The Legend of Becky’s Garden: Lake Winnipesaukee’s Smallest Island

1838 Painting of Center Harbor by artist
William Henry Bartlett. Notice the cow and
farmer in the foreground. Is this Becky’s
father, or her beloved?

A legend often has a basis in real history, and knowing the authentic story does not negate its charm. Such it is for this tale of the tiny ledge of rock and ragged growth that sits in Lake Winnipesaukee known as Becky’s Garden.  The narrative is at least 133 years old (from 2018) based on the 1885 map showing the isle’s existence. According to Stephanie Knighton, one of the current owners of Becky’s Garden, this petite venue is considered to be “the ‘smallest charted island’ on Lake Winnipesaukee. Apparently what constitutes an ‘island’ is not just rocks but there must also be vegetation. Becky’s has both.”

Island’ is a local designation, more than a technical one. Becky’s Garden might be considered by some as an islet, ledge or bar (sandbar).  An islet is a small piece of land that is surrounded by water that is made of rock with no or minimal vegetation, and is uninhabited. Becky’s Garden is located  west of Black Cat Island and is under 3 meters in size–less when the water is high.

–Description and Location of Becky’s Garden–

Section of 1885 Map showing “Beckies Garden.”
Map of Lake Winnipesaukee and Surroundings,
Issued by Passenger Dept, Boston & Lowell R.R.

1885: The Boston and Lowell Railroad  map of Lake Winnipesaukee shows the location of “Beckies Garden.” More modern maps show “Becky’s Garden,” and it is never called an ‘Island, however it IS charted as early as the year shown here. (If anyone has an earlier map of the lake showing this tiny spot labeled with either the same name or another, please leave a comment below.)

2012:This is the smallest charted island in Lake Winnipesaukee. It is located at the northern tip of the lake near Centre Harbor.” [From “The Boats and Ports of Lake Winnipesaukee,” by Bruce D. Heald]

2014: Winnipesaukee Forum: Becky’s Garden sits on “smallest island on the Lake “between Two Mile Island & Black Cat Island, near where the Wolfboro and Weirs steamer routes come together.

2018: Mapcarta says: “Beckys Garden is a bar and is nearby to Two Mile Island, Black Cat Island and The Beavers. Beckys Garden is also close to Ash Cove and Bulrush Cove. Beckys Garden has an elevation of 502 feet.

–Original Legend of Becky’s Garden (1886) —
In 1886 the Boston and Lowell Railroad printed a booklet called “Winnipesaukee and about there,” which included the first incidence I have found of the Becky’s Garden legend. It is told as follows: “Near where the Wolfboro’ and Weirs steamer routes come together is “Rebecca’s Garden,” a small round rock with a tuft of low bushes, which is one of the two smallest spots in the lake called islands. About this the following romance has been supplied. One of the early settlers had several daughters, the loveliest of whom was Rebecca; she had a choice garden which her father’s cattle one day ravaged; in consolation, he offered her any one of the numerous islands he owned in the lake which she might select. Her sisters immediately clamored for the same dower, which he granted, giving Rebecca, however, the first choice; her sisters were so envious, she chose the smallest, this bush-covered rock; the others greedily selected the largest and best in their father’s possession. The story soon got abroad, when the most thrifty young farmer of the region was attracted to one so unselfish, wooed and won her. Hence it came to be said, “Rebecca’s Garden,” after all, had the largest and best yield. We cannot vouch for the truth of the story.”

–The Legend of Becky’s Garden Retold (1938) —
The Decatur Daily Review (and other newspapers) carried a story called “Becky’s Garden,” by Meredith Scholl that reviews the tale with a twist. [Editor’s note: I am going to guess that the  author’s name was a pseudonym or play on words.  Becky’s Garden could be considered a ‘Meredith Shoal.’ Also notice that the story makes no mention of any house or doll house.]  The story of Becky’s Garden was published as follows:

Two hundred years ago,’ droned the voice from the ship’s loud speaker, ‘a wife and three daughters lived on the shore of Lake Winnipesaukee that is visible off the starboard bow. Two of the daughters were selfish and cruel, but the third, whose name was Becky, was sweet and generous. A great part of Becky’s time was devoted to the planting and care of a garden of beautiful flowers. The garden was so beautiful that neighbors used to drive from miles around to admire it.

Becky took a prodigious joy and pride in her garden, and you can imagine her chagrin when one day a neighbor’s cow got loose and trampled all the lovely flowers. The poor girl was broken-hearted and her father, in order to comfort her, promised to buy her any island in the lake which she might select.”

Upon hearing this the two selfish sisters were exceedingly wroth, and demanded that they too be given a choice of islands. Becky seeing how greedy and selfish her sisters were, decided to prevent a quarrel by choosing the smallest island in the entire lake. A neighboring young and handsome farmer, impressed by Becky’s unselfishness, asked for an introduction. The two young people fell in love and were married a year later and lived happily ever after. The island which we are now passing, easily identified by the small doll house erected on its four square feet of area, is called Becky’s Garden and is in memory of the farmer’s daughter.”

“Becky Brown sat bolt upright as the voice of the announcer on the S.S. Mount Washington, plying on its 65 mile course around Lake Winnepesaukee, ceased speaking. ‘Goodness!’ she thought, ‘thats exactly the situation that is confronting me. I haven’t a garden for cows to trample, but I do want to marry Bill Pearson. Father doesn’t want me to, because he thinks Bill, being an insurance salesman, hasn’t any prospects or family background. Now, I wonder–‘  Becky dabbed at her eyes, for she had been crying. Two weeks ago she and her father had set out on this tour of New England. It was Mr. Brown’s belief that time heals all wounds, and time spent in visiting old and quaint and historical New England would certainly make his daughter forget that young upstart, Bill Pearson.”

“But Mr. Brown had forgotten what it was to be young and in love, really in love. Instead of forgetting, Becky had become increasingly miserable. Her father, she had thought more than once during the past fortnight, was an old dear and unusually smart in handling stocks and bonds, but where concerns of the heart were concerned, he was a dumbbell. Becky went into the main salon and up the stairs and along the corridor to the forward deck. The Mount Washington was putting into Center Harbor to take on more passengers. The radio loud speaker was blaring forth a brisk military march. There was a confusion of sounds and laughter and general excitement.”

“Espying her father sitting in the sun near the starboard rail watching the people on the dock below, she made her way toward him.”
‘Pop!’ she said, nudging him on the shoulder.
Mr. Brown turned and beamed and cupped a hand behind his ear. ‘What?’
“I said, ‘Pop!’ Becky screamed in his year.
“You bet it is,” Mr. Brown agreed, “but we’ll have the wind in our faces when we head down the bay. Pretty town, isn’t it?”
The loud speaker suddenly stopped its blaring. “Pop,” said Becky, “I’ve decided not to marry Bill Pearson.”
Pop stared, then laughed heartily and whacked her on the back. “Good girl! Knew you’d come to your senses.”
“I’ve decided to marry Percival Snout!”
“Good God!” cried Pop, his face falling. That drooling nincompoop! Why?
“Because he’s the type you want me to marry. He has so much money he doesn’t have to work. And he has family background. I’ve decided to be unselfish like the girl with the flower garden.”
“Who? Never mind. Look here, Becky, you can’t marry that drooping doozy. Why, he hasn’t got the brains of a clam.”
“I know it,” declared Becky. But he has everything else you require in a son-in-law. After all, pop, we can’t have everything. I’ve definitely decided to marry him, and make you happy.”
Pop wet his lips. “Look here, Becky, I–about this Bill Pearson, I mean, how much money does he make? I mean, I suppose there are insurance men who make a lot of money. And dam it, he must have had a father and mother.”
“By his own admission,” Becky agreed.
“Well, look here, you can’t marry that ass, Percival Snout. I mean, if Pearson is the sort who would love my daughter he must have a spine.”
“Oh I’m sure he has. He uses it to hold his neck up. By the way aren’t you going to insure that old New England homestead you bought last week?”
Mr. Brown cleared his throat and looked at his daughter and suddenly laughed. “Good girl! You win! We never had an insurance man in the family. Time we did.”

Becky’s Garden in summer of 2017 before
dollhouse was placed. From the collection of
Stephanie Knighton. Used with permission.

The Mount Washington had left Center Harbor and was plowing down the bay toward the body of water known as The Broads. Becky Brown stood at the aft rail and strained her eyes to pick up the speck of turn and rock that was known as Becky’s Garden. Even two hundred years ago,” she thought happily, “fathers made mistakes in making decisions for their daughters.” And she blew a kiss over the boiling wake toward Becky’s Garden.

[Editor’s Note: There are several variations of this story that are available, and you can find them using any search engine. I am providing two–only the oldest, and most authentic, that I could locate].

–Photographs of Becky’s Garden–

1915 Photograph of Becky’s Island, Lake
Winnipesaukee, property of J.W. Brown. Please
do not use without written permission.

“Becky’s Garden” captured by E.M. Dunmore of
Boston, Mass. August 21, 1915.” Photograph
property of J.W. Brown. Please do not
use without permission. Watermarked.

The earliest photographs that I know of Becky’s Garden are in my possession, purchased on a whim at an online auction site. They are dated as being taken on 21 August 1915 by “E.M. Dunmore of Boston, Mass.” [See genealogy below].  On that day the tradition of placing a dollhouse probably had not yet begun. As you can see Becky’s Garden was inhabited on that one day in 1915 by three people, at least for a short time.

The U.S. flag in the photograph probably was there before this tour group arrived.  We can’t see the conveyance that brought them to the islet, and with long dresses, it must have been interesting especially for the ladies to climb to their rocky seat.

It is impossible to tell whether E.M. Dunmore the photographer is one of the three pictured (taking a time exposure somehow) or if he remained in the boat. The photographer’s wife would have died only 5 months before.  Possibly the models are his two sisters and either himself or one of their spouses.  In any case the three adventurers are unidentified.

From “Images of New Hampshire History” web
site, Courtesy of Richard Marsh.
Used with Permission.

The photograph most frequently published  of Becky’s Garden was one reportedly taken by Raymond E. Kelley of Center Harbor, NH in the 1940s or later (which I suspect would be around the same time that the dollhouse placing tradition first began).  Several versions of this particular photo has been published many times in  newspapers and on the Lake Winnipesaukee Museum web site. I have used a copy provided by Richard Marsh on his web site of New Hampshire photographs. The book “The Boats and Ports of Lake Winnipesaukee,” by Bruce D. Heald published in 2012 shows this same photograph stating, “The house was built by Lewis P. Kelly of Centre Harbor specifically for this island.” That Lewis aka Louis P. Kelley happened to be the photographer’s father. Louis Kelley was born May 1874 in Moultonborough NH and died 12 August 1950 aged 75 in Laconia NH. The Kelley family hailed back several more generations as residents of Moultonborough, Center Harbor, and Meredith, New Hampshire. Unfortunately no Rebeccas or Beckys appear in their immediate family line. The book author, Bruce Day Heald, knew his local history and so probably got his story right. He worked as the chief purser for over 50 years on the M/S Mount Washington Cruise Ship and was the author of over 40 books about history and heritage of the New Hampshire Lakes Region (he died in 2015).

–Becky’s Island Today–

Dollhouse placed in a recent year on Becky’s
Garden, courtesy of Stephanie Knighton.

The Lake Winnipesaukee forums chat about Becky’s Garden, especially when it is the predicted time for the dollhouse to be placed. Both locals and tourists muse on what  this year’s furnishings will entail and joke about the Garden’s potential inhabitants and their habits.

I was delighted to make the virtual (email) acquaintance with one of the owners of Becky’s Island who sent me the recent history and graciously gave me permission to share it with you. In 1994 William G. & Stephanie Knighton purchased nearby Two Mile Island. At that time an older couple on Black Cat Island (unknown who) had a tradition been putting a dollhouse out on Becky’s Garden each year. Suddenly they stopped and the Knighton couple pursued purchasing the island. Town records indicated that no one owned it or that they were unknown. William and Stephanie bought Becky’s Garden in 2001. Their first tax bill from the town of Meredith was $20.73.

Their friends, Dr. Peter Rosanelli and his wife Pam, had a tiny house build in Richmond VA, trying to stay close to the original design in the Kelley photograph.  In 2002 with the new dollhouse in hand, Stephanie painted, furnished, and placed it. Since then each year the Knightons have placed a “dollhouse” and flag on the islet. A few times the placing was delayed until July due to high water but it always was set out. Stephanie added: “It’s always a delight for us to watch from Two Mile and see the many visitors to Becky’s Garden of all ages come by boat, kayaks, canoes, swimming….. I always try to find new “decor” to replace ones that are weather-beaten after a season or two out in the open. Right now the dollhouse sits on Two Mile waiting for me to get there, clean it up, add whatever needs to be added or removed sometimes. It’s a personal bit of joy and history that we do it year after year.”

–A Bit of Genealogy–
What would my blog story be without a bit of genealogy added to the mix? I located the person who took the 1915 photographs of Becky’s island–Edward M. Dunmore.  Also I traced the Kelley family tree from Raymond the photographer to Louis the first doll-house maker and then up many generations of Kelley hoping to find a Rebecca or Becky or someone who I might attribute the garden story to (with no such luck).  I will share those research results here with you. 


John Kelley of England & Newbury, immigrant
John Kelley & Sarah Knight

John Kelley, son of John & Sarah (Knight) Kelley was born 17 June 1668 Newbury MA, d. 29 Nov 1735 Newbury MA. He m. 1 Nov 1696 in Newbury MA to Elizabeth Emery. She was b. 8 Feb 1680 in Newbury MA and d. 3 Nov 1735 in Newbury MA. He lived on his father’s homestead in West Newbury MA. In 1709 he purchased land at Amesbury, now Merrimac MA at a place called “ye Champion Land.” His will was dated 10 November 1735 and proved 15 December 1735 his oldest son John being his executor. The inventory included the West Newbury homestead, 80 acres of land with buildings, a house and 60 acres of land in Amesbury, 10 acres of salt marsh and a “river lot” near Muzzey’s Lane.
Children of John & Elizabeth (Emery) Kelly:
1. John, b. 9 Oct 1697
2. Elizabeth
3. Judith bapt 29 March 1702
4. +Richard Kelly b 8 March 1704 Newbury MA
5. Stephen, b 9 July 1706, said he died aged 16 years
6. Mary, b. 31 Dec 1708
7. Hannah b 2 March 1711
8. Lydia b 31 May 1713
9. Daniel b 9 May 1716, d. 1773
10. Sarah b 6 Oct 1718
11. Moses b 20 July 1721, died “before reaching his majority.”

—–Next Generation—–

Richard Kelly, born 8 March 1704 Newbury MA, son of John & Elizabeth (Emery) Kelly. He d. 18 June 1774 Amesbury MA. He m. 16 Dec 1725 in Newbury MA to Hannah Bartlett, dau of John & Mary (Ordway) Bartlett. She was b. 16 Nov 1704 in Newbury MA and d. 6 April 1789 in Amesbury MA. [Editor’s Note: Hannah Bartlett would be my 7th great-aunt, her parents being my 7th great-grandparents]
Children of Richard & Hannah (Bartlett) Kelly:
1. Hannah Kelly 1726-1810
2. Mary Kelly 1730-1822
3. Stephen Kelley 1732-1736
4. John Kelly 1736-1821
5. Judith Kelly 1738-1821
6. +Stephen Kelley b 11 Nov 1740 Newbury MA
7. Esther Kelly 1743-1743
8. Moses Kelly 1748-1755

—–Next Generation—–

Stephen Kelley b 11 Nov 1740 Newbury MA, son of Richard & Hannah (Bartlett) Kelly. He d 7 Oct 1784 Amesbury MA; m. 26 May 1762 in Amesbury MA to Louise “Lois” Sargent. She b 15 April 1743 Amesbury MA, d. 22 Jan 1818 Chichester, Merrimack Co. NH.
Children of Stephen & Lois (Sargent) Kelley:
1. Lois Kelly 1762-1843
2. Stephen Kelley b 24 April 1764 Amesbury MA, d. 22 Sep 1837 Amesbury MA; m. Eunice Sargent
3. + Dr. Amasa Kelley, b. 9 May 1765 Amesbury MA
4. Nathan Kelly 1766-1842
5. Hannah Kelley 1768-1802
6. Caleb Kelley 1769-1844
7. Anna Kelley 1771-1784
8. Richard Kelly 1774-1843
9. Judith Kelly 1775-1798
10. Eunice Kelly 1777-1825
11. Mary “Polly” Kelly 1778-1810
12. Ezekiel Kelley 1781-1843
13. Betsey Kelly 1784-1816

—–Next Generation—–

Dr. Amasa Kelley, son of Stephen & Lois (Sargent) Kelley, was born 9 May 1765 Amesbury MA, d. 7 April 1847; He is buried in Brown Cemetery, Chichester NH. He md) Betsey “Lydia” Richards, dau of Daniel Richards. She b. 12 Jan 1764 in Atkinson NH, d. 30 Sep 1850. In 1810 he was a resident of Chichester NH.
History of Merrimack and Belknap Counties, New Hampshire, J.W. Lewis & Co., 1885
PHYSICIANS–AMASA KELLEY, the first physician in Chichester, was born in Amesbury, Mass, in 1765, studied medicine with Dr. Cogswell of Atkinson; practiced medicine in
Pittsfield from 1795 to 1799; came to Chichester in 1799 and settled at Kelley’s Corner, the place subsequently occupied by his son, Daniel R. Kelley, Esq., who died upon the old homestead. Dr. Kelley practiced medicine forty years in Chichester, and died April 7, 1847 at the age of eighty-two. Dr. Kelley was considered a very successful physician, and universally respected by all. In his religious belief he was decidedly orthodox, and held firmly to that doctrine. He was conscientious and upright in all his dealings, constant in his attendance upon public worship while his age and strength would permit, and an example of temperance, faith and charity. He settled in the north part of town in the area still known as Kelley’s Corner.
Children of Amassa & Betsey/Lydia (Richards) Kelley:
1. Betsey Allen Kelley 1793-1798
2. +Philip Carrigan Kelley b. abt 1796-97 Chichester NH
3. Daniel Richards Kelley 1797-1866
4. Amasa Allen Kelley b 4 June 1800 Chichester NH, d. 4 Aug 1826 Chichester NH
5. Eliza Cram Kelley 1803-1803
6. Sylvester Kelley 1805-1829
7. Stephanus Kelley 1808-1840; m. Abigail Pearson Moore. Had children: Climena M., Frances Putnam and Henry Martyn.

—–Next Generation—–

Philip Carrigan Kelley b abt 1796-97 Chichester NH, son of Amassa & Lydia (Richards) Kelley. He d 30 Sep 1868 Moultonborough NH of consumption; He m1st) before 1817 to Abigail Sherburne, dau of Joseph & Olive (?) Sherburne. She was b. 13 Nov 1792 in Epsom NH and d. 11 June 1828 in Chichester NH. He m2d) 15 Jan 1832 in Loudon NH to Mary B. Fogg. She was b. abt 1806 in Exeter NH, and d. 25 March 1881 in Moultonborough NH. In 1850 living in Moultonborough NH. She was living in 1880 a widow. He is buried in Bean Cemetery, Moultonborough NH., as his his wife Mary B. (Fogg) Kelley.
1850 US Census > NH > Carroll > Moultonborough
Phillip C Kelley 53
Mary Kelley 45
Sylvester Kelley 17
Orlando Kelley 13
Charles Kelley 11
Stepanus Kelley 6
Henry Kelley 3
Mary A Kelley 1
Children of Philip C. & Abigail (Sherburne) Kelley:
1. Amasa Sherburne Kelley, b 8 Feb 1817 Chichester NH, d. 16 Nov 1868 MA; m. Dolly Sherwin. Children: Adeline, Allen Percy, Estelle M.
2. Alfred D. Kelley, b. 29 April 1819 NH; m. Aibigail Basset Sawyer. Children: William, Mary Alice, Susan A., Abigail M., William P., Lindley Murray, Susan A., and Abbie H. Resided Salem, Ohio.
3. Eliza Cram Kelley, b. 26 Feb 1821 NH; m. True Brown
4. Sarah Ann Kelley, b. 10 May 1823 Epsom NH; m. Joshua Richards
5. Daniel Curtis Kelley, b 7 Aug 1826; d. 1849.
Children of Philip C. & Mary (Fogg) Kelley
6. Sylvester Kelley, b abt 1833 NH; m. Sarah E. Bickford. Children: Sarah J., George S.
7. Orlando Kelley, b abt 1837 NH; m. 1 Dec 1863 in Haverhill MA to Miriam Felch. Children: Henry Sherman, Adelaide, Ammi M., Anna Belle, Mary A., and Frank L. He m2d) 6 Aug 1901 in Jackson, Jackson Co. Michigan to Sarah Gray Lane.
8. Charles A. Kelley, b abt 1839 NH; m. 31 Dec 1909 in Vanderburgh Co. Indiana to Ruth E. Pritchett.
9. +Stephanus Kelley, b abt 1844 Moultonborough NH
10. Henry Kelley, b 5 Feb 1847 NH; d. 20 Sep 1853.
11. Mary Abbie Kelley, b 22 May 1849 Center Harbor NH, d. 20 May 1870 in Haverhill MA, single of lung fever

—–Next Generation—–

Stephanus Clark Kelley b 1844 Moultonborough NH, son of Philip C. & Mary (Fogg) Kelley. He d. 1926, buried Bean Cemetery, Moultonborough NH. He m. bef 1874 to Cordelia Ellen “Delia” Sanborn, daughter of Smith & Lydia (Glines) Sanborn. She b. May 1850 in Holderness NH, and d. 20 Dec 1913 in Boston MA. She was buried in Moultonboro NH.
1880 US Census > NH > Carroll > Moultonborough
Stephans C. Kelley 36
Addie E. Kelley 30
Lewis P. Kelley 6
Edith L. Kelley 1
Mary B. Kelley 74
1900 US Census > NH > Carroll > Moultonboro
Stephanus C Kelley Head M 56 New Hampshire Mar 1844 m 27 yr
Delia E Kelley Wife F 50 New Hampshire May 1850 5ch 3liv
Louis P Kelley Son M 26 New Hampshire May 1874
Edith S Kelley Daughter F 21 New Hampshire Jan 1879
Percy C Kelley Son M 15 New Hampshire May 1885
Carrie E Kelley Daughter-in-law F 26 Vermont Oct 1874 m7y 2ch 2 living
Raymond E Kelley Grandson M 6 New Hampshire March 1894
Mildred L Kelley Granddaughter F 5 New Hampshire July 1895
Children of Sylvanus C. & Delia Ellen (Sanborn) Kelley:
1. +Louis P. Kelley, b. May 1874 NH; m. Carrie E. Ruiter
2. Edith S. Kelly b. Jan 1879 NH; m. 16 July 1907 in Moultonborough NH to Arthur Jewett Mayo. He was b. 5 March 1878 in Portland Maine.
3. Percy C. Kelley b May 1885 NH; m. 21 July 1918 in Rochester NH to Ethel Ray Hall, dau of William F. & Addie M. (Dolloff) Ray. They had a son, Roger Allen Kelley, b. 21 Oct 1922 in Laconia NH and d. 23 October 2010 in Laconia NH. He grad from Quimby School in Sandwich. Charter member of the Center Harbor Historical Society. He married Nancy Manson.

—–Next Generation—–

LOUIS P. KELLEY, son of Stephanus C. & Delia E. (Sanborn) Kelley, was b. May 1874 Moultonboro NH and d. 12 Aug 1950 (aged 75) Laconia, Belknap Co. NH. He is buried  in Bean Cemetery, Moultonborough NH. He married Carrie E. Ruiter.  She was b. 26 January 1875 in Holland VT, and d. 15 July 1975 in Belknap NH. His occupation: painter.  According to sources, he was the original builder of the dollhouse or tiny building that was originally placed on Becky’s Garden.
Children of Louis P. & Carrie E. (Ruiter) Kelley:
1. +Raymond Earl Kelley, b 8 March 1894 Moultonborough NH.
2. Esther Pearl Kelley, b. 29 June 1895 Moultonborough NH, d. 26 Dec 1896 Center Harbor NH.
3. Mildred Louise Kelley, b. 17 June 1896 Moultonborough NH
4. Alfred Stephonus Kelley b 16 May 1904 Center Harbor NH

—–Next Generation—–

Raymond Earl Kelley born 8 March 1894 Moultonborough NH, son of Louis P. & Carrie E. (Ruiter) Kelley. He died 11 May 1977.  He married 1 Oct 1919 in Portsmouth NH to Carrie Powers, dau of Joseph E. & Sarah J. (Jackson) Powers. She was b 1899 in Nebraska. He is buried in Bean Cemetery Moultonborough. He was postmaster in 1930. He is credited with taking the photograph of Becky’s Garden that has been frequently used by the newspapers and historical societies.
1940 US US Census > NH > Belknap > Center Harbor
Raymond D Kelley 46 contract painter
Carrie H Kelley 41
Gerald N Kelley 19
Muriel A Kelley 17
1. Garald Norman “Gerald” Kelley, b. 10 Nov 1920, Meredith NH; d. 13 March 1998. He married 10 Aug 1945 in District of Columbia to Barbara Arleen Currier, dau of Fred A. & Bernice V. (Brown) Currier. She b. 17 Jan 1923 in Concord MA and d. 11 July 2009. Resided Moultonborough NH. They are buried in Center Harbor Memorial Park, Center Harbor NH. He served in WW2 enlisting 4 Aug 1942 and released 13 Oct 1945.  // Obituary of  Barbara Currier Kelley, 86. New Hampshire Union Leader (Manchester, NH) – Wednesday, July 15, 2009 MOULTONBOROUGH — Barbara Currier Kelley, 86, of Kona Bay Road, died July 11, 2009, at home. She was born in Concord, Mass., Jan. 17, 1923, to Fred and Bernice Currier. She grew up in Belmont with five sisters and a brother and graduated from Plymouth Teachers College. She was proud to have been a teacher for approximately 30 years, primarily in the Laconia school system. After retiring, she traveled extensively to many countries with her husband. She loved history and wrote two booklets, “A History of Lochmere, N.H.” and “Kona Farm, a Showplace In Moultonborough, N.H.” She took an active part in the church, historical society and women’s club. She was predeceased by her husband of 53 years, Garald Kelley. She had three children, five grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. SERVICES: A private graveside service will be held in Center Harbor Memorial Park Cemetery.Memorial donations may be made to Center Harbor Congregational Church.
2. Muriel Arlene Kelley b abt 1923 Meredith NH. ; m. 22 March 1946 at Center Harbor to Gordon Sturtevant Brown, son of Willard Irving & Ethel M. (Sturtevant) Brown. He was b 25 Feb 1922 in Holderness NH, and d. 4 Dec 2002 at Lookout Mountain, Walker, Georgia. He served in WW2 enlisting twice in the army 10 July 1940-1 July 1945 & 30 Nov 1948-31 March 1964. In 1947 they were living in Laconia NH where he was an insurance agent for Prudential Insurance Co., living 121 Pleasant St. and she was working as a bookkeeper for Maher’s Book Store. Resided in Atlanta GA and Tallahasee FL.


Children of Archibald and Hannah (Jorden) Dunmore:
1. Archibald Dunmore, b abt 1797 Dedham NH, son of Archibald & Hannah (Jorden) Dunmore. He d. 25 Feb 1876. He m. 5 Oct 1828 to Betsey Jewell dau of Nathan & Betsey (Pollard) Jewell. She b. — d. —. Resided Portland Maine. Children: Caroline Elizabeth, b. 5 Aug 1841 Dorchester MA, died 4 Oct 1870 Brighton MA; George Francis, b. 2 Oct 1836; Thomas, b. 5 Nov 1830; Frances Jewell b 20 March 1840 MA, m. 25 Dec 1860 in Boston MA to Manuel Silva. They had at least one child, Alice Silva (1870-1952) who m. Henry E. Woodworth. In 1870 living in Brighton MA. [Jewell genealogy]
2. Charles Dunmore b abt 1797 Milton MA, d 15 Sep 1849 Dorchester MA; m. Oct 1822 in Dorchester MA to Maria Sumner, dau of Jesse & Lucy (Gay) Sumner. She was b. Milton MA. Had daughters: Alice Dunmore b 7 March 1839; Hannah b. 1827 Milton MA, d. 1900 MA, m. 26 Feb 1852 Boston MA to Robert Cunningham (1826-1879) son of James & Mary Cunningham. SEE info on coach business with brother Archibald.
3. +John Dunmore b. abt 1799 Cambridge MA.

—–Next Generation—–

John Dunmore b. abt 1799 Cambridge MA son of Archibald & Hannah (Jorden) Dunmore. He d 20 July 1836 Dorchester MA, aged 37; He m. 17 November 1823 in Dorchester MA to Martha Washington Lapham. She b.abt 1800 Scituate MA [or Hingham], dau of Elisha & Elizabeth (?) Lapham. She d 30 March 1890 in Somerville MA, aged 90y 2m.
Children of John & Martha W. (Lapham) Dunmore:
1. Archibald Newell Dunmore b 7 Jan 1829 Fall River MA. He died 8 Dec 1859 Dorchester MA; m. Mary Jane Bacon. She b. 1827 d –. Child. Harriet Jarvis Dunmore b 12 Oct 1852 Dorchester d. 21 Apr 1903 Boston MA; m. Isaac Hull Ayres Jr. (1857-1932); John Newell Dunmore b 12 Feb 1855 in Dorchester MA; m. 21 Feb 1876 in Boston MA to Minnie G. Gerrish, dau of Timothy & Margaret Gerrish. He m2d) 1 Jan 1906 in Boston MA to Florence E. (Collins) Clark, dau of William W. Collins & Mary E. Dennison. 2nd marriage for both (he widow she div) She was b. Stonington CT. He was an engraver.
2. +Elisha Lapham Dunmore, b. 10 July 1830 in Dorchester MA
3. John Lapham Dunmore, b. 5 January 1833 Dorchester MA. Died 29 May 1897 Somerville MA. Buried Mt. Auburn Cem. He m 8 Sep 1857 Elizabeth B. Kent. He attended the public schools in Dorchester followed the sea for five years afterward, and then learned the photographer’s business, which he has since pursued. He accompanied the expeditions under Bradford to Labrador in 1863, and under Hayes to Greenland in 1869 as photographer. He was for several years in the employ of J.W. Black (1865) 333 Washington Street Boston. Mr. Dunmore (1866) was honorable discharged from the Artillery Company May 31, 1880. PHOTOGRAPHER. He resided? 56 Bonair Street, Somerville MA. [See samples of his photographs].

—–Next Generation—–

Elisha L. Dunmore b 10 July 1830 Dorchester MA [Milton], son of John & Martha W. (Lapham) Dunmore. He died 22 May 1876 in Boston MA. He married 14 Nov 1858 in Boston MA to Mary A. Harris, dau of Milton & Priscilla (?) Harris. At time of death living at 1 Brooks Place in Dorchester MA, clerk. In 1877 she was a widow living in Cambridge MA, house head Mt. Pleasant. Her son John L was living with her (bus 333 Washington)
Children of Elisha & Mary A. (Harris) Dunmore:
1.+Edward M. Dunmore b June 1859(?) MA
2.Carrie M. Dunmore, b abt 1870 MA; she m. 17 Sep 1895 in Boston MA to Roger I Sherman, son of Albert A. & Sarah D. (?) Sherman.
3. Mattie L. Dunmore, b abt 1874 MA; m. 26 Sep 1900 in Boston MA to James C. McGaw, son of John & Agnes (Cleghorn) McGaw.

—–Next Generation—–

Edward M. Dunmore was b abt 1859 MA, son of Elisha L. & Mary A. (Harris) Dunmore. He married 10 Oct 1888 in Boston MA to Minnie E. Reilley, daughter of William & Mary A. (?) Reilley. He married 2d) before 1900 to Margaret L. Lockerbie.  She was born New Brunswick Canada, dau of Andrew A. Lockerbie & Mary J. Hutchinson. She d. 10 March 1915 Cambridge MA of breast and lung cancer, and was cremated and buried at Mt. Auburn 12 March 1915.  Occupation:Clerk. *E.M. Dunmore was the photographer in 1915 of Becky’s Garden, Lake Winnipesaukee.
1880 US Census > MA > Suffolk > Boston
Mary A. Dunmore 38
Edward M. Dunmore 21
Carrie M. Dunmore 10
Mattie L. Dunmore 6
Milton Harris 80
Perscila L. Harris 78
1900 US Census > MA > Middlesex > Cambridge > 169 Western Ave
Edward M Dunmore 35 born June 1865 MA Clerk Express office
Margaret Dunmore 25 born July 1874 Canada
Children unknown but improbable.


This entry was posted in Cow Stories, Genealogy, History, New Hampshire Women, Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to The Legend of Becky’s Garden: Lake Winnipesaukee’s Smallest Island

  1. Susan says:

    Great story! Your Blog is always so informative and entertaining. I look forward to it!

  2. Amy says:

    Wonderful story—I’ve never heard it before despite years of living in New England (but not New Hampshire).

  3. I enjoyed this blog so much! what a fun story to share! Thank you.

  4. Janet Barter says:

    Fantastic tale…loved it. Never knew of this sweet little piece of NH history!

  5. I greatly enjoyed the story of Becky’s Garden, particularly the 1938 version. Percival Snout, the drooling nincompoop?!

  6. Glenna Normyle says:

    I love this story you wrote. Thanks so much for sharing! I live in Manchester NH and just visited Moultonborough NH for the first time a week ago. Such a lovely place~ Perhaps I will go back to see Becky’s Island some day~

  7. Ronald J. Guilmette says:

    Nice Research. I try and kayak out there at least once a year. Thank you to William and Stephanie for being caretakers of this wonderful piece of Winnipesaukee History.

Leave a Reply