Northwood Historian Reflects on Her Town, Route 4, & How Things Have Changed

Aug 22, 2019

Drive a bit off Route 4 in Northwood, and you’ll reach a 200-year old farmhouse with a big maple tree in the front yard. The woman who lives there, Joann Weeks Bailey, is 91 years old.

As part of the Explore Route 4 series, NHPR’s Sarah Gibson met the town historian at her 1819 home to capture some of her reflections on Northwood and how it has changed.


Credit Sara Plourde / NHPR

Over the course of her life, Bailey has studied Northwood history and published a book: "A Guide to the History and Old Dwelling Places of Northwood, New Hampshire."

What is now Route 4 was the First New Hampshire Turnpike — the "four rod" (66-foot) connector between Concord and Portsmouth.

Bailey has lived at the farmhouse since 1951, when she was married.

"My mother in law, who grew up down the road from here, told me the roads then always had travelers on foot because everybody walked everywhere. Up and down — and to the next town. Now, if somebody walks from the neighbor's house, they're doing good."