“In 1833 when ‘Squire McCoy1 was landlord of what is now the Merchants’ Hotel, in former years known as the Franklin House, the western wing, that portion which was left when the present improvement was inaugurated, was built. While at work upon it one of the carpenters dropped a hatchet between the walls, and being unable to recover it, the tool was left encased between the brick and mortar. When the old building was being torn down a few weeks since, this same hatchet was found by one of the workmen. It had rested there for thirty-seven years, and the ‘Squire, full of years, and yet holding the scales of magisterial justice with an even hand, still lives to reclaim his property and to explain how it came to be buried there.”2
- Cornelius McCoy
- A Buried Hatchet. (1870, August 20). Portsmouth Times, p. 3.