Its most well-known owner was Parke Hardy Struthers who purchased the farm in 1932 and named it Merriconn because the property is situated on the watershed divide between the Merrimac and Connecticut Rivers. It was a brick house of a grand size for Nelson and situated on an imposing location. Perhaps the height of its prominence was as the home of Louis C. Cabot of Boston who made it into his summer estate. The property also featured a 155’ barn built in three sections. The land was originally farmed by Shadrach Hill and expanded by Thomas Richardson who moved with his two sons, John and Amos, to this two-hundred-acre place right after the American Revolution.
Parke Struthers in his A History of Nelson New Hampshire 1767-1967 credits the building of the house to Josiah V. Richardson and dates that to 1793 citing town records. I respect the work done by Mr. Struthers and, when I find things in the historical record that contradict his conclusions, wish I had access to his specific sources and to the author himself. The very house he lived in for so many years is a good example. If the house was built in 1793, it would have been built by Amos as his nephew, Josiah Richardson, was only nine years old. Packersfield tax records do indicate a new building on the farm in 1793, but that was likely the first section of the barn. Residences were not taxed in those days. It may well have been built by Josiah but more probably in 1805 or 1806 for in 1806 Amos sold the place (D-3-12) where he and his nephew, Josiah, and their wives were living to another nephew, Asa.
All this family complexity was occasioned by the fact that Thomas Richardson divided his 200-acre farm between two sons, John and Amos. Amos had no children of his own to pass on the farm. He sold the farm in two pieces. Nine acres and his house went to his brother John’s son, Asa, and the balance to another of John’s sons, Josiah.
I surmise that the brick house was completed just before the sale to Asa and in 1805 or 1806.
Amos, his wife, Mehitable, Josiah and his wife, Polly, were the first inhabitants. John Richardson’s wife, Dolly, moved in after her husband’s death in 1814. Polly died in 1826 and Josiah married Nabby Brooks. Amos died in 1815 aged sixty-one. Shortly after that Josiah and Polly had their only child, Charles, born in 1817. Dolly died in 1833 and Nabby in 1835. Sometime after that Josiah moved to Ohio. He sold the farm to James Russell and Mariah (also Moriah) in 1848.
Following the death of his wife, James sold to John Rutherford in 1866 and moved to Winchester. Rutherford was here nineteen years. In 1885 the farm had 310 acres. Rutherford had 8 cows, 50 sheep and tapped 300 maple trees. John and his wife, Diana are buried in the Island Cemetery in Harrisville.
Rutherford sold his farm to Louis C. Cabot of Boston. Cabot, a wealthy member of the famous Boston family, began buying land in Nelson and surrounding towns in 1880. He bought this place in 1885 and held thousands of acres in Nelson at the time of his death in 1912. Cabot probably added the final addition on the barn extending it to the full 155 feet in length.
In 1932 Parke Hardy Struthers, a professor of zoology at Syracuse University and descendant of one of Nelson’s settlers, Noah Hardy, bought the farm. In the early 21st century, the old brick home fell into disrepair and was taken down.