E-4-12

A small cellar hole and accompanying barn foundation just below the top of Hurd Hill was built by Beriah Wetmore in 1774. Wetmore his wife Abigail and their six children had built at E-3-4, sold that property back to Breed Batchellor and bought this less desirable property. Probably they had not been able to pay the mortgage on their original purchase.  The family had been warned out of town at the same time. After just 18 months of occupancy, the family gave up pioneering in Packersfield and moved to Greenfield, Massachusetts where Beriah became a laborer. They went on to have three more children and moved to Sudbury, Vermont.

A broken horseshoe, a scythe blade and a harness buckle found at the cellar hole may suggest some further occupancy, but the subsequent owners lived in Temple, New Hampshire (Abraham Sheldon 1778-1805) and Concord, Massachusetts (Dr. Isaac Hurd 1805-1829.) Work to clear the land for pasture continued. Sheldon increased the amount of pasturage from Beriah Wetmore’s short tenure to fourteen acres by 1797. Dr. Hurd had 40 acres of pasture there by 1821. This was common in early nineteenth century Nelson as early homesteads were abandoned as too poor to support a family and further cleared to support the growing sheep boom. Perhaps the Wetmore place was used for a few years as shelter for the animals grazing there and their keepers.