Historical Markers

pix pixUnder the regency of Mrs. Nellie F. McDuffee (1908-1910), the chapter marked the graves of several Revolutionary War soldiers. This effort was continued by the regency of Miss Annie Wallace (1910-1912).

Several of these graves are in the Haven Hill Cemetery, located behind the site of the First Church Congregational on what is now Rochester Hill Road. Many others are in private burial grounds across the Seacoast, including Barrington, Strafford, Farmington, Milton, and Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. Notable markings in Rochester were Colonel John McDuffee, Simon Torr, Captain John Brewster, and Captain Daniel McDuffee.

pix pix The first tablet marking an historic spot began under the regency of Mrs. Norma Currier Snow (1912-1914). The chapter voted to mark the site of the First Church of Rochester, located on what is now Rochester Hill Road. The boulder and bronze tablet were unveiled on Decoration Day, May 30, 1915, during the regency of Mrs. Lillian Bass Neal (1914-1916).

The plaque reads, "Original site of The First Church Congregational, Rochester, 1731, Placed by Mary Torr Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, 1915."

The First Church Congregational was, for many years, the only church in Rochester. The town was incorporated in 1722, and in 1728, the settlers began to clear the land. The town proprietors voted in April of 1730 to build a church. The building was dedicated on June 24, 1731, and served as both a church and town meeting house. The Reverend Amos Main, immortalized with a statue in downtown Rochester, served as the first minister. In 1842, the First Church was relocated closer to town, on the corner of South Main and Liberty Streets.

pix pix Under the regency of Mrs. Bertha I. Richardson (1925-1927), two historic sites were marked. The scion of the Washington Elm was marked, as was the site of the first Court House in Strafford County, on May 30, 1926.

The plaque reads, "Site of Old Court House in Strafford County, originally including Belknap and Carroll Counties, Erected by the Mary Torr Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, 1925."

The boulder and plaque marking the Court House still stand on South Main Street in Rochester.

pix In June of 1928, the site of Rochester's first tavern was marked with a duplicate of the original sign. The General Wolfe tavern, located on Rochester Hill Road, was marked under the regency of Mrs. Edith M. Newbury (1927-1929).

The original sign, bearing a bust-length portrait of General James Wolfe, hero of the French and Indian Wars, marked the tavern of Stephen Wentworth.

pix The tavern was on the road from Dover to Wolfeboro in what was then the center of Rochester, called "Haven Hill". Described in The History of Strafford County by John Scales (1914), "This house was called the Wolfe tavern, from the immortal General Wolfe, who had then recently given up his life upon the Plains of Abraham. The Wolfe tavern was a place of no mean renown; it was the only public-house in town; it was also the only store in town, for not only were there accommodations here for weary travelers, but the necessary articles of life, such as rum and crockery-ware, were dispensed to seeking customers. But the grand boast of the Wolfe tavern was in something more aristocratic than these. It was here that His Excellency Governor Wentworth always 'put up' when journeying to and from his farm in Wolfborough, a distinguished honor to any tavern."

The tavern also served as a recruiting station after the battles of Lexington and Concord. Described as a one-story double house with a wing at each end, the tavern was a short distance from the well-traveled road, in the southeast corner of a three-acre lot. The tavern was abandoned after the town center was moved. The sign is located on what is now Rochester Hill Road.

pix On September 17, 1936, the chapter marked the site of an Indian Massacre that occurred in June of 1746. Regent Mrs. Ruth Dow (1936-1938) presided.

The marker reads, "Near this spot in June 1746 occurred an Indian Massacre in which Gershom Downs, Joseph Heard, Joseph Richards, John Wentworth were killed and John Richards was wounded and taken to Canada. Also site of old school house, District 18. Placed by Mary Torr Chapter D.A.R. September 17, 1936."

pix On the morning of June 27, 1746, the aforementioned men were in this vicinity, working their fields. Upon seeing a lone Indian, they fired at him, only to be ambushed by other Indians who had been lying in wait. The five men ran to Richards' home, where four were killed as they loaded their guns. Richards was taken captive and carried to Canada where he was kindly treated for one year before being released.

Rochester's first school house was built on this site after the threat of Indians was gone.

The marker currently sits on private property on the corner of Anita Street and Rochester Hill Road, and is lovingly cared for. In front of the boulder and plaque is an original stone from the school house.