FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 3, 2017
Peter Michaud, N.H. Division of Historical Resources
Emery Farm named to National Register of Historic Places
The New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources is proud to announce that the Emery Farm in Stratham has been honored by the United States Secretary of the Interior with placement on the National Register of Historic Places for its long associations with local agricultural life in New Hampshire, specifically market gardening.
Built circa 1740, Emery Farm first served as Chase’s Tavern and was a center for business, community and government affairs. The property’s 2½ story house was originally four rooms, but was expanded to 13 rooms to accommodate several generations of the Emery family. Inside, its Georgian-style and Greek Revival features, a triple-run staircase, four-panel doors with thumb latches, and a kitchen fireplace with brick oven and cast iron door illustrate uses and updates through time.
A large gable-front post and beam barn still has two cow stalls and an attached corn crib. In addition to housing livestock, the barn served as the sleeping quarters for farmhands, whose names can still be seen carved into the frame.
Remnants of the late-19th to early-20th century irrigation system remain in place, including several wells, a brick-lined below-ground cistern, a second cistern with a hand pump and a large metal tank in the barn’s upper level.
The first market gardener in Stratham, John Emery purchased the property from his mother, Sophronia, in 1858. He had begun market gardening three years earlier, selling corn, peas and potatoes, grown on the farm, door-to-door throughout Exeter, Portsmouth and Dover. He is credited with being the first to bring cultivated strawberries Portsmouth, at a time when strawberries were scarce.
By 1880, nine of the 103 farms in Stratham were involved in market gardening. The number declined throughout the 20th century.
John Emery’s son, John Fred Emery, added a small greenhouse to the property in 1899 and set up a roadside stand, Emery’s Drive-In, which was the first in the area. He continued running the stand until he was 88, and was at that time declared New Hampshire’s “oldest market gardener” by the Boston Sunday Globe.
Administered by the National Park Service, which is part of the U.S. Department of the Interior, the National Register of Historic Places is the nation’s official list of cultural resources worthy of preservation and is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate and protect our historic and archaeological resources.
Listing to the National Register does not impose any new or additional restrictions or limitations on the use of private or non-federal properties. Listings identify historically significant properties and can serve as educational tools and increase heritage tourism opportunities. The rehabilitation of National Register-listed commercial or industrial buildings may qualify for certain federal tax provisions.
In New Hampshire, listing to the National Register makes applicable property owners eligible for grants such as the Land and Community Heritage Investment Program or LCHIP (lchip.org) and the Conservation License Plate Program (nh.gov/nhdhr/grants/moose).
For more information on the National Register program in New Hampshire, please visit nh.gov/nhdhr or contact Peter Michaud at the New Hampshire Division of Historical Resources at 603-271-3583.
New Hampshire’s Division of Historical Resources, the “State Historic Preservation Office,” was established in 1974. The historical, archaeological, architectural and cultural resources of New Hampshire are among its most important environmental assets. Historic preservation promotes the use, understanding and conservation of such resources for the education, inspiration, pleasure and enrichment of New Hampshire’s citizens. For more information, visit nh.gov/nhdhr or call 603-271-3483.