If the passing tourist could get a good look at the General Jonathan Moulton house which is practically hidden by trees near where Drakeside road runs off the Lafayette highway in the south part of the village, they would find it a very handsome old mansion and also a very peaceful one. But 150 years ago and more, ghosts were dwelling in it — ghosts of the General and his first wife. They frightened the wits out of the servants in Col Oliver Whipple’s household (he being then the owner); and even before that, there had been a horrible affair in Moulton’s second-wedding night.
Not until the minister came and “laid” the ghosts was there any peace in the place.
Gen Moulton — or Colonel as he was until later life; how he got the “General” title doesn’t seem to be of record — Gen Moulton was a very wealthy man. He was so rich that inevitably the story was told that he had sold his soul to the Devil for gold; and when his house burned down everybody knew that the Devil had done it because Moulton had tried to trick him.
But the General built himself an even finer house (that which stands here now)[212 Lafayette Road] — and his first wife having died in 1775, he married again just a year later.
The wedding was a very gay affair, it seems. Mr. Harland Little, who with his two sisters now lives in the Moulton house, handed me a letter dated Hampton Falls, Sept. 15, 1776. It was written by Nathaniel Weare (son of Gov. Weare of the Weare house, which is still there at Hampton Falls [13 Exeter Road], and is addressed to his brother Lt. Richard, who was with the American forces at Ticonderoga. Richard was afterwards killed, and the letter came back among his possessions.
“I have not much News if any to write you,” began Nathaniel, in the way of letter-writers before and after him. “except that the Privateers continue to bring prizes from the West Indies bound to England. Col Moulton was married last week to Miss Sally Emery; had the honours of being at their Wedding which frolick lasted three days. . .”
Even while the gentry frolicked, the townsfolk talked — whispering that it was mighty suspicious about the first wife’s death . . . and now here he was marrying this handsome young woman. (The fact seems to be that he was 50 and she about 35.)