Another puzzle piece.

Using the descriptions published in a 1910 book on Concord (NH) neighborhoods and the 1858 and 1892 Merrimack County residence maps, we found a cluster of houses built by John Leach, designer and builder of South Church. We also located Leach's own residence, a more modest two story brick house on Fayette Street — dating from the 1840s, we believe.

According to some histories, the land on which the house sits was given to him by Sampson Bullard, a friend interested in developing that section of town. [Other sources insist that Leach declined the offer.] In the 1860 census, Leach is counted in Concord's 6th Ward along with his wife and a school-aged girl from Ireland, who provided domestic help for the Leaches, then in their 70s.

While this discovery has no direct bearing on the South Church meetinghouse, it does help us sketch a more complete picture of John Leach's career, which has never been fully documented.

© New Hampshire Steeples, 2012