Welcome to the New Market Historical Society
Our goal is to tell Newmarket’s story, preserve its local artifacts, and sponsor historical events and educational opportunities. Please consult our program of events for exact dates, times, and locations for our meetings and events as they have recently changed.
The public is always welcome to attend our educational meetings, which are free except for select special events.
Donations are always welcomed and greatly appreciated!
For more information on the Sunday Brunch at the Stone Church, please check their website
The Farmer’s Market will not be held on top of the hill this year.
We are planning our 2021 programs for later this summer into the fall depending on CDC guidelines and COVID-19 infection rates.
Watch for future announcements.
We wish to thank Proulx Oil and Propane, and Chinburg Builders both whom generously donated funds
for our efforts to acquire new artifacts and preserve those manuscripts, diaries, letters, and articles already in our collection.
By John Carmichael, New Market Historical Society.
Ad in the Newmarket Time May, 1960
John Carpenter met Rose and her family during WW II while stationed outside Birmingham, England. He used to joke that because of the severe rationing at that time in England, he won over the family when he jumped a fence with a carton of eggs and a box of chocolate. After he was deployed to France, he and Rose continued a long-distance letter exchange which resulted at the close of the war with a wedding in England in March 1946.
It wasn’t until Memorial Day 1946 when Rose arrived in New York City on board the ship John Ericsson.
(family photo: of John and Rose on her first day in America, Memorial Day 1946)
In 1946 John’s father Jesse Carpenter gave him a parcel of land on South Main Street which was approximately half of the 200 acres that had been in the family since 1899 When John’s grandfather Edwin Carpenter purchased the property from John Smart (Wentworth Cheswill’s grandson).
I once asked Rose what her first impression of America was like. She mentioned it took time to get used to the sound of the trains which was ran through the town. They resembled the “chug-chug¬chug” of German bombers that flew overhead in the English skies during the war. But that would lessen with time. Her other remembrance was of her first Christmas Eve and being picked up by May Gordon in her old car to go to midnight services. “I loved May, and she loved a good time. She was a wild piano player, and she could sing and she could drink. I didn’t think we would make it to the church alive, I told John, We’re Walking Home!”
Here they built their first house, their first greenhouse, and a workshed as a spot for Rose to work her green thumb.
(New Market Historical Society photo of the first green house 1950)
In 1953 the couple quit their other jobs and committed to turning a hobby into a real business and it became their livelihood.
Beatrice Merrill who at the time lived in the old John Smart house on Packer’s Falls Road recalls helping out when John and Rose built their first wooden tomato and floral planters from the scraps of wood in Jesse’s old lumber yard shed behind Bea’s house.
Over the ensuing years the family business became an integral part of everybody’s family.
You went to Rose and her staff for birthday, Valentine, anniversary gifts; for wedding and funeral arrangements; for prom corsages and boutonnieres; Mother’s Day and Memorial Day; for summer gardening and fall mums, and for the always expected Easter Lilly and Christmas Poinsettia. She knew her plants and instructed on how to care for them. And when the boys would cross the street and order a prom corsage she would say “How nice, and the color of the dress?” — Dah, umm…you never made that mistake again.
Their older son Rob worked in the greenhouse throughout high school, but he didn’t want to stay in town. He went on to college for food service management, and hotel administration. But in 1976, while Rob Carpenter was in his final year of college, his father bought another greenhouse in Dover and convinced him to take charge of that business. That lasted for ten years until his father sold the Dover greenhouse and Robbie took over management of Carpenter’s Olde English Greenhouse and Florist.
Over the years, many town teenagers would work a few hours in one of the greenhouses when school got out. Rob recalls hiring hundreds of kids over the years. When asked about his own brother and sister Johnny & Deborah, he would shrug and say — Oh, well, they were here, but not really.
(family photos of Johnny Carpenter – Blanket Boy, 1950, and Debby as a high schooler sitting on her cousin Christine’s front yard waiting for the Memorial Day Parade)
(family photo: taken 1979, Rob Carpenter with Pam (Cotton) and Dwane Walker inside one of the greenhouses).
Over the years the Carpenters rewrapped the batons at Newmarket High School’s graduation and never charged for it. The family was very generous on Memorial Day with major discounts to the Veterans’ organizations and the Town Veteran’s Memorial Trust for flowers in the Urn at Riverside, and the bandstand.
(Family photo Rose and John amid their famous poinsettias getting ready for Christmas)
John Carpenter passed away in 2008 at age 88. His son Johnny tells me Rose is 101 years old and doing fine, relaxing since her final retirement in 2013 after working the counter at age 93, as the business sold its last plant.
She will be 102 in October, and we wish her well.
A special thank you to Dr. John Carpenter (still known in town as Johnny Carpenter) for use of his family photos.
The Stone School Museum, built in 1841, as a two-room schoolhouse, and now home to the New Market Historical Society, is located high upon Zion’s Hill on Granite Street. Hours of operation are in our program of events and are on our web page and Facebook. If you need further information, please call 603-659-3289 and leave a message or via email at email@example.com. Your inquiry will be returned as soon as possible.
$17 for members, $19 for non-members
Books available and can be purchased on line with PayPal—or contact us via email at
If shipped — an additional shipping & handling fee of $4 applies.
All proceeds from the sale of this book by the New Market Historical Society help the preservation of our collection.
We greatly appreciate your membership and donations, and look forward to seeing you at our meetings and events. Members receive free admission to all our meetings and non-members can attend most meetings and events for free. Please make it a point to introduce someone new to one of our events.