Driving a horse drawn buggy along the old “stage line” between Chester and Manchester, Vermont (now Route 11) around 1850, one passes a flourishing village along the West River. As reported in a contemporary gazetteer, Main Street in North Londonderry Village included a large woolen factory, dry goods stores, tin and blacksmith shops, shoe stores, wagon and milliner’s shops, machine and hardware purveyors, a harness shop, and various saw mills – taking advantage of the plentiful water flowing by the town.
Most of these structures have long since been lost to history. But if you had been around in the 1850’s you might have hitched your buggy to Lyman’s Hotel at the intersection of North and Main… you might have looked across Main Street… and noticed the Glazier’s residence sitting smartly on the south side of the road. Lyman’s Hotel became The Carleton House, then the Wantastiquet Inn, and after a fire, The Shoe Barn. But Ezekiel Glazier’s home still stands. Alone. Now owned by Edward Brown. And in need of comprehensive restoration.
The Glazier house was originally built most likely around 1830. It changed ownership at about the same pace as most residences in town. In the early 1900’s, Clyde Wright operated a meat market from the basement of the building. Through a separate entrance one could either pick up that evening’s dinner… or have Clyde make the rounds to your house with his four-wheeled wagon. Keeping the meat in the winter months was not too tough. But the summer months?
In the 1950’s, “Squeak” Grover was the master of the house – and a rather colorful mailman. Things were quite different back in those days. You could call Adam’s Market next to “Squeak’s” and he would deliver your groceries with the mail. Somehow, the U.S. Postal Service never found out about this arrangement. More than that, around the holidays, Squeak always discovered and collected a bottle or two in a number of mail boxes along his route.
Today, when you drive along Route 11 into Londonderry, “Squeak’s House” stands out as a proud – if not lonely – reminder of North Londonderry’s past history. Hopefully, it will continue to be part of the town’s present and future.