Prior to 1784, Sutton was called Perrystown after Obadiah Perry, one of the grantees from the Masonian proprietors who settled the town in 1749. Other early settlers from this period included familiar names —Davis, Wells, Harvey, Kezar, Keyser, Huntoon, Eaton, Roby, Pillsbury, Fellows, Bean, Smiley, Blaisdell, Felch, Wadleigh, Chadwick, King, Peaslee, Nelson, Sargent, Perry, Follansbee and Pressey. In 1784, the town was incorporated as Sutton, named after Sutton, Mass.
Kezar Pond, now Kezar Lake, was named after the Sutton Kezars whose ancestor, original settler Ebenezar Kezar, arrived in Perrystown from Rowley, Mass in 1772. He spent 20 years in North Sutton till his death in 1793. His many offspring settled around the lake and built summer homes and hotels on the shores. His daughter Sarah Kezar married John Huntoon, and they later turned their farm, at the foot of Harvey Rd., into a place for boarders. The Huntoon House (destroyed by fire in 1941), Twin Pines and the Follansbee Inn all had casinos, or dance halls. A faction of the Kezar family decided to change their name to Keyser; many of the original Kezars moved to Lake Massawippi in Quebec or Maine and the alternate spelling was often misused (and misspelled) on maps to describe the lake.
The Matthew Harvey Homestead was built in 1787. It housed the first Social Library in Sutton (1796), shared with towns of New London and Fishersfield (Newbury), with Matthew Harvey as its first librarian. The first tavern in North Sutton was upstairs. In 1992, the homestead was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. Local regiments gathered here to muster after the Revolutionary War, giving the name Muster Field to the working farm here now. Reenactors of these historical militias come here each summer.
An early map of Sutton, created soon after the town was incorporated in 1784.
Once the Peaslee's farmhouse, now the Rundquist house. Photo courtesy of Charlie Ash.
Early settlers of Perrystown found evidence of a recent Native American burying ground and fireplace on the shores of Kezar Lake. Relics including mortars and pestles, arrows, and tomahawks of the Penacook tribe were discovered near Lyon Brook where it enters Kezar Lake. Some of these artifacts now reside at the Mount Kearsarge Indian Museum in Warner.
A map showing Native American names for mountains, lakes and rivers in New Hampshire. Kearsarge is G'wizawajo in the Abenaki language. From: A Time Before New Hampshire: The Story of a Land and Native Peoples, Michael J. Caduto.