Concord, New Hampshire 03301
Merrill Park webpage
Merrill Park Pond map
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East Concord was along the main route to Portsmouth. Produce of various kinds was hauled to market from north and west on a road that ran through Sanbornton, Canterbury, and the northeastern part of Concord. On this route in East Concord, John Hoyt built a tavern that was famous in its day. The oven was so large that a boy of 12 years old could enter it and turn around. This tavern remained in operation from 1780 to Mr. Hoyt’s death in 1805.
The route to Portsmouth eventually became the beginning of the first east west turnpike from Concord to Portsmouth. Just South of the park at the intersection of Eastman Street and Portsmouth Street there is a marker recognizing the turnpike. The property where Merrill Park is located was first used as a hayfield for the Hoyts. It was then purchased by William Pecker, who was appointed to the first Board of Fire Engineers in 1845. In 1845, when the City Charter was approved, William Pecker was appointed as Ward 2 representative to the Board of Assessors. Through Jonathan Pecker, who acquired the property in 1873, it was conveyed to the Episcopal Church with the provision that when the church had no further use of the property that the land “revert to the City of Concord for a public park”. On February 11, 1938, the provision was carried out. The following year the City began to draw plans for the Park.
In 1960 the park was named Merrill Park after Harold D. Merrill, a resident of East Concord, and a member of the Board of Aldermen from 1932 to 1942. A pioneer in outdoor recreation, Merrill devoted 25 years to promoting public recreation and guiding youth to use leisure hours to build healthy bodies and good habits.
From Merrill Park trail brochure and map