The History of Lake Winona: The Winona Neighborhood

The St. Clair or Hawkes place, now owned by Leslie Torsey and Everett Lovering, was first settled by Jacob St. Clair. He was born in Epping in 1752. He had a long record as a soldier in the Revolutionary war, having served at Bunker Hill and Trenton, NJ.

Daniel Ward first owned the land, sold it to Andrew Neal, who sold 50 acres to Jacob St. Clair in 1790 for 100 pounds. Later he added more land to the original 50 acres.

It was situated in the parcel called the Moultonboro Gore. He lived in a log house for nine years on the opposite side from the present house. Then he built a small frame house, which was later moved to the site of the big house and for many years used for an ell. It is still standing.

He built the big house, made and burned all the bricks for the massive chimney, 20,000 in all. These came from the clay under Beech Hill. Later, he bought more land and it was always known as the St. Clair farm when bought by Walter Hawkes in about 1900. Other owners were Olive Gogswell, Lester Torsey and now the house and one acre belong to Everett Lovering.

At the foot of the hill below the St. Clair place is the Robinson farm, now the Hayes farm, which must have been built before the Revolutionary war. Tracing back, it seems that it first belonged to Noah Robinson. He was born in 1757 and died in 1827. He was a man of commanding influence and for more than 20 years was elected moderator for the town meetings.

It is said that the level land back of the buildings, on top of the hill, was where the soldiers drilled and there was also the last muster. Two old buildings were near the house when the Hayes family moved there in 1902. It is said, one was used for shoemaker’s shop and, there too, lead was run into bullets – the small house contained a loom for weaving cloth. The house has many old time features. The big central chimney has six fireplace openings. One room upstairs has a lift up paneled partition so it can be made into a very large room or two rooms. The windows have Indian shutters at the top and lower part so when closed it can be made into a perfectly dark room. Probably many secret meetings were held here with Noah Robinson presiding.

Source: Written and read by Mrs. Stella Pollard for Old Home Day, August 25, 1951. Information provided by Mrs. Grace Thayer who remembered the stories told by Mr. Martin Woodman, Albert Hawkins, Hosea Boynton, Mrs. Clara Hawkins and others.