, Derry, New Hampshire


February 13, 2013

Column: Hopkins Home was Derry’s first effort at elder care


In 1931, trustees decided they needed more space and moved to the 14-room house at 12 Crescent St., which is just to the south of the Central Congregational Church. This home on Piety Hill could take up to eight ladies, with each being given their own private bedroom. Each year, the home held an open house and the residents always eagerly showed off the building’s spic-and-span facilities. This was the ladies’ home and they were proud of it.

After World War II, other nursing home began to spring up all over; these charged a per-diem fee and the ladies didn’t have to surrender everything they owned. Now, as one lady died at the Hopkins Home, there was no new lady to move in and occupy her bedroom. The last resident was 85-year-old Caroline How, who died on June 1, 1954. With her passing the Hopkins Home was closed and sold. The money realized from the sale of the property was added to its trust accounts and was given to the Derry Visiting Nurse Association.

Rick Holmes is the official town historian of Derry. His office hours at the Municipal Center are Mondays from 8 a.m. to noon and Wednesdays from 4 to 7 p.m. Several of his books on local history are available at Mack’s Apples and Derry’s libraries.

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