One of the first settlers of Nelson Village, Rand bought a 3-acre lot from the estate of Henry Melville in 1839. Dr. Rand bought Dr. Calvin Hubbard’s practice in Nelson and moved here from Hancock. Dr Rand practiced medicine in Nelson and was a partner with Ruel Nims in the store on the common. For two years he held a license from the selectmen to sell “spiritous liquors.”
In 1853 he sold 1/4 acre of land to the church where it built its parsonage. He exchanged houses with Oliver Newell in 1863. Newell lived here until his death in 1877.
Of the numerous residents of the Rand house, none is more well-known than May Sarton. A poet and novelist author of 19 novels, 17 books of poetry and numerous other works, she is best known for the memoir Plant Dreaming Deep about her early years in Nelson. She moved to York, Maine where she died. She is buried in the Village Cemetery. The Rand home is currently owned by Kip and Sandy MacKenzie.
“Whereas Nehemiah Rand of Nelson in the County of Cheshire has been appointed agent for the purchase and sale of Spirituous and Intoxicating Liquors for said town for one year from the date herof. Now it is hereby agreed between Darius Farwell, Warren Tarbox and David McIntire, Selectmen of said town in behalf of said town on the one part and the said Nehemiah Rand on the other part, that the said Nehemiah Rand is to purchase and keep for sale Brandy, Gin, Alcohol and two kinds of Wine; to be sold for Medicinal , Mechanical and Chemical purposes and Wine for the Commemoration of the Lord’s Supper, and for no other purpose whatever, and to conform to the following regulations: Said Liquor you are to purchase of some authorized agent or wholesale dealer in Spirituous and Intoxicating Liquors; said Liquors to be good and pure; said liquor you are to sell in your Dwelling house in said town of Nelson and no other place, and for the above named purposes. The said liquor to are to sell at 25 cents profit reckoning cost at your house.
You are at no time to sell less than half a pint nor more than one quart without a written prescription from a practicing Physician or for Chemical purposes as from your own personal knowledge that it is absolutely necessary. You are to keep a true and accurate account of all your purchases and all of your sales specifying in such account the kind, quantity and price of the liquor bought by you, the date of each purchase made by you and the name of the person of whom such purchase was made, the kind quantity and price of liquor sold, the date the sale was made, the name of the purchaser at every such sale, and the use for which the liquor on every such sale was sold as stated by the purchaser. And you are to pay over the proceeds of the sales to and settle with the selectmen of said town whenever they shall require and do and perform all the duties which the law requires under which you receive this appointment.
And the said Nehemiah Rand shall receive for his services in said office the sum of forty Dollars.”