New Hampshire Treasure Tale: Green Hill, Barrington
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  1. #1
    us
    May 2003
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    New Hampshire Treasure Tale: Green Hill, Barrington

    The land on the southly side of Green Hill in Barrignton was first settled by the Hayes family. Paul Hayes was one of the prominent settlers of the town and one of the original founders of the Congregational Church. His son, James, known in his day as "Jeems" was the man who made Green Hill famous. For in the 1816 there was a very bad cold snap which ruined most of the crops planted that summer. Wadleigh's history of Dover records some of that summer's bad weather - "May 15, frozen hard enough on plowed ground to bear a man; June 10, heavy frost; July 11, heavy frost, killed a great deal of corn and apples; July 15, ice formed in Wason tan yard in Dover; August 20, rain and snow on the heights; August 22, heavy frost which killed corn and potatoes"

    As if by a miracle Jeems Hayes had 10 acres of corn which survived all of this bad weather and produced a good crop when most other crops had failed. To obtain sufficient food people came from as far as 40 miles away to buy corn from Jeems Hayes. He charged one silver dollar per peck of corn and wouldn't accept any form of payment except for silver dollar coins. The silver dollars quickly filled a good sized trunk and Jeems soon became one of the richest men around. Mr. Hayes died soon after the famine year though and so didn't get to enjoy his newly obtained fortune for very long.

    Some of the money was lent to the Strafford bank in Dover during a panic but much of it was kept in the old trunk by Jeems' widow until one night when Jeems' grandson Jim and some of his friends were having a good time getting drunk in the family house. A drunken brawl broke out over some matter or another and Jeems' widow became afraid that her money would be stolen and so she opened the trunk and took all of the silver dollars she could carry in her apron and quietly snuck out of the house. She headed westward past the old Hayes family burying ground into the deep woods. She wandered around for a while looking for a place to bury her money. She found a spot in the middle of a triangle formed by 3 large trees where she dug a deep hole in the soft earth, put in the contents of her apron and then neatly covered it and then went back home.

    A few days later she went back to retrieve her money but she couldn't locate the triangle of trees again. She summoned help from her family and neighbours but after an extensive search they gave up without ever finding the money. Many have since tried to find the treasure but no one (as of 1930) had reported it found.

    -- as told by Mrs E. E Wiggen circa 1930

  2. #2
    us
    Ben from NH, the Z means nothing

    Dec 2004
    Brentwood, NH
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    Re: New Hampshire Treasure Tale: Green Hill, Barrington

    Hmmm... interesting!
    Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain

  3. #3
    us
    May 2003
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    Re: New Hampshire Treasure Tale: Green Hill, Barrington

    Quote Originally Posted by NHDUG
    Good story Steve! I have been to Green hill and found a German 2 fenny coin nice shiny green patina, and a large cent at a cellar hole there, and also a ring with New Hampshire state seal on it. It must have been plated cause it wore off most of it but you can still see it was plated. I wonder when they made those. I also wonder when did these bldg. rot away. How old were they....The place I found the ring had a flag on the old map....I was made to believe those were post offices...but not real sure...do you know if that is true?

    There are at least 3 cellar holes there....I wonder back then if rt. 125 was used as a road or not? I know it was the railroad bed when the railroad was here back say 1840's earliest anyways. Good Story anyways....Thanks for the entertainment!!

    The book I found that story in did have a little more details about the house. First the book (which was published in 1932) seems to say that at least part of the house was still standing - here is what it says about the house, "It was probably the original house built there, as the architecture is of very ancient pattern. It formerly had a long sloping roof in the rear but the part containing the sink room, kitchen and bedroom has long been removed."

    I also found a map online from 1892 which shows who owned which house at that time but I couldn't find any good matches even though the maps shows 3 different houses owned by someone with a surname of Hayes. Here is the link in case you want to give it a try...

    http://www.davidrumsey.com/luna/serv...-Co----D-H--Hu


  4. #4
    us
    May 2003
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    Re: New Hampshire Treasure Tale: Green Hill, Barrington

    Quote Originally Posted by NHDUG
    I don't see any Hayes on green hill rd. on this map.....your story in that book was in 1816+....this map is 1892....there must be a way to find older maps or at least documents from the town of Barrington for property and deaths...etc....I had fun looking though...
    I guess the most obvious thing to check would be the town real estate tax records. I'm in the historical society in Hampstead where I live, and we have the town tax records going back to the late 1700's. I checked but couldn't find any listing for a Barrington Historical Society but maybe one of the surrounding towns has a historical society that has records on the Hayes family. The book mentions that Paul Hayes was a founder of the Congregational Church there - maybe someone wrote a history of that church.

    I'll keep looking online for some other maps or references on Paul Hayes too.

  5. #5
    us
    May 2003
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    Re: New Hampshire Treasure Tale: Green Hill, Barrington

    So it looks like the farm might show up under George Wiggen or Horace Cater by 1892 as a Hayes daughters married them and lived at Green Hill. Here is a clip from a Hayes family genealogical book --

    "Margaret born May 4 1800 married January 24 1822 Jacob K Hayes born in Barrington New Hampshire November 10 1796 Their children were Sophiah born March 22 1823 married George Wiggin and lived at Green Hill Barrington New Hampshire Elizabeth Lucy born June 22 1826 married Horace G Cater and lived at Green Hill Mary Ann born November 30 1828 married Henry Paul and lived in Rollinsford New Hampshire Eleazer Cate and Margaret Jane born July 20 1832 the former married Lizzie A Cater May 16 1858 and lived on the home farm being the third generation and the latter died March 14 1888"

    I see 2 G Wiggen on the map - is that Green Hill Rd.?

    I also found what is probably the best source we can find as it is a history of the Hayes family but I can't find it online. The closest copy I can find is at the state library in Concord. It is entitled, "John Hayes of Dover, New Hampshire." by Katherine F. Richmond. It was published in the 1930s. There is also a copy at the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem Mass, but neither library lends it out - you have to go there and transcribe anything you want out of it.


  6. #6
    us
    Feb 2006
    New Hampshire - USA
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    Re: New Hampshire Treasure Tale: Green Hill, Barrington

    While I love reading this thread, I feel like I should at least warn you guys that passing along "too much" information on an open forum like this can lead to someone else jumping in and (potentially illegally) trying to get whatever you are working hard to research and locate.

    I've know of one instance firsthand about a "lurker" on forums like this who do nothing more than scour the topics to see if they can't pick up some good leads to potential sites.

    You guys sound like you're doing some really good research, and I'd hate to see all your hard work and interest lead to someone else stepping in before you ever get a chance to reach the end.

    I know how hard it is to research things, so I totally respect what you two are doing and talking about - I just think you might want to consider taking it to PM's or even e-mails to keep it more private.

    Just a suggestion.
    "There is no getting away from a treasure that once fastens upon your mind" - Joseph Conrad (Nostromo)

  7. #7
    us
    May 2003
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    Re: New Hampshire Treasure Tale: Green Hill, Barrington

    When I started this thread I had hoped to interest some folks into trying to determine if this story is worth pursuing to a hunt. I live a little over an hour away from Barrington and so posted the information I have in order to try to see if a group of folks would like to form a team to go after one or more of these.

    It seems as if there is enough interest and I do realize that giving away too much info invites someone who isn't a team player to try and try and nighthawk (so to speak). However I think you would need a team of at least 4 or 5 folks to have a good shot at hunting down something like this (in order to thoroughly cover what are likely to be large chunks of territory).

    I run a website called westhampsteadweather.com if folks are interested I could set up a password protected forum on it and we could carry on this discussion on it. What do folks think?

    BTW I buy and read old books about New Hampshire all the time and so I have leads like this one on at least 5 or 6 more sites it seems like it might be worthwhile pursuing.

  8. #8
    us
    Feb 2006
    New Hampshire - USA
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    Re: New Hampshire Treasure Tale: Green Hill, Barrington

    Quote Originally Posted by SteveP (NH)
    When I started this thread I had hoped to interest some folks into trying to determine if this story is worth pursuing to a hunt. I live a little over an hour away from Barrington and so posted the information I have in order to try to see if a group of folks would like to form a team to go after one or more of these.

    It seems as if there is enough interest and I do realize that giving away too much info invites someone who isn't a team player to try and try and nighthawk (so to speak). However I think you would need a team of at least 4 or 5 folks to have a good shot at hunting down something like this (in order to thoroughly cover what are likely to be large chunks of territory).

    I run a website called westhampsteadweather.com if folks are interested I could set up a password protected forum on it and we could carry on this discussion on it. What do folks think?

    BTW I buy and read old books about New Hampshire all the time and so I have leads like this one on at least 5 or 6 more sites it seems like it might be worthwhile pursuing.
    I understand, and I hope you weren't offended by my suggestion - I felt a little strange offering it because I don't like to cast a bad light on anyone in this hobby. That said, I do alot of research on things, and I know how much time and effort can go into it and would hate to hear that by the time a small group of you got out there, you found a bunch of "exploratory holes" dug all over the place by some nameless and faceless person who may have gotten enough information from here to at least make some speculative checks.

    I'm going to send you a PM related to a story I've heard a few times and would like to research more. It's in NH, but in the N/NW part of the state - too far for me to just head up there now and then to check out. I'd have to do a bunch of research down here (Derry/Londonderry area) first so I could try to focus and pinpoint an area before I took the time to go up and look around. Since you sound like you've done a good amount of researching and reading on NH history, perhaps you will have heard of it, or if nothing else, maybe it's something you'll run across in the future.'

    Again, hope I didn't overstep anything by my suggestion to avoid giving away too much info - my intention was only meant in the best possible way.

    Good luck.
    "There is no getting away from a treasure that once fastens upon your mind" - Joseph Conrad (Nostromo)

  9. #9
    us
    May 2003
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    Re: New Hampshire Treasure Tale: Green Hill, Barrington

    Quote Originally Posted by Cubfan64

    <snip>

    Again, hope I didn't overstep anything by my suggestion to avoid giving away too much info - my intention was only meant in the best possible way.

    Good luck.
    I am sure you meant no offense and none was ever taken - I'm a pretty easy going guy and usually assume the best in people and in fact I appreciate your concern.

    SteveP

  10. #10

    Jul 2006
    New Hampshire
    61

    Re: New Hampshire Treasure Tale: Green Hill, Barrington

    Really interesting story... I've never heard that one before. I'd love to do a little more research on it..and would be very open to the idea of setting up a different forum, if necessary to discuss it. I live in Holderness, NH which seems to be quite a bit north of most of you. However, it's all an easy drive....

    Jan

  11. #11
    us
    Sep 2008
    Southern N.H.
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    Re: New Hampshire Treasure Tale: Green Hill, Barrington

    Hi guys, I plan on going to Barrington Library in the next couple days. They have an excellent book of all the cemeteries in Barrington as far back as the stones will tell! There is a guide to where each cemetery is located, the geneology, and of course dates. This could be an invaluable tool to finding a certain family or individual. I will do some research and let you know my findings.

 

 

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