Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Family History is Preserved in a New Supermarket, Bedford, New Hampshire

The new Whole Foods Supermarket in Bedford, New Hampshire will open this Friday, April 8th.  I've been watching the process of this new construction very carefully.  It sits on the land that was formerly the Sheraton Wayfarer Inn, and is right next to the John Goffe Mill.  This water powered mill was built by Colonel John Goffe in the 1744.  His home still stands across the street on South River Road (the bank building next to the brook that powers the mill).

The old Goffe Mill (before restoration) during construction of the supermarket
This photo was taken in 2014 from the old Macy's parking lot (Macy's is now gone, too)

John Goffe is my 2nd cousin 8 generations removed.  Both of his grandmothers are  my 9th great aunts (Hannah (Sumner) Goffe b. 1659 and Mercy (Crispe) Parish 1648 - 1686).   His father was also John Goffe (1677 - 1748) who settled in Londonderry, New Hampshire.  John Goff, Jr. (1701 - 1786), who built the mill, was also a veteran of King George's War and the French and Indian War.  He was still alive during the American Revolution.  His widow married David Southwick, the great grandson of Lawrence Southwick and Cassandra Burnell, the persecuted Quakers of Salem, Massachusetts and also my 8th great grandparents.

It will be nice to sit out on this patio and view the Goffe Mill
when there is no more snow! 

This morning I was able to take a "sneak peek" tour of the new supermarket.  It is located at the new Goffe's Mill Plaza.   I had heard that it would incorporate family history and local history from the Goffe family and from the Wayfarer, which had been operated by the Dunfey family.  Inside the supermarket, in the back corner of the building, is a restaurant called "Goffe's Watering Hole".  There are large windows and a back patio over looking the newly restored John Goffe Mill.   The Bedford Historical Society hopes to reopen the mill as a museum in the future (the mill equipment is no longer inside the building).  

This display on the wall includes old photos from the Bedford Historical Society
Our tour guide explained to us that the tables and chairs in the restaurant
were salvaged from the old Wayfarer Inn that stood on this spot

A view of the Goffe Mill and the back side of the new Whole Foods Supermarket
This reclaimed wood was taken from the Wayfarer Inn, and the brick oven is surrounded
with riverstone to honor the brook and mill chase behind the supermarket

More reclaimed wood from the Wayfarer trims the ceilings and cases in the fish and meat department

Some GOFFE genealogy:

Generation 1:  John Goffe, born about 1648 probably in England, died 24 July 1716; married Hannah Sumner, daughter of William Sumner and Elizabeth Clement.

Generation 2: "Squire" John Goffe, born 18 September 1677, died 18 September 1748 in Londonderry, New Hampshire; married Hannah Parish, daughter of Robert Parish and Mercy Crispe.

Generation 3: Colonel John Goffe, born 25 March 1701 in Boston, died 20 October 1786 in Derryfield (now Manchester), New Hampshire; married on 16 October 1722 in Roxbury to Hannah Griggs, daughter of Ichabod Griggs and Margaret Bishop. Eight children.

Generation 4: Major John Goffe, born 16 February 1727, died 11 September 1818 in Bedford, New Hampshire; married on 17 September 1748 to Jemima Holden.  Eleven children.

For the truly curious:

Whole Foods website   http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/

A previous blog post with a photo of Col. John Goffe's tombstone

"Local History gets more than a bulldozer in new Bedford Whole Foods", by Mike Cote, Union Leader, posted April 2, 2016.  


Heather Wilkinson Rojo, "Family History is Preserved in a New Supermarket, Bedford, New Hampshire", Nutfield Genealogy, posted April 5, 2016 ( http://nutfieldgenealogy.blogspot.com/2016/04/family-history-is-preserved-in-new.html: accessed [access date]). 


  1. I stayed in this hotel for the very last night it was open. I had never been to NH before. I have to tell you that it was the most frightening night I had spent in a very long time. There was a malevolence about the place. I was acutely uncomfortable and I had the distinct impression that something wanted me to leave my hotel room. At one point, a car alarm went off in a the parking lot. I wondered if it was my car. I am a sensible woman and a college professor. But I felt literally terrified to open my hotel door to see. No one answered the telephone at the front desk as the car honked and honked for hours. As silly as it sounds I knew I should stay put and not be lured out of my room.

    The next morning I bluntly asked the remaining hotel staff about this. One woman glanced around and said "This hotel is as haunted as can be." Three different staff members let me know their experiences including watching doors locking behind them or seeing large pieces of furniture (i.e.pianos) moved across a floor after they looked away for a moment. I traveled back east again recently and wondered about the fate of John Goffe's mill and hotel. I was shocked to see a Whole Foods located upon that spot. And curious as well. I hope that perhaps whomever or whatever was so unhappy that the staff (and i) experienced is happier now? I have never forgotten this and wondered if I were the only person who felt this way about the place.

    Thank you

    1. Thanks for your comment. It is very interesting to think that other people might have had this experience, and I think the answer must be yes if the staff reported it, too. I hope that you might get some other comments here.