The Carrs of Carr Park

By dhowell - Posted on 03 January 2008

Cornelius was the son of William and Mary Ann Rowley Carr. He was born in a log house which stood north of the barns on the homestead of the Parr family on Austin Road. William, and his brother Elijah Carr, were among the early settlers and owned a large tract of land including what is now Carr Park.

Leesons owned directly to the south. Recently the Leeson family gave several acres of land to be added to the park area. Directly south was the John Sanborn farm with a beautiful little one and a half story house with two wings, just alike. Painted white, it was snug and low and sheltered behind the big hill that separated it from Carrs.

According to a history by Miss Jane Palmer, the eldest Sanborn daughter was an object of interest to Cornelius and he and Nelly Sanborn were married. Nelly liked to sew and often fashioned her dresses with a basque and wide shoulder seams, collars and cuffs. She turned back the cuffs to work in the morning and donned a gingham apron. But in the afternoon, she liked white aprons with dainty hand made trimming.

The area, now Carr Park, had at one time two houses, a brick kiln and a cider mill. Cornelius didn't peruse the brick works and finally the equipment was moved out Union street along with the workmen, and the brick house at the end of the street was built by the Schaibles with their own brick. For years, Cornelius operated the cider mill, supplying the community with cider, vinegar and jelly in large earthen crocks.

Although the couple traveled and spent one winter in California they liked their own home best. The story is told that Mrs. Carr bought a lovely new hat for traveling and wore it several times before she discovered she wore it backwards. No one enjoyed the joke more than she did.

Because they had no children the couple planned to leave something to the community. Rumor is that they considered a hospital location but everyone feels sure they would approve of the popular playground area of Carr Park.

Miss Palmer writes, "Carr's was a delightful place with a garden and orchard and a lane across the marsh. The split rail fence had asparagus in the corners and they gathered morels in May. On the hill north of the marsh there is a little wild land where dogwood and witch hazel and wintergreen keep their secrets."