Houses built during the Colonial era in Boxford, Massachusetts. Listings and images provided by the MACRIS site of the Massachusetts Historical Commission, and by Vision Properties for the Town of Boxford, with additional historical information from The Dwellings of Boxford, by Sidney Perley. Construction dates for some houses are based on local tradition and may not have been verified through research.
BOX.48, Dr. William Hale, Rev. William P. Alcott House, 2 Elm St, 1770: This house was erected by Dr. William Hale about 1770. In that year, he married Anna Porter of Danvers, and commenced the practice of physic in Boxford, where he was born in 1741, being son of Thomas Hale. He died in 1785, in his forty-fourth year, leaving two young daughters. The following obituary notice of Mr. Hale is found in the Salon Gazette for August 16, 1785 : “Died at Boxford, after a long indisposition, Dr. William Hale, in the 44th year of his age ; who, for almost twenty years, was a skillful faithful and successful physician.” Doctor Hale’s widow married Capt. William Perley who lived at No. 75. Captain Perley sold the place to Samuel Holyoke in 1801, and in 1814 he sold out to Tobias Davis, a sea-captain of Salem. In 1826, Captain Davis returned to Salem, and sold the place to Col. Charles Peabody. While Rev. John Whitney preached here he boarded with Mr. Peabody. (from The Dwellings of Boxford, by Sidney Perley).
BOX.51, Holyoke – French House, Elm St, 1760: In 1759, two years before his death, Mr. Rogers sold a house and this lot to Rev. Elizur Holyoke, who was settled over the church here in that year. The next year the old house was taken down and the present one erected by Mr. Holyoke’s father, Samuel Holyoke, a merchant of Boston. In 1866, Miss Hannah Holyoke’s executors sold the place to Mr. Elvin French, the well-known musician, then residing in Lowell but who was born in this house, being son of Benjamin French. Mr. French has put in new timbers, new windows and doors, and repaired it all through, but in such a manner as to allow all that is interesting in it to remain. (from Perley)
BOX.64, Sawyer House, 21 Endicott Rd, Boxford MA r 1715: The Sawyer House, built in the first quarter of the 18th century, may have begun as a single-cell house that was enlarged to a 5-bay, central chimney, lobby-entrance, two-story, double-cell structure, as the principal rafters show evidence of collars on only the left side for the principal and purlin system. The right side appears to be the earliest core of the much-enlarged house. The house was apparently built on land formerly part of the Gov. Endicott grant of the 17th century. Sidney Perley assigns the date of first construction to Stephen Gould ca. 1750. The farm was later owned by the Kilham family until 1802, when it was purchased by Dr. George Sawyer. It was in the Sawyer family until 1940, during which time it acquired the Mt. Vernon-like portico.
Thomas Chadwick – Governor Jonathan Andrew House 5 Essex St., West Boxford MA, 1777: (Architect Rufus Porter) The residence was built by Thomas Chadwick shortly after he bought the land here of Samuel Chadwick in 1788. In 1808, he sold the farm to Edmund Kimball a merchant of Newburyport. Mr. Chadwick was son of Dea. Thomas and Mary (Porter) Chadwick, and was born in Boxford in 1751. He married Susanna Porter in 1796, and resided here until he sold out. Among his children were Mary P. and Thomas R. Chadwick. Mr. Kimball conveyed the farm to Abijah Northey, jr., a merchant of Salem, in 1814. Mr. Northey resided here until 1835, when he sold out to Samuel Groce, another mer chant of Salem, who lived here till 1837. He then sold the place to Jonathan Andrew of Boxford. Mr. Andrew was a native of Maine, and a lineal descendant of Robert Andrews, one of the first settlers of Boxford. One of his sons was John Albion Andrew, the loved governor of Massachusetts, who was reared on this farm. (from Perley)
BOX.43, Thomas Wood House, 118 Georgetown Rd, Boxford MA 1699: The first known owner of this homestead was Thomas Wood, brother to Hon. Aaron Wood. They were sons of John Wood, who was born in 1680, and who may have lived, and his children been born, at this place. Thomas Wood married Margaret Perkins of Topsfield in 1757, and resided here as long as he lived. He died of the smallpox Feb. 13, 1777, aged forty-nine. His widow continued to reside here a short time, then sold out to Stephen Peabody, who about 1795 moved the house to where it now stands, removed the lean-to and remodeled the chimney. It is now known as the “Butcher Peabody house” (from Perley).
BOX.58, William Watson, / Joseph Hale House, Ipswich Rd, Boxford MA 1687: The farm owned and occupied by the late John Hale was in the possession of William Watson as early as 1687. Mr. Watson came from Ipswich, and probably lived in the old house that used to stand at this place. He married, first, Sarah, daughter of Allan Perley, in 1670 and, second, Mary, widow of Thomas Hale of Newbury, in 1695. By the two wives. Joseph had fifteen children born here. He was the ancestor of all the Hales that ever resided in Boxford. Mr. Hale was himself a member of the General Court, and was very prominent in the town as a selectman, a captain in the militia, and as town clerk for ten years. He died in 1761. This place afterward came into the possession of Phineas Perley, who died in Ipswich in 1832. In 1834, the place was purchased by Mr. John Hale. The place has since passed into the possession of Alvin C. Norcross of Boston. (from Perley)
BOX.14, Moses Tyler House, 474 Ipswich Rd, r 1720: The Tyler-Wood House is among the best known homes in Boxford. Much of the following is excerpted from a Report by Susan S. Nelson, Goodship Research, Ipswich, Massachusetts: “Based on the physical evidence we were able to view on our October site visit, we believe that the Tyler-Wood house, while it may rest on or near the site of an earlier building, is in its earliest iteration, a fine example of Second-Period architecture with several later additions. Originally a gabled two-story structure with a central chimney and hall/parlor plan, its eighteenth century origins are most clearly demonstrated by the undisturbed Georgian paneling and bolection molding of its two floor bedrooms, both of which retain their original intact fireboxes. The masterly articulation of this paneling and its sophistication are suggestive of the Tyler family’s high status and wealth at the time of its construction. The style of finish work in this earliest part of the house certainly suggests a construction date no earlier than about 1725, and possibly considerably later. While the Tyler-Wood House is not of First-Period construction as has been surmised, it is still a fine example of the Georgian and Federal Styles in American domestic architecture and makes a very valuable contribution to the built environment of Boxford. The use of “American,” or trenched purlin roof framing, the continued existence of the earliest gabled roof in the attic, and the highly articulated finish work throughout the building give the house stature and make it worthy of both recognition and preservation. “
BOX.57, Amos Perley House, 2 Kelsey Rd, Boxford MA: Built in 1773 by Amos Perley. About 1786, Mr. Perley sold the place, which consisted of a house and barn and forty acres of land, to Thomas Butman of Marblehead, whose son of the same name took up his residence in this house. Here were born several children to him and his wife Sarah. Mr. Butman, senior, removed to Tyngsborough, Mass., and in 1793 sold the farm to Thomas Dresser of Boxford. The place was then owned by John Dorman of Boxford, who sold out to Phineas Barnes. (from Perley)
BOX.59, Spofford – Barnes House, 20 Kelsey Rd, Boxford Ma 1749: The residence of Benjamin S. Barnes, Esq., was built by Paul Prichard, a house-wright, about 1749, when he came to Boxford and married Hannah, sister of Cooper Nat Perley. They resided in this house until the beginning of the Revolution, when they removed to New Ipswich, N. H. In Boxford Mr. Prichard held several offices of honor and trust, and was one of the substantial and influential citizens of his day. In New Ipswich, he was a selectman three years and a representative of the General Court in 1779. He died in 1787, aged sixty-four years. Mrs. Prichard was a woman of uncommon energy of body and mind, and could accomplish the ordinary labor of three persons. She had made the subject of midwifery a study, and had considerable practice in Boxford. This place then came into the possession of Amos Perley, who removed to Buxton, Me., at the beginning of the 19th century. It was then owned by Benjamin Spofford, who died in 1830. (from Perley)
BOX.22, Lawrence Rd, Boxford MA 1730. This house was moved to the present site and reconstructed by Earl Newton.
BOX.23, John Boardman House, 6 Lawrence Rd, Boxford MA r 1745: The John Boardman House has late examples of First Period framing and transitional decoration. The building was restored by the well-known mid-20th-century restorer, Earl Newton, with the guidance of Abbott Lowell Cummings. The house is a classic 18th-century “saltbox”, originally located in Saugus, Mass., near the 17th-century William Boardman House. It was moved in 1956, and a long one-story gable-roofed addition was built connecting to the right hand rear corner at that time. The brick central chimney, an exact copy of the original, is new.The John Boardman House is a transitional house with extensive First Period features, built in Saugus ca. 1740 in a style looking back to the home of William Boardman, John’s grandfather. It began as a double-cell central-chimney house of lobby entrance plan without leanto. The right (east) room has all its framing exposed, with no chamfering on the summer, but a flat chamfer on the chimney girt, a vertically-sheathed mid-18th-century fireplace wall of feather-edged boards, and a fireplace based on the original with square jambs and a beehive oven at the left corner, (like those of the 17th century, but of reduced width.) The staircase in the entry hall has a late First Period style original closed string, triple-run staircase without balusters, and a turned newel post. In the chamber above the east room the tie beam is exposed, and possibly reused, with a narrow flat chamfer ending in a lamb’s tongue stop. The left (west) chamber was originally unfinished; there is whitewash residue on the studs and wall fill; the room was built without a fireplace. The roof was replaced before the building was moved.
BOX.29, John Willet, Alice Freeman Palmer House, Main St, Boxford MA 1774: John Willet, a weaver came from Newburyport and acquired this land, which was by then part of the Peabody farm just to the west. He probably built the house in or just before 1774. He sold the farm to Elisha Gould of Middleton in 1781, and it subsequently was in the hands of a long sequence of different owners. In 1808 Parson Briggs came from “York, Maine, to be minister of the First Parish, and in 1809 he purchased this house from Enoch Foster, the Parish by that time having moved his furniture to Boxford. He lived here throughout his pastorate, which was a particularly turbulent one for the church. The trouble all stemmed from a minor event, now well documented as “the famous sheep case”, which split the church deeply and caused establishment of the third Church”. This finally resulted in the dismissal of Parson Briggs in 1833* and he removed to Chatham, Mass. In I884 Professor George H. Palmer bought the house. His wife, Alice Freeman Palmer, was the Second President of Wellesley College. In her writings she often referred to this house. It is interesting to note that with Professor Palmer’s purchase, the property once’ again’ returned to’ a’ succession of Peabody family ownership, it having once been part of the Peabody farm. (from MACRIS)
BOX.33, Abraham Redington House, Main St, Boxford MA 1683: This house contains portions of the 17th century core dating back to the first settlers of Boxford. Robert Stiles drew Lot No. 3 on which his house was built, and the large east side is the portion of the 1683 house still present. It was a “half house”, common in that period, 20 ft. by 20 ft, with the chimney on one side, so that the house could be later completed in the center chimney style. In 1760, Abraham Redington (fourth generation from the town’s original settler) added the two rooms west of the chimney. He did not make it symmetrical, however, – only one window above and below on the rooms he added. Investigations have shown that the early oaken planking, vertical and pegged, ends beside the front door in contact with horizontal boarding on small studding for the west rooms added In 1760. At that time he also enlarged the leanto kitchen to give it the present saltbox appearance. He was a housewright by trade. The original 20 x 20 room was used as a schoolroom in the 1800’s for a time before the local schoolhouse (no. 2) was built across the street. (from MACRIS)
BOX.46, Thomas Redington House, Main St, Boxford MA c 1750: This house is of great historical importance to the development of the Town because it is built, on the site of Abraham Redington’s first house, “The first settler of the present Town of Boxford was, undoubtedly, Abraham Redington. His name is first met with in 1645, his first child being born that year. The residence of Mr. D. S. Gillis is situated, undoubtedly, on the site of Mr. Redington’s house. The present house was probably built by his son, Thomas, some time toward the end of the seventeenth or beginning of the eighteenth century …. On his death (Abraham) in 1697, the land was equally divided between his two sons, Thomas and Abraham, the dividing line running south to Fish Brook on the west side of the burial ground. Abraham had the east, and Thomas the west part. ” In 1751, Thomas Redington sold the farm and half the corn mill to Thomas Andrews. The place continued as a farm for over a hundred years successively in the ownership of Andrews, Kimball, Herrick, Bixby, Wood, Peabody, Cole, Hayward, and Dale. In 1868, Mr. Dale’s heirs sold to Daniel S. Gillis, who had come from Maine five years previously, Mr. Gillis resided upon the place until his death in 1891. He dropped dead while lifting a trunk into a carriage in front of his residence.which he had conducted as a public house for several years,, under the name of Hotel Redington. (from MACRIS)
BOX.60, Jacob Gould House, 110 Middleton Rd, 1721: Captain Jacob Gould was born in Topsfield in 1729, and was a son of John Gould. He married Elizabeth Towne of his native place in 1751, came to Boxford and it is believed built this house three years later, but it may have incorporated the house of his father. Jacob Gould was chosen captain of the military company of this parish, and marched with them under his com- mand when the news of the battle of Lexington came. He died in 1809, at the age of eighty. He had twelve children John Gould took down the oldest part of the house about 1824, and built the eastern end. (from Perley)
BOX.61, Phineas Foster House, 15 Old Topsfield Rd, c 1725: Little is known about the early 18th-century ownership of this building Perley suggests it was owned by Solomon Gould after 1765; Phineas Foster is said to have been the builder. The main house seems to have begun as a single cell plan in the right-hand (east) half, including the chimney bay, although much of the interior framing in this section is boxed. It then grew to a double cell plan in the late First Period, with a later 18th-century summer-kitchen ell addition. The attic roof frame, of principal and purlin system, with a pitch of 40-45 degrees, declares the right-hand rooms and chimney bay earlier than the bays to the west. The lower left-hand room has Second Period raised-field paneling and a boxed frame. (from MACRIS)
BOX.67, Joseph Hale House, Salem Rd, 1749: This house was built by Joseph Hale about the time of his marriage in 1749. His son Joseph Hale, Jr. married in October, 1796, and settled on his father’s homestead. He died in 1818, leaving the house lot and buildings to his son, Joseph, while Widow Hale lived with her son Isaac at No. 6 from 1835 for several years, then remarrying and settling in New Hampshire. And so it went with the house passed through the Hale descendeney from Joseph to his brother, Isaac, in 1837 Isaac to his brother, John in 1875, and John to Lewis D. Hale of Haverhill in 1888. During this entire period from 1837 to the end of the century, the place was used as a tenement house. the Old Hale House was vacant for many years and out of repair until it was bought and restored by Mrs. Ackerman, who also rented it. The house was bought in 1962 by the Lambert family. (from MACRIS)
BOX.68, Asa Perley House, Salem Rd, Boxford MA 1760. The land was two hundred years ago in the possession of Thomas Perley, son of Allan and Susanna (Bokenson) Perley, the emigrant ancestors of the Perley family in America. Mr. Perley was succeeded on the homestead, by a device in his will, by his son Thomas, who was born in 1668 and who resided with his father as long as the latter lived. In his will he divided his farm between his sons Thomas and Asa. Thomas had that part now known as the Cleaveland farm, and Asa’s portion included the homestead. Asa Perley took up his residence in the house in which he was horn (in 1716) and had always lived, after his marriage, in 1738, with Susanna Low of Essex. He was afterward married to Mrs. Apphia Porter of Danvers and to Mrs. Ruth Kimball of Bradford. In 1760, or about that date, he took the old house down and erected the mansion now standing. After completing the house and caring for the surroundings he set out a sapling elm, which grew to be one of the largest and most beautiful elms in the state. Here Asa lived while passing through his distinguished career. For ten years he was a selectman; in 1771, 1772, 1780 and 1781, he was representative from Boxford to the General Court, and in 1775 — that noted year in the history of the nation — he was a member of the Provincial Congress. The records of this Congress show that in it he held prominent positions, and private papers in the possession of his descendants indicate that he was privy to those secret discussions and manoeuvres that characterized the opening months of the American Revolution. It is a fact worthy of mention that seven of his sons fought in that struggle for independence. At Mr. Perley’s death, the place came into the possession of his son Samuel. (from Perley)
BOX.19, Capt. Isaac Adams House, 161 Spofford Rd, Boxford MA 1702: The Old Adams House was erected by Thomas Spofford about 1702. He was a son of Samuel and Sarah (Burkbee) Spofford of Rowley, where he was born in 1679, and was the first of the name to settle in Boxford. By his wife, Bethiah Haseltine, whom he married in 1702, he had ten children. In 1716, he sold the place to his brother-in-law, Isaac Adams of Rowley, and removed to Lebanon, Conn. Mr. Adams probably never lived here. He died in Rowley in 1738, and in his will devised this farm to his son Isaac, who was born in Rowley in 1713. He came here to live with his mother. (from Perley)
The Holyoke-French house, 2 Topsfield Rd. is maintained by the Boxford Historical Society. Located at 2 Topsfield Road in East Boxford Village, it was built in 1760 for Rev. Elizur Holyoke. It remained in the Holyoke family until 1866, when it was sold to Elvin French. The house was bequeathed to the Boxford Historical Society upon the death of Gertrude French in 1942. The house now serves as an exhibit and holds some original furnishings as well as many artifacts representative of historic Boxford.
BOX.54, John/Moses Dorman House, Topsfield Rd, Boxford MA, 1688: This house was built originally by Timothy Dorman, a son of Thomas Dorman of Topsfield, where he was born in 1663. He married in 1688 and built this house immediately afterward. Although the present house bears very little resemblance to the original, the subsequently added wings and ells are quite discernible. Mr. Dorman died about 1740, leaving the homestead to his son John. John Dorman (1696-1775) married in 1730. The year before his marriage he built on what is now the westerly portion of the house, in which he resided as long as his father was living. His youngest son, John Dorman (1738-1792), who was a deacon of the church, married and settled on the old place. He served in the Revolutionary War, and held the town offices of Clerk, Treasurer, and Selectman. His widow survived him by thirty years. They had six children, the second of ~’hich was Moses. Moses Dorman (1765-1850) became prominent in the town, as a member of the General Court, Town Clerk, and Selectman, while residing upon the homestead. He died at the age of eighty-four, leaving four children. His son, Moses Dorman (1803-1877), then resided here, and became prominent.in town business.and in the settlement of estates. His widow survived him and died in 1880. The house remained continually in the Dorman family for 200 years. Descendants of Dormans and others who occupied the house still remain in the area. For this reason, the house is of great historic importance to the development of the Town. (from MACRIS)
BOX.55, Nathaniel Dorman House, Topsfield Rd, Boxford MA, c 1757: This house was built about 1757 by Timothy Dorman, who was born (1730) next door at No. 119, son of John and Rebecca Dorman. Timothy Dorman lived here until his death in 1764. His son, Timothy, who was born while the house was being built in 1757, came into possession of the place and married Deborah Perley of Linebrook in 1782. He served in the Revolution, returning to the house thereafter to live until his death in 1835. Timothy’s son, Nathaniel, settled on the place. He was married in 1825, about which time he built an extension on the east end of the house, and attached to it an old one-story building used by his brother earlier as a shoemaker’s shop and small grocery store. Nathaniel Dorman spent his days in this house, and died in 1868 at the age of seventy-eight. Andrews bought the place of Mr. Dorman in 1860, and the next year raised the store part to two std. • JS, the whole being newly clapboarded and painted. After Mr. Dorman’s death, the house became a tenement, and was occupied by various families, finally being bought by a tenant, Mr. William Goodwin in 1891. Dr. and Mrs, Maddock restored the house in 1929. In 1935 a West wing of old timbers and boards was added. (from MACRIS)
BOX.16, John Kimball House, Valley Rd, Boxford MA, c 1712 (aka 7 Eagles Nest Lane). The farm on which the late Moses Kimball resided was settled in the seventeenth century. Nearby stood the residence of John Kimball, who settled in Boxford as early as 1669. He made his will in 1718, and it was proved in 1721. In it he gave this place to his son John, entailed to John’s children. Corporal Kimball, by his wife Sarah, had seven children, two sons and five daughters. Miss Lucy S. Kimball, wrote that the next house that was built on this place stood on the opposite side of the road, a little to the southwest. Mr. Kimball’s son John took up his residence on this farm. He was born in 1685, married Elizabeth Chapman in 1705, and had one son and six daughters. He died in 1763, aged seventy-eight. He was succeeded on the place by his only son Nathan, who was born in 1706, married Sarah Goodridge in 1730, and had four sons and four daughters.The other son, Moses Kimball, succeeded his father on this farm. He was born in 1740, married Rebecca Poor of Newbury, and in 1766 built this house. (from Perley)
BOX.6, John Chadwick/John Horace Nason House, Washington St, Boxford MA,1775: This residence was built for Mr. John Chadwick, a noted composer of music, in 1775. No record has yet been brought to light, by the recorder of this sheet, in regard to Mr. Chadwick’s occupancy of this home. The residence was early occupied by a family bearing the name of Willard, and was afterwards owned by Greenleaf Dole, who lived here. About 1§50 Mr. Dole sold the place to Daniel Francis Harriman, and on his death it came, by deed, into the possession of Mr. John Horace nd his wife, who was Harriman’s daughter. Under Mr. Harriman’s ownership, this place was part of an extensive agricultural region. John Horace Nason, for many years, carried on the manufacture,here on this property, of farm wagons, coal wagons, low-down milk wagons, and, when wagons went out of style, he, with his son as a partner, changed over to auto and truck body build^g.^On^the death of his father, Alfred K. Nason carried on a body and painting business. (from MACRIS)
BOX.13, Col. Thomas Knowlton House, Washington St, Boxford MA, c 1735: This house is known as the Knowlton House and is on the estate of Ingaldsby in the west parish of Boxford, Mass. It was built about 1755 by William Knowlton and was the birthplace of Thomas Knowlton who became a colonel in the Revolutionary Army and was eulogized by Washington after he had fallen while leading his regiment in the battle of White Plains. Colonel Knowlton played an important part in the battle of Bunker Hill and is the central figure in Trumbull’s famous painting. His story was told and his birthplace was illustrated in the Essex Institute Historical Collection of April 1922. (from MACRIS)