The area of the Massachusetts that is now the town of Beverly was settled in 1626 by Roger Conant. Originally part of Salem and the Naumkeag Territory, Beverly was set off in 1668, and incorporated as a city in 1894. This page displays the First Period, Georgian, and early Federal houses of Beverly, Massachusetts. The images were provided by the Beverly Assessors site and the Beverly Historical Commission. Text is from surveys in the 1980’s, and are online through the Massachusetts Historical Commission site (MACRIS). Construction dates may not be reliable. Photos are displayed alphabetically in order of street name, and some house numbers may have changed.
To request or add information, please contact Ipswich town historian Gordon Harris at email@example.com. Visit the About page to request additional research and creation of a page on this site about your house.
On the houses shown below, click on the BEV link to view the house at the MACRIS site. On the MACRIS page, click on the INV link to download a PDF file about the house, produced by the city’s Historical Commission.
Jacob Thompson of Marblehead married Sarah Gage who was born in the house next door Sept. 20, 1770 and built the house at 19 Bartlett St. soon after. He served in Capt. Moses Brownsn1 seacoast company under General John Glover in 1775 and was a seaman aboard the privateer ship RESOURCE under Capt. Richard Ober and Capt. Israel Thorndike serving throughout the Revolutionary War with honor. Later the house was the home of Samuel Endicott, a direct descendant of Governor John Endicott, and a shipmaster in the China trade. The next owner from 1846-1885 was John Lovett Gallup who commanded the brig Reaper and the brig Vintage.
Captain Nathan Leech bought the land for the erection of his “mansion house” in 1764 to overlook his wharf and trading vessels. He was a large shipowner and master of his own vessels before the Revolutionary War. He served as a selectman for the Town of Beverly and was a member of the Committee of Inspection, Correspondence and Safety in 1775 and served as a Captain in the Militia 1777-78. In 1782 he served on the Maritime Court in Salem and was involved in the disposition of captured vessels.
Lt. John Wallis was given the the land upon which this house was built in 1767. He had married in 1754 and was expecting his fifth child so we can assume that he built this house the same year. In Sept. of 1775 he was a member of Capt. Moses Brown’s Seacoast Company and served with General John Glover until Aug 1777, when he joined Col. Samuel Johnson’s Company and travelled to Scarsdale, N.Y. He later signed on with the privateers and in 1780 is listed as “long missing if alive”. He did not return, his probate was registered in 1786 and this house was divided amongst his family. About I851 the house was moved down the street to its current location.
Jonathan Smith, mariner, bought this land in 1769 and in his probate Sept. 7, 1773 is a bill “for finishing the house and building a barn.” In 1797, the heirs sold the house to Daniel Brimmer “a native of Scotland who came over with General Prazier to “fight the Rebels for King George.” He married Rebecca Groves in Hamilton May 29,1782 and died July 29, 1824 aged 70 years”. Dr. Augustus Torrey, a grandson of Rev. Manasseh Cutler of Hamilton purchased the house in 1840 and lived here until his death in 1880.
The Hazadiah Smith House is a historic First Period house in Beverly, Massachusetts. The 2.5-story wood-frame house was built c. 1686, probably by Hazadiah Smith, whose profession is frequently listed in contemporary records as a builder or housewright. It is possible that he was responsible for a number of surviving First Period houses that survive in Beverly. This particular house, which he is believed to have lived in, was built with a two cell center chimney plan, and then extended to the rear at a later date, replacing the roof and leaving the chimney protruding from the front roof slope. The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990
John Balch gained title to the land on November 11, 1635, through the “Thousand Acre Grant” and apparently was living on this property by 1636. This was the date assigned to the house by the Beverly Historic Society. Architectural historians, including Abbott Lowell Cummings, the leading expert on early New England architecture, were only sure that the Balch House was a seventeenth-century house.
In 2006, dendrochronological analysis by the Oxford Tree Ring Laboratory dated the earliest portion (the right-hand side) as follows:.
The earliest part of the Balch House, constructed in 1680, is the surviving room of a one-and-one-half story, single room cottage, now minus its chimney bay, that forms the northeast portion of the present house. The structure was likely built by Benjamin Balch Sr., son of John Balch who was granted 1000 acres of land here in 1635. In 1721, Benjamin Balch 3rd, who inherited this portion of the property in 1703/4 from his grandfather, constructed the southern part of the house, a single room, two story structure with chimney bay on the north end. At this point, the fragment of the earlier house was draw up and attached to the 1721 portion and its roof raised to two stories, creating a central chimney, two-room-plan house. Later, the original north end and chimney bay were enlarged to the west. A symmetrical gable roof, higher than the roof of the southern room, was built over the widened structure. In the north wall of the attic rafters remain attesting to the three phases of roof framing.
The Balch Family Association acquired the house in 1916. In 1921-1922, Norman Isham and William Sumner Appleton oversaw the restoration of the house, including the recreation of the original roof slope on the east façade over the northeast rooms and the installation of a façade gable. Further restoration work was undertaken by Roy Baker in 1961-1962 (Cummings 1979:126). Oxford Dendrochronology Laboratory unpublished report 2006/44.”
The house remained within the Balch family until 1916, though with periods of tenant rental. It was then acquired by the Balch Family Association. They hired Norman Isham, a popular preservation architect, to evaluate the house. After finding original rafters in the attic, he recommended that the back lean-to be ripped off and the southern half of the house be dismantled. This plan was eventually modified to expose and recreate the roofline of the original story and a half structure. Thus today’s house has been heavily shaped by intentional restoration. In 1932, the home was turned over to the Beverly Historical Society (now Historic Beverly), which maintains and operates it today. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Balch_House
The house at 454 Cabot St. was the home of Colonel Henry Herrick, who died there in 1780. Colonel Herrick was chosen by the town, 17 September 1768, as a delegate in convention at Boston to, “consult and advise on the state of the province.” Colonel Herrick served the town as an “active agent” in all the first revolutionary movements, and for many years represented the town in the General Court.
This gambrel-roofed Colonial style house stands close to the intersection of Balch and Cabot. Early settlement in Beverly was centered in the area near this house, east of the Bass
River where five 200 acre grants were given by Salem to the “Old Planters,“ Salem’s first settlers, formerly members of the Cape Ann plantation. The early history of this building remains obscure. Beverly Carlman postulated that this might be Lot Conant’s house, but this is questionable.
The oldest part of the house at 27 Conant Street in Beverly, was built about 1760. The rooms on the first and second floors to the east of the present front door appear to be the oldest. John Fluant was born in 1703, married Mary Baker in 1726, and died in 1763.. The following year (1764) his widow sold the property to their son, Ezra, who married Jerusha Porter.
The house at 53 Conant St. was built between 1727 and 1734 by Joshua Dodge, who sold it to Rev. Enos Hitchcock in 1772.
The house at 54 Dodge St. was erected between 1715-24 by Nehemiah Wood, Cordwainer, and was later occupied by Nathaniel Greenwood, Sailmaker (1778-1805). Nehemiah Wood was one of the original signers of a covenant that was the basis of the organization of the Church of the second Parish, now the Second Congregational Church.
William Trask, who was one of the five “Old Planters” granted farms by Salem in 1635, sold his 200 acres to Thomas Scruggs. Scruggs built a house on the northern side of Dodge Street in about this position, east of the Conant Street intersection. Scruggs’ house and estate passed to his son-in-law John Rayment in 1654. The Scruggs house or one built in the next generation of occupants is said by several Beverly historians to be the eastern end of this house
It is said the house at 110 Dodge St. was built by Deacon Samuel Balch in 1685. Samuel Balch was a grandson of John Balch, the “Old Planter” whose house stands on the corner of Balch and Cabot Streets, and a son of John’s younger son Benjamin. The house has a double pile plan and brick ovens, and probably attained its current appearance after the middle of the 18th Century. Nathaniel Ham, a farmer, lived in the house from 1852 until his death about 1880, succeeded in the house by his widow.
Oxford Tree Ring Laboratory issued the following findings from its dendrochronology report:
“East Side: Spring 1711, Winter 1712/13. West Side: Summer 1724. The original part of the Haskell House consists of the east rooms and chimney bay, which were built on this site with integral lean-to in 1712. A second range of rooms that were built on another site in 1724, also with integral lean-to, was drawn up and attached to the west side of the chimney bay at some point. Clues that the addition was a pre-existing structure are the side-by-side framing at the junction of the two frames and the fact that the pitch of the roof of the west frame was slightly lower than that of the east frame, requiring that adjustments be made to create a roof with continuous slope across the building. Late nineteenth century photos show the lean-to roof raised from its original height. The lean-to was raised again in the early twentieth century and is now nearly two stories high. The house was built, apparently, by Robert Haskell, who received the land from his maternal grandfather, Thomas West. The property remained in the hands of Haskell descendants until the early nineteenth century.”
The original center section of this building was erected in 1768 for David Williams, Mariner. Later additions were made over the years, i.e. gothic gables on front facade and addition to rear.
This five-bay house with a central chimney that was apparently built in stages. The first portion, to the right of the chimney, was built c. 1700 as a typical First Period two story single cell structure. Around 1720 the left side was built, and a lean-to section was added to the back at a somewhat later date. The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.
The house seems to have been built as a half house with saltbox roof in 1764 when George Raymond sold his previous dwelling and built upon land left to him by his father.