Windham Life and Times – July 22, 2022

Annette Vayens working in her new home.

The Hidden Valley Farm – Vayens Family Part 1

Bill Vaynes provided these really interesting photographs of the farm owned by his family in Windham from about 1944 until about 1967. Arthur and Annette Vayens purchased the Hidden Valley Farm on March 8, 1944 from Fred K. Duston of Salem NH. The date on the photograph is 1940 but the deed seems to confirm the date of 1944. The old farmhouse was in need of a lot of work and was located on an old gravel road, on the Windham/Derry line that ran between Fordway Extension and Beacon Hill Road.  The old deeds show that they paid One Thousand, Three Hundred Dollars. The photograph shows Annette sweeping out the home. They soon set about making improvements and turned the old farmhouse into a comfortable place for themselves and their family. The house was located near what is today the intersection of Gertrude and Hidden Valley Road near the brook. Bill says that they used to cool off there in the summer heat.   Oh, and did I mention, that for the 1,300 dollars they were granted approximately 106 acres of land with the house.

    Bill Says, “Our family moved from Chester back to Windham in the summer of 1959 and it appears we rented the house from my grandparents until July 15, 1964 when they sold most of the original farm to my parents, William and Lorraine Vayens. My grandparents retained portions that bordered Fordway Extension, including the corner lot at Fordway and Hidden Valley Roads where they had their mobile home. They later sold the remaining portion a few years later….” This property was subdivided and homes built by William Gordon on Hidden Valley, Gertrude, William, Thomas and Gordon Roads.  Bill’s mom, Lorraine Vayens, is still living and is 96 years old. 

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