The Kingsbury Place

This is a grand cellar hole today with nicely cut granite in its walls. It sits on a hill overlooking and just south of Otter Brook. The grand home here was likely built by Solomon Kingsbury and improved and maintained by three generations of that family until it ceased being occupied on the death of Elbridge Kingsbury in the early twentieth century. The deed by which Solomon Kingsbury acquired the property in 1800 makes reference to a dwelling house and barn on the property.

In 1775 Josephus and Hephzibah (Nurse) Rugg of Holden, Massachusetts, bought fifty acres of land here from Breed Batchellor. They built a house and started a family. In 1783 they sold the place to Josiah Willard of Walpole., NH and seem to have lived briefly in Springfield, Vermont. (Their child, Jonas, was born there in 1783.) They appear in both Springfield and Nelson on the 1790 census. They probably left Nelson about that time with their seven children and made Springfield their home.

James Hall was the next resident, buying the farm with his father, Benjamin, in 1787. James Hall seems to have been the occupant, but we know little about him. The Hall family purchased the old Bemis farm (C-2-14) which adjoined the Rugg property to its east making the farm 136 acres altogether. Hall sold to Solomon Kingsbury in 1800. It is likely Solomon built the large house whose foundation we see today either on or near the site of Josephus Rugg’s house.

The farm was sold to Solomon Kingsbury in 1800:  136 acres with a dwelling house and barn. Solomon and Rebecca Kingsbury married in Dedham, Massachusetts in 1799.  Their first son, Seth, was born here in 1801. They had two other children.  Kingsbury was important in the early affairs of Packersfield and was one of the leaders of the effort to create the town of Roxbury from pieces of Packersfield, Marlborough and Keene in 1812. He served as Roxbury’s first town clerk.

He died November 28, 1845 at the age of 74 and was succeeded on the place by his son, Seth Kingsbury. It passed to Seth’s son, Elbridge, who lived in Keene and rented the farm until his death in 1921.