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Washington Street

 Walnut and Washington streets 

Walnut and Washington streets

house on the corner of Walnut and Washington Streets

Most of the original properties that existed on Washington Street between Belknap and Walnut Streets have long since disappeared. This was, however, quite a lively area beginning in the 1840s. At least six residences, occupied by shoemakers, mill machinists, weavers, and beltmakers, existed here along with a large block of stores and tenements known as Laskey’s Block. In later years, there was a grocery store on the ground floor of that building. Walter N. Gray was the proprietor of Gray’s Branch Grocery here and Thomas W. Webb was a clerk in the store. Mr. Webb took over by 1917 and Webb’s Corner Grocery was here until the family sold the whole block to the New England Telephone Company in 1956. the buildings were torn down and the present Telephone Company building was built in easy stages.

Deacon Lewis Miles of the Dover Baptist Church was the butcher in Webb’s grocery for a number of years. If anyone wanted to go into the church during the week, they had to see Deacon Miles who was the keeper of the keys!

One other large house, at the corner of Washington and Atkinson, was Stephen Toppan’s, a well-known cabinetmaker. Toppan “Hung door-bells, made cunning cupboards, secret hiding places for valuables, coasting sled, chairs, tables, besteads, and coffins. The neighborhood knew him as one sudden and quick in quarrel.” The Toppan family lived her until the mid-1880s.
        From the 1991 Heritage Walking Tour booklet

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