In 1719, when the first settlers arrived in Nutfield, two Anderson brothers, Allen and James, were among the first sixteen settlers to build the primitive log homes in Londonderry. James was the progenitor of the Anderson family of Windham, but spent much of his life in Derry. James' first son, Samuel, settled on land his father owned along the Windham - Londonderry line near Beaver Brook. Samuel married Martha Craige; interestingly, two of his brothers also married women of the Craige family. Samuel's son, also named Samuel, inherited his father's farm and spent his whole life on the property. The next generation of the Anderson family to live upon the farm was David Anderson, the eldest son of the younger Samuel. David, and his wife Rebecca Davidson, lost all but one of their children to spotted fever at a young age. Their only surviving son, Francis D. Anderson, was born on the farm in 1867, and became the fourth generation of the Anderson family to call the farm home. According to Leonard Morrison, "like other farmers, he labored hard, but intelligently." His farm land was very fertile and some of the best in town, due to the close proximity of Beaver Brook.
William H. Anderson, a wealthy lawyer who opened a law practice in Lowell, MA, was the fifth, and last, generation of the Anderson family to occupy the farm in West Windham. His wealth allowed him to fill the home with new furnishings and decor, as seen below. As Windham was a rural community, without many professionals like Anderson, the room shown below would have certainly been atypical compared with other period bedrooms around town.
Although the farm was once located in West Windham, the property eventually became part of Londonderry. The home, without many of the outbuildings, still stands in Londonderry, just a short distance from the current Windham town line.
Derek Saffie is an avid Windham historian who enjoys researching and sharing his collection with all those interested in the history of the New England town.