321 Main Street, New London NH

Current Use

  • Lake Sunapee Bank


  • New London Trust 1958-1999
  • Storekeepers (some overlapping) and postmasters:
    • Market Basket (rebuilt), 1950-1958
    • Joseph Cragin, 1948-1949; operated as Market Basket (burned)
    • William Vose, 1946-1948
    • Robert H. Blake, 1943-1946; established Market Basket
    • Ervin P. Edmunds, 1928-1943; operated as I.G.A.
    • Fred A. Pressey, 1907-1928; operated as Pressey & [Byron T.] Jones and First National
    • Benjamin Sargent, 1906-1941; had leather shop in rear of store; later sold groceries
    • Elmer and Herman Adams, 1900-1907; operated as Adams Brothers
    • H. Marshall Fales c. 1895; Elmer Adams part owner by 1897; postmaster after July 4, 1897
    • C.E. Pillsbury
    • Charles A. Todd, 1892-1896; postmaster after July 1, 1893; Elmer Adams clerk and assistant postmaster
    • Francis Everett Derby, 1882-1890; postmaster under President Harrison
    • Oliver K. Russell, 1872-1878; Moses A. Fellows, partner
    • John Russell, c. 1869 (brother of Oliver); "in business at the four corners"
    • Hon. John Marshall Hayes, around 1846-1860; postmaster 8 years and town clerk
    • William H.H. Sargent, around 1841 (went to California in 1849)
    • Anthony Colby and Ezekiel Sargent, 1836, but occupied by Smith & Gage
    • Perley Ayer and Ezekiel Sargent, 1836; land owned by Sargent

Building History

Feb, 20, 1836, "This certifies that Pearly (sic) Ayer of New London is the right and lawful owner of the one undivided half of the store lately erected on my land - at the 'our corners' so called - by me and the said Ayer which property Ayer has undoubted right to all income of said half of store as long as he has possession of same...." Ezekiel Sargent

Deed, October 29, 1836 - Perley Ayer to Anthony Colby for $300 - "An undivided half of the new store lately erected by myself and Ezekiel Sargent...situated in the easterly angle of the 'Four Corners'....The same that is now occuipied by Smith and Gage together with all rights and privileges...conveyed to me by Ezekiel Sargent."

William H. H. Sargent (9th child of Ezekiel and Emily), born 1819 "was in business at the Four Corners for a time."[1] Tickets for a Union Band concert in 1841 were available at "Sargent's Store, among other places"). He went to California in 1849.

Hon. John Marshall Hayes, "about 1846 commenced business for himself in the general store at the 'Four Corners'."[2] He moved to Salisbury in 1860. Hayes is listed as owner in 1855 in The Cresset, and on the Walling map of 1858. In The Cresset for April 23, 1855, he advertised "books, stationery, and trinkets." Hayes is listed as postmaster in 1848.[3]

John Russell "was in business at Four Corners" and then removed to Boston where his wife died in 1852.[4] In January of 1869, before leaving for Kansas, Andrew J. Sargent, son of Ezekiel, sold the store and its site to Jonathan Russell for $1000.[5] Andrew J. Sargent had acquired the property from his father in 1855.[6]

Oliver K. Russell (brother of John) "kept the store at Four Corners, and lived in a house on the Kidder corner which was burned in March, 1874. After that date he lived over the store until his removal to Lawrence, MA, in 1878."[7] In 1872 and 1873 The New London Advocate listed the building as "Russell & Co." Moses A. Fellows is listed as "in partnership with the Russells at the corner store."[8] A bill in the Colby-Sawyer Archives from Russell & Co. to the New London Institution in 187? (last date not legible) has on letterhead "O.K Russell, George Woodward, and A.E. Loverin. M.A.B. Russell's name is crossed off.

Francis Everett Derby bought the store in May, 1882. "He was also postmaster under President Harrison's administration."[9] There at least to 1890; no one advertises in 1891. His son, Eugene, was clerk for his father. "F.E. Derby of Bridgewater, Vetermont, has purchased the 'lower store,' has moved into town, and will soon open with a new stock of goods. Mr. Derby served through out the war, enlisting from this town, afterwards going into business at Sherburne and Bridgewater, Vt., holding many places of trust in both towns."[10]

Deed, Frank C. and Susan Derby to Charles A. Todd, May 4, 1892.[11] Derby reserves right to use and occupy the store "now used as the post office" to be used "for said purpose" until Jan. 1, 1893. "I reserve the use of tenement over store for my use until June, 1892."

Charles A. Todd owned from 1892-1896. On July 1, 1893 he became postmaster.[12] In 1894, new piazzas and bay windows were added (Summer Rest, 1894). Elmer Adams was clerk and assistant postmaster under Todd. W.E. Cleaves is listed as a "jeweler at C.A. Todd's drug store" in Summer Rest, 1895. Summer Rest in 1893 notes Mr. Todd's enterprise, "with himself and two clerks he attends to the post office, waits on customers, snd takes orders and delivers groceries by team."[13] His ad on p. 9 describes the business as "Dealer in Dry Goods and Groceries, Ready-made Clothing, and Boots and Shoes." Todd died at the early age of 33 on May 16, 1896, of typhoid fever.[14]

C.E. Pillsbury is listed as owner before Fales & Adams, who have "recently bought the business."[15]

H. Marshall Fales and Elmer E. Adams. Fales was the "senior partner" in the store[16] and Elmer Adams became part owner, and postmaster on July 4, 1897.[17] The Colby Academy Voice for Feb., 1899, notes, "Mr. H.M. Fales of Fales & Allen has sold his interest in the store at the corner to Elmer E. Adams."

Adams Brothers (Elmer and Herman), c. 1900. Herman was also an insurance agent. "At the beginning of the century, the store building was a nearly square structure. Part of the building how used as a grocery department was open horse shed; the main business was done in what is the dry-goods department; the post-office was in the same room, and Elmer Adams was the store owner and postmaster. There was a single tenement overhead occupied by the late Herbert Smith and his mother."[18] Around 1906 Benjamin F. Sargent had a leather repair shop at the rear of the building (Squires, p. 111); he was known for his beautiful snowshoes. Colby Academy Voice for Feb., 1904, notes: "After March 1, Adams Bros. will discontinue their line of groceries, having sold out to Knight & Chase, but will continue to carry a large line of boots. shoes, and dry goods." Benjamin Sargent added a line of groceries to his leather shop in the rear of the building, running a general store until 1941.[19] May, 1905, "Miss Trevors Morse has opened a millinery department in Adams Brothers store."[20]

Owned by Fred Pressey (1907-1928); during his tenure the Kearsarge Telephone Co, "moved from the First National structure to the second floor of this building, where the head offices remained until 1924."[21] Pressey sold the business to his partner, Byron Jones, in 1912 for one year and then bought it back. "Pressey and Jones are soon to have an auto, which they will use for delivering and other purposes."[22] The store was owned by Ervin Edmunds from 1928 to 1943. In April of 1916 the store was one of the first three structures in New London to be lighted by electric bulbs.[23]

Purchased by Robert H. Blake who "greatly altered the store, streamlining it in accordance to city styles"[24] and giving it the name Market Basket. Blake had managed the A. & P. store in Newport, and his New London purchase included a "soda bar and luncheonette."[25]

Owned by William Vose from 1946-1948 who sold to Joseph Cragin. Just before the fire, Cragin had a store in one side of the first floor and a restaurant on the other, with apartments above.[26] The entire structure burned to the ground on August 10, 1949.

Cragin rebuilt, and the new Market Basket opened on January 23, 1950. "It represented the latest concept in general merchandising for a small town, and gave New London one of the fine stores of New London."[27]

Photos & Images

Four Corners Store

  1. ^ Lord, p. 140
  2. ^ Lord, p. 486
  3. ^ Lord, p. 325
  4. ^ Lord, p. 378
  5. ^ Merrimack Co. deeds, V. 195; p. 36
  6. ^ Merrimack Co. deeds, V. 129; p. 486
  7. ^ Lord, p. 523
  8. ^ Lord, p. 589
  9. ^ Lord, p. 584-5
  10. ^ Republican Champion, May 11, 1882, p. 1
  11. ^ Merrimack Co. deeds, V. 298, p. 425
  12. ^ Lord, p. 637
  13. ^ Summer Rest, August, 1893, p. 6
  14. ^ NH Argus & Spectator, May 22, 1896, p. 1
  15. ^ Colby's Guide and Souvenir, 1897, p. 42
  16. ^ Lord, p. 466
  17. ^ Lord, p. 571
  18. ^ Lord folder
  19. ^ Squires, p. 111
  20. ^ Colby Academy Voice, May, 1905, p. 832
  21. ^ Squires, p. 114
  22. ^ NH Argus & Spectator, May 6, 1910, p. 1
  23. ^ Squires, p. 99
  24. ^ Squires, p. 111
  25. ^ "As It Was", June 11, 1946
  26. ^ Frank Butler tape, 7/21/72
  27. ^ Squires, p. 111