Plan of A. J. Lane's Land
Manchester was a city of approximately 30,000 individuals when the Board of Assessors performed a property assessment in September and October of 1875. According to John C. Clarke, author of The History of Manchester, NH, most of the population resided on the eastern side of the Merrimack River. This is reflected in the Assessors' book which listed only individuals who owned property within the city limits. The majority of these people owned land and buildings in an area that would now be considered the central district.
Individuals and companies were assessed according to property owned which included land, buildings, lots, barns, water privileges and houses on land. Sometimes the number of acres owned is given and in other instances, the lot size. Land and Building descriptions range from being very specific to just naming the street or area.
Some property listings are referenced by who owned the land. For instance, Patrick Doyle's barn was located on the land of E.M. Topliff, Park Street. Others cite either the A.J. Lane Plan or Co. Plan. A.J. Lane was Adoniram J. Lane, a real estate agent, who worked at 14 Hanover Street and whose home was located at 87 Prospect Street. Co. Plan may be referring to the Amoskeag Company Plan. The Amoskeag Manufacturing Company owned land throughout the city, and the company drew up extensive plans referencing their holdings.
There are two other location abbreviations. Squog refers to Piscataquog Village and Skeag refers to Amoskeag Village. Both were located in the present day area of West Manchester.
The 1875 Assessors Book reveals interesting aspect of life in Manchester. There was a recreation area in West Manchester called the Highland Trotting Park. It was located on Railroad Street in the Piscataquog District and was owned by individuals named Whittemore and Rowley.
Former Mayor of Manchester, Frederick Smyth, had an estate located on River Road North. It was situated east of the Amoskeag Falls, and the grounds consisted of 10 acres, according to historian John C. Clarke. The value of the land and building was $23,000 which now would be worth approximately $489,000. Mayor Smyth also owned other land and buildings throughout the City.
The Stark family owned many houses and acres of land in Manchester. General John Stark's farm on River Road was valued at $19,000 and was owned by the heirs of William Stark. His heirs owned property on both sides of the Merrimack River, and Charles Stark had extensive holdings on Beech Street.
The Manchester House, located at 783 Elm Street, was one of the most expensive properties with a valuation of $40,000. William Shepherd was the owner.
When the assessment had been completed, the total value of the real estate in Manchester was $9,763,919. Factories and machinery were worth $3,496,750. The assessors were William W. Baker, Christopher C. Colby, Nicholas Nichols, W.B. Johnson, Timothy Sullivan and John C. Head.