of the Gage Chairs, written in 1962, by unknown.
"Thomas and Phoebe Gage (maiden name
Phoebe Frye, born in Andover, MA), two of the first settlers in Pelham, moved to Pelham
not long after their marriage, near the year 1735. He died it is supposed, in the
French and Indian War. He left three sons, James, John and Johnathan and four
daughters, Phoebe, Joana, Sarah, and Elizabeth. James moved to Jaffrey and died
there, John settled in Pelham near to his Father's (which is the place now owned by Mr. J.
Frozen to death while returning from mill,
Jonathan my mothers father lived where Fry Gage now lives. He married Mehitable for
his first wife and Dorcas Swan for his second wife. She was a native of Methuen Ma.
He died at the age of 77 of dropsy, very suddenly. She died in Oct. 18-- of
old age, 82 years. A very worthy woman. She was the daughter of Dea. Francis
The great chair now owned by my mother, was
owned by Pheobe Gage, wife of Thomas Gage, and was purchased by them at her marriage and
must consequently be this year (1857) be as much as 122 yrs. of age as she was about 19
yrs. of age at the time of her marriage."
Dorcas Hobbs gave the great chair to her
grandson CHarles W. Hobbs, the last time he saw her, home on furlough in 1865, toward the
end of the War of the Rebellion. He cherished and preserved it through the years and
gave it to his son Charles Winthrop Hobbs, who in turn gave it to his son, Charles
Winthrop Hobbs Jr.
This was a part of a set which fell into the
hands of various descendants of the original Gage owners. Mrs. Proctor of Nashua gave
her daughter three of the set, smaller chairs. Upon her death Mrs. Ira Harris (Mary
Proctor) willed one chair to the Pelham Public Library, one to the grand daughter of John
Gage of Missouri, and a third to Mrs. Clara Cutter Jack of Pelham.
Tradition tells us that this furniture was
something of a novelty when Phoebe Frye Gage brought it to Pelham and the townspeople came
to view, as few homes possessed such fine furniture but had to use home made chairs.
This description has been copied from
carefully written paper. No name is signed but all evidence points to Miss Jane
Hobbs, sister of Moody Hobbs, who lived in the Moody Hobbs Place. She was the
daughter of Dorcas Hobbs wife of Capt. Samuel Hobbs (Milit.). Aunt Jane was an
important member of that family. She taught in the summer session of the district
school, which was largely made up of younger children. The winter session was
usually taught by a man.
If the chairs came into a Pelham home in 1735
they must now be about two-hundred- twenty- seven years old. A real treasure.