C-4-11

William Barker

William Barker moved to Nelson in 1779 and, probably first built and occupied C-4-16. There is no deed evidence of his purchase of lot #3, range 12 in the Northeast Quarter, but road records and a subsequent transfer of a half interest to his son, Leonard, are proof that he built the place and lived here. Deacon Barker came from Acton, Massachusetts after service in the Revolutionary War. He came with is wife, Anna and several children. More were born in Packersfield. He founded the family in Nelson still present in the Walter family now in their 9th generation. He was influential in early town affairs. His first wife died in 1801 and he re-married –Parke Struthers says Rhoda Wheeler (died 1818) of Concord, Massachusetts. All three are buried in the village cemetery. (Oddly Packersfield vital records record her as Mrs. Phoebe Upton.)

In 1809, aged 75, he sold a half interest in his farm to his son, Leonard.  Leonard’s disposition of the farm following his father’s death in 1821 is unclear, but the place became part of the Burnap farm in the 1830’s. It was probably used to house farm workers while part of the Burnap Farm. The road was closed in 1868, but the 1892 map of Nelson shows a house at the location owned by A. (Alphonse) Gauthier who bought 260 acres of the old Burnap farm from Henry O’Dowd in 1874 with buildings. There followed a series of owners the longest being  Gauthier (1874-1893) and Phillip Trombley (1898-1906.) Will Story was the final occupant for a few years after that.