The Beginning – Dr.Pardon Haynes

Well Sweep at Fort Pelham Farm Front

Well Sweep at Fort Pelham Farm circa 1880

from The History of the Connecticut Valley in Massachusetts by Louis H. Everts, 1879

     ” Dr. Pardon Haynes.—This gentleman was born in New London, Conn., Feb. 2, 1762. When he was fifteen years old his father removed to Hoosac. During the Revolutionary war he served a short enlistment in the American army.
He studied medicine with an elder brother, and commenced practice in Hebron, Washington Co., N. Y.; but, not feeling satisfied with his situation, he soon removed to the town of Rowe, Franklin Co., Mass. In that town he lived and practiced for a period of forty-five years, building up a most excellent reputation and accumulating a competence: He possessed a robust constitution, and had that quality of determination which invariably wins in the business of life.
The region around Rowe was at the time he settled rough and wild, and his experience was in keeping with the condition of the country. His traveling was mostly on horseback, and his perils and escapes by night and by day were something wonderful to men of the present day. Sometimes, when the snows covered the earth to a great depth, he was compelled to make his visits on the Indian “raquette,” or snow-shoe, and the regular recompense was one New England shilling per mile.
In those days bridges were scarce over the larger streams, and the doctor was often obliged to ford the Deerfield River on horseback at the imminent peril of his life and that of his horse.
He was more particularly distinguished as a practitioner of midwifery, in which department he was probably unexcelled in the region. He was regular in his habits and always punctual to his appointments. He was prominent in other directions as well as in the practice of medicine. Under commissions issued by Governors John Hancock and Samuel Adams he commanded a military company in Rowe when the position was a most honorable one, and won the then proud distinction from Gen. Mattoon of having the best-disciplined company in his regiment. Dr. Haynes died on the 29th of December, 1833, at the age of seventy-one years. He was a member of the Unitarian Church.”  

Other sources will tell you that Dr. Haynes became the physician in Rowe in 1790.  Records show he was also a selectman in 1797 and 1809.  Percy Brown writes in his history of Rowe, “Pardon Haynes, the old doctor, built the Wright house and the Frank Brown house south of it about 1800”.  Both houses were built in the same style with Dr. Haynes home having finer details.

Olive Wright Chamberlain was the last descendant of Pardon Haynes to live at Fort Pelham farm which was sold out of the family in 1941.  In a photo album that was returned to Rowe after her death she describes the lineage and you can tell how proud she was and how much she loved this property.

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