder Garage and Johnson & Dix Fuel Corp., (continuing gas station but eliminating repair service)
  • 1911 - 1981 — Kidder Garage; Ford sales and service
  • c. 1907 — land owned by Milton Wadleigh of Sutton
  • c. 1899 — owned by Mrs. Henry Jenkins, niece of A.J. Kidder; destroyed by fire, March 27, 1907
  • 1874 - 1899 — home of Andrew Jackson Kidder and Mary (Holder) Kidder
  • c. 1873 — home of Oliver K. Russell; destroyed by fire, March, 1874
  • 1847 - c.1873 — site of the Free Church or Union Church

Building History

The first structure on this site was the Free Church or Chapel, constructed in 1847 by the anti-slave group of former Baptists who separated from the First Baptist Church and formed their own congregation. Leaders of this movement included three brothers, David, Jonathan, Jr., and Daniel Everett, who were "ardent and perservering abolitionists." The building, known as the Union Church after the Civil War and associated with the Free Will Baptists, stood on the site until about 1873 when it was torn down. The first minister here was Rev. Peter Hersey (1810-18??), who led the new congregation from 1846 to 1853.[1] (Hersey was an uncle of Henrietta Whipple.) The next known minister was Rev. Asa Randlett (c. 1820-1908), who in 1846 married Sophia Greeley Gardner of New London, sister of George W. and Christopher C. Gardner. Randlett was minister here from 1856 to 1861.[2]

The Chapel building was torn down by 1873, and about the same time a house was built on the site, occupied at that time by Oliver K. Russell who was keeping the store at the Four Corners.[3] This building burned to the ground in March of 1874.

In November of 1874, the property was sold to Andrew Jackson Kidder (1828-1942) who built an Italianate style house on the site. Sometime in the 1880s the Kidders moved to York Beach, Maine,[4] and the house was rented. By August of 1892, the family had returned to New London.[5] By 1899 when Mrs. Lord's history was published, the Kidders were in Springfield, near their sons at Twin Lake Villa. The house was sold to Kidder's niece, Mrs. Henry Jenkins. By 1902 the Jenkins were renting it ("Professor and Mrs. [Horace] McKean occupied the house owned by Mr. Jenkins this winter instead of Hedelburg [sic]"[6] ). Kidder owned it again by 1903, and he was the owner when it burned to the ground on March 27, 1907. The lot was purchased by Milton Wadleigh of Sutton.

In 1911 A.J. Kidder's son, William Mudgett Kidder (1878-1964) wished to open a gas station and garage on the site, and Mr. Wadleigh built the structure for him. The gas was hauled by four mules from Potter Place. Kidder's brother-in-law, Joseph Cutting, joined the business in 1912. Mr. Wadleigh died soon after, and his nephew sold the garage to Kidder and Cutting in 1913. In that year, the town voted to replace the old town hall on Main Street, and in 1916 the building was sold to Kidder and Cutting, who used the timber to put an addition on the garage.[7]

In 1922 William Foster Kidder began working for the garage. In 1928 his father bought out Joseph Cutting, and in 1930 added a new building "principally for the purpose of washing cars."[8] By 1931 they were selling Shell fuel oil and gas, as well as dealing in and servicing Fords. That same year they sheathed the inside of the garage and added heat.[9] Following his service in World War II, William F. Kidder, Jr., became a partner with his father. David Kidder later joined the firm, and the garage continued to operate until 1981. In that year, the Garage merged with Johnson & Dix Fuel Corp., run by Bill Breed. While gasoline was still available at the site, the repair business ceased.

Since that time, the space has been occupied by the Jiffy Mart, and more recently by Mesa International, and currently, Artisans'. The upper floor and ells have been rented to a variety of tenants.

Photos & Images


Kidder Garage

Related Articles

See also, Four Corners

  1. ^ Lord, p, 488
  2. ^ Lord, p. 521; obituary, NH Argus and Spectator, November 13, 1908, p. 1
  3. ^ Lord, p. 523
  4. ^ Lord, p. 491
  5. ^ Summer Rest, August, 1892, p. 9
  6. ^ Colby Academy Voice, October, 1903
  7. ^ Helen Kidder Greenaway's Kidder Garage, 1911-1961, written for Old Home Day, August 21, 1961
  8. ^ Highlander, June 10, 1930, p. 13
  9. ^ New London News, Dec. 2, 1931, p. 1