Derry History (including early Londonderry and Nutfield)

This is a timeline of people, places, and events relevant to the history of Derry, New Hampshire.


First Scots-Irish settlers arrive in Nutfield.

April 11, 1719

Source: The Historical Booklet Committee for 250th Nutfield Anniversary Committee. Glimpses of Derry New Hampshire 1719-1969. New Hampshire: Ed Hatch, Printer, 1969. Print.

Town ordered saw mill erected on Beaver River.

June 17, 1719

Source: The Historical Booklet Committee for 250th Nutfield Anniversary Committee. Glimpses of Derry New Hampshire 1719-1969. New Hampshire: Ed Hatch, Printer, 1969. Print.

First Town Meeting held.

9 November 1719

Glimpses, p. 55

First road laid out in Nutfield.

February 1720

Glimpses, p. 55

Voted that a meeting house shall be built in town.

11 January 1721

"Voted that a meeting-house shall be built in this town as speedily as may be and that the above said house shall be fifty feet in length, forty-five feet broad and so high as may be convenient for one set of galleries. The house was raised and finished the following year (June 1722). -- Glimpses, p. 55

First Meeting House built near present First Church, East Derry.

June 1722

"Selectmen to take what method they think fit for securing the fishery at Amoskeag." Glimpses, p. 55

Town charter granted to Nutfield, name changed to Londonderry.

21 June 1722

Glimpses, p. 55

Cochran Road laid out along Indian trail connecting settlement...


"...with Amoskeag Falls." Glimpses, p. 55

Dispute with Chester over boundary lines settled and...


Date recorded as 1724/25. "...the people of Londonderry lost the dispute and direct access to the fisheries at Amoskeag."

Voted that town keep a grammar school.

15 July 1726

"Voted that the town keep a grammar school. The first school in Nutfield was a log house 12 by 16 feet and 7 feet high in the vicinity of the first meeting-house." - Glimpses, p. 55.


Events that highlight a particular person.

1st sermon by Rev. James MacGregor preached near the shore of Beaver Lake.

April 12, 1719

Source: The Historical Booklet Committee for 250th Nutfield Anniversary Committee. Glimpses of Derry New Hampshire 1719-1969. New Hampshire: Ed Hatch, Printer, 1969. Print.

Town ordered James Gregg to have a grist mill on Beaver River.

June 17, 1719

Source: The Historical Booklet Committee for 250th Nutfield Anniversary Committee. Glimpses of Derry New Hampshire 1719-1969. New Hampshire: Ed Hatch, Printer, 1969. Print.

Jonathan Morrison, 1st person born in Nutfield.

September 8, 1719

Source: The Historical Booklet Committee for 250th Nutfield Anniversary Committee. Glimpses of Derry New Hampshire 1719-1969. New Hampshire: Ed Hatch, Printer, 1969. Print.

James McKeen, Jr. was second person born in Nutfield.

9 September 1719

Glimpses, p. 55

James McKeen voted Moderator of first Town Meeting.

9 November 1719

Glimpses, p. 55

First death in Nutfield: John Clark.

13 January 1721

Death is reported as 1720/21 in Glimpses, p. 55

First marriage in town: John Wallis and Annis Barnard.

18 May 1721

Glimpses, p. 55

Second marriage in town: John Crombie and Joan Rankin.

17 November 1721

Glimpses, p. 55

First framed house built for Rev. James MacGregor.


"...and it had two stories in the front and one in the rear." Glimpses, p. 55

Second death in Nutfield? Mary Leslie, wife of James Leslie.

8 April 1722

Glimpses, p. 55

John Barr kept a tavern for the accomodation of man and beast.

1726 - 12 May 1726

"Before this date." Glimpses, p. 55

Birth of John Bell.

15 August 1729

"...elected a member of the Provincial Congress which met at Exeter, Dec. 21, 1775, and which, early in 1776, resolved itself into a house of representatives, and put in operation the independent government of N.H., under the temporary constitution." Glimpses, p. 55

Death of John Bell

30 November 1825

Glimpses, p. 55


Places of note.

Fourteen men of Double Range petition General Assembly over land layout.


Glimpses, p. 55

Bond of Capt. Cargill-30 pounds penalty.

18 November 1728

" keep up Fouling Mills forever for town's use." Glimpses, p. 55


Notable figures in Derry history.

Robert Rogers, pre-Revolutionary Indian fighter, leader of Rogers' Rangers born.


Glimpses, p. 55

Birth of John Stark

28 August 1728

"Fought in French and Indian Wars; a hero at Battle of Bunker Hill. In battles of Princeton and Springfield, NY, and Battle of Bennington. Colonel; General Brigadier-General who died 8 May 1822 in the ninety-fourth year of his age...buried with honors of war at Derryfield, NH." Glimpses, p. 55

Death of John Stark

8 May 1822

"...on the ninety-fourth year of his age, and was buried with honors of war at Derryfield, NH." Glimpses, p. 55

Social and Civic Organizations

Abstracted from From Turnpike to Interstate 1827-1927

St. Mark's Lodge No. 44, F. & A.M.

June 14, 1826

Nutfield Grange No. 37

September 23, 1874

Originally they were organized to help farmers through cooperative buying and selling. Grangers have worked diligently together to better the lot of the American farmer.

Echo Lodge No. 61 - IOOF

April 17, 1879

the Odd Fellows is an order that endeavors to promote brotherhood, visit the sick, relieve the distressed, and care for the orphans and widows.

Welcome Lodge #28, Independent Order of Good Templars


No longer extant.

Derry Commondery #108, United Order of the Golden Cross


No longer extant.

Mizpah Rebekah Lodge No. 15

August 1881

First Nobel Grand was Charles G. Kimball. The Rebekahs are the women's auxiliary of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. Their object is to attend to the needs of the ill, aged, and widowed members and the orphans of members.

Derry Archery Club


No longer extant.

Derry Rifle Club


No longer extant.

Woman's Relief Corps, Upton Post, G.A.R.


Women's christian Temperance Union


No longer extant.

Knights of Labor


No longer extant.

Knights of Pythias - Rockingham Lodge No. 29

December 12, 1886

The purpose of the Pythian Order is to promote Friendship, Charity, and Benevolence.

Order of Iron Hall


No longer extant.

Lincoln Club


No longer extant.

Ivanhoe Temple, Rathbone Sisters


No longer extant.

Sons of Veterans


No longer extant.

Order of Brit-O-Mart


No longer extant.

Woman's Relief Corps, Knight Post, G. A. R.


No longer extant.

Hope Lodge #63, Order of Aegis


No longer extant.

Honesty Lodge #79, New England Order of Protection


No longer extant.

Sisterhood Branch, Order of Iron Hall


No longer extant.

Ivanhoe Temple No. 1 Pythian Sisters

December 16, 1889

First chapter of the order established in New Hampshire. The purpose is to promote the moral, mental, social, and physical elevation of the members and to exercise charity, minister to the sick, comfort the distressed, and provide for the needy.

Rathbone Division, Uniform Rank of Knights of Pythias


No longer extant.

Loyalty Commandery #7, Order of Safety


No longer extant.

Ransford Chapter No. 3 - Order of Eastern Star

October 7, 1890

Lincoln Council #9, Order of United American Mechanics


No longer extant.

Derry Cycle Club


No longer extant.

DAR - Molly Reid Chapter

October 27, 1894

Founded by Annie Bartlett Shepard, grandmother of Alan B. Shepard, Jr. Chapter was named in honor of the wife of General George Reid, a native of Derry and distingushed soldier of the Revolutionary War.

Law and Order League


No longer extant.

Derry Woman's Club

October 1895

Founded by Mrs. Gilbert H. Hood, Sr. Purpose was to support intellectual, social, and civic improvement.

Nutfield Court #20, Foresters of America


No longer extant.

Derry Choral Club


No longer extant.

The Derry Anti-Saloon League

June 9, 1899 - December 1, 1910

First meeting was held in the vestry of St. Luke's Methodist Episcopal Church. Formed for the express purpose of "the suppression of the saloon." The League dissolved but all records and funds were transferred to a new organization: The Derry No Licence [sic] League.

Derry Grange No. 282

September 8, 1899 - 1968

Bethany Sisterhood, Knights of Malta


No date is mentioned in Turnpike, but the majority of the social clubs that were extant at the time were in the late 1800s to the turn of the 20th century. No longer extant.

Granite Degree of Honor #1, Ancient Order of United Workmen


No longer extant - no date in Turnpike. Assigned 1900 as most groups were established around this time.

Court of Montcalm #15, Association Canado-Americane


No longer extant.

Hammonasset Tribe #34, Order of Redmen


No longer extant.

Knights of Malta


No longer extant.

Derry Bowling Club


No longer extant.

East Derry Improvement Society

December 20, 1902

Purpose is to beautify the shrubs, walks, parks and lawns of any public areas in East Derry.

Fraternal Order of Eagles, Aerie No. 663


Founders: Horace Kingsbury, Harry Aiken, and Alden Kelley.

Neoskaleta Council #18, Daughters of Pochantas


No longer extant. [? of name - should be Pocahontas?]

South Range Sewing Circle


A group of women met weekly in various members' homes and did sewing for charity. In more recent years the name was changed to the South Range Circle. No longer doing sewing, the group donates money to charitable causes.

Court Laurier, Foresters of America


No longer extant.

Reliance Grange No. 306

November 19, 1907 - April 19, 1966

Organized by George Drake, the State Master. Some of the remaining members joined Nutfield Grange after the dissolution of the Reliance Grange in 1966.

Derry Nest of Owls


No longer extant.

The Thalian Club

June 8, 1909

The first name was the T. T. Club meaning "the twenty" to represent the twenty members that the original club was limited to. Thalis was the goddess of charity and this was the purpose of the club in addition to its own social meetings.

American Peace Society


No longer extant.

MacDowell Club


No longer extant.

Derry Merchant's Association

1912 - 1913

Precursor to the present-day Chamber of Commerce.

Independent Order of Foresters


No longer extant.

The Derry Business Men

1914 - 1939

Another precursor to the present-day Chamber of Commerce.

Farmer's Improvement Association aka The Corncob Club


One of the objects of the organization was to buy cooperatively modern farm implements that all could use as needed, thus cutting down the costs for all members. The name "Corncob Club" was the original name because most farmers smoked corncob pipes.

The Chameleon Club


Purpose of the group was to promote interest by the older teenage girls of Derry Village in the Central Congregational Church. The first name was "The Good Samaritan Club" then it was "The Girls' Club" and finally about 1930 it was changed to the current name.

Co-Operative Extension in Derry


Civic projects beginning with "women's work" for World War I.

Lester W. Chase Post No. 9, American Legion

June 30, 1919

Chase Athletic Association


Founded by Earle Richardson, Benjamin Stevens, Ralph Stearns, Herbert Richardson, Raymond Sefton and Albert Melvin. The purpose was to promote social gatherings and to support athletic endeavors among the young men of Derry Village. The name "Chase" was chosen because most of the first members were employees of the Benjamin Chase Company.

Derry Village Improvement Association


To promote the physical improvement, growth and prosperity of Derry Village, and to provide and care for walks, parks, commons therein; and to hold, lease, purchase, sell and convey such land and buildings as may be needful to carry such purposes into effect.

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 1617


The organization's interest is in community service, youth activities and safety programs.

Girl Scouts


In 1949 a second troop formed in East Derry. In 1963, Derry became affiliated with the Swift Water Girl Scout Council.

Derry Village Men's Club

1931 - 1955

Club disbanded in the 1950s when most of the original members had died.

Boy Scouts


First troop was No. 98 founded by the Lester W. Chase Post of the American Legion. The first scoutmaster was Charles T. Hawes and the assistant scoutmaster was Walter A. Pillsbury.

Derry Junior Woman's Club


Founder: Edith Tappan.

Derry Rifle & Revolver Club


No longer extant.

Derry Garden Club

September 9, 1935

Founder and first President: Caroline L. White. Original purpose was "to stimulate an interest in home gardens, to help beautify the town and to bring beauty wherever possible." Eventually, the club's scope was broadened " promote an interest in house and garden, to aid in the protection of native plants, trees, and wildlife, and to further civic beautification."

Alexander-Eastman Hospital Auxiliary

March 13, 1936

Derry Flying Club

1937 - 1941

Charter members: Dr. N. Wicker Hylan, Raymond Ross, Warren Alexander, Maurice Audette, Myron Smith, and Helene Lyons. In November 1941 the club was forced to inactivity when the War Departmetn banned most civilian non-commercial aviation.

Derry Kiwanis Club


First President: Clive C. Small. Main purpose is to help less privileged children.

Derry Historical Society

October 19, 1943

Purpose of the organization was to preserve documents, articles, and artifacts having historical significance as a legacy for the future.

Derry Lions Club

April 25, 1946

Purpose is to serve the Town of Derry.

Derry Assembly No. 15, Order of Rainbow-Derry Chapter


Derry Arts & Crafts Association

1950 - 1965

Became a branch of the NH League of Arts & Crafts.

Derry Chapter - SPEBQSA, Inc.

1951 - 1957

Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America, Inc.

Order of Demolay - Derry Chapter

June 6, 1953

Veterans of World War I, Barracks No. 120

April 14, 1954

First commander was Francis P. Hays.

Sweet Adelines, Inc. - Derry Chapter

September 1954 - 1974

Founded by Ms. Irene Pelletier, Jeanne Manning, Madalene Cote, and Marie Bresnahan.

Clara Dyson Book Club


Club meets monthly and a member usually gives a book review: non-fiction and biographical books are featured. Some of the dues are used to buy books which are donated to the Derry and Londonderry libraries. When a member dies, a book is donated to the library in her name.

Derry Trail Riders

May 1959

Formed by Ruth Agar.

Derry Business and Professional Women's Club


Founded by Geraldine Bangs, Ann Sullivan and forty other business and professional women. The purpose is to elevate the standards of women in business and the professions and to promote the interests of business and professional women.

Alcoholics Anonymous

April 15, 1960

First meeting was held at The Beaver Lake Lodge.

Derry Salem Lodge of Elks No. 2226

May 28, 1961

Founders: Joseph Wagenbach, Theodore Hattin, Fred Lumley, Harry Mullen, Frank Bowser, and William Engstler.

Greater Derry Chamber of Commerce


Alan B. Shepard, Jr. Chapter Navy Mothers Club No. 925


One of the principal functions of Navy Mothers Clubs is to aid financially stranded Naval personnel in the area by providing them with funds for transportation back to base, meals, and/or overnight lodging.

Granite State Antique Auto Club, Inc.


Purpose of the club was to promote good fellowship among and for the mutual benefit of persons interested in the collecting, preservation, and restoration of antique and classic automobiles and accessories.

Spacetown Squares


Square dancing organization.

League of Women Voters of Greater Derry

November 1964

Charter members: Judy Gilbert, Peggy Drouin, Helen Riddervold, Marion Greene, Olyce Moore, Joline Diehl, Jessie Deale, Lillian Quimby, Kay Corson and Evelyn Hamilton. Purpose is to promote the political responsibility of citizens through informed and active participation in the government.

Welcome Chapter No. 75 - North American Family Campers Association

November 16, 1965

The purpose of the chapter is to promote family camping, conservation of our woodlands, waters, and wildlife, and to cooperate with others so dedicated.

Derry Senior Citizens


First President: John Palmer. One of the primary interests of the members was better housing for retired persons.

Beaver Lake Improvement Association

August 7, 1966

First meeting was held at Goldie Whitcomb's cottage on South Shore Road.

East Derry Fire Department Ladies' Auxiliary

April 15, 1969

Founded by Mrs. Arthur (Joan) Reynolds, Mrs. Don (Sally) Miller, and Mrs Eugene (Shirley) Matteuzzi. Main purpose of the organization is to assist the East Derry Fire Department. It helps during fires by providing food and drinks to the firefighters.

Greater Derry Jaycees

October 1969

The purpose of the Jaycees is to offer young men between the ages of eighteen and thirty-six the opportunity to better both themselves ad their community through a combination of internal development programs and community service programs.

Greater Derry Boys Club

December 1969

Founded by Ken Moody. Purpose of the Boys Clubs of America is to provide behavior guidance and promote the health, social, educational, economic, and character development of boys.

Derry Rotary Club


A service club whose motto is "Service Above Self."

AARP Nutfield Chapter No. 784

September 1971

Derry Choral Society


Organized by Mari Douglas.

Reach Out, Inc.

January 15, 1972

A Christ-centered non-profit organization. Helps juveniles with problems, and their families.

Greater Derry Humane Society


Purpose of the society is to promote humane care and treatment for all animals needing its aid and protection in the area served by the Society.

Derry Policemen's Wives Auxiliary

January 1975

Derry Emergency Citizens Communications Association

February 1976

Purpose of the organization is to assist fire and police departments and the director of civil preparedness when requested, to promote goodwill among CBers and in disaster situations ot provide such assistance to New Hampshire residents as it can.