Whipple House Ipswich MA

First Period houses of Northeastern Massachusetts

The earliest builders to settle the Massachusetts Bay Colony were trained in English post-medieval techniques, and adapted this form to the New England climate. Houses constructed after about 1720 (Second Period homes) are generally distinguishable by symmetry, proportion and interior decoration. Most First Period houses were enlarged or modified to present this Second Period appearance.

First Period framing variations, from The Framed Houses of Massachusetts Bay, 1625-1725 by Abbott Lowell Cummings
Tyupical frame details for front overhangs, from The Framed Houses of Massachusetts Bay, 1625-1725 by Abbott Lowell Cummings
Balch house in Beverly
Evolution of the 1670 Balch House in Beverly Massachusetts


Joseph Gould house, Topsfield MA Joseph Gould house, 129 Washington St., Topsfield MA (ca. 1710 / ca. 1725) - The Capt. Joseph Gould house is a substantial early 18th Century house constructed in at least two stages, and the only First Period house in our area believed to have been constructed two rooms deep. The 1710 Gould Barn that once sat on this property was rebuilt at the foot of Howlett St.… Continue reading Joseph Gould house, 129 Washington St., Topsfield MA (ca. 1710 / ca. 1725)
Dodge House, N. Main St., Ipswich MA Jetties of the New England Post-Medieval Renaissance - A projection of the second story over the first, which is common in parts of England, is also found in houses of the New England colonies. About half of the surviving examples are in Ipswich or immediately neighboring towns. … Continue reading Jetties of the New England Post-Medieval Renaissance

First Period houses of the Massachusetts North Shore

Follow the links below to the MACRIS site, where clicking on INV links to a PDF inventory sheet for each House, provided by town historical commissions in the 20th Century. MACRIS information may not be current. Other images and information are from Wikipedia, assessor’s online databases for each town (Patriot Properties & Vision), Google maps searches, real estate sites, preservation organizations, and by the author of this blog, Gordon Harris. Most houses have dates based on historical records or tradition and have not been dated by dendrochronology.

  • This is a list of houses designated “First Period” by the MACRIS site, Abbott Lowell Cummings, and area historic organizations. Undesignated houses constructed geneally within the First Period are also shown. MACRIS information may not be current.
  • Most houses have dates based on historical records or tradition and have not been dated by dendrochronology.


Stephen Flanders House, 265 Elm St. Amesbury MA (c 1665)

Stephen Flanders house, Amesbury MA

This house has a marker with the date ‘1665’ prominently displayed on its facade. While such an ancient origin is not indicated by an examination of the exterior, deed records substantiate at least the ownership tradition. In 1650 a Steven Flanders was “admitted a townman on the condition that he “constantly keep the town herd of cows.”

Morrill House, 1 Laurel Pl Amesbury MA c 1720

The original ownership of the house is unknown, but by 1854 it was owned by A. Morrill, and from at least 1872 through 1884 it was owned and occupied by Albert B. Gale, hatter. Possibly a First Period house, with uneven spacing of bays, one-room depth with a two-story rear lean-to, and flush eaves suggesting its early date.

AME.483 Macy – Colby House, 257 Main St. Amesbury MA by 1745

A house was constructed by Thomas Macy, probably about 1649, and sold to Anthony Colby in 1654. If any of the original house remains is questionable, and the present structure was extensively modified by Obadiah Colby in the early 1740s. Nine generations of Colby’s lived in this house. Thomas Macy was Amesbury’s first town clerk, held many town offices and was involved in numerous land transactions. He left Amesbury in 1659. Typical is the symmetrical three-bay facade, massive center chimney, and rear salt-box lean-to. Another ell, at right angles to the rear northeast corner, dates from the mid-nineteenth century. The room interior has a huge fireplace with brick ovens in the keeping and four smaller fireplaces in the parlor, bedrooms and loom room.

Theophilus Foot House, 272 Main St. Amesbury MA c 1692

Theophilus Foot House, 272 Main St. Amesbury MA

The Ferry District was one of Amesbury’s earliest settlements, dating from the 17th century. The house bears a plaque reading, Theophilus Foot, 1692, while another source refers to the house as the Blaisdell-Woodman house. A violent tornado occurred August 14, 1773, doing particular damage in the Ferry District, and blowing down “Theophilus Foot’s new house.” By 1854 the property was owned and occupied by Elliot D. Stone, agent, and later his widow.

AME.276 Isaac Morrill House, 48 Portsmouth Rd. Amesbury MA c 1680

Isaac Morrill was the eldest son of seven children of Abraham Morrill. The elder Morrill was one of the area’s first settlers, operating a corn mill and farm and working as a blacksmith. Upon his death in 1662, he left his son Isaac a “new house and 56 acres.” The main house is one bay deep, and a two-story lean-to extends to the rear.


ANV.17 Benjamin Abbot House, 9 Andover St. Andover MA c 1685

One of the two oldest houses in Andover MA, the Benjamin Abbot House has been lived in since it was built. Benjamin Abbot (1661-1703) was the 8th child of George, an original grantee. In 1685, Benjamin, a carpenter by trade, built his home on the banks of the Shawsheen River. The farm was originally 75 acres. In May, 1692, his neighbor, Martha Allen Carrier was arrested for witchcraft, Benjamin Abbot having named her the cause of his foot swelling and open sore on his side. The house remained in the Abbot family through eight generations, until 1933. Source.

ANV.45 Abbot – Baker House, 5 Argilla Rd. Andover MA c 1685

Abbot – Baker House, 5 Argilla Rd. Andover MA c 1685

Thomas Abbot bought 1662 land “Westerly side of Shawsheen, Northerly side of the road together with The Mansion House and barn in together with the same with tan house and tan fats and all buildings. “from Job Tyler, whom the original Andover proprietors found occupying it. This house, along with the Benjamin Abbot and Ballard-Foster houses, are situated in what was once known as “Happy Hollow”. In 1900, George F Baker, road commissioner who lived here, named the street for his ancestral one at Ipswich; Argilla Road from the Latin for clay. The house is said to contain an early room (kitchen) older than any in the Benjamin Abbot house, dating from 1671. There is the huge central chimney of First Period architecture, this one built on a large rock of hand made brick chimney; 5 fireplaces; wainscotting throughout the house and H&L hinges. Some of the walls are insulated with birch bark and one room has a brick exterior wall, protection against Indian attack.

ANV.128 Foster Homestead, 96 Central St. Andover MA c 1720

A complex house of three major periods, the Foster House contains a two story First Period core of three bays with irregular fenestration on the east side, now without the chimney at the south end. About 1750 there was a one room, two story addition of a reused frame. To its north was added a larger two story central chimney house, (c.1790-1800). The only remaining First Period evidence is the frame of the core structure, traditionally dated c. 1660 but with deeds back to 1635. The frame is quirk-beaded on all exposed timbers, and thus must be dated to the early 18th century (perhaps c. 1720). There are three bays in this section, divided on both floors by an exposed quirk-beaded tie beam. Thus the first floor summer beam is transverse although it appears as longitudinal in relation to the later fireplace. The present modern kitchen probably occupies what was once the original chimney bay.

ANV.300 Chandler – Abbot House, 88 Lowell St. Andover MA c 1670

This is believed to be the oldest First Period home still standing in Andover today. The interior rooms on the south facing side on both levels contain huge hand hewn summer beams with chamfered edges and gun-stock post corner beams. Many of the interior wall sheathing are covered with horizontal tongue and grooved or ship-lap wide pine board paneling. The kitchen fireplace is nearly 7′ wide x 5′ high and 42″ deep. The original chimney was removed at some point in the early twentieth century and rebuilt in the early 1960s. The floors are all wide pine boards measuring 12″ to 22″ in width throughout the house. Thomas Chandler was born about 1627, the oldest of five children of William & Annis Chandler of Roxbury, MA. William was a tanner in Roxbury by 1637 and owned an estate of 22 acres. William dies of consumption Feb. 26, 1641 and their mother Annis remarries on July 2, 1643 to John Dane (Dean) of Berkhamstead & Bishop-Stratford England. John had first settled in Ipswich and later to Roxbury. Thomas Chandler’s other siblings were, Hannah, William, John and Sarah. Thomas and his brother William were among some of the most influential men of Andover’s first settlers after the town incorporated in 1646. Continue reading.

ANV.420 Blanchard – Upton, 62 Osgood St. Andover MA c 1720

Thomas, third son of Samuel and Hannah Blanchard was given this property at the time of his marriage to Rose Holmes, 1699, probably at the same time they gave land at 116 Osgood St. to his sister, Hannah, who married Stephen Osgood the same spring. In its First Period frame, and distinctive type of construction, the Blanchard/Upton house is significant under Criterion C. It is an outstanding example of a well restored classic early 18th century saltbox. The frame is integral throughout, with quirked beading typical of several early 18th century Andover houses. (It was built between the time Thomas Blanchard acquired the land in 1699 and his death by 1740 when his son, Josiah, inherited the farm.) It is thus an excellent example of the integral lean-to roof and plan, with the variant of the upper lean-to extending only some two thirds along the rear and extended at the first floor by one story sheds. The feather-edged sheathing suggests a c. 1730 date, although the house may have been built earlier (c. 1700-1720) and the present interior finish added c. 1730-40 when Josiah Blanchard inherited the property. The frame of the house is quirk-beaded and exposed throughout, with longitudinal summers on the two main first floor rooms and transverse tie beams in the rooms above. There is clear evidence in the cantilevered ties in the east end lean-to that the roof line and rafters are integral. The roof is a typical principal rafter with ridge-pole and purlin system.

ANV.547 Abbot – Stinson House, 6 Stinson Rd. Andover MA c 1725

The Abbott-Stinson house is traditionally dated c.1720-1726. This is consistent with the quirk-beaded frame seen throughout the west side, which was probably the kitchen and kitchen chamber. These elements are similar to the frame of the Parson Barnard House in North Andover (c.1715) and several other early 18th century houses in Andover. It is an excellent example of the transition from First Period exposed, decorated framing to the vernacular Georgian interior finish of the second quarter of the 18th century. The west rooms have exposed summer and tie beams, in the normal longitudinal and transverse directions respectively, both with quirked beads running to the ends without stops. The posts, girts, and plates are also quirk-beaded where exposed. The second floor west side has flared gunstock corner posts.


BEV.184 Hazadiah Smith House, 337 Cabot St. Beverly MA 1686

The Hazadiah Smith House, is a two-and-a-half story, five-bay clapboarded building, two rooms deep with a central chimney plan. The original First-Period House, was a double-cell, central chimney structure; the later addition of rear rooms and new roof has left the central, chimney stack protruding through the front slope below the ridge of the present roof. Hazadiah Smith who moved to Beverly c. 1675 and acquired the parcel of land containing the present house in 1636, was called a “carpenter.”

BEV.185 John Balch House, 448 Cabot St. Beverly MA 1636

John Balch was born in 1579 in Bridgewater, England and came to America with Captain Gorges in September 1623, settling with the Dorchester Company at Cape Ann. In 1626 he removed to Salem, Massachusetts with Governor Roger Conant. On January 25, 1635, he was granted, along with Capt William Trask, John Woodbury, Roger Conant, and Peter Palfrey one thousand acres of land at the head of Bass River. When Beverly separated from Salem in 1668 this grant came within the bounds of the new town. He was one of the founders of the Salem Church in 1629 and was among the first to be made freeman in 1631; he was one of the first selectman of Salem and served in other capacities. His home is the only one of the “Old Planters” standing today.

BEV.446 Exercise Conant House, 634 Cabot St. Beverly MA c 1695

Exercise Conant sold a house and barn on this land to his cousin John Conant, who sold the house in 1715 to Reverend John Chipman, who built the present house to accommodate his parish duties and his growing family of fifteen children. The Exercise Conant House is the First Period, northern ell of the two-and-a-half story, five-bay Georgian house built by the Reverend John Chipman House, which has a dentilled cornice and an original fine Second-Period, central doorway with fluted pilasters and a broken-arch pediment with pineapple finial in the center. The First Period Conant ell is a single-cell, two-and-a-half story structure, three bays wide, possibly originally oriented north, with chimney to the left. The large chimney stack pierces the roof ridge of the ell at its juncture with the main house and is barely visible rising behind the far right ridge of the roof of the main facade. The roof ridge of the First Period ell, which is 40 degrees in pitch, runs perpendicular to the ridge of the main house. The northern ell of the present structure contains late seventeenth century detailing which identifies it as the single-cell Exercise Conant House reduced to an ell by Reverend John Chipman after 1715. The single room measures 12′ x 19″6″ with an 8′ first floor ceiling.

BEV.445 Beverly Grammar School 50 Essex St. Beverly MA c 1716

50 Essex Street is a small 1 1/2-story cottage, the interior framing of which discloses two bays thought to represent the moved frame of a First Period Beverly schoolhouse. The building today is a four-bay structure with a doorway flanked by two windows to the left and one to the right. The gable end has a single window at the main floor and attic levels. There is a late 19th-century stove chimney in the middle of the later pitched roof. The main room is 21′ wide by 17′ deep, with a frame of either oak or hard pine. The summer tie is quirk-beaded. The two end girts have simple narrow flat chamfers with tapered stops. The corner posts are similarly decorated. Joist spacing is 24″ on centers, and the joists apparently employ the older tusk tenon. The original left front corner post. by the door, has a molded post head. The east room is a later addition, and the original girt separating it from the main room has chamfers only on the inside, since the other originally faced the exterior wall. The split laths of the later, (18th-century?) addition have childrens’ drawings as graffiti, and are said to have been the original pupils1 desks of-the early school.

BEV.87 William Cleaves House, 252 Essex St. Beverly MA 1675

The original part of this house was erected in 1675 for William Cleaves and has been enlarged with additions and ells.

BEV.195 William Livermore House, 271 Essex St. Beverly MA c 1700

This house is associated with Livermore Whittredge Sr. and Jr, who were members of the Committee of Correspondence and active privateers during the Revolutionary War. The William Livermore house began as a late First-Period two-and-a-half story, single-cell house to the right of the chimney. A single-cell, two-and-a-half story addition to the left of the chimney early in the Second-Period produced a two-room, central chimney plan. The house was later doubled in size with the addition of a rear file of rooms and a new roof. Consequently, the central chimney stack protrudes through the front slope of the new roof. The original single-cell end of the house is sheathed in vertical boards, while the new addition has horizontal sheathing. The right front rooms of the house exhibit good late First Period features.The second-phase rooms to the left, stairway, and the first-phase right chamber exhibit good early second period details, suggesting a circa 1725-30 construction date for the addition.

BEV.108 Rev. John Hale House, 39 Hale St. Beverly MA 1694

Rev. John Hale graduated from Harvard in 1657 and an 1660 became minister at the First Parish Church in Bass River Side of Salem which became Beverly. in 1668. In 1690 he went on the expedition to Canada as Chaplain. In 1692 he, in common with other area ministers, acted as a judge in the Witchcraft Trials. However in October 1692, his pious wife Sarah was accused and remained in jail until just before the birth of their son John who was born Dec. 2, 1692. “The whole community was convinced that the accusers, in crying out upon Mrs. Hale, had perjured themselves the awful delusion ceased.” In 1697, Rev. Hale wrote a work entitled “A Modest Inquiry into the nature of Witchcraft ” in which he asked for pardon “all the errors of his people in the day of darkness.” The next owner Robert Hale, son of John, was an eminent doctor, graduating from Harvard in 1666. His son Robert became the owner of the house in 1719 and served the town and country in its early days. He was commissioned a Colonel and commanded a regiment in the expedition against Louisburg in 1745. In 1755 he was commissioned by Governor Shirley as agent to New Hampshire for an expedition against the French at Crown Point.

BEV.1020, 141 Hale St. Beverly MA c 1712

This prominent Hale Street house was built in 1712 for Samuel Woodbury, and has been thoughtfully updated while maintaining original features.

BEV.202 John Thorndike House, 184 Hale St. Beverly MA 1702

The house is associated after 1760 with Captain Joseph Rea, grandson of the original owner, and a prominent militia captain, member of the Committee of Correspondence and Safety. The original single cell 2 1/2 story house with integral lean-to received a single cell 2 1/2 story addition to the left of the chimney late in the First-Period. In the nineteenth or twentieth century, part of the lean-to roof was raised to a shed dormer, and a small two-story gabled ell extended from the right rear.

BEV.199, John Patch House, 245 Hale St. Beverly MA c 1694

John Patch was the son of Elizabeth Brackenberry Patch who was the first born English female child of Massachusetts Bay Colony. She was the daughter of Richard Brackenberry who came over on the Abigail with Gov. Endicott in 1628.

BEV.219, Jeffrey Thissel House, 574 Hale St. Beverly MA c 1668

This house was built c. 1668 for Jeffery Thissel, planter.

BEV.495, William Haskell House, 680 Hale St. Beverly MA c 1688

This house may have been built in the late 17th century by William Haskell, a mariner who married Ruth, the daughter of Thomas West; her dowry was property, a portion of the 300 acres West inherited from his father John West. who had acquired the land in 1660 from John Blackleach, the original grantee in Beverly Farms (1638)Haskell was from Bristol, England, and had emigrated with two of his brothers; he died in 1694. Some researchers believe the house was built and an orchard planted on the property between 1688 and that date. Ruth then married John Smith; she died before 1701. Before 1708 a sawmill was built next to the house on the brook, known then as Sawmill Brook. Robert Haskell lived in the house after 1712, and others believe he built the house, since no buildings were mentioned in papers of William Haskell’s estate. Six generations of William Haskells lived in this house; they were there until the early 19th century.

BEV.499, Robert Woodberry House, 824 Hale St. Beverly MA c 1700

Robert Woodberry House, 824 Hale St. Beverly MA c 1700

Deed research has led to a 1699-1707 date for this house, believed to have been built by Robert Woodberry after his marriage to Mary West. daughter of Thomas West. who had inherited 300 acres of Beverly Farms land from his father. Land on which the house stands was Mary’s dowry. John West. father of Thomas, had bought the land in the 1660’s from John Blackleach, the original grantee, who moved to Boston.

BEV.444 Samuel Corning, House, 87 Hull St. Beverly MA c 1700

The Samuel Corning House exhibits frames of two successive periods, a transverse first floor summer beam supported by molded post heads and story posts, and an overhanging second story. Its frame is decorated with flat chamfers and lamb’s tongue stops on the 9.5″-wide transverse summer and tie beams. The summers are supported by posts with decorative molded heads. The ties are supported with posts which angle out from the framed overhang within a few inches of the floor. In the entry, the front girt is chamfered with a bevel terminating in a triangular stop. The frame of the ca. 1720 addition is quirk-beaded, and its first floor summer is longitudinal. The roof is the principal and purlin system, at a 45 degree pitch, of pine, and without collars.

BEV.183 William Dodge House, 10-12 Lyman St. Beverly MA 1723

William Dodge, planter, came from England aboard the Lion’s Whelp and arrived in Salem June 29, 1629. He received his first grant of land in 1636 and bought 200 acres on Basse River Side from Peter Palfrey in 1644. That he had a house here is born out by Town Records in 1647. It passed by deed in 1685.


BIL.173, Dea. Samuel Hill House, 33 Riverhurst Rd. Billerica MA c 1725

This house was probably built by Deacon Samuel Hill, who inherited the farm from Ralph Hill Jr. in 1695 and died in 1755. It exhibits late First Period transitional beaded summer beams and some horizontal interior sheathing. The first floor rooms both have exposed longitudinal summer beams with quirk beading. All other framing members are boxed. Brick nogging survives in both end walls and the original rear wall. A.L. Cummings found blackened joists in the first and second floor right-hand rooms indicating originally unplastered ceilings. The second floor right-hand chamber also has an exposed, quirk beaded longitudinal summer beam. The chamber has a sawmill-sawn rising brace in the right rear corner, and evidence of another in the left hand corner. The front, rear, and end walls have horizontal sheathing. The left-hand second floor chamber has very fine 18th century marbleized raised-field paneling to the right of the present chimney (original rear wall,) a distinctive and rare survival of a popular 18th century style of painted decoration. The section consists of nine raised-field panels set in three ranks, with marbleizing in both panels and the rails and stiles.


BOS.5804, James Blake House, 735 Columbia Rd. Boston MA 1661

The Elder James Blake House is a 2 1/2-story, one room deep, Hall & Parlor House of the Post Medieval, First Period style. Dendrochronological testing in 2007 revealed the house was built in 1661. The Blake House is considered Boston’s Oldest House, a Boston City landmark, and a rare example of West County English framing from the early settlement period. The New England oak timber for the Blake House frame was felled in the Winter of 1660-1661, and in the Spring of 1661, shortly after the English Restoration occurred in 1660. The Blake family that first lived in the house is thought to have been Elder James Blake, and his wife Elizabeth Clap(p), a niece of Dorchester pioneer settler Roger Clap(p) who crossed on the ship Mary & John in 1630. The Clap(p)s and most early Dorchester families were from the West Country of England, then a farming, fishing, salt-producing and tide-milling part of England. They were inspired by Rev. John White, known in England as the “Founder of Massachusetts” who preached in Dorset, Dorchester, England, for which Dorchester, Massachusetts was named.

BOS.5388, Paul Revere House, 19 North Sq. Boston MA c 1680

The oldest portion of the Paul Revere house was built, probably by John Jeffs, to fit into the small irregularly shaped lot. The house was the home of a leading Revolutionary patriot, Paul Revere, from 1770-1S00. The facade of the five-bay house has an overhang supported by the three main crosswise timbers the chimney girt and two summers. In 1907, the Paul Revere Memorial Association purchased the house and extensively restored and reconstructed the structure under the direction of Joseph Everett Chandler, architect. Maintained in excellent condition, the house is open to visitors.

BOS.6136, Pierce House, 24 Oakton Ave, Boston MA 1683

The Pierce House is one of the last surviving examples of seventeenth-century architecture in the city of Boston. Lived in by ten generations of one family, the house documents the building practices and tastes of the Pierces over three centuries.


BOX.64 Sawyer House, 21 Endicott Rd. Boxford MA c 1715

The house was apparently built on land formerly part of the Gov. Endicott grant of the 17th century. Although Sidney Perley assigns the date of first construction to Stephen Gould ca. 1750, the Sawyer House may have been built in the first quarter of the 18th century 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 early exposed frame of the east main rooms is clearly of the first decades of the 18th century, and the width of the framing and the proportions of the west rooms suggest a similar or slightly later construction date for that section. The rooms at both stories to the right of the lobby entrance and stairs show clear evidence of First Period framing.

BOX.22 John Boardman House, 28 Lawrence Rd. Boxford MA 1730

The John Boardman House is a First Period house at 28 Lawrence Road in Boxford. The main portion of the 2.5 story saltbox colonial was built as a double cell plan central chimney structure c. 1740 in Saugus. It underwent restoration by Earl Newton and was moved to its present location in 1956. The house is somewhat similar in appearance to the William Boardman house which is still in Saugus. The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

BOX.61 Phineas Foster, 15 Old Topsfield MA Rd. Boxford MA c 1725

Perley wrote that this house was owned by Solomon Gould after 1765; Phineas Foster in 1799. 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 one-story porch entry is, perhaps, Federal. The central chimney is rebuilt. The three earlier bays have multiple purlins of smaller scantling; the two later bays only three purlins. The older section shows dovetail mortise evidence of having had collars between the rafters; the later section does not.

BOX.19 Isaac Adams House, 161 Spofford Rd. Boxford MA 1702

Historic Name: Adams, Capt. Isaac House Common Name: Whitney, James Clement House Year Constructed: 1702 Architectural Styles: First Period; Georgian Foundation: Random Laid Rubble; Stone.


BUR.3, Francis Wyman House, 56 Francis Wyman Rd. Burlington MA c 1666

The Francis Wyman House remained in one old New England family’s (the Wymans) possession for the better part of over 330 years. It has a 3-bay front, with its main or front door in the middle of the south façade. With its large central brick chimney, wood cedar shingle roof, hand-planed quartersawn clapboards, 4-square room plan, the Wyman House presents most strongly as a ca. 1730 early Georgian Style colonial house. However, portions of the structure may date to ca. 1666 when it appears an earlier saltbox-style house was located here. The Francis Wyman House is also distinguished for its ca. 1730 hand-hewn frame (which included pit-sawn floor joists beneath the west half of the kitchen—a few removed for museum exhibit purposes in 2011), some early gunstock posts, a puncheon style stair in the basement, feather-edged vertical board walls, and wide pine floors. Major portions of the house were rebuilt, restored, and adapted for new museum use first after the Francis Wyman Association took title to the property between 1899 and 1902—and later following a November 1996 fire.


CON.158, Fletcher – Cuming House, 383 Cambridge Tpk, Concord MA c 1691

Portions of this building may be among the oldest structures in Concord is known to have existed on the site as early as 1691. Some of it was definitely standing by 1724, and thus has the heavy framing of the late First Period. The present form and exterior of the main house, however, are largely Georgian or “Second Period” in their appearance. It has a central chimney, and a symmetrical five-bay facade.

CON.156, Fox House, 455 Cambridge Tpk, Concord MA c 1711

This house, its earliest section probably built shortly before 1711, stands on a portion of the large farm of Thomas Fox, one of Concord’s original settlers, who owned a considerable part of the East Quarter. His son, Eliphalet Fox (d. 1711,) a Selectman in 1689, married Mary Wheeler in 1665, and later Mary Stone Hunt. The latter’s first husband had been Isaac Hunt.

CON.309, Dane, Thomas House, 47 Lexington Rd, Concord MA: c 1650

The house may have started out as a three-bay “half-house”, and lengthened to the present six bays in the eighteenth century. The three windows at both stories on the east end of the facade, 6-over-9 sash at the second and 12-over-12-sash at the first. have the projecting frames and, at the first story, the heavy, molded crowns, that are characteristic of the decades from ca. 1740 through 1820.

CON.337, Concord Old Block House, 57 Lowell Rd. Concord MA c 1675

It is a long-held belief that part of this house, probably the one-room section at the north end that was “the Old Block House,” is Concord’s oldest building. The name comes from its designation as a garrison house, (or place of refuge for colonists in the event of Indian attack), during King Philip’s War of 1675-76. The actual date of its construction, however, is the subject of some speculation. According to some sources, the block house, which originally stood back from today’s Main Street just northeast of the South Burying Ground, had originally been the home of one of Concord’s two founding ministers, the Rev. John Jones, and could thus date to the days of Concord’s first English settlement in 1635-36.

CON.269, Joseph Hosmer House, 572 Main St, Concord MA c 1672

The Joseph Hosmer House is a five bay central chimney clapboarded structure, two and one half stories high with an eastern latitudinal ell. The core of the structure is a First Period house. The chamfers are different in the eastern and western sides of the house—quarter round and beveled respectively. The east ell was originally a three bay, two story gambrel roof structure, most likely built during the first half of the eighteenth century.

CON.180, Benoni and Thomas Fox House, 472-474 Old Bedford Rd. Concord MA c 1711

In the eighteenth century this house remained in the possession of the Fox family for several generations, and was standing by 1711 on the large farm of the late Eliphalet Fox, son of seventeenth-century settler Thomas Fox, who had owned an extensive amount of land in the East Quarter where the Old Billerica Road (there was no Bedford then) turned east.

CON.181, Samuel Fox House, 505 Old Bedford Rd. Concord MA c 1702

Like #472, the main part of the house is one-room deep, but its extremely long dimensions suggest that it may have grown from a “single-cell,” or one-room wide, half-house at some time early in its history. Although its frame is undoubtedly of heavy First Period construction, its main aspect today is in the vernacular Georgian, or “Second Period” style of the mid-1700’s.

CON.417, Parkman Tavern, 20 Powder Mill Rd. Concord MA 1659

This house shows elements of very early 18th century or late 17th century construction. It would seem to have been first a one room deep house, enlarged in the third quarter of the 18th century to its present four-square center chimney proportions. It retain much woodwork from the earliest period, and some up to 1820. In 1771 William Parkman bought the house and operated it as a drover’s tavern.

CON.117, Edward Bulkeley House, 92 Sudbury Rd, Concord MA c 1683

This house is said to have been standing on the north side of Main Street by 1660; if that is the case, it would be one of Concord’s very earliest First Period houses. A deed referring to the property, with a dwelling on it, records the 1663 transfer of 10 acres of land located on today’s Main Street to Edward Bulkeley by his mother, widow of one of Concord’s founders and its first minister, Peter Bulkeley. Edward Bulkeley followed in his father’s footsteps to become the second minister of the town. He died in 1694, whereupon the property was sold to Jonathan Prescott, a doctor and blacksmith. It remained in the Prescott family for well over a hundred years.

CON.118, Scotchford – Wheeler House, 99 Sudbury Rd. Concord MA c 1699

Part of this house was built after John Scotchford who as an original settler of “Concord Plantation” received his deed of land before 1653. He served as Town Clerk for 11 years, from 1668 to 1679. In January 1696 John and Susanna Scotchford sold their house and barn with six acres of land, along with another lot near Nine Acre Corner, to Deacon Edward Wheeler (1669-1734). The homestead remained in the Wheeler family for over two hundred years. Although traditionally part of the house dates to 1655, the structure probably dates to the time of Deacon Wheeler’s purchase.

CON.177, Wheeler – Minot Farmhouse, 341 Virginia Rd. Concord MA c 1730

Once reputed to be one of the oldest houses in Concord, it is certainly possible that this building contains at least a portion of a seventeenth-century house. Its outer form as seen today and recorded over the years, however, is consistent with a date in the 1720’s-1730’s. It is a 2 1/2-story, five-bay, one-room-deep house. It was formerly a “saltbox,” with a low rear lean-to and a “jog” on the east end. Cynthia and John lived in the house for a year and a half, and it was here that their son, Henry David Thoreau, was born in 1817. Although he only lived on Virginia Road as a baby, Henry Thoreau had much fondness for this part of town, occasionally walking and picking blueberries here, and mentioning it and its inhabitants frequently in his works. His Journals also recount his mother’s recollections of the farm.

CON.444, Melvin John – Melvin William House, 344 Westford Rd. Concord MA c 1705

This house has a slight overhang of the attic story at the gable ends, an architectural treatment that was largely discontinued by 1710. The most likely to have built the earliest sections of this house is John himself, with it passing after his death to his son David Melvin, who married Mary Farrar. Both David and his brother Eleazer were involved in the Indian wars of the eighteenth century, David eventually as Captain. Both took part in Capt. Lovewell’s raid into Indian territory in 1725, and were at the assault on Louisburg in the Gulf of Saint Lawrence during the French and Indian War.


DAN.179 Rea – Proctor Homestead, 180 Conant St. Danvers MA c 1692

The house was built on 150 acres of upland in Salem Village along the “country road” or “olde Ipswich roade” which was purchased in 1656 by Joshua Rea, Sr. It was probably erected about 1692 during the witchcraft trials, in which Joshua Rea, Jr., gave testimony for accused witch, John Proctor. In August. 1693, the property was transferred by gift to John Rea, Son of Joshua, Sr., and remained the homestead of the Rea family until 1803. It was sold it in 1804 to Timothy Pickering, the first Secretary of war in 1795, and the second Secretary of State from 1795 to 1800. During his ownership from 1804 to 1806, he pioneered techniques of scientific agriculture.

DAN.104 Rea – Putnam – Fowler House, 4 Elerton Ln Danvers MA c 1700

Originally a half house with integral lean-to built c. 1700, the house was enlarged by the addition of the east rooms, again with integral lean-to. The facade is marked by a one story pilastered entrance porch of 18th or 19th century construction date, and by a plaster cove cornice at the eave.The slim central chimney is a 19th century replacement of the original. The house was built by Joshua Rea, farmer, c.1700. The extension of the house by a second cell with integral lean-to is typical of evolutionary development of houses in the study area, while the use of pine, rather than oak, for the later frame reflects the acceptance of pine as a suitable wood for framing in the early 18th century.

DAN.116 Porter – Bradstreet House, 487 Locust St. Danvers MA c 1700

The tract of land on which the house was built was the 500 acres granted in 1638 to Emanuel Downing by the town of Salem. In 1650 Mr. Downing conveyed it to John Porter of Salem MA, yeoman, (d. 1676) who at one time was the largest land owner in Salem Village. When his son Joseph (1638-1714) married Anna, daughter of Major William Hathorne in 1664, the land was conveyed to Joseph by his father as a marriage portion. Traditionally, this Joseph Porter erected the house in 1650. The posts and beams are of white oak. The present appearance is Georgian (after 1720), but Abbot Lowell Cummings estimated that the oldest part, which is closest to the road, could have been constructed circa 1700, based on a bridled scarf joint on the rear plate.

DAN.245 Prince – Osborne House, 273 Maple St. Danvers MA c 1700

The previous site of the house was part of the farm owned in the late 17th century by Robert Prince who left it to his two sons in trust to his wife Sarah. Sarah, who eventually married her indentured servant, Alexander Osborne, was accused as a witch and died in prison in 1692. Prince’s estate was disputed between Prince and Osborne heirs until 1720. Eldest son James Prince received a partial settlement in 1696 which included a house, however. It is difficult to pinpoint the construction date from available physical evidence, but it is likely that the left hand rooms, if original to the site, were constructed by c. 1690. First Period framing of different character in the left and right portions of the house is visible in all four front rooms and lobby. The presence of rising brace mortises in the left chimney girt and post is the chief reason to believe that the chimney bay was part of the right hand entity, perhaps at one time a single cell structure (rebuilding in the attic and cellar has obliterated evidence of the house’s growth typically found in those locations). In the left hand room, believed to be the earlier side, the longitudinal summer beam is 12 inches wide and has 1 1/2 inch flat chamfers and triangular curved stops.

DAN.70 White – Preston House, 592 Maple St. Danvers MA c 1722

The land on which the house sits was part of a lot of land conveyed to Peter Prescott, planter, of Salem MA, prior to 1678. Prescott built a house on his property, but it was apparently gone by 1722 when Thomas Cummings, weaver, sold the land. The next owner of the land was Samuel White who may have built the house during the 1720’s for his occupancy. White was the son of Josiah and Remember (Reed) White. The original portion of the house exhibits “gunstock” posts, chamfered beams, and evidence of white wash. The front half of the house is comprised of the original single cell building on the right and the rooms added still in the First Period to the left of the chimney bay to give the house a nearly symmetrical plan. The house achieved its present form (except for the sun porch built c. 1917) in the mid-19th century when a second file of rooms was built at the rear (or possibly an original lean-to was enlarged upward). At that time the front wall was extended upward to give the building more vertical proportions. The roof was rebuilt with broad eaves and returns, and the building was given its late Greek revival vernacular appearance. The two chimneys which pierce the ridge of the gable roof serve fireplaces at the rear of the front rooms. The central chimney of the original building was removed earlier, allowing the construction of a straight-run staircase.

Rebecca Nurse Homestead, 149 Pine St. Danvers MA, 1700

DCF 1.0

The house is believed built circa 1700 as a two-story First Period structure. Sections may date to an earlier “mansion house” built in the 1630’s for Townsend Bishop. A lean-to with kitchen was added around 1720. Rebecca Nurse, convicted and executed in the Salem Witch Trials, was the best-known resident. The Putnam family inherited the property in 1784, and remained residents until 1908. In 1981 it was transferred to the Danvers Alarm List Company, an organization for the reenactment of period history.

DAN.71 Guilford House, 23 Nichols St. Danvers MA c 1750

The Guilford house appears to be a first-period structure with an oak frame, including “gunstock” posts and whitewashed chamfered beams, evident under the present finish. The original house is approximately 24 feet wide by one room-length deep. The saltbox rear and the two-story addition to the west are of more recent date. Family accounts mention that a portion of the present house was moved from the Bradstreet-Porter farm in Putnamville. It would seem possible that in around 1820, Guilford bought this property and moved an older structure here, but just what possible structure it originally was, cannot be ascertained. Levi Gulford (Guilford) was baptized October 30, 1768, married Sarah Marston in January 1797, and was residing in Danvers in 1807.

DAN.77 James Putnam House, 42 Summer St. Danvers MA c 1715

The James Putnam Jr. House is a First Period 2-1/2 story wood frame structure, five bays wide, with a gambrel roof pierced by two interior chimneys. The house was built in stages, beginning in about 1715 with two stories, two rooms wide and one deep. To this another structure was added to the front, creating an early Federal style central hall structure. Colonel Timothy Pickering, who leased the house from 1802 to 1804, when he was serving as United States Senator. The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.James Putnam had been taught a trade and he in his turn taught his soul the same trade that of bricklayer, and deeded to his son James Putnam junior bricklayer land in Danvers In 1721.


ESS.42 Brown-Cleveland House, 23 Belcher St. Essex MA 1713

The Brown-Cleveland House is a 1 1/2 story central chimney house, added to on the North and East sides. Deeds and newspaper articles show the house to have been built about 1713. Carved, exposed wooden frame, with beaded chamfers typical of the period 1710-1725 are featured throughout the house. The 3″ x 4″ joists at 24″ centers, hand split lath, hair clam shell plaster, hand wrought nails and lapped exterior sheathing are typical of the period

ESS.1 George Giddings House, 66 Choate St. Essex MA 1690

One of the oldest houses in the County, and with rare plank construction. Birthplace of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s grandmother. Both the house and the barn are estimated to have been built in the 1690’s. The house was originally built as a single two story structure with a large chimney on one side, which was then widened with the addition on the other side of the chimney. In the 19th century the central chimney was removed, the entry of the house was reoriented from south to north by the addition of a new central door on the north face, The property has a rare First Period barn and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

109 Eastern Ave, the Burnham House, Essex MA c 1690

The date of erection for this house is based upon the character of style and construction which reveals that the left-hand portion of “half-house” plan with integral lean-to is the earlier, built probably between 1685 and 1695. The right-hand unit with rooms at the front and rear was added apparently toward the end of the first quarter of the eighteenth century. The rear lean-to wall was then or subsequently raised to a full two stories and the entire structure was re-roofed, wholly or in part. Converted in the 1960’s to a restaurant, the original building has been considerably enlarged. (Description by Abbot Lowell Cummings)

ESS.79 Choate House, Hog Island Essex MA c 1730

The Choate House, a property of The Trustees of Reservations, is part of the Cornelius and Mine S. Crane Wildlife Refuge, some 700 acres donated in 1974 by Mrs. Mine S. Crane. The property includes Hog (Choate) Island, Round Island, Long Island, Deans Island and Dilley Island as well as surrounding salt marsh. John Choate was born in Groton, Boxford, Colchester, England and came to America in 1643 at the age of nineteen. By 1667 he and his wife had begun buying property and built a small farm on the island between the Ipswich mainland and Crane Neck. In 1725 Thomas Choate built his homestead, and a few years later he built the present Choate House for his son Francis and his wife. In the early 1800’s a district school was located on Hog Island near the Choate House. On Sundays religious services were held at the Choate House. Rufus Choate, lawyer, orator, U.S. Senator and Congressman/was born at Hog Island in 1799. Choate Island is accessible only by boat.

ESS.21 Lt. Samuel Giddings House, 143 John Wise Ave, Essex MA 1678

This house was built in 1668 by Captain Samuel- Giddings who came as a military adviser in the Indian Wars not as a settler. However, he liked it so much that returned to build a house of the typical 17th century. Two and a half framed one room with chimney on West end, thatch roof. Later another room was added to west end of house making four rooms and an attic. Old clapboards, before the addition was added are still present in the attic. The land surrounding this house has been continuously farmed.

ESS.87 Benaiah Titcomb House, 189 John Wise Ave, Essex MA c 1700

This house was dismantled and moved from Newburyport in 1911 and is particularly significant for its original, First-Period staircase possibly the finest of a surviving few, the surviving evidence for the exterior plaster cove cornice, the completely intact and exposed interior frame from both its first and second phase, and the hewn overhangs which were continued along the sides when the second-phase lean-to was added.

The four girts and the small post at the right of the fireplace supporting the chimney girt have continuously running wide quirk beads (1.25″). The longitudinal summer beam (11″ x 11″ x 16′) is decorated with flat chamfers and lamb’s tongue stops (which are now missing at the end wall side). The ceiling joists are 21″ apart. Above the lintel of the reconstructed hearth is a large plaster cove rising up to the chimney girt. The raised-field paneled chimney wall and door are possibly original and transitional to the Second-Period. Over the modern casement of the end wall is a cut into the girt indicating that it had previously received Second-Period sash.

ESS.19 David Burnham House, Pond St. Essex MA c 1685

The eight acres of land around Tubbytown Farm were granted to John and Thomas Burnham as a pension for services in the Pequot War. Thomas Burnham, known as Lieut. Thomas Burnham settled in the falls section of town. He was a selectman in 1647 and served on the town committee and was also Deputy to the General Court in 1683, 1684 & ’85. He had a sawmill on Chebacco River in 1667- His second son, John owned the grant of land on which the present house is built. John died in 1704, He had nine children, the youngest son, David is said to have built this house. He was a shipbuilder by trade and came from a family of shipwrights. The house was restored under the supervision of George Francis Dowe, curator of the Essex Institute of Salem in 1924. The great fireplace of the original kitchen, the largest in Essex County, 9 feet 5 inches wide, was discovered. A rare form of lattice window was copied from the Metropolitan Museum of New York and used to replace the sash windows which had been installed at some renovation during in the past. In 1927 an old chicken coop moved from down the road, added to the side as a library. Later, Russell Kettel of the Concord Antiquarian Society added two large wings from a servants’ quarters and gardeners cottage.


GEO.7 Hazen – Kimball House, 225 East Main St. Georgetown MA c 1710

The Hazen House at 225 East Main Street, built ca. 1720 is architecturally representative of First Period building technology in Eastern Massachusetts. Samuel Hazen acquired land in the vicinity below Pen Brook in 1725, building a house upon it sometime thereafter. Examined by architectural historians from Boston University in 1985-1986, the dwelling was felt to merit inclusion on the survey of First Period buildings of Eastern Massachusetts. The First Period portion of the Hazen-Kimball-Aldrich house is a 2 1/2 story 5 bay central chimney structure with an added lean-to. The right-hand rooms and chimney bay of the house comprise the original single cell 2 1/2 story dwelling. The left-hand rooms were added within a few years of the first construction and the lean-to followed probably by the mid 18th century. The house’s chamfered late First Period frame is exposed in two rooms, and there is clearly visible evidence of the stages in the building’s growth. In the right-hand room, there is an exposed longitudinal summer beam, with flat chamfers and extremely long lamb’s tongue stops.The attic reveals a purlin roof. The rafters are slightly larger in the earlier (right-hand portion) of the roof.

GEO.15 Dickinson – Pillsbury House, 170 Jewett St. Georgetown MA c 1700

170 Jewett Street, better known as the Dickinson-Pillsbury-Witham house, is the least altered First Period house extant in Georgetown. Typical of its era are the massive central chimney, small narrow windows (six-over-six light sash with heavy muntins) and second floor overhang. This projects but an inch or so, as it is hewn rather than framed, indicative of the house’s lateness within the First Period (1630-1730). The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Dickinson-Pillsbury-Witham house, as it is known, is locally believed to have been built some time before 1700 by James Dickinson; it is known to have been standing by 1704, when it came into the possession of Samuel Dickinson. It was purchased in 1801 or 1802 by Paul Pillsbury from his uncle Oliver Dickinson. Pillsbury was an inventor of considerable ingenuity, devising machines for shelling the kernels from ears of corn and for stripping the bark from felled trees, as well as for pegging shoe soles. The last invention was of particular importance, given Georgetown’s early prominence as a center of footwear manufacture.

GEO.17 Adams – Clarke House, 93 West Main St. Georgetown MA c 1725

The land on which this house was built was purchased by John Adams in 1714 from the Prime family, early settlers of Old Rowley. The house was built by John Adams or his son William between that time and ca.1730. Researchers from Boston University in 1985-1986 assigned it a date of ca. 1725, based on its ground floor transverse summer beams (a characteristic of First Period work in Essex County).


GLO.1072, Herrick Ella Proctor House, 257 Concord St. Gloucester MA 1690

The Herrick House began as a single cell structure consisting of the left hand rooms and chimney bay. The right hand file of rooms was added in the 18th century. First Period features are seen in the left hand rooms and attic. In the left hand room, the longitudinal summer beam, the only framing member exposed, has 1 3/4″ wide quarter-round chamfers, flat collars and concave taper stops. The room retains at least one wall of original clay plaster. In the early 20th century the house was remodeled as a hospital.

GLO.1055, Davis – Freeman House, 302 Essex Ave, Gloucester MA c 1709

The Davis-Freeman House was constructed by 1712 and has plank frame construction. All four of the original rooms and lobby retain exposed framing members. The summer beams and summer tie beams have flat chamfers, 1 1/2″ wide, and well-executed lamb’s tongue stops. All other major framing members, posts, girts, plates, and ties, have inch wide flat chamfers and lamb’s tongue stops. Chimney girts in the downstairs rooms are additionally embellished with lamb’s tongue stops on either side of the summer beams. The house was operated as a tavern for most of the 18th century. Tavern keepers included John Procter, Samuel Rust keeper in 1738, and his son Benjamin Rust. From c. 1860 until 1929, the house was owned by Robin Freeman and his descendants. Freeman was a black who escaped from slavery in South Carolina, made his way north, where he was eventually able to purchase the house. The building saw use as a hostelry again in the 20th century. It was restored and operated as the Stage Coach Inn in the 1930’s.

GLO.773, Anthony Bennet House, 41 Gee Ave, Gloucester MA 1679

Owners of this house report that the structure first belonged to Anthony Bennett. According to Babson’s History, Bennett, a carpenter, probably came from Beverly where he was living in 1671. He received a grant of land on the east side of the Mill River in 1679 where he built this house. In addition to being a carpenter, Bennett also owned one fourth of a sawmill believed to be at Goose Cove. He died in 1691. In 1719, his son John successfully petitioned the town to build a corn mill on Pulling Mill Brook (also called Bennett’s Stream). These mills remained in the Bennett family until 1805.

GLO.1088, William Haskell House, 11 Lincoln St. Gloucester MA c 1700

The Haskell House house is closely associated after 1927 with the important local Boston sculptor, A.H. Atkins, who restored the house and encouraged published interest in it. The structure was briefly owned by the Cape Ann Historical Society, which operated it as a house museum, and features an intact First Period chimney, frame, and unusual and simple interior finish. In the first-floor left hand room, which is only 11 feet wide, both joists and summer beam run longitudinally. The summer beam, c. 6 inches wide and deep, is only slightly larger than the joists. The fireplace, 7 feet, 4 inches wide by 4 feet 11 inches high has two rear corner ovens and a smoke panel. The room has other early finishes: doors and their hardware, and an apparently original small cupboard on the rear wall.

GLO.762, Thomas Riggs House, 27 Vine St, Gloucester MA c 1661

The Riggs House is very important as one of the few remaining first period houses in Riverdale. Oriented south, as were most first period dwellings, this structure was “built in two parts. The gable-roofed portion dates to 1661 and the gambrel-roofed part was added in 1700. Both parts are examples of timber frame construction, with the gable roofed section said to be built of squared pine logs 15 inches thick. Thomas Riggs first appeared in Gloucester as a grantee of land at Goose Cove in 1658, and built the gable-roofed portion of this house. Trained as a scrivener in England, Riggs was town clerk from 1665 to 1716 a selectman for over 20 years, and a representative to the General Court in 1700.

GLO.309, Whittemore House, 179 Washington St, Gloucester MA 1700

The house is important for its association with Fitz Hugh Lane (1804-1865), noted painter of marine subjects. Lane’s first studio was in the left-hand (west) room of the Whittemore house when the house was owned by his brother. Evidence of First Period framing is seen in each of the four front rooms. In the right hand room, there is an approximately 1 foot wide longitudinal summer beam with 1 1/4″ flat chamfers and lamb’s tongue stops. Joists are c. 24″ on centers. There are flat chamfers on all three outer wall girts, but no chamfer on the chimney girt. In the left hand room, there is a longitudinal summer beam with broad quarter-round chamfers. Stops of undetermined shape are present on the summer beam. In the left hand chamber, there is an exposed summer tie beam with 1 1/4″ flat chamfers and lamb’s tongue stops.

GLO.1008, White – Ellery House, 247 Washington St, Gloucester MA 1710

Built in 1710 by the Rev. John White, an influential minister, the house exhibits a certain elegance and refinement commensurate with the owner’s position in the community: the framed overhang, the very elaborate chamfering, particularly of the first floor frame (it is the only example in the survey where all of the horizontal beams, not just the summer beams, are decorated with the costly quarter round chamfer), and the size of the structure with its integral lean-to. The rare survival of three kinds of painted decoration adds significantly to our limited knowledge of less permanent forms of embellishment of First Period houses, while the incorporation of certain Renaissance-inspired features places the house among the earliest examples of transitional architecture.

GLO.764, Joslyn – Wharf House, 551 Washington St, Gloucester MA 1679

551 Washington St. was built by Henry Joslyn. Joslyn’s father, also Henry, came to New England around 1634 and by 1638, he had settled at Black Point (now Scarborough), Maine where he played an important role in the politics of the province. The younger Joslyn also lived in Maine, at Falmouth, but was driven from that town by Indian attacks and came to Gloucester in 1675.

In 1678 he married Bridget Day and in the next year received a grant of land between the lots of Timothy Somes and Thomas Riggs on which he built this house. In 1693 Joslyn sold the house to Nathaniel Wharf who had married Riggs’s daughter. This is one of 3 first period houses standing in Riverdale, the others being 41 Gee Ave, and the Riggs House on Vine St. The building is oriented with gable roof flank end to the street and features a symmetrically arranged 5-bay facade with a massive center chimney.

GLO.753, Norwood – Hyatt House, 704 Washington St, Gloucester MA c 1664

. Clay plaster walls, early iron hardware and heavy framing timbers and floor joists visible in the cellar indicate that within this house is the remaining core of a 1664 building that was expanded into the present structure in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries. In his work The Gloucester Guide: A Retrospective Ramble, Jospeh E. Garland dates this house to 1664, the year after Francis Norwood settled at Goose Cove on land granted to him from the Town of Gloucester and land that he purchased from John Pearce. Norwood is believed to have fled England, along with his father, during the restoration of Charles II. Francis Norwood married Elizabeth Coldom (daughter of Clemont Coldom) on October 15, 1663 and had nine children: Thomas 1664; Francis 1666; Elizabeth 1669; Mary 1672; Stephen 1674; Deborah 1677; Hannah 1679; Joshua 1683; Caleb 1685; and Abigail 1690. Francis Norwood died in 1709 leaving his dwelling house to his widow and sons, Francis and Caleb

GLO.1041, 1 Wesley St, Gloucester MA c 1700

According to a 1917 map of Riverdale as it appeared in 1741, this house was the property of Samuel Allen and Isaac Elwell. Allen was the son of Joseph Allen, a blacksmith who settled in Gloucester and lived near the original meetinghouse at the Green. In 1726, Samuel married Rachel Day, whose family continued to own property in Wheeler’s Point well into the 19th century. Elwell was the great grandson of Robert Elwell who lived in Gloucester as early as 1635 and was prominent in town affairs. In 1738, Isaac married Susanna Stanwood, again from a family with extensive roots in the Riverdale area. This house is one of two First Period dwellings in Wheeler’s Point, the other being the Wheeler House at the end of the Point. Oriented with its gable roof flank end to the street facing south, the structure has a center chimney and an asymmetrically arranged 4-bay facade.

GLO.1101, 349 Western Ave, Gloucester MA c 1691

This house dates from c. 1691 and may be the earliest surviving, structure at Fresh Water Cove. It features a three bay facade, a center entry, center chimney and a slight overhang at the gables.

GLO.1024, Dyke – Wheeler House, 144 Wheeler St. Gloucester MA c 1720

The Dyke-Wheeler House at 144 Wheeler Street is a First Period house built about 1720 according to the MACRIS site and has undergone alterations recently. The original chimney was removed and replaced by a wooden box on the roof, enclosing pipes.The house was at one time believed to have been built earlier, in the 1660s, by a man named Richard Dyke. It is one of two First Period houses surviving on Wheeler’s Point, named for a later owner. The lean-to was added c. 1800. 1800. First Period features are visible in the right and left hand chambers. Framing in the right hand chamber presents an unusual combination of quirk beading and flat chamfering. The end tie beam has an inch wide flat chamfer and lamb’s tongue stops. Corner posts have flat chamfers and no stops. The rear plate begins at the end wall with a flat chamfer, but a third of the way along the beam, the flat chamfer becomes a quirked bead (see photograph). The rest of the framing, including the one exposed brace, is quirk-beaded. The frame of the right hand room also incorporates a ship’s knee to brace the front chimney post and chimney tie beam. In the left hand chamber the front and rear plates are exposed and quirk-beaded. During restoration of the house, a quirked bead was observed on the longitudinal summer beam in the left hand room.


HAM.28 Emeline Patch House, 918 Bay Rd. Hamilton MA c 1725

The Patch House was built about 1680 and added to about 1720, and was moved back from the road in the late 1940’s. The front (north) rooms comprise the original double cell house. The late First Period Frame of this house is visible only in the right-hand front room and lobby. The longitudinal summer beam of the right-hand room has flat chamfers and tapered stops. Rafters of the original principal rafter, common purlin roof are still in place on the front slope of the roof.The house retains many well executed Second Period finishes, including fireplace walls of raised field paneling in the left and right rooms.

HAM.69 Austin Brown House, 1028 Bay Rd. Hamilton MA c 1725

This house began as a double cell house. A lean-to was added in the 18th century. A photograph taken in 1898 shows the house clapboarded, with a two story lean-to and ell to the left. The ell to the right was added by 1907. In 1915, the house was again enlarged and stuccoed to create a Colonial Revival style country estate. First Period features, in the form of an exposed decorated oak frame, are visible in the left-hand room and in the right-hand and left-hand chambers. In the left-hand room, the 12 inch wide longitudinal summer beam has flat chamfers and tapered stops. In the right-hand and left-hand chambers, the 9 inch wide summer tie beams have flat chamfers and taper stops.The left-hand room is decorated with a fireplace wall of Second Period raised-field paneling in which there is an oven door to the left of the firebox.

HAM.38 Brown House, 76 Bridge St. Hamilton MA c 1670

The construction date of the earlier side, between 1662 to 1673 places the Brown House among the earliest houses surveyed. The house is representative of construction in the third quarter of the 17th century in the configuration of its chamfers and shadow molded sheathing, and in the retention of the principal rafter/principal purlin roof framing system. That roof system, derived from East Anglian practices, was supplanted almost completely after the third quarter of the century by the principal rafter/common purlin system. The roof also retains a rare example of diagonal wind brace between rafter and principal purlin, a feature found in the Fairbanks house of 1637. The house has a rare original cyma-molded overhanging girt and two large drops.

HAM.70 Woodberry – Quarrels House, 180 Bridge St. Hamilton MA c 1690

The plank frame construction is representative of a larger group of First Period Houses in Northern Essex County and the structure embodies the distinctive framing characteristics of that sub-group of First Period buildings. In the original cell of the house, the right-hand room displays an ample longitudinal summer beam with wide quarter-round chamfers and lamb’s tongue stops. Joists 20 inches on centers are set into butt cogs in the summer beam, but rest on top of flat-chamfered front and rear girts.The house was updated in the Federal period, probably losing its central chimney at that time. Fireplaces in the rear of the downstairs rooms have Federal trim, as does the small three-run staircase in the entry bay. A mid-19th-century barn adds to the historic significance of the property.


HVR.275 Hazen – Spiller House, 8 Groveland St. Haverhill MA c 1724

The Hazen-Spiller house is a rare surviving example of First Period brick masonry construction with a through-hall-plan. First Period features in the form of oak ceiling framing originally exposed, although undecorated, and a fireplace with rear corner ovens, are seen in the.first floor rooms. The ​2 12-story building is made of brick laid in English bond, with end chimneys and a central hall layout. The house was acquired in 1911 by early preservationist William Taylor, who took notes detailing the buildings First Period features. In 1915 Taylor sold the house to Wallace Nutting, who operated the house as a museum.

HVR.274 Dustin House, 665 Hilldale Ave Haverhill MA c 1700

The Dustin House is a 2 1/2 story brick structure, 3 bays wide and two rooms deep. The walls of the house are laid up in Flemish bond on the south (street) and east sides. The house is one of a very small number of First Period masonry buildings to survive in eastern Massachusetts. First Period features in the form of ceiling framing are seen on both floors. The house is divided into a larger east room and a smaller west room on both floors. In the east room there is a relatively large summer (c. 9″ x 9″) with flat chamfers, simple lamb’s tongue.

HVR.21 Ephraim Davis House, Merrimack Rd. Haverhill MA c 1705

The Ephraim Davis House is a 2 1/2 story structure with rear lean-to. The right hand room, chamber, and chimney bay comprise the original part of the house dating, according to local history, to 1705. The house has been unoccupied since 1929 and is being used as a barn. The frame, precisely decorated with beveled chamfers, lamb’s tongue stops and pips, embodies distinctive characteristics of design and construction.

HVR.273 Emerson House, 5-9 Pentucket St. Haverhill MA c 1730

This building, which was originally located on the corner of Winter and Pecker streets was moved to its present location at the time of significant development of nearby Vine Street. Stylistic analysis indicates that the present structure was built sometime after the Pecker family acquired title to all the land between 1720-30, and before they sold it to John Cogswell in August 1764. Nehemiah Emerson, who bought the land in 1787, most likely built the left side of the house. His daughters acquired the house in 1832, and by 1859 mention in their wills of a new house on the old site indicates that the original house had been moved to its present location.The original late First Period single room plan house is the right hand portion of the present building. The core of the house probably reached its present form late in the 18th century.


IPS.468 Giddings – Burnham House, 43 Argilla Rd. Ipswich MA c 1685

43 Argilla Road, the Giddings – Burnham house (b 1667)
43 Argilla Road, the Giddings – Burnham house (b 1667)

The Giddings-Burnham house is representative of First Period construction in the last quarter of the 17th century in beam chamfering, joist spacing, and framing system. However, the house incorporates certain conservative features which link the house to carpentry practices in the earliest years of settlement. These features are the wattle and daub wall fill, the use of flat-wise joists in the cellar and the two story lapped studs in the north wall. The presumed builder of the present house, Carpenter Thomas Burnham, was an elderly man by the time the house was built. George Giddings, who was granted the land in 1635, sold the property with dwelling house to Thomas Burnham in 1667. Burnham was sixty-two in 1680, the earliest date Cummings felt the house could have been built on the basis of style.

IPS.464 Tilton-Smith House, 168 Argilla Rd. Ipswich MA c 1725

The “Tilton-Smith House” at 168 Argilla Road in Ipswich was awarded the 1999 Susan P. Conley award. Built circa 1720 by Abraham Tilton Jr., a 1998 fire took away much of its original frame, but the owner totally rebuilt the home with attention to historical detail and authentic 18th century craftsmanship. He saved what was salvageable from the burned structure and replaced the rest with period materials salvaged from 18th and 19th century structures throughout New England. The 12-by-38-foot keeping room still has the original 18th-century wood floors, with pit-sawn pine planks 20 inches wide and 22 feet long. The rebuilt walk-in fireplace has twin beehive ovens and a pot rail.This house has a preservation agreement with the Ipswich Historical Commission. Continue reading.

IPS.633 Isaac Goodale House, 153 Argilla Rd. Ipswich MA c 1695

This colonial home was built in West Peabody in approximately 1695 by Isaac and Patience Cook Goodale. In 1928 it was reconstructed at 153 Argilla Road near Russell Orchards in Ipswich by Robert Lincoln and Susan Goodale. First Period elements include 5 fireplaces and a large central chimney, diamond leaded pane casement windows, hand carved raised paneling, a steep pitched roof, bare clapboards and trim, board and batten doors, and chamfered summer beams. Continue reading.

Robert Kinsman house, 49 Candlewood Rd. Ipswich MA 1721

Robert Kinsman constructed this First Period house in 1714.The home has been greatly expanded over the years. Stephen Kinsman inherited the house in 1726, and with his wife Elizabeth Russell brought up a family of twelve children. They dwelt in the old Robert Kinsman homestead until 1767 when he sold his farm, 47 acres and buildings to Samuel Patch. According to Thomas Franklin Waters, “it was said” that the old Robert Kinsman dwelling burned sometime after it was sold to Samuel Patch, and that this house was built by his son John Patch in 1800, but the story is not supported by any documentation or by the apparent age of the house. Continue reading.

IPS.18 Thomas Dennis House, 7 County St. Ipswich MA c 1670

Shoreborne Wilson, a cooper, built a house and a cooper’s shop on this site about 1660. Thomas Dennis bought the property in J.663 (8:69) and added an adjoining parcel in 1671 (3:201). The rear ell of the present house dates from that period, with wide chamfers on the summer beam and unusual unpainted horizontal feather-edged sheathing. The early house appears to have been a typical one-over-one room floorplan 17th century half-house, facing due south with an end chimney. Thomas Dennis was a cabinetmaker and carver, and he is today one of the most renowned artisans of 17th century America. His works (or those attributed to him) are displayed at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Essex Institute, Salem MA, Bowdoin College, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Continue reading.

IPS.19 Benjamin Dutch House 9 County St. Ipswich MA c 1705

The early ownership of this property is unclear, but it was part of Benjamin Dutch’s estate, and probably was owned by him in the late 17th century. A house was on the lot by 1714, and occupied by Dutch’s daughter and son-in-law, Though most of the trim on the house is Federal in character, certain first period features remain that suggest the present house was begun in Benjamin Dutch’s time. Framing elements from that period are visible, and both butterfly and strap hinges can be found. Continue reading.

IPS.16 Rogers and Brown House, 83 County Rd. Ipswich MA c 1665-1750

The main part of the house was built before 1750, abutting the Heard House across from South Green at the corner of County Street. The builder is recorded to have been Major Ammi Ruhami Wise, who was the son of Rev. John Wise. It became the residence of Dr. Samuel Rogers, The house was sold to Asa Brown who moved it to the current location on County Road in 1837 so that the Old South Church could be built facing the Green. (The South Parish church burned in 1977.) Continue reading.

IPS.55 Capt. Matthew Perkins House, 8 East St. Ipswich MA c 1709

Matthew Perkins house, Ipswich

The Captain Matthew Perkins House at 8 East St. in Ipswich was the winner of the 1991 Mary Conley Award. The house dates to about 1710 and was formerly known as the Norton-Corbett House. The 1st period 2-story structure has a timber frame, clapboard siding, an elaborate pilastered chimney, a rear ell, post-medieval overhangs front and side, and one of the best Jacobean staircases in New England. The land on which the house sits was at one time part of an orchard lot and was sold to Matthew Perkins, a weaver and soldier, by Major Francis Wainwright in 1701.The house was probably built about this time. Key features of the house include molded overhangs, a front staircase with Jacobean balusters, and a fireplace in the attic, which was partially finished from the very beginning. There is evidence to suggest that additional original details survive under the 18th and 19th century trim in several principle rooms. Continue reading.

IPS.61 Jordan – Snelling House, 30 East St. Ipswich MA c 1700

Francis Jordan, mentioned as an Ipswich resident as early as 1634, was the first owner of this lot. He was also the first recorded Town Whipper, a service for which he *as paid 20 shillings a year. His dwelling house is mentioned on this site by 1646. In 1655, one Jeffry Snelling was in occupancy on the site. He had the twin distinctions of receiving a whipping in 1650 “for divers lyes,” and also serving as Town Whipper. The first deed to mention a house on the site dates from 1708 (20:109), and it refers specifically to an “old house.” Waters theorizes that the present house was built subsequent to 1708, but notes that the architecture does indicate an early period. The exact period of the house remains undetermined, and the evidence is confused by years of alterations. Structural evidence reveals that the house was built in two stages, and that the west side is the earliest portion. The two story enclosed porch was attached to the front facade in 1968. Continue reading.

IPS.52 Hodgkins – Lakeman House, 72 East St. Ipswich MA c 1690

William Hodgkins probably built this house before 1700. In 1718 he sold the dwelling to Archelaus Lakeman and the property remained in the Lakeman family for almost 200 years. The Lakemans were a sea-faring family with extensive wharves and warehouses on the property and on the Town Wharf across the street. The house was restored in 1951. The chamfered frame was exposed in one room and the original fireplace was revealed. Some third period trim is extant as well. Arthur Johnson is said to have taken a wall of paneling from the house and it is now installed in the Lakeman-Johnson house on upper East Street. A pre-Revolutionary wall painting was removed as well, and is now located In the Whipple House. Original rafters from the earliest construction reveal that the house was only one room deep. The rafters were lengthened later to cover the the two story rear lean-to. Continue reading.

IPS.68 Andrew Burley House/ Tavern 10 Green St. Ipswich MA c 1688

Andrew Burley bought this land in 1683 and built a house shortly thereafter. Captain John Smith, captain of a fishing schooner, apparently liked the location of the house, midway between the Meeting House and the wharves on the Ipswich River. He bought the house in 1760 and opened a tavern in the building. He operated the tavern there for thirty years. Continue reading.

IPS.465 Thomas Low House, 42 Heartbreak Rd. Ipswich MA c 1700

The original house was a double cell structure, to which the lean-to was added and then presumably raised in the 18th century. The current east wing was built in 1981, more or less replicating an earlier east wing. The only First Period features currently in the house are a single chimney post with crude chamfer and the collar beams in the attic (survey data indicates collar beams disappear as a feature of the roof framing of one room deep houses before the end of the First Period). Chimney bay dimensions, size of summer beam boxes, steep roof pitch and overhangs at the gable end in combination also indicate First Period construction. East and west room dimensions are 16 feet wide by 19 feet deep. The chimney bay is an ample ten feet wide. One chimney post visible in a closet appears to have an intentional flat chamfer. The longitudinal summer beam in the east room and the summer tie beam in the west chamber have boxes that are 14 inches wide. Continue reading.

IPS.469 James Burnham House, 45 Heartbreak Rd. Ipswich MA c 1690

Deed research by the Rev. Thomas Franklin Waters of Ipswich in the early 20th century strongly suggests the house was one of three owned by James Burnham before 1703 on Heartbreak Road: 1) the house Burnham acquired from Samuel Road in 1677 [2]; 2) a new house Burnham built before 1687 [3]; or 3) another house in which James Burnham lived in 1703. Physical evidence of First Period construction includes: 1) joist spacing of 17 to 18 1/2 inches (among houses examined by Cummings, those with comparable joist spacing were all built before 1683; 2) steep roof pitch; 3) nearly 20 feet square room dimensions (consistent with other major 17th century buildings in Ipswich); 4) extreme width of summer beam boxes on both floors, suggesting that the enclosed summer beams are among the widest on record; 5) the disparity in wall width between the first and second floors on the three outer walls of the right-hand room. The right-hand room and chimney bay comprise the earliest part of the house. The left-hand rooms and the rear ell were added in the 18th century. A 20th century, 2 story porch abuts the west end. The house retains First Period massing with steeply pitched roof and the original central chimney. Continue reading.

IPS.138 Joseph Willcomb House, 13 High St. Ipswich MA c 1668

The Joseph Willcomb House was built by John Edwards, a tailor, in 1669. It has a massive oak frame, central chimney and clapboards typical of other First Period houses on High Street. The dining room boasts a cavernous firebox and beehive oven. There is a rear ell and a Beverly jog. Some walls display the original wide-board paneling, which was exposed when plaster was removed during restoration. The parlor retains its 17th Century floor and hearth. Continue Reading

IPS.137 Thomas Lord House, 17 High St. Ipswich MA c 1658-1700

The Thomas Lord house at 17 High Street in Ipswich features original chamfered summer beams, unpainted feather edge paneling in the front rooms and hall, an original saltbox frame, center chimney and five cooking fireplaces with bake ovens and large hearths. The saltbox roof slopes down to one story in the rear. The front entry features the original stairway and paneling. Typical of many early homes, the windows are 6 panes over 9 (cottage style). View MACRIS This First Period house stayed in the Lord family for generations. The lot was granted to Robert Lord who arrived as one of the first European settlers of Ipswich in 1634 and served as town clerk until his death in 1683. The property was transferred to Robert Roberts and then to Thomas Lord, a cordwainer (shoe maker) who built this house in 1658. Continue reading.

IPS.117 Philip Call House, 26 High St. Ipswich MA c 1659

The Phillip Call House at 26 High St. in Ipswich is a 2 story timber-frame First Period house built by cordwainer Philip Call about 1659, enlarged around 1725. It was probably at first a one over one “half house” with the front door on the right side. The evolution of this property to its current twelve rooms is an outstanding example of careful adaptions of various periods over four generations. Pleasant surprises were awaiting when the house was purchased by the current owners in 1967. Its careful restoration uncovered a chamfered 17th century summer beam and 17th century field paneling behind newer walls. Continue reading.

IPS.134 Edward Brown House, 27 High St. Ipswich MA c 1650

Edward Browne house, 27 High St., Ipswich MA
Edward Browne house, Ipswich

Edward Brown was the original owner of this site in 16 39, and a portion of the present house may date from the period of his ownership (c. 1650). The oldest part of the house is the east side, which began as a one-room over-one-room floor plan. The summer beam and chimney girt of the main east room have simple 1 inch chamfers, and there is pin evidence for a casement window in the front hall. On the door leading to the hallway is a re-used early cock’s-head hinge. In the mid-18th century the west side of the house was built, completing the common central chimney, two-over-two configuration. Later a rear lean-to was added. Most of the present trim dates to the 18th century and early 19th century. The significant architectural features of this house are protected by a Preservation Agreement between the owners and the Ipswich Historical Cornmission. Continue reading.

IPS.119 Waldo – Caldwell, John House, 33 High St. Ipswich MA c 1660-1700

John Caldwell bought a house-and land from Cornelious Waldo in 1654 and he removed the old house and built a new house t as a two-over-two-room, central chimney plan house, with massive summer beams, a huge fireplace, and heavy chamfered frame. All these features correspond to a substantial house of the 1660’s. A lean-to was added at a later date, and has since been replaced, Early 18th century details include fine sheathing in the chambers, the front stairs, and the present chimney. The attic stairway is also of considerable age, and is fastened with roseheaded (handwrought) nails. The Waldo-Caldwell House was restored in 1956 and is protected by a Preservation Agreement between the owners and the Ipswich Historical Commission. Continue reading.

IPS.129 Daniel Lummus House 41 High St. Ipswich MA 1686

The Daniel Lummus House at 39-41 High Street is a recent addition to known 59 First Period Houses in Ipswich (Colonial era homes built between 1625 and 1725). After it was purchased by Al Boynton and Kathy Bruce, they discovered that it was full of first period elements that would date before 1720, as early as 1686. Kathy and Al have dedicated much of their time and energy to renovating the property. They received the 2012 Mary Conley Award for historic preservation from the Ipswich Historical Commission. Ipswich architect Mat Cummings discovered hand-made plaster lathe, chestnut flooring, paneling similar to the nearby Day Dodge House, and a large hidden brick fireplace. Exceptional features in this house include bolection molding around the fireplace on the second floor, and some good raised field paneling. The ell was added about 1900 and the lean-to was raised to 2 stories about 1930. Continue reading.

IPS.125 Jonathan Lummus House, 45 High St. Ipswich MA c 1712

Jonathan Lummus bought Captain Symon Stacy’s land and dwelling in 171 (24:236). This was the same parcel granted to Thomas Dudley, Governor, It is said that Lummus built his new house (soon after his purchase) on cellar of the Dudley house. Lummus served in King Philip’s War in 1675 was appointed a tithing man by the town in 1700. The house underwent a careful restoration in 1964. The early frame remains and the original window opening can be determined. Two walls of excellent 18th century paneling exist on the second floor. Nogging has been exposed in the two front rooms. Continue reading.

IPS.124 Kingsbury – Lord House, 54 High St. Ipswich MA c 1660

Henry Kingsbury, the earliest known owner of this lot, is first mentioned in Ipswich Records of 1638. The oldest elements of the present house are usually dates c. 1660, the year Kingsbury sold a house and lot to Robert Lord (2:10), but they may date from earlier in Kingsbury’s ownership. Robert Lord was an active Ipswich citizen. He was charged with keeping the public ways clean and he initiated fire laws for Ipswich – inspecting chimneys himself. Between 1648 and 1683 he served as the First Clerk of the Quarter Sessions Court. Lord was a cordwainer by trade and signed the Loyalist petition in 1666. The house remained in the family until 1820, when Ephraim B. Harris, a housewright, bought the property. The west end of the house is probably the earliest. Among the visible first period details are chamfered timbers in the stone chimney foundation. Second and third period additions were built, and most of the trim is of Federal origin. Key features of this house include a hidden room, 10 fireplaces with delicate Federal details (added by the Lords when they redecorated in 1790). Three hundred years of stylistic variations harmonize well in this house. Continue reading

IPS.159 John Kimball – Lord – House 77 High St. Ipswich MA c 1690

Richard Kimball owned this lot in 1637. The property passed to John Kimball, and the present house dates stylistically from the time of his ownership, in 1696 he sold the property to another Richard Kimball (12:114), and it stayed in Kimball hands through most of the 18th century. The Lord’s acquired the house in 1784 (142:213), and were in possession through the 19th century. The house is an excellent example of growth, particularly in its collection of rear additions, and stylistic evolution. Ralph Burnham restored the house in the 1930’s and it was called “The House of Pine and Oak” for its exposed beams and ceilings. Continue reading.

IPS.151 John Brewer House, 82 High St. Ipswich MA c 1690

The first owner of this site was John Brewer, and the corner itself was called Brewer’s Corner in the early 18th century. Brewer sold the corner lot, with a house, to Daniel Low in 1717 (32:237). Several early features of the present house indicate it is the dwelling Brewer sold to Low, and probably dates from the late 17th century. The frame is West Anglian in type, a narrow summer beam in one of the first floor rooms has a 1 1/2″ wide chamfer, and the front room contains a great fireplace hidden behind the present opening. The central hall and second floor rooms display beaded Federal detail, and the rear extensions were probably built when those renovations were made. John Brewer was an active citizen in Ipswich’s first century. He built a fort around Meeting House Green in 1661, and in 1683 served as Town Clerk, While in that office he recopied the two old town book. Continue reading.

IPS.149 Tuttle – Lord – Shatswell House 88-90 High St Ipswich MA c 1700

Shatswell house, 90 High St. in Ipswich MA
Shatswell house, 90 High St. in Ipswich MA

The oldest section of the Tuttle – Lord – Shatswell house at 88 High Street in Ipswich is said to have been built before 1690 as the home of John Shatswell, who came to join the Ipswich settlement in 1633 with his wife and four children. He was granted this piece of land and built the original small dwelling near the existing one. Shatswell was appointed a surveyor of the land upon which other homes were built, and is the earliest person in Ipswich to whom the title of Deacon was given. This House is one of the oldest residences in town and remained in the family by inheritance from the time of the original grant. This house was the home of Col. Nathaniel Shatswell, famous for his command of Union troops during the Battle of Harris Farm during the Civil War.This lot was owned by Simon Tuttle in the early 18th century, and several late first period features of the house date it to that period. These include unusual horizontal feather-edged wainscotting and West Anglian type framing. The roof has been raised in the rear, but the original rafters survive. One of the upstairs rooms contains mid-18th century raised field paneling on the fireplace wall. The west end of the house -was added by Capt. John Lord in the 1820’s, upon his marriage, completing the present elongated structure. Three families then occupied the house, sharing one narrow kitchen. Captain Lord was known as “India John.” He was Captain of the ship “Francis” which sailed to the East Indies. Continue reading.

IPS.155 Simon Adams House, 95 High St. Ipswich MA c 1710

Simon Adams, a weaver and veteran of King Philip’s War owned this property in 1707, according to a deed of the adjoining property. This “half-house” was originally extended as a lean-to over the rear rooms. Perhaps at the same time the rear roof was raised to cover a full two stories and Georgian trim was added. Surviving elements of that trim include a cornice in the front room, and some fine raised-field paneling On the fireplace wall in the rear chamber. The staircase and the majority of the trim in the house are later. Around 1919 the east ell was added. Simon Adams was born in Ipswich on 1655 to William Adams and Elizabeth Stacy (source). Simon Adams was a weaver by trade and a soldier in the campaign against “King Philip,” the hostile Indian chief and his followers at Narragansett. The first mention of the house at this spot is in the ancient deeds of the adjoining (Jewett) property in 1707, but it could have been as early as 1678. Simon Adams grew up near the present Ipswich train station in his father William’s house. We read in Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony that in 1678, “Simon Adams, a weaver, conveyed to John Kimball, wheelwright, a house and land, “which lyeth next and doth adjoyn with Capt. Appleton, his land toward ye southwest and next unto Ensign French, his land, toward the norwest which said house and land was my father, Will Adams, his homestead.” Simon Adams Sr. died in Ipswich on October 17, 1723 and Hannah died May 6, 1727. Continue reading.

IPS.145 Merchant – Choate House, 97-99 High St. Ipswich MA c 1671

Structural and documentary research on this house in the last decade revealed that what had been identified as a mid-18th century house contains the frame of a much older house of a century earlier.. Originally the house was a cottage, with a one room over one room floor plan.The house was later expanded to a typical two room, central chimney plan, and eventually the roof was raised and side and rear additions were made. The original portion of the present house is the western part. The frame in the first floor west room is of the H—type, an early structural technique. Only three known examples are known in this country. In the west attic the chimney bears the mark of the original, lower roof (which covered the 1 1/2 story house), and the rafters have mortises for corresponding low collar beams. Other first period features that are visible include huge fireplaces, a very early back door, and some vertical sheathing. Continue Reading.

IPS.144 John Kimball House, 104 High St. Ipswich MA c 1715

Caleb Kimball conveyed to his son John 2 acres of land in 1715 (36:23) and John built the present house soon after. Kimballs lived in this house for generations, serving in the Indian ‘wars, Revolutionary and Civil wars, and figuring prominently in Ipswich history. Interesting exterior features of the Kimball House include a 12″ overhang along the front cornice at the roof line and an early molded gutter. In 1946 the house was restored, which included removing the beam casings and later additions, and opening the fireplaces. The original portion of the house has a basic central chimney floor plan, with two rooms on each story. The entry hall is dominated by a first-period stairway stained a rich tobacco brown color. The keeping room on the left has a great chamfered summer beam while the walls are covered with vertical wide-boarded tongue and groove sheathing, all in the same deep hue. The room on the right of the hall is Federal, with white painted delicate trim, and the bedrooms contain some fine 18th century paneling. Thus three major architectural periods are represented in one house. Continue reading.

IPS.154 Caleb Kimball House, 106 High St. Ipswich MA c 1715

This house and its neighbor to the southeast, the John Kimball House (see form #143), both stand on land Caleb Kimball bought of Richard Kimball in 1665 (4:257). The present house resembles the John Kimball house beside it, which was built around 1715 on a portion of the lot originally purchased by Caleb Kimball. It is likely that “The House with Orange Shutters” was erected about the same time, for Caleb Kimball, son of the 1665 purchaser. Continue reading.

IPS.104 John Kendrick House, 3 Hovey St. Ipswich MA c 1670

John Kendricks owned a large lot here in 1665, and the Town Records report that on July 30, 1668 Kendricks was granted the liberty to fell eight white oak trees. The first deed that records a house on the site dates from 1702, when Kendricks sold the property to his son (15:114). Waters states that “The venerable house still standing may be the Kendricks house” and stylistic evidence supports a date of about 1670. Important first period fabric includes rare fragments of a three part casement window frame in the southern gable, rear rafters of the original roof that are visible in the attic, and remnants in the chimney stack of what must have been a handsome pilaster. Roof repairs in 1978 uncovered evidence at the tie beams’ ends of a plastered cove cornice. This house is subject to preservation easements, under a Preservation Agreement held by the Ipswich Historical Commission. Continue reading.

IPS.470 Paine – Dodge House, 49 Jeffrey’s Neck Rd. Ipswich MA c 1695

Conflicting historical and architectural evidence makes it difficult to accurately date the house. There was a dwelling on this property by 1689, as Robert Paine, Sr., built a house here for his son, Robert Paine, Jr. in ca. 1665. The construction and finish techniques found in the house re more commonly found after 1700; thus there is some conjecture that this house was built ca. 1702, when Robert Paine’s daughter Elizabeth married Daniel Smith. The house retains much of the original floor plan. The first floor, right hand room has exposed framing. The longitudinal summer beam exhibits a bevel chamfer with lamb’s tongue stops on the south face of the beam, but no stops on the north face. Other visible framing members exhibit a very narrow bevel chamfer, or none at all. The mill-sawn joists are 20″ to 21″ apart on center and fit into butt cogs. Studs, hidden within the plaster walls, are pegged to the girts approximately every 28″. The first floor left hand room has early and very large size bolection molding around the fireplace opening. This type of molding was made ca. 1700-1720, and may be original to the house. Three generations of the Paine family made their home here, including Robert Paine, foreman of the Salem witch trial jury in 1692. The house became part of Greenwood Farm, an early 20th Century summer retreat for the Robert G. Dodge family. The property is now owned by the Trustees of Reservations which offers weekend tours. Continue reading.

IPS.466 Ross Tavern 52 Jeffrey’s Neck Rd. Ipswich MA c 1680

The Ross Tavern is, in its main body, 5 bays wide and one room deep. There is a wing to the right hand side and a large ell to the rear. The house is composed of two earlier houses moved on to the site and restored by Daniel S. Wendell. The main body of the house was dismantled and moved from an earlier Ipswich site abutting the Choate Bridge. The left-hand rooms and chimney bay comprised the original part of that structure. That single cell building was probably moved onto the Choate Bridge site between 1734 and 1736 and enlarged at that time by the addition of the right-hand rooms. In the 19th century the building became known as the Ross Tavern. The rear ell, originally the Collins-Lord house on High Street (just south of 33 High Street), was also dismantled and moved by Wendell. In 1940, a kitchen wing was added to the right-hand side of the two reconstructed and restored 17th century houses and a small lean-to was built next to the ell at the left rear. The house was restored to a high style First Period appearance by Daniel Wendell on the basis of very specific physical evidence. The clapboarded exterior has gables on the front and rear facades (restored from evidence of mortises in the plate), and a deep two story entrance porch originally was proven by mortises on the outer face of the framing). All the gables have molded verge boards (unweathered ends of the purlins on the exterior indicated an original verge board). There are elaborately embellished overhangs at the second story on three sides and in each of the gables. The second story overhang had been closed in for a number of years before the house was dismantled. Wendell found three cyma molded overhanging girts, mitered at the corners (the posts above have a right angled tenon which helps to hold the mitered ends together). The girts are supported from beneath at the centers by the projecting rounded ends of the T shaped summer beams of the left-hand room. At the corners, the overhanging girts are supported by brackets (restored on the basis of impressions in the wood on the underside of the girts, but with conjectural profiles). Continue reading

Shatswell Planters Cottage, 52 Jeffreys Neck Rd. Ipswich MA c 1646

The Shatswell family is one of the earliest to arrive in Ipswich MA. A small building that was moved to the Collins-Lord property on Jeffreys Neck Road is believed to have been the original planters cottage of John Shatswell or his son Richard. It may have been built as early as 1646, in which case it would be the oldest structure in Ipswich. Continue reading.

IPS.467 Labor in Vain Road House, Labor in Vain Rd. Ipswich MA c 1725

The main body of the “Beloselski” House on Labor-in-Vain Road is 5 bays wide, one room deep and 2 1/2 stories high with a rear lean-to which may be integral. The house was extended by an ell to the left rear c. 1810 and by a full lean-to dormer in the late 19th or early 20th century. A second ell of 2 stories and a screened porch were added to the rear, very likely in conjunction with use of the building in the 20th century as the club house for the Labor-in-Vain country club. First Period features, in the form of an exposed, decorated frame, are seen in the right-hand room and chamber. In the right-hand room, the longitudinal summer beam, the chimney girt, the front (south east) corner post and the chimney posts have inch-wide flat chamfers and lamb’s tongue stops. The chimney post has the added embellishment of a taper stop near the floor. In the right-hand chamber, all the framing is exposed and has inch-wide flat chamfers and lamb’s tongue stops. Rising braces are exposed in the rear wall of this room, but whether their presence indicates plank frame construction is unknown. In the lobby the staircase is embellished with a handrail molded on both sides and with possibly original turned balusters, of early Second Period style profile. The balusters are similar in profile to those found in the Smith house nearby at 142 Argilla Road. In the attic, a principal rafter/common purlin roof made with oak timbers is visible. Continue reading.

IPS.189 Harte House, 51 Linebrook Rd. Ipswich MA c 1678

An Irish tanner named Thomas Hart arrived in the Massachusetts Bay Colony on the ship Desire from Baddow, Essex County, England. He was briefly indentured to tailor John Brown in Boston. After ending his servitude in 1637, Thomas Hart settled in Ipswich and by 1639 had become a proprietor. In 1640 he built a one-room starter home, and gradually expanded it. Thomas Hart was widely respected and was one of the town’s first selectmen and a town clerk. Thomas Hart, senior died in 1673 and is buried in the Old Burying Ground along with his wife Alice who lived until 1682. They had two daughters Sara and Mary, and two sons, Samuel and Thomas. This venerable “Cape” survives in three locations: Ipswich, the Met. Museum in NYC and Winterthur Museum in Delaware. Ipswich retains some early interior detailing and the picturesque exterior, with irregular fenestration and extensive rear additions reflecting generations of growth and change. The frame and walls of one lower room of the Hart House are displayed in the American Wing at the Met. Museum of Art, and Winterthur Museum displays the interior of a chamber room. Continue reading.

IPS.256 Chapman House, 297 Linebrook Rd. Ipswich MA c 1720

Chapmans are listed among the earliest settlers of Linebrook in the 17th century. Although the house may have been built by Chapmans, the first Chapman to be positively identified as owner was Joseph in 1832. Joseph and his wife Mary had eight daughters remembered in the area as “that remarkable family of girls,” many of whom married into local families. The one son, Joseph Warren Chapman (b. 1814, d. 1884) inherited the house. The building is perhaps the oldest structure in Linebrook. According to previous descriptions, it once had a fireplace in which one could stand up, and summer beams with simple bevel chamfers.

IPS.277 Abraham Howe Barn 421 Linebrook Rd. Ipswich MA c 1725

This 18th century barn was erected by Emerson Howe and was converted to residential use in 1948. The Howe homestead area of Linebrook Road includes at least six houses built by members of the Howe family. The site of the house of Elizabeth Howe, convicted as a witch and put to death in 1692 is nearby. Many Howes are buried in the Linebrook cemeteries. The Howe barn is believed to be a rare surviving example of a First Period barn frame, and is one of four such structures known to be extant in Essex County. Considering the preservation rate of redundant barns, the Howe barn may owe its survival to its conversion to a house. The building adds to our limited knowledge of the form and framing characteristics of First Period agricultural buildings. Construction characteristics of this barn, including angle of roof, placement of pins, treatment and size of stock and workmanship are, according to Robert St. George, nearly identical to those of the Stanley-Lake barn nearby in Topsfield MA.

IPS.162 Ephraim Harris House, 20 Mineral St. Ipswich MA c 1666-1800

In 1820, Ephraim Harris was commissioned by Capt. Robert Kimball to build a new house on his Market St. lot. The lot was already occupied by an old dwelling house built by Daniel Warner prior to 1666. Harris removed a portion of this house to his own land on Mineral St. and enlarged it. A summer beam running from girt-to-girt with a 2 1/2″ chamfer is a remaining first period feature in the earliest western half of the house. In 1997 a large tree fell on the house, crushing the roof. The owner replaced it with a much steeper roof, restoring its First Period appearance and providing living space in the attic. Continue reading.

IPS.103 James Brown House, 56 North Main St. Ipswich MA c 1700

In 1721, Stephen Perkins, a shopkeeper and James Brown, a yeoman, bought from Thomas Lovell, currier (39:61) a house on a large lot that extended from North Main St. to High St. Subsequent divisions and sales have greatly reduced the lot, and considerable alterations have occurred in the house, but the house transferred in 1721 remains at the core of the present house. There had been a dwelling on the larger lot before 1654, when Thomas Lovell acquired the property but the oak frame with 1″ chamfers in the southern portion of the present house is of the type constructed in the late First period. James Brown was sole owner of this house by 1722. The northern section appears to date from the 1720’s, and probably was added by Brown after he had acquired the small house. Continue reading.

IPS.38 Dr. John Calef House, 7 Poplar St. Ipswich MA c 1671

Deacon Thomas Knowlton bought 3/4 of an acre from Goodman Younglove in 1671 and built this house on South Main St. John Heard acquired it in 1777 and moved it to land he owned on Poplar St. He then built a pretentious Federal period mansion in 1795 on the old site facing South Green, now the Ipswich Museum. Dr. John Calef, a noted Tory who appeared in Paul Revere’s famous broadside, “A Warm Place Hell,” lived in the house before Heard purchased it. From 1754 to 1760 Dr. John Calef was a surgeon in the “Old French War” in ’56. From 1755 on he was frequently Representative from Ipswich to the General Court, and was in opposition to the growing differences between the colonies and the British Government. In 1774, after one of his votes was called into question,an angry crowd surrounded the house. The people of Ipswich never forgave John Calef. A cartoon by Paul Revere pictured the seven who had voted retraction of a petition to the King. Calef is drawn with a calf’s head. Calef sold the property to John Heard and joined the British troops at Fort George. At the close of the war he settled in St. Andrews, New Brunswick, there practicing his profession until his death. Continue reading.

IPS.30 Shoreborne Wilson House, 4 South Main St. Ipswich MA c 1685

Shoreborne Wilson, a cooper, bought this lot in 1672 and built the house some time between 1685 and 1692. Framing reveals the northwest portion to be the earliest. Col. Samuel Appleton, a veteran of the Andros Rebellion (see Area Form E) and the Indian Wars, acquired the house in 1702 and built the southeast portion. The northwest section of the house is the earliest portion. Notable period features include a handsome chamfered frame and evidence of the size and arrangement of the original casement windows. Col. Samuel Appleton, veteran of the Andros Rebellion and the Indian Wars, acquired the house in 1702. He built a southeast addition. In 1920 the house was restored by Ralph Burnham. He introduced reproductions of 17th century trim, casements, and fireplaces. Continue reading.

IPS.40 John Whipple House, 53 South Main St. Ipswich MA 1677

Whipple House, Ipswich
1 South Green, the Captain John Whipple House (1677)

The 1677 Whipple house is a National Historic Landmark owned by the Ipswich museum, and is one of the finest examples of “first period” American architecture (1625-1725). The oldest part of the house dates to 1677 when the military officer and entrepreneur Captain John Whipple constructed a townhouse near the center of Ipswich. Prior to the 20th Century, oral history had attributed the house to John Fawne who moved to Haverhill before 1638, and to Richard Saltonstall, the town’s first miller. Dendrochronology tests conducted in 2002 dated the oldest timbers in the house to 1677. The John Whipple House was once believed to have been, started by John Fawn before 1640, was originally a two story, two room house – with steep-pitched, thatched roof and casement windows of the Elizabethan mode. Elder John Whipple lived here and it was owned and occupied by successive generations of his descendants for two hundred years. The east half was added in 1670 and the lean-to after 1700. The house possesses heavy oak and tamarack beams, gun-stock posts, pine paneling with shadow molding, clay and brick filled walls and huge fireplaces of the early 17th century type. In 1898 the Ipswich Historical Society bought and restored the house. Many of the old Ipswich families have contributed to the furnishings which date from the 17th and 18th centuries. The house has been named a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. Park Service. Continue reading

IPS.69 Kimball, Benjamin House 3 Summer St. Ipswich MA c 1720

Benjamin Kimball jr. bought this house lot on June 10, 1803 and three months later he sold the lot with a dwelling to Elisha Gould. Structural evidence suggests Kimball moved a mid-18th century, 1 1/ 2 story house to the lot, and modified it extensively. The cellar reveals the end of a huge wooden lintel beam that spans a hidden fireplace. This large fireplace in the left front room, first floor, stands behind a smaller fireplace now visible in this room. In addition, the vertical corner posts in the front two rooms of the first floor were shouldered at the first floor ceiling level, indicating that at one time a roof began at this point; hence the building was formerly a story-and a-half Cape instead of the present two story house. Further evidence supporting this theory may be seen in the change of stair detail: a simple heavy first-quarter-18th-century hand rail ending at the first floor ceiling is continued by a more delicate balustrade of the Federal period at the second story level. This was probably added by Kimball in 1803.This is the only known early 18th century Cape raised to a two-story level in Ipswich. Continue reading.

Nathaniel Hovey House, 9 Summer St. Ipswich MA

The Nathaniel Hovey house at 11 Summer Street was built in 1718, the First Period of construction. The uneven layout of the front suggests that it was originally built as a half house and expanded. The ell on the left side appears to be a modification of a Beverly Jog. The Hovey family were among the original settlers of Ipswich. Nathaniel Hovey Sr. was born in Ipswich in 1668 but lived only to the age of 28, about the time of the birth of his son Nathaniel Jr. in 1696. The property on Summer St. belonged to the younger Hovey.

IPS.606 Jonathan Pulcifer House 15 Summer St. Ipswich MA c 1718

Jonathan Pulcifer (Pulsifer) built this house in 1718 on Summer Street, one of the “oldest ways” in Ipswich MA. He was probably the son of Benedict Pulsifer, an early settler of Ipswich who died in 1695. There was also a John Pulsifer who settled in Gloucester about the same time. The probable son of the builder of this house, Jonathan Pulcifer Jr. is listed as a sailor in the French and Indian War. Continue reading.

IPS.74 Knowlton House, 27 Summer St. Ipswich MA c 1688

27 Summer Street, Ipswich, the Thomas Knowlton house (1688)
27 Summer Street, Ipswich, the Thomas Knowlton house (1688)

The lot on the corner of Summer St. and County St. was granted originally to Humphrey Bradstreet. He sold his house and land to Deacon Thomas Knowlton in 1646.Thomas Knowlton Sr. was a cordwainer and a master builder who arrived with his brother John during the Great Migration from England. The will of Deacon Thomas Knowlton (1) is dated 1653. Deacon Thomas Knowlton (2), was born in 1662, the son of John Knowlton, Thomas Knowlton’s brother. He is believed to have built this house in 1688. In that same year he sold property on County Street to Nathaniel Knowlton, who sold it to Abraham Knowlton in 1725. Abraham Knowlton’s house also still stands. The MACRIS site states that Nathaniel Knowlton acquired the property in 1688, and that Waters believed he built the present house between 1688 and 1725, but key first period features such as the many overhangs point toward the beginning of that time span. Continue reading.

IPS.71 Foster – Grant House 39 Summer St. Ipswich MA c 1717

Nathaniel Knowlton sold a small lot to James Foster in 1717, and Poster probably “built the house (35:63). The property remained in the Foster family until 1826, when it was sold to Ephriam Grant. James Poster was the first postmaster in Ipswich and a Deacon of the South Church. Summer “beam construction and reused shadow molded sheathing on the attic door are some of the architectural highlights of this house along, with other original First Period elements. Continue reading.

IPS.76 Willcomb – Pinder House 43 Summer St. Ipswich MA c 1718

William Willcomb, a fisherman, bought land on Summer St. in 1718 and built this house. The Pinder family came into possession in 1801. The house demonstrates the persistence of first period features in Ipswich MA, including an exceptional fireplace in the left room and an extremely rare banister with heavy beading. The interior of the home features hand-hewn summer beams, wide plank flooring and the original fireplaces. An Ipswich Historic Commission plaque identifies the house. Out on Jeffreys Neck, William Willcomb operated a fishing stage, a small building and platform for salting and drying fish. The next owner, William Benjamin Pinder was a corporal with Col. Appleton’s company in the ill-fated 1756 expedition against the French at Louisburg, Nova Scotia during the French and Indian War. The Wilcomb and Pinder families were among the early settlers in Ipswich MA. Continue reading.

IPS.73 James Foster House 46 Summer St. Ipswich MA c 1720

James Foster bought this land in 1720 and built a house with first period characteristics. The original frame is exposed in places and the chimney girt in the southeast first floor room has simple beveled lamb’s tongue chamfer stops. On the second floor is a rare 2-panel door. Except for the mid-18th century stairs, much early material is concealed. The roof line shows that it was once a smaller house, later doubled in size and remodeled to appear Georgian, with the two chimneys, dormers and a symmetrical front. James Poster was the first postmaster of Ipswich and a Deacon of the South Parish. He bought this former orchard land from Nathaniel Clark who moved to Newbury

Appleton-Kimball House, 24 Topsfield Rd, 1688

The land on which the Moses Kimball house was built, is part of a larger grant to early settler Samuel Appleton, and passed to his son John Appleton. The early homes of Samuel and John Appleton in this location are long gone, but this house is often referred to as the Appleton-Kimball house. Col. John Appleton, son of Samuel Appleton, built a finer home at the corner of North Main Street and Central Street in 1707 and lived there for the rest of his life. John Appleton sold a five and 3/4 acre lot on the south side of Topsfield Road to Moses Kimball, a tailor, who built some portion of this house in 1688. In 1696 Moses gave an acre of the land with the house on it to his son Moses Kimball Jr., who died in 1749. The enlarged house stayed in the Kimball family for several generations. A portion of the property was sold to the Eastern Railroad for the line that exists today. A later Moses Kimball in this family line was an unsuccessful Boston politician and owner of the Boston Museum, which became the Museum of Fine Arts. Continue reading

IPS.171 William Howard House, 41 Turkey Shore Rd. Ipswich MA c 1680

Thomas Emerson bought this lot in 1 638 and built a house. He sold the house and land to Daniel Ringe in 1 6I4.8 (1 :169), and William Howard, felt maker and hatter, bought the same in 1679. Architectural evidence reveals that the present house was built about 1680. Thus Howard must have removed the ancient Emerson House and built a new structure shortly after 1679. The house was originally built as a half house and later added to and remodeled in 1709. The house is full of architectural quirks. The interior is partitioned, which is unusual for the period. The stairway has no rails, and the kitchen fireplace is angled to make room for an extra window. The chimney construction is unique and the fireplace is out of plumb with the house. The fenestration, which includes a 20th century restoration of the original casement windows in the left hand portion of the house and the hung sash on the right, serves as an architectural document showing the transition from the late 17th century to early 18th century building techniques. Continue reading.

IPS.174 Preston – Foster House, 6 Water St. Ipswich MA c 1690

Roger Preston sold his house and lot to Reginald Foster in 1655, and his son Jacob Foster inherited the property. It is not clear whether Reginald or Jacob built the present house. The house has a typical first period floor plan, and rear additions including a two story wing, built about 1890 and renovated in 1967. The right hand half of the house contains two massive t-round chamfered summer beams dating to the last quarter of the 17th century. If the timbers are original, the house dates to about 1690. Small beaded chamfering in the second story framing suggests a very late first-period style house of about 1730. The exterior facade, with very sharp pitched roof and purlins that extend and are exposed beyond the gable end, is unusual and indicates a first period date. An important feature of this building lies in the variation of period material: heavy chamfered framing, fine, rich-hued unpainted horizontal feather-edged paneling in the first-floor right front room, and the superimposition of later Federal detail in the central hall area and upstairs fireplace walls. This house is subject to preservation easements, under a Preservation Agreement between the owners and the Ipswich Historical Commission. Continue reading

IPS.175 Harris – Sutton House, 8 Water St. Ipswich MA c 1715

Abner Harris, who purchased the property in 1743 had a shipyard at the foot of Summer St. Captain Ebenezer Sutton, for whom the house is named, bought the house in 1816 (212:230). He piloted the stately ship “Ten Brothers” up the Ipswich River the year after he acquired the Water St. house. Sutton’s journal discusses the house in detail. Construction of the present house may have been begun by Nathaniel Knowlton, who bought the lot in 1702-03 or Joseph Smith, who bought the corner lot from Knowlton and eventually sold the property to Abner Harris. When timber framer Jim Whidden began disassembling the frame, architect Matt Cummings and architectural historian Sue Nelson discovered evidence dating the eastern part of the house dated to 1677. The location had been a shipyard owned by Moses Pengry. Etchings of schooners on the house sheathing confirmed the discovery, since they were a “record of what kinds of ships were being built at the time.” The house is now called the Pengry-Harris-Sutton house. Continue reading.

IPS.178 Glazier – Sweet House 12 Water St Ipswich MA c 1728

Originally built c. 1728, the core of this small, simple, vernacular house has grown with additions on three sides and has been extensively altered. However, the additions and alterations do not obscure the original half house form and probably early Beverly Jog addition. The house is set facing east across Water Street and the Ipswich River. It is set back from the street on a corner lot. A low rubble stone retaining wall in front of the house contains the difference in elevation between the house and the street. The original part of the house, heavily restored since 1987, is three bays wide by two bays deep. It is two stories high under a side gable roof. Much alteration has recently occurred on the facade: a modest Neocolonial door surround was added at the narrow opening in the first bay; the c. 1965 bay window that occupied the other bay of the first floor in 1978 was removed and two windows restored in its place. The two paired, high-placed windows of the second floor (probably an early twentieth century feature) were replaced with windows that align with those of the first floor. The roof is framed without returns and there is no cornice. On the original block and the Beverly Jog addition current sash is consistently 6/9 on the first floor of and 6/6 on the second, so is probably contemporary. An exterior chimney on the north elevation existed in 1978 but was probably added in the twentieth century. A contemporary picture window is located on the first floor of the north elevation of the rear addition, a 6/6 window is located above it on the second floor. The house expanded with many ells in the perhaps two hundred and eighty-six years since its erection. The first possibly late eighteenth or early nineteenth century addition was probably the two and one-half story gable-roof ell placed perpendicularly off the rear elevation. It is no longer possible to say how many bays deep it was as a one and one-half story Beverly Jog addition on its south elevation and two gable-roof ell additions of two and one stories on its north elevation obscure the original configuration. Continue reading.

IPS.176 Harris – Stanwood House, 28 Water St. Ipswich MA c 1696

John Harris bought this land in 1696 (16:11) and built the house. John Stanwood, a Revolutionary War veteran, acquired the property in 1809 (187:233) and it remained in his family for many years. The Stanwood family were wool-pullers and their business establishment became Willcomb’s Store (form #47). The Stanwood women were prominent educators. In 1639 Caroline Stanwood established a school for girls in Ipswich and Harriet Stanwood taught Latin for several years at Elmira College in the second half of the 19th century and then became Secretary of the Women’s Board of Foreign Missions. A Victorian wing was added c. 1884, and the point of extension is clearly seen in the roof. Exceptional Georgian paneling is the finest feature in the house. Continue reading.

IPS.173 Jabesh Sweet House, 32 Water St. Ipswich MA c 1713

Jabesh Sweet built a house on this lot in 1713 or shortly thereafter. Most of the exposed elements in’this house are of mid 19th century vintage. However a first period frame and two parellel summer beams with heavy beveled chamfers support the earlier date. Shouldered corner posts are another special feature found in this house. Continue reading.


LIN.63, Brooks Daniel House, 19 Brooks Rd. Lincoln MA c 1695

The oldest portion of this 2-1/2 story timber frame house was built c. 1695 by Daniel Brooks. Its interior has retained many of its early 18th century features, including exposed beams, wide pine floorboards, and unbaked bricks used as insulation between inner and outer wall coverings. Eleazar Brooks, a descendant, was a prominent local politician at the time of the American Revolution.The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. The MACRIS site states that the interior of this house had not beenaltered since the 1700’s.

LIN.45, Deacon Benjamin Brown House, 15 Conant Rd. Lincoln MA c 1703

Built when this area was the Watertown Farms section of the town of Watertown, the circa 1703 Benjamin Brown House historically relates to the 1694 Abraham Browne House in Watertown (MHC: WAT.10) that had been constructed for Benjamin’s uncle, and it also relates historically to early houses in Weston (Watertown Farms) such as the John Warren House (WSN.225), the Whitney Tavern (WSN.18), the Harrington House (WSN.221) and the Walter Allen House (WSN.198). In Lincoln, it is similar in period to the Flint Homestead/Capt. Ephraim Flint House (LIN.59, National Register, Individual), which like the Benjamin Brown House began as a one-over-one dwelling that was subsequently expanded in the eighteenth and nineteenth century while under the ownership of the original family. Like the early Flints (who lived in the Concord section of what became Lincoln), Benjamin Brown was a prominent resident who had a large associated farmstead with his house. Dividing that farmstead between three of his sons, this house has a long parallel history with the neighboring pre-1739 Cory-Brown-Hunt House (LIN.52). Like the Benjamin Brown House, the Cory-Brown Hunt House began as a one-over-one dwelling that was then enlarged to a two-over-two, then to a saltbox, and receiving a wing to the side during the nineteenth century, with these changes all made while it was under the ownership of members of Benjamin Brown’s family from the 1740’s until 1881. As it has been since the late nineteenth-century, the First Period Benjamin Brown House is clad in shingles, although an earlier nineteenth-century photograph shows that at one time the front façade had clapboards while shingles were used on the other façades. The front (east façade) of the house is asymmetrical, with the front of the large central chimney aligned with the peak of the gabled roof. Below the simple eave are three second-story windows. The center window is set towards one side of the plainly adorned front doorway below it, while two first-story windows are aligned below the other two second-story windows. The spacing between these pairings varies considerably. On the north side of the main structure there is a two-story wing fronted by a one-story porch. A one-story porch also extends along the south side of the house, ending in the back in a “Beverly jog” that extends up to the roof line. Inside, the two front rooms of the Benjamin Brown House represent the first two phases of construction for the house. Stonework and structural beams suggest that the large central chimney and the dry-wall foundation work (with dirt floors) under the north rooms as well as the front entry were done at the same time, while that of the south rooms is of a different construction. In the south basement, the dry-wall foundation work is less skillful than on the chimney and the foundation work under the northeast room and entry. Original joists found above the south basement were unhewn, while those under the north room were hewn. Underneath the entryway, where the two areas of construction join together, it appears as though the south-room beams had previously joined a structural element that is no longer present. On the first floor, both front rooms contain fireplaces and beehive ovens (that in the south room being the earlier beehive oven), simply framed. The house contains many typical exposed timber-framing elements. The framed summer beams run parallel with the front of the house, while those on the second story run in the opposite direction. The fireplaces on the second story were “modernized” in the early nineteenth century with Federal surrounds. There are corner posts and the coving of the plaster ceiling in the north chamber, while the south chamber now has a cathedral ceiling. Over the north chamber, the once exposed whitewashing is still present on the rafters and the bottom of remaining attic floorboards. The central chimney also serves a fireplace in the room behind these front rooms (once a saltbox addition, now a full two stories), while the framing in the wing off of the north side of the house shows evidence that it had originally been a one-and-a-half story wing.

LIN.60, Hoar Tavern, 268 Concord Tpk, Lincoln MA c 1712

This historic tavern northeast of downtown Lincoln on Rt. 2 in Lincoln, Massachusetts, once known as the Hoar Homestead, it is now known as Hobbs Brook Farm. It was built in 1680 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.

LIN.50, David Stone House, 291 Concord Tpk, Lincoln MA c 1665

Much was rebuilt after a 1959 fire. Very heavy framing timbers, old hardware and paneling suggest that the original old house may be incorporated within the house. Although the roof still has the ‘saltbox* line it has been slightly raised in the rear. The central chimney with an unusually large base, the triple-run stair, the dry-wall half cellar all bespeak an early structure The Stone family remaining in ownership until 1870.

LIN.70, Capt. William Smith House, Virginia Rd, Lincoln MA c 1693

The Captain William Smith House was built in 1692-93 and, although altered, retains original features such as the plaster cove of the front cornice, an element that flourished in Massachusetts from the late 1600’s until around 1725. The house originally had casement windows and a very large central chimney.


LNF.30 Hart House, 172 Chestnut St. Lynnfield MA c 1705

The Hart House exhibits late First Period framing details and decoration in all of its main rooms. Lynnfield’s proximity to Salem is underlined by the twinned transverse summer beams in the first floor west room, a common late First Period Salem feature. The summers, girts, sills, and posts all have flat chamfers; the sills and posts also have simple taper stops. The butt-cog joists are 23″ apart, indicating a late First Period date. The restored fireplace was originally 5′ wide, and has a beehive oven in the right rear corner and evidence of the original lug pole holes. The reconstruction casement windows were installed in the original locations, indicated by mortise holes in the posts, meant to accommodate window framing members in the plank wall. The east first floor room has an exposed chimney girt with flat chamfer; the transverse summer beam and sills have been replaced. The tenoned joists are 23″ apart on center; the fireplace is 8′ wide. The lean-to seems to have been added early in the 18th century: the ceiling beams are exposed but not chamfered, and the six foot wide fireplace has a beehive oven in the rear right wall. A small heart has been carved into the north plate of the lean-to, presumably by a member of the Hart family, owners 1838-1945.

LNF.20 Henfield House, 300 Main St. Lynnfield MA c 1700

The original (eastern) section was a half house 2 1/2 stories high with a lean-to and a chimney to the left (west). The west section was added some time in the early 18th century. During the 20th century, a shed dormer was built on the sloping rear roof, and two one story additions were added on the east rear. The house is clapboarded, with a reconstructed cove cornice on the main facade and a Greek Revival doorway. The east side of the house exhibits ca. 1700 chamfers and the original rafters and exterior clapboarding preserved within the present roof. In the first floor east room, all original woodwork is covered by later boxes and panels. The second floor east chamber has exposed transverse summer and end tie beams with bevel chamfers and lamb’s tongue stops. The attic preserves substantial evidence of the original roof. Underneath the slope of the east part of the present shed dormer are the upper portions of principal rafters, collar beams, and vertical planking. On the west side of the chimney, some of the vertical planks from the original gable wall survive in place. There are four original exterior clapboards still attached to the west face of the planks, under the peak. Abbot Lowell Cummings observed that cuts had been made in the front plate to allow for a plaster cove, and oversaw the reconstruction and installation of the cove cornice now on the building. The post-1730 date of the west end of the house is clearly indicated by the unfinished condition of the now exposed longitudinal summer beam in the first floor room. The fireplace wall is covered in field paneling.

Manchester MA

MAN.65 Bennett House 25 Bennett St Manchester MA c 1675

MAN.158 Allen Tavern, 3 North St, Manchester MA c 1714

MAN.159 Dodge – Tuck House, 4 North St Manchester MA c 1718

MAN.22 Austin Crombie House, 85 Summer St, Manchester MA c 1635

The 1945 book, “Manchester by the Sea” claimed that Austin Crombie’s house was “moved from a spot nearly opposite Ayer’s ice pond to the present location on Summer Street. The logs were clapboarded over, the front room was added, the roof was changed, but at that, part of it still remains, ‘the oldest house in Manchester’.”

MAN.23 Crombie House, 87 Summer St, Manchester MA 1720

Marblehead MA

MAR.1228 Edward Homan House, 29-31 Circle St. Marblehead MA c 1670

This structure can be regarded as two separate buildings. The left is a first period house, built c. l670 by Edward Homan. It may have been moved to this location. It has a steep pitched roof with no overhang at the eaves and an overhanging second floor. The entrance was at its present location with stairs and chimney stack behind. The beams inside are smoothly finished and ornately chamfered. There has been extensive remodeling and chimney changing through the years. The right side of the house was built in 1802 or 1803. The doorway bonnet is c. 1870. Both houses were in divided and sub-divided ownership for many years.

MAR.312 Phillip Ashton House, 95 Elm St. Marblehead MA c 1715

The Philip Ashton House has been dated by Robert Booth at 1715. Although there are confusions that will be itemized below, the decorated posts, heavy chamfered beams and the method of mortise and tenoning, all on the first floor, point to that building date. There is an obvious addition to the rear, probably c 1830. The rafters show that it was a 2 1/2 story half house before the rear rooms were added. The second floor posts are gunstock in shape, the beams, where showing, are finished and the mortise and tenon work is of the later style. The stairway has been changed and I suspect the partitions have been moved. The door framing is early, and two closet doors backing up to the present stair hall on the first and second floor are two-paneled and have early hinges – one, a half butterfly on the 1st floor and a rat tail on the second. The cellar extends only under the principal room and part of the stair hall. The chimney arch does not look original; it resembles, in its narrow shape, the arch at 7 Nicholson Street, thought to be c 1830. It is probable that this house was built in 1715 as a one-story house with second story added c 1730. This house was built for Philip Ashton, fisherman, c 1715. In June 1722, Philip Ashton, Jr. was captured off Nova Scotia by the famous pirate, Edward (Ned) Lowe, confined aboard the pirate ship and was in constant fear for his life*. He escaped from the pirates in March 1723 on a small and desolate island off the West Indies when they stopped for fresh water. He was rescued in March 1725 by Captain Dove of Salem when his ship stopped there for water. He returned to Marblehead and was received as “one from the dead”. It was to this house that he returned.

MAR.311 Samuel Merritt House 97 Elm St. Marblehead MA 1694

John Merritt, Jr. was granted a lot of land in 1700 on which he built his house. In 1725 his heirs granted his son, Samuel Merritt, fisherman, permission to build a house to the front of the garden which lay to the northeast of the John Merritt house. John Merritt died at sea and his estate was divided in 1727. Samuel received a parcel which included this house, garden land to the rear, and a footway U’ wide between the two houses. The house originally was a 2 story half house with the chimney to the rear of the principal room. Paneling was simple raised board. Some of the paneling and early plaster were destroyed in a flood several years ago. A small early window frame exists beside the chimney stack. Beams are finished and beaded. The summer beam runs from front to back and fits into the plate instead of resting on the post as it does next door at 95 Elm. These two houses represent the transition in framing style which occurred at this time.

MAR.623 Ambrose Gale House, 17 Franklin St. Marblehead MA 1663

The Ambrose Gale house is important to the history of Marblehead because of its age and because of the position of Ambrose Gale in the early development of the town. Ambrose Gale is not listed as a house holder in 1648, but by 1656 he was chosen a selectman and shortly after had large holdings of land in the Oakum Bay, Little Harbor and Ft. Sewall areas. In 1662 he was a constable of Marblehead, county agent and keeper of the peace. In 1664. he was a grand juryman, a position held only by leading men in the area. He owned vessels, fishing stages, flake yards and a warehouse near Fort Sewall. The house was owned later by the Girdler, Knight and Felton families. It was in divided ownership between 1795 and 1897. The Knight family owned part or all of it from 1795 to 1926. The Ambrose Gale House has been examined by Abbot Lowell Cummings of the S.P.N.E.A. for his book on first period houses. The house was completed by 1663 although the left half was the first part built. Chimney stacks in the ends of the house are probably in their original locations. The off center placement of the summer beams is a characteristic of houses built in this era in Norfolk, England. Although the steeply pitched roof dates from before 1700 there may have been an earlier frame for the roof which was covered with thatch. Mr. Cummings thinks that the overhang is not stylistic but was there to provide access to a building to the rear. At one time the property contained house, carriage house and barns. Around 1840 the house underwent extensive remodeling. Windows, exterior and interior window trim, stairway and fireplaces were modernized.

MAR.718 Chinn – Kimball House, 18 Franklin St. Marblehead MA c 1677

The first house on this land was built by John Chinn c 1677 after he had purchased the house lot from Thaddeus Riddan, a Lynn Merchant. John Chinn’s son lived in the house until 1722 when he sold it to Thomas Kimball. Thomas gave it to his son Thomas in 1742. In 1743 Thomas Jr. married Mary Ingalls and fathered 11 children, not all of whom survived. Between 1751 and 1761 Captain Kimball engaged in the European trade and evidently made a lot of money. In 1764 he borrowed more money from Samuel Swett, and improved the house, adding on a whole front section and covering the whole structure with a wide arched Gambrel roof. At this time there was a straight run stairway with paneled wainscoting in the hall. The fireplace wall in the front room has elegant raised panels with a heavy molding around them. It can be compared in style to the dining room in the Azor Ome House, the dining room in the Lee Mansion, and the second floor front room paneling in the house at 1 St. Michael’s Steps. The back room, probably from the John Chinn House, is three steps lower and the old enormous chimney has been closed in, making a smaller fireplace. The ceiling may have been raised to correspond to ceiling height in the rest of the house, which is about 7’10”. This part of the Chinn house could also have been a one story shed. Floor joists in the front and back sections measure 21 inches on center and the beam pattern is consistent in both parts. The chimney arch for the back fireplace measures 5′ in depth and 6′ across. The chimney arch for the front fireplaces is 11 inches deep and 5′ across. Thomas Kimball sold the house in 1772 to Samuel Swett who rented it to his son Samuel Swett, Jr. Samuel Jr. later owned the; house with has brother Benjamin. Benjamin took possession of both halves in 1817. In 1822, Benjamin’s widow sold the house to Phillip White who may have already been a tenant. One of the traditional tales of the house concerns White’s son who climbed through the skylight to the roof and watched the battle where the Constitution escaped to the protection of Fort Sewall’s guns from the British frigates Tenedos and Endymion.

MAR.360 54 Front St. Marblehead MA c 1720

This is a very beautiful and interesting house on which deed research has not been done. The evolution of the building is not clear, but there are details, both structural and ornamental, that would indicate and early house perhaps before 1720, embellished c 1750 and c 1800. The foundation is of stone of moderate size laid up with great thickness under the hall and right side. There is a stone chimney foundation. The main support beam runs perpendicular to the front of the house. Joists are sawn and about 32 inches on center. The cellar was whitewashed, but not likely lived in. The house has an off-center entrance with a doorway proportioned from Batty Langley’s City and Country Builder. Various editions of his design books were in use in Essex county from about 1730 onward. The house is thought to have been a half house first with the left smaller half added later because there is a break in the trim at the eaves. Because the kitchen fireplace is in this smaller half and because there are no indications that the living room fireplace was ever of kitchen proportions, I wonder if the original kitchen could have been a one story shed. The stairway is three turn with narrow steps and fancy applied curley-ques under each step. This looks like late 18th century work. The Living room is large and of early proportions, similar to 56 Norman Street and 31 Circle street. There is an enormous summer beam running perpendicular to the front of the house. It is pine, finely finished, chamfered with double stops and has traces of red paint still on it. The fireplace is slightly recessed with 2 raised panels and a shadow band cornice. It resembles the fireplace walls in 5 Tucker Street. A late Georgian mantle has replaced the molding around the opening and partially covers the lower panel. Plaster walls and wainscoting were built inside the original walls which gave more insulation and provided room for raised’ panel shutters that slide across the windows. There is very delicate window and door trim.

MAR.782 William Peach House 21Gingerbread Hill, Marblehead MA 1691

This house is a first period frame salt box with central chimney. It is unusual in that it has a central entrance with three windows across the front. Most houses of this type remaining in town are larger with five windows across the front. There is a shed roof in the back. There is no clear indication that the shed is a late addition. The house faces south. There are hand-hewn, rough, vertical beams, wide, worn floorboards, and wooden pegs throughout. Aunt Grese made and sold “Joe Frogger ” cookies, a large, hard gingerbread cookie, often taken on sea voyages and fishing expeditions. Aunt Crese was reputed to be a fortune teller and seller of love potions. “‘Lecshum Week” festivities, generally the end of May, were celebrated at the tavern with singing, dancing and a festival-like atmosphere, with cakes and beer. In 1796, Joseph Brown bought the house. “Black Joe”, born to a Gay Head American Indian and a black woman, was a Revolutionary Soldier and a respected citizen. Black Joe and his wife, Aunt Crese, ran the inn here until the 1850’s. The last trace of the Brown family is Black Joe’s adopted daughter, Lucy A. R. Brown Fontaine who sold the house in 1867 to Henry Barry for $1175.

MAR.789 John Peach Jr. House, Gingerbread Hill Marblehead MA c 1671

This early period house may have been built as early as 1660. It was built by John Peach, Jr., a large area landowner. Roughly hewn beams and a center stairway help indicate the above date. The house has been vastly altered; the fireplaces are old but have been moved as have the chimneys. The house originally contained six rooms, three over three, and the shed was used as a shoe shop, named the “Ten-Footer.”

MAR.380 Nathaniel Norden House, 15 Glover Sq Marblehead MA 1686

In l657 John Coit, large land owner in the area, sold to William Pyt “all the houses and his third part of the stages where were fish flakes with the land adjoining” and between 1657 and 1686 this house was built. The land had come down through generations, to the wife of Nathaniel Norden. This was probably originally a one room over one, half-house with chimney behind the stair hall. This very low studded house has a huge first floor front room cooking fireplace. The stairway is hand-carved with all nails, windows, etc. being made by hand. There is a hidden stairway at the side of the front entry which leads directly to the attic where, tradition says, masses were said for Catholics before their church was allowed to emerge. The roof was raised c 1870 – it was originally very steep pitched per the period. Nathaniel Norden was prominent in representing the town in its rebellion against British taxation and in its fight for “home rule” for Marblehead, in the l680’s.

MAR.233 John Palmer House, 11 Hooper St. Marblehead MA c 1683

Although modified, 11 Hooper, built c 1683, is a first period house. The original roof timbers can be seen in the attic; it had a steeply pitched roof with no overhang at the eaves. Some time after, but probably by 1715, the front pitch was raised and extended, giving the house a deep overhang in the front. This was also done to the Moll Pitcher house on Orne. The rear pitch was also raised and an ell added to the left rear. The foundation, extending only under the right 2/3’s of the principal room and the hallway is constructed of boulders – much bigger stones than we have found in the other first period foundations we have seen. In 1682 the Commoners granted to John Palmer, shoreman, a parcel of land bounded on the highway on the SE, land of James Stilson on the NE, common land on the SW and NW. This is the comer lot at Hooper and Tucker. Richard Trevett was granted an adjoining lot up the hill shortly after. At some point soon John Palmer built the house at 11 Hooper and bought a strip of garden land to the north, where 9 Hooper now stands. In the inventory of his estate in 1727 (he died insolvent with his wealthy son John Palmer, jr. as administrator).

MAR.1235 Harris Farm 3 Manataug Trail Marblehead MA c 1720

First Period features in the form of an exposed, quirk-beaded frame are seen in the front rooms and lobby of this unusual 4-bay-plan house. There are paired transverse summer beams in the south room, supported by story posts at the south wall. Quirk beading is found on the easternmost post and beam, but only on the east side of the westernmost beam and not at all on the post supporting it. (The absence of quirked beading on certain of the framing members might indicate presence of a chimney in the end bay originally, or might have been arbitrary.) Posts and beams in the lobby upstairs hall and south chamber, where exposed, are quirk-beaded. In the rear room of the house, the summer beams and posts are exposed, but plainly finished. In the attic, rafters of the original roof remaining in the end walls indicate that initially the house had a principal rafter/common purlin roof with integral lean-to. When the roof was raised, the intermediate rafters of the lean-to were turned over and reused in the new roof. Apparently in the original framing system, rafters of the integral lean-to were borne on tie beams cantilevered out six feet from supporting posts.

MAR.80 John Savage House, 12 Middle St. Marblehead MA c 1700

This house was probably built by John Savage, one of the original proprietors of St. Michael’s Church, as he is the first recorded owner. In January 1767, his children transferred the house and land to Richard Tutt. In 1785 Richard Tutt, Sr. sold the property to Richard Tutt, Jr. for 21+0 pounds. Tutt, Jr. died before his father and his widow married William Russell. In 1813 Russell bought out all the heirs and returned the property to William Tutt, Sr. in 1836. The next day Tutt sold the house to William Vickery, Jr. and William Tucker. Thus, it was held by the Tutt family until 1836 when it was purchased by John H. Cole. It remained in the Cole family until 1933. There are six fireplaces, low ceilings, wainscoting, wide pine boards on floors, H & L hinges throughout and paneling over the fireplaces, the kitchen ell was reported in the Marblehead Messenger as having been added in the 1930’s. This might explain the hip roof on the addition side of the house.

MAR.70 19 Middle St. Marblehead MA c 1709

This house was built around 1709 for Richard Nicholson, a fisherman. It is a short distance from Abbott Hall. Original wide pine floors are throughout the house and the hand-hewn floor joists are exposed. In 1850 this house was owned by W. Standley.

MAR.548 Roger Stevens House, 29 Mugford St. Marblehead MA 1715

This house was built for Roger Stevens in 1715. Stevens owned several houses in town and it is likely that this one was built as an investment. There is (Sine chamfering on the beams and fine carving on the posts. It might be interesting to comp. this structure with the house built for Philip Ashton at 95 Elm Street which appears to have been built about the same time. The house was owned in 1850 by J. N. Glover, in 1888 by J. E. Lewis and in 1912 by Gregory.

MAR.23 5 Nicholson St. Marblehead MA c 1730

Owner advises that some of the beams in the house are chamfered and some beaded. There was stenciling in the front stair hall which has been covered over with wallpaper. There is a fireplace arch and cistern in the cellar and a cooking fireplace on the first floor with bake oven. Mrs. Percy advises that the house has thick walls and interior shutters. It was in dual ownership for several years.

MAR.574 Ambrose Gale Jr. House, 10 Orne St. Marblehead MA c 1680

This house has been in the Gile family since 1912. The newer house closer to Orne appears on the 1912 atlas, replacing a smaller structure showing on the earlier atlases. The rear house was owned by A. Dennis in 1850, J Chamberlain in 1881 and Lindsay in 1888. The rear portion appears to be a first period house measuring 18 x 23 on the outside. There are few changes apparent from the outside. Roof pitch, lack of overhang, narrow clapboarding, very old rear door, position of chimney all deserve further research. Beam pattern runs front to back with bays measuring 5’7″, 8’7″ and 8’9″ from left to right. There is a summer beam in front of the chimney stack. The stair hall is in the right bay and is of top to bottom board construction. It looks old and simple. The post height on the first floor is 6’2″ and 6’7″ on the second floor. The beams are heavy and chamfered, some with lamb’s tongue stops. One post on the second floor has a decorative reduction in thickness. The chimney stack is to the rear of the main room and has a fireplace in that room and a smaller fireplace serving the small room behind the stair hall. All fireplaces seem 18th century in size and design, have raised panels over them and a small moulding around the opening. The principal rooms have additional mouldings over the fireplace paneling forming a transition to the summer beam. These mouldings look Georgian in design. The cellar foundation is of thick stone. Beams are 10 x 11 and follow the pattern described above. Joists are of h x 5s about 2h inches on center. The chimney base is arched brick, U9″ deep and U8″ across. The attic does not show another chimney location. From Sidney Perley: Ambrose Gale sr Lot and Ambrose Gale jr Souse These lots of land were originally a part of the large lot of Moses Maverick of Marblehead merchant and on it Capt Samuel Ward of Marblehead cooper erected a dwelling house in which he lived before Jan 31 1671 when Mr Maverick conveyed the land to him Mr Ward became a vintner and for one hundred and seventy pounds conveyed this lot and the buildings thereon to Ambrose Gale of Marblehead merchant March 30 1686 Mr Gale for love conveyed to his son Ambrose Gale of Marblehead mariner the house shop and land northeasterly of the brook Aug 8 1695 Mr Gale the father died possessed of the barn and land on the southwestern side of the brook in August 1708 The son Ambrose Gale died possessed of his lot and house 1 4 mo 1717 and his three surviving children Elizabeth wife of John Blackler Mary wife of Nicholas Edgecome and Deborah wife of John Stadden all the sons in law being of Marblehead fishermen divided the estate Nov 9 1719 Mr. and Mrs. Blackler and and Mr and Mrs Stadden released to Mrs Edgecome.

MAR.751 Graves House, 39 Orne St. Marblehead MA c 1670

Tradition dictates that this house was a series of three buildings, each built by different people at different times but attached to one another. The houses were built by three Graves brothers (fishermen) before 1670. The first part built was the center of the house. It had two floors, one large chimney and a fireplace, on each floor. Sometime later, the “richest” brother added on to the rear, two very large rooms, one over one, both with large fireplaces. The first story floor’ in this section was later lowered and the second story ceiling raised with dormers added into the ridge roof. The front end of the house was built by the “poorest” brother and contains two very small rooms, one on each of two floors, with no fireplaces. Each house contained its own stairway and entrance, which remain today but with inside entry from one to the other. The only paneling left in the house is in the middle section, now the dining room, around a large Federal fireplace. The ceiling of this room is very low.

MAR.747 William Diamond House, 42 Orne St. Marblehead MA c 1710

Stories have collected thick and fast around this house. Its name, The Old Brig, is from the tradition that it was built of timbers of a vessel wrecked oh the shore. The Moll Pitcher House name comes from the story that Moll Pitcher, Lynn’s famous fortune teller’s grandfather lived in the house. Her grandfather, Edward Diamond, had the ability to shout through storms at sea and warn ships of disaster. The house is probably a first period house. The framing is massive, chamfered and joined to the posts in the earlier style. There are two principal rooms on a floor and originally’ there was a massive center chimney. The two little ells on the back corner were added late in the 19th century. The deep overhang at the eaves is probably an early 13th century alteration, as the rafters have been spliced. Compare with 11 Hooper Street, John Palmer’s house, built c 1685. In 1850 the house was owned by E. Harris and continued to be held in many confusing ways by many people until 1975. Research by Robert Booth shows that this house was built by William Diamond in 1710. It was later owned by his son Edward.

MAR.83 Andrew Tucker House, 7 South St. Marblehead MA c 1715

Robert Booth’s research sets the building date of this house at about 1715, based on architectural evidence and the fact that Mr. Tucker married late in 1712. Tucker bought this lot between 1710 and 1720, during the period when the town records are missing. The original house consisted of two large rooms, one over one with chamfered posts and beams. About 10 years later two more rooms were added, their posts and beams beaded rather than chamfered, and the chimney enlarged to accommodate two new fireplaces. Tucker in 1725 bought from Stephen Minot a piece of land to the SW of his house lot bounded on what is now Middle St. “with the end of a house unfinished therein standing.” Andrew Tucker was dead by 1740 when his widow administered his large estate including “his mansion house and two barns.” By 1750 son Andrew had bought from his mother the”dwelling house of our honored father Andrew Tucker” and all the land. In 1761 Andrew sold to his son-in-law Neal Conway, the SW half and land and adjoining woodhouse, and to his son Andrew the NE half with the store adjoining. Both parties shared the use of “the great dore in the front of said house and the stairway there from the lower floor to the garret.” In 1766 Andrew sold his half to Capt Conway for 100 li. Conway died at sea in 1770 and in 1771 his widow, Mary Tucker Conway married John Bartlett. In 1773 Mrs. Bartlett received her dower 1/3 of the homestead consisting of the northerly kitchen and shop adjoining with certain land, door and cellar rights. In 1777 the rest of the property was divided between the two daughters, Mary Ryan and Martha Felton. For some time the families of Mary and Martha shared the house. The house became owned by members of Mary’s family and remained in complicated multi ownership until after 1870. It was sold out of the family in 1896. 10. Bibliography and/or references (such as local histories, deeds, assessor’s records, early maps, etc.) From 1761 to 1937 a wedge shaped shop was attached to the northern end of this house and was called the flat iron. The appendage named the house. It was removed in 1937.

MAR.646 18 Stacey St. Marblehead MA c 1695

This early house has undergone so many alterations that with the exception of the front stair hall, about all it has left is the feeling that it is indeed a very early house. Roof pitch may have been changed, the windows certainly have. Ells have been added to the rear, and sheds behind those have eventually been incorporated into the house. It was brought back from disintegration by Ned Fish c. 1968. He has a reputation for sensitive restoration and adaption. It has always been a very modest house. It was bought in 1833 hy Edward Bowen and Thompson. In 18$0 it was owned by W. Knight and E Thompson, in 1888 and 1912 the same. For many years Dora Thompson Shirley lived there.

MAR.231 Bubier – Chamberlain House, 5 Tucker St. Marblehead MA c 1700

“The original grant of land was to John Palmer in 1685. He built the house. This John Palmer, Sr. made a will dated Oct 22, 1724, leaving it to his grandchildren ‘Christopher Boobier, son of my daughter Margaret Boobier, and Eleanor Palmer, daughter of my son, John Palmer, ye parts of my new house I lately built.’ which they were to share in partnership,’immediately after the decease of said John Palmer, Sr. Supposedly this is the present house. Apparently he cancelled these bequests because on Nov. 2, 1728 he conveyed to his grandson, Christopher Bubier, shoreman,’inconsideration of the love and goodwill and affection that I have and do bear toward my grandson, Christopher Bubier, ect. a certain dwelling house and barn with land thereunto belonging, etc. bounded northwesterly on land of Capt. Richard Trevett.” Richard Trevett, shipwright, conveyed to Christopher Bubier, ‘ a small piece of land with part of a house thereon. The Trevett house was the northwestern half of the present house built against the same chimney, the southeastern half having been built by John Palmer. In 1750 Bubier acquired the land adjoining on the northeast formerly his grandfather Palmer’s, recently the property of Bamford and Bolster. At some time this property extended from Hooper Street to Mason Street and the present Bowden house on the corner of Mason and Tucker was the barn. In 1779 Christopher Bubier conveyed the former Palmer property, north of the house to his son-in-law Michael Bassett, husband of his daughter Mary. They probably lived in the Bolster house, at 11 Hooper Street. Christopher Bubier died in 1789 and left the mansion house to his daughter Grace Prentis, wife of Joshua Prentis, for life, and then in equal parts to their many chili children. It remained the property of these heirs who later conveyed all their interests t to their brother, John Bubier Prentis, shipmaster of New York, until his death in 1818.”

MAR.631 12 1/2-14 Washington St. Marblehead MA c 1710

The left half of this building is probably older than the right and may be a first period house. The deep overhang at the eaves;, low foundation, low ceiling height and the narrow small paned window indicate a building date c 1710. The interior appears to have been totally altered. The addition to the right may be a few years younger.

MAR.469 83 Washington St. Marblehead MA c 1700

It seems likely that this is a first period house. The ceilings are low, the rooms are very large and have two summer beams running perpendicular to the front of the house. The post height on the second floor is higher than the first. The back rooms are later and have exposed finished and. chamfered beams. At some point, the front rooms were decorated by a very talented joiner. The window seats, fireplace paneling and cornice moldings are all of high quality. A shell cupboard with fluted pilasters and a double keystone” surpasses in elegance anything else we have seen in town with the possible exception of the ornamentation in the Lee Mansion. In 1850 the house was owned by G. LeMaster, in 1888 by S. B. Graves estate and in 1912 by Ella G. Graves et al.

MAR.506 Buzzell House, 128 Washington St. Marblehead MA c 1715

Because the posts are stopped, the beams chamfered and finished, the size of the framing members is large and the mortice and tenon joints are of the early type, I would say that this is a first period house. It was moved here after 1850 and before 1881. The cellar is very large and now contains a dress shop. An owner has built a deck out back of old wharf timbers which is of handsome design. It was owned by J. G. Buzzell in 1883 and 1912, and after the death of Mrs. Buzzell was closed up for about 40 years.

MAR.60 John House, 200 Washington St. Marblehead MA c 1700

Before addition of a full dormer, this house was one of a very few first period houses retaining its early external characteristics. The roof was steeply pitched, there was no overhang at the eaves and there was an overhang with decorative support on the right side. The earliest deed reference is dated 1708 for the land, but because the house has so many 18th century characteristics, it is thought that it may have been moved here. The house had one room to a floor with a massive chimney behind the small entry and stair hall. The beams are very large. There has been a great deal of interior remodeling and restoration. The house was built for John Allen, fisherman and 198 Washington was added to the left side for Allen’s daughter about 20 years later.

MAR.339 Hannah Devereux Knott House, 23 Watson St. Marblehead MA 1672

Perley says that the lot on which this house stands was owned by Peter Greenfield in 1667 and later was sold by Hannah Devereux Greenfield Knott Swett to her son-in-law, Thomas Martin. The family documentation is unusually complete and was written down by Mrs. Hedge, an owner in the 1920’s. Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Devereux (Anna Lewis) of Marblehead, had a daughter, Hannah. Shewas married three times. First husband was Peter Greenfield. He may have built this house, or it may have been built by Hannah’s second husband, Dr Richard Knott. Dr. Knott came from Lincolnshire, England, and was surgeon-general for Massachusetts and received the first orders for “chirurgical instruments” to be issued during King Philip’s War. Hannah Devereux married Richard Knott in 1671. When he died in 1683, the oldest child of this marriage was ten years old. Her third husband was Joseph Swett. She and he left “this house in which we dwell” to the youngest daughter of Hannah and Richard Knott. She was named Eleanor and was born in 1682. Eleanor Knott married Thomas Martin. Their son, Knott Martin, married Anna Bowden. Elizabeth Martin, daughter of Knott and Anna (Bowden) Martin (who says she was the third generation to be born in this house) married Thomas Doliber. The daughter of Thomas and Elizabeth Martin Doliber, named Sarah, married Thomas Homan. The house passed from her to a grandson. The house had a low pitch to the roof. It was vastly altered in 1946 and expanded 8 feet to the rear, changing both slopes of the roof. I suspect the chimney dates from this time. The house is constructed on an 8′ module. The stairway was tight and there was a little room behind. According to Elizabeth Brown whose wedding dress was made in that room and who much later lived in the house. There are no indications of original chimney and fireplace placement. After Mrs. Hedge died, the house remained unoccupied for 20 years. The Goldthwait sisters living next door, remodeled the house in 1946 and died shortly after.


33 Church Street, Merrimac MA

The front of this house dates to the Federal era. The rear ell shown here dates to 1671 by local tradition, but will need confirmation regarding First Period elements.

5 Pine Street, Merrimac, MA

The house is said to have been constructed in 1694, but is not listed on the MACRIS site.First Period construction information is unavailable.

MER.51, Stevens, Dea. Thomas House, 117 River Rd, Merrimac MA c. 1702

This house is one of the oldest in the River Village, being built circa 1702 by Thomas Stevens who was a very prominent citizen in this community. From 1684 to 1724 he served 17 years as a selectman and was twice elected representative from the Town of Amesbury. In March of 1728 he was chosen a deacon of the Second Church of Christ, established two years previously in the West Parish. In 1712 Thomas Stevens, Sr. deeded this property to his son Thomas, Jr. who also became a distinguished citizen, being active during the French and Indian War, serving at Crown Point under Capt. Stephen Sargent (1755) and as a lieutenant in the Lake George campaign (1756). This house is architecturally significant and scenically located at the confluence of the Merrimack River and Cobbler’s Brook (Patten’s or Sargent’s Creek). It was here that the old bridge crossed the brook to Clapboard Landing, for many years an important local shipping center for river traffic. This colonial house has a central front door and a central hallway. Two chimneys originally accommodated fireplaces in each of the eight rooms, four of which remain functioning today. The windows are symmetrically placed, multi-paned 9/6 both upstairs and down. Within, the fireplace walls are paneled; there are gunstock corner posts, wainscoting, and pine flooring. One unusual feature is the brick noggin in the outside walls throughout the house.


MDL.25, Joseph Fuller House, 161 Essex St. Middleton MA c 1715

Joseph Fuller was the son of Thomas Fuller (whose 1684 house also survives in Middleton) born in 1679. This house is first recorded in deeds in 1722, although Joseph married in 1711 and again in 1713 and owned this land since 1699. A member of one of the most prominent early families to settle Middleton, Joseph died in 1748. Built as a one room deep, central chimney, two and one half story high, two room plan house before 1720, the Joseph Fuller House later gained a rear lean-to with “Beverly jog” off its eastern end is shingled. The front wall is an evenly spaced five part facade with added one-story gabled entry (c.1800); the end walls contain paired windows at each story, with irregular fenestration on the later lean-to, including a door on the southern face of the shed-roofed two story jog. The gable roof is pierced by a brick stack at and in front of the ridge. Three of the four original rooms are Second Period in construction with later circa 1800 trim. The transverse binding summer in the east kitchen has been exposed but was clearly designed to be boxed from the start. Only the frame in kitchen chamber, where the transverse tie is exposed, was apparently intended to be exposed, for the beam is decorated with a plain narrow bevel with run-out taper stop. The front and second story with simple bevel chamfers and taper stops. That the house was originally of two room plan can be seen in the evidence that the roof was not originally cantilevered for an integral lean-to. Evidence for a side oven on the front jamb of the eastern room or kitchen on the first floor can be seen in the bulge behind the later (c. 1800) staircase in the front hall. The cellar contains a massive stone chimney base and employs large sleepers to support the first floor.

MDL.11, Dea. Edward Putnam Jr. House, 9 Gregory St. Middleton MA c 1705

The Edward Putnam, Jr. House was begun c. 1705 with the construction of the eastern end of the present house, including the chimney bay, of plank frame. During restoration of the west chamber, mortises for the corner braces of the original end wall were discovered, as was the end of the original plate and west plank wall that was later reused as the interior east wall of that chamber. The earlier rooms are narrower with boxed transverse summer (binding) beams on the first floor and boxed transverse tie beam above. These are framed into tow story posts, originally with plain bevel chamfers terminating at the second story shoulder which was later cut flat and boxed. The large parlor eastern fireplace on the first floor has rounded jambs and a smoke panel.

MDL.14, Lt. Thomas Fuller House, 6 Old S. Main St. Middleton MA c 1684

The First Period framing of the rooms on either side of the central chimney is unusual for having transverse summers on the first floor, matching the position of those acting as ties on the second floor. These are supported by two-story posts centered between the corner posts of each room, creating two bays approximately 7′ wide in each room. The summer and tie beam is the western half are exposed beneath the plastered ceilings hiding the joists: both are about 8 1/2 wide and thus depth-wise beams typical of the Salem area. They are decorated with 2″ wide flat chamfers terminating with a collar 1 3/4 ” long and a 3″ long raised cove stop with reported crosscuts on the cove. This unusual combination appears at both stories. On the second story all the posts are flared to a shoulder have a 1 1/4″ bevel and taper stop. The upper end girt also has a simple bevel, as do the first floor and rear plates where exposed. Wide winder stairs are sheathed with plain pine vertical boards in front of the brick chimney stack. The eastern rooms, extant in 1690 according to documentary reference, now have later boxing over the second floor flare and shoulder and the summer and tie may be identical beneath the later boxing. The kitchen fireplace has been opened on the east side and is 10′ wide between the old jambs with a rear beehive oven at the north corner. The cellar contains the massive stone chimney base and the first floor is supported by wide squared sleepers running longitudinally. Behind the two original front rooms, a lean-to was added, perhaps as early as 1690 or possible replacing one of that period. It was later raised to a second story in the 19th century. Perhaps at the same time the roof was rebuilt, probably reusing six old principal rafters and purlins.


Jackman-Willett House, High St., Newbury (1696)

The Jackman-Willett House, a restored colonial structure, is maintained by The Sons & Daughters of the First Settlers of Newbury. Originally located on the east side of High Road, north off “the road to the landing place,” the house was built by Richard Jackman in 1696. Richard Jackman was the son of James Jackman and the nephew of Henry Short, both early settlers of Newbury. Elizabeth, daughter of Richard and Elizabeth (Plummer) Jackman, and her husband, Joseph Willett, lived in the little house, which became known as the Willett House. Their son John inherited the house in 1729. Following his death in 1739, the house came into the William Plumer family.

Joseph Noyes house, 45 Elm St., Newbury (Byfield) c 1695. (Frank and Carrie Knight Ambrose house)

Near the Governor’s Academy in Byfield stands the house believed to have been built by Joseph Noyes Joseph Noyes on part of the original Richard Dummer land grant.

NEW.240 Swett – Ilsley House, 4-6 High Rd. Newbury MA c 1670

The 1670 Swett-Ilsley House became the first architectural acquisition by Historic New England just a year after its founding in 1910. The 2 ½ story building stretches for eight bays along its east (front) facade; three bays deep along its south, gabled façade, which has an overhanging second floor; and four bays deep along its north façade, which incorporates a lean-to. The construction history of the house includes a distinctive and atypical evolution. Built in 1670, the original portion was a typical seventeenth century single-room plan building with a chimney bay end. It faced south, perpendicular to today’s High Street. Passing through a series of owners, the house remained essentially unaltered until about 1720, when it was enlarged with a second single-room unit to the north of the original block. A new roof, made in part with the salvaged rafters of the old roof, was built over the whole, changing the ridge pole direction from an east-west to a north-south axis. Now the house faced today’s High Street.

NEW.202 Dr. Peter Toppan House, 5 High Rd. Newbury MA 1697

The house is a fine example of a First Period structure built for the town physician and first settler in 1697. In the late nineteenth century the house was altered to accomodate two families; restored to a single family dwelling in the mid-twentieth century.

NEW.236 Tristam Coffin House, 16 High Rd. Newbury MA, 1678

Dendrochronology conducted by the Oxford Tree-ring Labratory found that the earliest part of the Coffin House was built in 1678 on land owned by Tristram Coffin, Jr., though how he acquired the land is not recorded. The property remained in Coffin family ownership until it came to SPNEA in 1929 and was for a time divided in ownership among several members of the Coffin family. The traditional date of c. 1654 was assigned by Joshua Coffin, author of the 1845 history of Newbury, who resided in the house (Coffin 1845, 391).The earliest portion of the Tristram Coffin House represents one of the outstanding examples of First Period architecture in New England and is the most important seventeenth century house in the District. It is set in deeply from High Road on a lot with a creek just beyond its western edge. Architectural analysis proceeds on the basis of dendrochronology, documentation and style. The original portion is the earliest example in the area in which the architectural treatments of both interior and exterior have been preserved. The portion facing south was enlarged with a First Period addition. A more extensive enlargement occurred after 1750, expanding the house to its present size while establishing a new orientation facing east. By 1785 all major elements of the house as it now stands were named in a division of the property. The east facade facing the High Road continues the seventeenth century use of unpainted clapboarding, vertical chimneys and vernacular character of the original portion; its organization is now regularized and classicized so that its entrance and fenestration are symmetrically disposed into five bays, two and one-half stories in height. The placement of windows on the south facade reflects the additive nature of the house. The Tristram Coffin House (Massachusetts Historic Landmark; HABS: MASS 472) was continuously occupied by the Coffin family from 1654 when it was built by one of Newbury’s first settlers, Tristram Coffin, until its acquisition by SPNEA in 1929.

NEW.305 Spencer – Peirce – Little House, Little’s Ln Newbury MA c 1670

John Spencer was granted a 400-acre parcel, the lion’s share of which now makes up the Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm, in 1635 as part of the first allocation of land to new settlers. He was an investor in the cattle venture that drove settlement in Newbury, and was a man of means. The town also granted him a house lot of four acres near the landing site in the Parker River. John Spencer played a prominent role in the early years of the fledgling settlement, representing the town to the General Court in Boston, acting as a captain in the militia, and involving himself in a mill-building venture with friend and fellow wealthy settler Richard Dummer. In 1637, however, both Spencer and Dummer were disarmed for being supporters of Anne Hutchinson and part of a heretical sect. He left Newbury, likely intending to return, and left his property to his nephew. John Spencer died in England in 1648, and his nephew sold the property, now smaller by 100 acres, to Daniel Peirce. Daniel Peirce Sr. came to Newbury from Watertown in 1638. Like Spencer, he took an active role in the affairs of the new town, and was engaged in blacksmithing, malt making, farming, and cattle raising. When he died in 1677, the farm had greatly increased in value – from 500 to 1,200 pounds, due in part to barns and outbuildings he had built on the land and in part to the growing settlement and scarcity of new land in Newbury.

NEW.301 James Noyes House, 7 Parker Rd. Newbury MA c 1675

The house was built by the Reverend James Noyes, a Reformed pastor, who arrived in Newbury after landing in Ipswich in the mid-17th century.[2] The Noyes family came from Wiltshire in England. Wikipedia states that the house dates from about 1646.The main block of the house is a 2 1⁄2-story wood-frame structure, five bays wide, with a large central chimney. When the house was first built, it was only a single room deep; around 1800 a 2 1⁄2-story cross-gable ell was added to the rear, which was further extended by a 1 1⁄2-story ell later in the 19th century.The chamfered roof frame is mid-seventeenth century in character and directly related to that of the nearby Coffin House in Newbury (c.1654). The Noyes roof is of oak in a principal and purlin system with three purlins and ridge purlin; the purlins are trenched into the rafters. The principal rafters are joined by collar beams mortised ell, are was made into the rafters. Also in the attic, seen from the c.1800 early shingles which covered the rear wall before the addition While most of the house frame is covered by later boxing, the second floor south chamber oak tie beam is exposed beneath the plaster ceiling. It is 12″ wide with a quarter-round chamfer with fillet terminating in a 3″ lamb’s tongue stop.

NEW.302 Abraham Adams House, 8 Pearson Dr Newbury MA c 1704

The house was built on empty land acquired between 1705 and 1707 by Abraham Adams, (1676-1758,) who married Samuel Sewall’s granddaughter in 1703. Capt. Adams, a sea captain and noted early Massachusetts shipbuilder, was also a successful farmer, and the third highest taxpayer in Byfield. The First Period house is one room deep with single centered windows at each story on the ends, and has a projecting lobby entrance with a later door and Federal sidelights.


NWB.604 Pilsbury – Rawson House, 267 High St. Newburyport MA c 1651

The original dwelling house of Edward Rawson burned on July 4th 1889. The current house is a reproduction. In 1650 Rawson was chosen Secretary of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, an office which he held for thirty-six years, and took up his residence in Boston. The house and forty acres of land in Newbury were sold in 1651 to William Pillsbury of Dorchester.

NWB.175 Charles W. Hale House, 26-28 Marlboro St. Newburyport MA c 1700

Architecturally this house is of interest because it has an early form. The long, low pitched roof and the massive center chimney are indicative of an early eighteenth century construction date. This structure has been rehabilitated in recent years. Much of the present architectural detail probably dates from this period of renovation. This house probably dates from the early years of the eighteenth century. The earliest known owners, are those of the late nineteenth century. At that time Charles W. Hale was the proprietor of this building. Hale was in partnership with Moses Stevens under the firm name of Charles W. Hale and Company. This firm dealt in fish and the business was located on Bartlett’s Wharf. Charles W. Hale also served as alderman from Ward One in 1857.This land remained in the Hale family until 1960. It was set aside as the Hale Memorial Park according to the bequest of Joseph W. L. Hale.

NWB.179 Pettingil – Thurlow House, 2 Neptune St. Newburyport MA c 1700

This early house is one of the most interesting in the Joppa district. It was probably originally built as a half house with the Northern three bays. Interesting architectural features include the stone foundation, the massive central chimney and the lean-to at the rear of the building. This house was undoubtedly built before 1725 and a portion of it could date from the seventeenth century. The earliest owners of this house have yet to be documented. In 1851 a map of Newburyport indicates that the property was owned by B. Pettingill. Between 1851 and 1871 this house was purchased by George Thurlow. This property remained in the Thurlow family until the mid-twentieth century.

NWB.571 Benjamin Coker House, 172 State St. Newburyport MA c 1700

The Benjamin Coker House embodies in its roof frame and second story tie beam, clear evidence of a distinctive First Period plan type and construction methods. While the house is undocumented before 1719, the style and construction suggest a ca. 1700 date. The house began as a single cell, two story house, located at High and Federal Streets. The early core of this house is the chimney bay and left-hand rooms. Roof framing includes mortises for collar beams, (now gone,) in the principal rafters of the principal and purlin system roof. In the first story room, the tie beam is decorated with a 2″-wide beveled chamfer terminating in a large lamb’s tongue stop. The posts in this room are exposed and flared, with simple beveled chamfers.

North Andover

NAD.302 John Faulkner House, 141 Appleton St. North Andover MA c 1705

This characteristic saltbox was constructed for a descendant of Edmund Faulkner who was among the town’s original settlers, on land his father willed him in the 1680’s. When constructed, this simple home consisted of two stories, two rooms each, around a large central chimney. The lean-to was probably added in the mid-1700’s. The most significant surviving architectural details are the interior exposed framing members including a flat-chamfered summer beam and end girts. The siting of the structure with the front squarely facing the south is typical of colonial customs.

NAD.344 Bridges-Stevens House,125 Court St., North Andover MA: c 1690

The first home of James Bridges, Sr., this was originally a modest one-over-one room, end-chimney dwelling of about 1690. It was supplanted in 1721 by a much more impressive 2-story, central chimney Colonial with high quality interior features. The Bridges family were successful maltsters, blacksmiths, with high social standing from the late 17th into the 18th Centuries.The dwelling was enlarged yet again in the 1750’s. In 2000,the house was acquired by the North Andover Historical Society in order to rescue it and keep it in the community. Patricia Robak and Robert Allegretto bought it from NAHS in 2001 and moved it about 1.5 miles to its present site in North Andover’s Old Center Historic District.

NAD.66 922 Dale St. North Andover MA c 1715

The original late First Period core of the building today comprises only the northeast end. It was 3 bays wide and 2 1/2 stories high-, with a chimney on the west wall and a roof pitch of 37 degrees. Between 1740 and 1780, this core was enlarged by adding another one cell room to the west of the chimney. The present plan was reached in the Federal Period by adding two rooms onto the south (front) side and replacing the central chimney with twin stacks. The main evidence of the transitional First Period one cell core of the house remains in the first floor northeast corner room and in the attic. The first floor northeast room has a transverse summer beam with beveled chamfer and lamb’s tongue stops.

NAD.286 Carlton – Frie – Tucker House, 140 Mill Rd. North Andover MA c 1709

The Carlton-Frie-Tucker House is a 2 1/2 story, 5 bay, center chimney plan, clapboarded structure, with a rear lean-to which was rebuilt in the 20th century. The main house consists of two First Period single cell 1/2 houses joined at the center chimney. The east end is original to the site; the west end was moved from elsewhere and added on in the 1760’s, reputedly after a fire destroyed the original west end of the house. Its first floor exhibits much evidence of First Period interior detailing and construction; the first floor east room joists with barefaced soffit tenons are exceptional examples of a rare late 17th century construction technique. Most of the frame in the first floor east room is exposed. The partially hacked out longitudinal summer beam exhibits surviving lamb’s tongue stops. The joists are joined to the plates with unusual barefaced soffit tenons, and to the summer beam with butt cog joints.

NAD.28 Parson Barnard House, 179 Osgood St. North Andover MA c 1715

Built by Thomas Barnard, the third minister of the Parish, after his first house burned. The house features 17th Century building techniques, and is owned by the North Andover Historical Society.

NAD.287 Col. John Osgood House, 547 Osgood St. North Andover MA c 1720

The left side of the house was originally a one cell 2 1/2 story building. Another one cell, 2 1/2 story First Period building was attached to the right of the chimney. The double-dove-tailed binding timbers that join the two sections of the house at attic level are extremely unusual solutions to the common Massachusetts problem of how to connect two frame houses. Only the right side of the house displays late First Period details; thus either both buildings were constructed almost simultaneously and then joined, or the right hand section was built first and added to the newer Second Period house. The first floor right hand room has an exposed quirk-beaded transverse summer beam supported by story posts. The front plate has a beveled chamfer with taper stops to either side of the story post and small lamb’s tongue stop at the south end. The rear plate has a beveled chamfer with no stops; the end post is quirk-bead. The house was moved 90 degrees on its original site.

NAD.110 Abiel Stevens House, 280 Salem St. North Andover MA c 1714

The Abiel Stevens House has preserved most of its original exterior form and detail intact. Much of the original interior finish carpentry is still visible on the first floor — quirked beads on girts and summers, and a three panel door with very highly raised and feathered panels. Much of the original hardware is still in place. Abiel Stevens, the original owner, married Deborah Barker, daughter of Capt. John Barker, an officer of the militia who fought in King Philip’s War. He was listed in the Andover Proprietors Records, First Book. In April 1719, the Selectmen’s accounts show that he held the post of Clerk of the Market, a position corresponding to the modern office of Sealer of Weights and Measures.

NAD.45 Timothy Johnson House, 18-20 Stevens St. North Andover MA c 1720

The transitional nature of the Captain Timothy Johnson House is evident from its wealth of original First and early Second Period features. The front first floor right hand room has an exposed longitudinal summer beam and chimney girt, both with quirked beading; (the other framing members have boxes with quirked beads.) During restoration in 1966, a cast iron fireback bearing the arms of George I (1714-1727) was found in the fireplace of the southwest room. The two rear first floor rooms have exposed transverse summer beams with quirked beading, but all other exposed framing elements there are unfinished. The transitional combination of First and Second Period features continues on the second floor, with the more ^stylish’ details found in the left hand, or northern, section of the house, as they are on the first floor. First Period decoration appears in the rear left-hand chamber, however, where the transverse summer be^m, front and rear plates, end and chimney girts, and flared corner and chimney posts, are all exposed, and have quirked bead finish. The front left-hand chamber has a completely plastered ceiling, with quirk-beaded plates and end girt only slightly visible below the plaster. The 1966 restoration exposed a 4″ baseboard strip, painted black, on the original plaster wall of this room, which has been restored on the wall and fireplace. The summer beam from the right front chamber continues through to the rear plate. In the right rear room, it is finished with a rough beveled chamfer with simple stops. The rear plate and end girt also have rough flat chamfers. In the attic, the framing of the gambrel roof consists of five principal rafters with butt-cog common purlins, and ridge pole. The gambrel peak is formed by a single curved piece of wood, an unusual and early feature. Second Period features that appear to be contemporary with those that are First Period in style include two long horizontal raised-field panels with very deep feathers over the fireplace in the right first-floor room. The 4 1/2′ wide fireplace opening is surrounded by a molded board without a mantel. Other Second Period features in the room which may be part of the original construction are deep windows with sliding shutters, paneled sides and soffits, and wainscoting with molded chair rail and baseboard. The left front room was evidently the original parlor, as it is entirely finished in original early Second Period work.

NAD.111 Samuel Frie House, 920 Turnpike St. North Andover MA c 1715

The Samuel Frye House retains integrity of materials, workmanship, and location in its surviving transitional First Period frame and floor plan. It provides another example of transitional First Period frame embellishment, while the 18th century added lean-to represents a typical addition pattern in early Massachusetts houses. The retention of a First Period floor plan despite Federal remodeling, which replaced one central chimney stack with paired ones, represents a very late conservative survival of First Period planning concepts in a building superficially altered to conform to later standards. The first floor southeast room has an exposed longitudinal summer beam with quirked beading. The rest of the.frame is covered with plain boxes. The frame of the first floor southwest room is completely boxed. The east first floor room in, the lean-to has exposed ceiling beams, some unfinished and some finished with very rough beveled chamfers, indicating that the lean-to may have been added fairly soon after the original building. The southeast chamber has an exposed transverse summer beam with beveled chamfer and taper stops. The rear plate is quirk-beaded (visible in the closet); all other framing members are boxed. The southwest chamber has a transverse summer beam with quirk beading. The front and back plates are quirk-beaded. The east wall has two sections of square field panels with early deep feather edges which perhaps once flanked the original fireplace.

North Reading

NRE.23 Rev. Daniel Putnam House, 27 Bow St. North Reading MA 1720

The Rev. Daniel Putnam House is an exceptionally well preserved example of a large five-bay, center chimney colonial. The original 1720 core was either a one or two cell 2 1/2 story house of plank construction which was enlarged to its present size in the late 18th or early 19th century. The 2 1/2 story structure is set on a stone and granite foundation. The gable-roofed main building has an 1820 well room ell projecting on the north side. Built by Reading’s North Parish as a condition of Rev. Daniel Putnam’s settlement, the house has always been occupied by his lineal descendants carrying the Putnam name. Rev. Daniel Putnam, the first of that name to graduate Harvard in 1717 and the first settled minister of the North Parish, served in the ministry at old Reading which included the current towns of Wakefield, North Reading MA, and Reading, longer than any other man (1720-1759) except his successor, Rev. Elija Stone (1761-1822). Descendants occupying the home have been Deacon Daniel Putnam, physician and Selectman; Deacon Henry Putnam, farmer, Selectman, and State Representative, who also served in the Revolutionary War under Reading’s Captain John Flint of the North Parish; Captain Joshua Putnam, who served in the War of 1812 and was a member of the School Committee, Selectman, and State Representative; and the widow Nancy (Graves) Putnam who had formerly been headmaster of her own school in South Danvers. She furnished a room of the house for teaching boarding students as well as day pupils after the death of her husband Joshua.

NRE.64 John Bickford House, 235 Elm St. North Reading MA c 1735 (early Georgian)

Described by North Reading historian Samuel L. LePage as “an old house with atmosphere and dignity.” The house’s combination of largely exposed and quirk-beaded frame, simple Second Period paneled fireplace walls, and unusual gambrel roof make it an excellent example of late transitional First Period architecture. The John Bickford house’s most distinctive quality is its substantial, gambrel-roof. Consistent with Georgian Colonial principles, the five-bay main facade is symmetrical. The center entrance exhibits surrounds which appear to have been derived from an Asher Benjamin pattern book and were added during the 1820s or 30s. Boston University graduate student Anne Brophy has traced this house’s origins to c.1732-1735. According to Brophy’s research, John Bickford purchased the land in 1732 and seems to have built this house in 1735.


PEA.169 John Proctor House, 348 Lowell St. Peabody MA c 1700

The house has a long association with the Proctor family, residents in the area since 1648. The building is traditionally dated to the 1650’s, when John Proctor, who was hung during the Salem witch trials in 1692, rented the property from Emmanuel Downing. Nevertheless, the characteristically late chamfers and stops suggest that the present structure was built by Thorndike Proctor, John’s son, when he bought the property from Charles Downing ca. 1700. The house remained in the Proctor family until 1851, when it was bought by the Roome family. The property was known as the Roome Farm until it was sold in the 1940’s.


REA.226, Parker Joseph House, 420 Franklin St. Reading MA (between 1711 – 1750)

The Joseph Parker House is significant (1) for its role as an early 18th century homestead; (2) for its connection with the locally prominent Parker family, and with local artist Ellen Nelson; (3) for its very early date; and (4) as a relatively intact example of First period architecture. Although the house is believed to have been built 1711 but is not on map of 1765. Isaac Parker owned the property and sold it in 1800 to Col. Nathan Parker. The house is three bays wide suggesting that it was originally a half house that was never enlarged.

REA.223, Nichols Richard House, 483 Franklin St. Reading MA c 1732 (early Georgian)

Richard Nichols and his descendants have been a part of Reading history from the first grant of land to John Nichols in 1686/7 until the present. The house was owned and the property farmed by this family until 1893. The two Nichols farmsteads in the Franklin Street area covered over one hundred and forty-three acres. The house may originally have been 3 bays wide, a half-house, which was later expanded by 2 bays and later a third bay to the east. The small windows, with 6/6 lights, touch the plate on the second story. The door surround is plain; the central chimney is large, and probably organized the interior spaces of the house.

REA.251, Nichols Richard House, 529 Franklin St. Reading MA before 1732

The form of this very old house today is more symmetrical than might be expected in a structure of its age. It suffered a severe fire in 1889, and some rebuilding was done at that time. This early homestead sheltered Nichols family members and their descendants for many generations. The land on which it sits was acquired in 1686/7 by John Nichols, the son of Richard and Annis Nichols who came to Reading about 1662 and lived near Lake Quannapowitt. It is not clear if he built this house before he died in 1721. His son Richard was the only heir mentioned in the records. Richard died in 1732, and this house was standing by that time, on lands totaling 143 acres.

REA.222, Emerson – Foster House, 409 Grove St. Reading MA c 1710

The Samuel Foster house was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990. The land was granted to John Brown in 1685-6 in the second division of the town lands. Samuel Foster was a farmer who moved to Reading from Lynn in 1709 and bought the land. The house was built before 1712. Foster, with his son Abraham, an Indian War veteran, jointly owned a mill which later became the Slab City Saw Mill, one of two early mills in the town. Ebenezer Emerson, the third in line by that name, who was born in Reading and later served in the Revolutionary War, bought the house from Samuel’s grandson in 1769.

REA.1, Carroll – Hartshorn House, 572 Haverhill St. Reading MA c 1700

This is surely one of the oldest houses in town. Its site represents a settlement made on a direct road from the earlier settlement at present Wakefield. This very early house displays several of the hallmarks of first period building: the compact shape, 5 bays in length, with central chimney and salt box extension. The Pratt family who owned the place from 1751-1799 was the forerunner of Pratt dominance of this Bear Meadow area.

REA.18, Parker – Walker House, 99 Pearl St. Reading MA c 1714

The original owner of this land, Ensign Nathaniel Parker, helped his son Jonathan to build the present house on this site in 1714. It remained in this farming family for several generations until 1945. In 1850 the Town Committee naming streets named the street past this house Charles Street, after the house’s owner then, Charles Parker. Ownership of the house passed from Captain Charles Parker to his daughter, Lucelia, who married John Walker, and then passed to their daughters, Lizzie and Hattie.

REA.117, Parker Tavern, 103 Washington St. Reading MA 1694

On the National Register of Historic Places, the Parker Tavern is one of Reading’s oldest surviving buildings. All of the documentary sources place its construction at about 1694, but comparative structural analysis by Dr. Abbott L. Cummings suggests a date of 1724-25. It is the ‘ town’s best-preserved example of the early, central-chimney, saltbox form of architecture. Built either by Abraham Bryant or Deacon Nathaniel Stow, the house passed from Stow’s estate to Colonel Ebenezer Nichols and his son, Ebenezer, Jr., in 1738. Colonel Nichols was the most distinguished resident of the house. He served as an officer in 1722-24 against the French and Indians, and in the expedition against the French at Louisburg, Cape Breton, in 1745. He was in service at Cape Point and was wounded in the battle of Lake George. He became a colonel of a regiment under General Abercrombie at Ticonderoga in 1757, and sold his house that same year. Colonel Nichols drew the earliest map of the town, was frequently town moderator and a selectman, and represented the town for nine years in the General Court. Ephraim Parker, who owned the house next, ran it as a tavern from about 1760 through the Revolutionary War.


RCP.20 Old Castle, Castle Ln, Rockport MA c 1715

This house was restored in 1930 under the guidance of an acclaimed historic restoration specialist. The 2.5 story wood frame house was probably built c. 1712 by Jethro Wheeler, in whose family it remained for six generations. It was sold out of the family in 1893 to Henry F. Story, and given to the Pigeon Cove Village Improvement Society in 1929. The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

RCP.7 Gott House, Gott Ave, Rockport MA (between 1715 & 1730)

The Samuel Gott House is a historic late First Period house in Rockport, Massachusetts. The plank-framed gambrel-roofed cottage was built between 1702 and 1730, exhibiting the transitional nature of the construction techniques used, and the gambrel roof, which is not a normal First Period feature. It also features 2 dormers that were added some time later. The first part built was the right side and the central chimney; this was extended with the rooms left of the chimney later in the Second Period. The interior retains significant Second Period trim and decoration. In its plank frame, the exposed and decorated characteristics of First Period. Its gambrel roofing however suggests early Second Period construction. Exposed framing is visible throughout the original, eastern-most 3 bays. The transverse summer beam in the right-hand room has flat chamfers 1 1/4 inches wide and lamb’s tongue stops at the partition wall, but not at the front wall. The continuation of the summer beam in the rear room is flat chamfered. Other beams exposed in the rear room have narrow flat chamfers. The house has never been sold, and has been handed down through the generations to its current occupants.

The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1990.[1]

RCP.12 Old Garrison House, 188 Granite St. Rockport MA c 1700

The Old Garrison House is the principle example of log construction in the Massachusetts Bay Colony. On the basis of style and construction characteristics, the building would seem to date from c. 1700. Features which place construction at the turn of the 18th century, are the delicate cyma moulding on the beams (similar to the c.1700 Haskell House in Gloucester), the use of conventional joist and beam framing of two of the three floors, and the use of hewn rather than sawn logs which were intended from the beginning to be plastered on the interior. First Period features are visible in all parts of the original double cell structure except in the east chamber.


ROW.37 Chaplin – Clarke House, 109 Haverhill St. Rowley MA 1671

This first period house, built in 1671, is Rowley MA’s oldest dwelling. It was built on the original house lot of Hugh. Chaplin. It faces south and the west end is set into the bank. It has a central chimney built on a stone foundation. There is a slight overhang on both the first and second stories at the east wnd but none in front. It has a lean-to, a later but very early addition, and is the only house standing in Rowley having both overhang and lean-to.

ROW.41 Platts – Bradstreet House, Main St. Rowley MA 1677

The Platts-Bradstreet House is said to have been visited by colonial poetess, Anne Bradstreet, daughter of Gov. Thomas Dudley, one time governor of Massachusetts and prominent first settler of Ipswich MA. The house was built before 1677 on land granted in 1639 to Mr. William Bellingham. Mr. Joseph Jewett bought this land from Mr. Bellingham’s heir in 1650 and sold in 1660 to Samuel Platts “one dwelling house and seven acres 3/4 plow land lying or joyning to ye above said dwelling house.” The house which Jewett sold to Platts was probably a small house built by Mr. Bellingham for his servants. In 1677, Platts was taxed as follows: “To Samuel Platts Senior, to his house and Gate 2 Freeholds and one to Samuel Platts Jr. New House.” The present house is no doubt the “New house” which had been built by the elder Platts. Originally a rectangular two story house of four rooms and attic; in the early part of the 18th century a lean-to was added, and in 1770, when it passed into the hands of the Bradstreets, a second story was added to the lean-to thus raising the ridgepole and bringing it back of the chimney. The early part of the chimney is built of brick laid, in clay on a stone foundation while the lean-to section is built on an arch. The enormous fire-place of the lean-to is connected with the original chimney.

ROW.26 Thomas Lambert House, 142 Main St. Rowley MA c 1699

Part of the Lambert house is said to have been built by Thomas Lambert, Jr., who took his bride there in 1699. The house remained in the hands of the Lambert family until 1977. Mrs. Chiney Lambert, owner in the early 20th century, was instrumental in the purchase and restoration of the Platts Bradstreet house by the Rowley Historical Society. It is impossible to tell whether the house began as a single or double cell structure from visible evidence for the frame is completely boxed on the left-hand side. Some time in the 18th century rear rooms possibly in the form of a lean-to were added to the house. By the mid 19th century, the house had become a full two room deep, two story house covered by a raised roof with ridge.


SAL.3283 4 Becket St. Salem MA 1718

Although altered by the application of aluminum siding, 4 Becket Street is significant as one of about twenty surviving first period houses in Salem MA. An interior examination would be necessary to fully document the house, but it appears to have originally had a four or five-bay arrangement with a center jentry to which an addition has been made at the western end. The profile of the gable roof has been changed by the construction of a rear lean-to across the eastern half at the rear of the house. 4 Becket Street is probably the earliest house surviving on Becket Street. Late in the 17th century this lot was part of the land of Hubakkuk Turner, whose widow Mary married deacon John Marston, a Salem house carpenter in 1686. The Marstons eventually sold off this land, which had been an orchard, as house lots. One of the lots went to Deacon Marston’s son-in-law, fisherman, Benjamin Phippen, in 1717 and he built this house perhaps with the help of his housewright father-n-law.

SAL.1044 Pickering House, 18 Broad St. Salem MA c 1664

The Pickering House is unique in the United States as the oldest house to have been continuously occupied by one family; it is also the oldest known house in Salem MA. The house stands on part of the land granted in 1637 to John Pickering. The earliest section of the house is believed to have been built c. 1651 by John Pickering Sr., a carpenter, (d. 1657). His son John is believed to have been responsible for a c. 1671 expansion. Deacon Timothy Pickering was the owner in 1751 when the rear was raised to a second story. Perhaps the best known occupant of the house was Colonel Timothy Pickering, born in the house in 1745. A soldier and a statesman, Pickering served in the Continental army during the Revolution.. 18 Broad Street is an extraordinary house of national significance, illustrating the evolution of a first period dwelling through periods of alteration in the 17th through 20th centuries. It is unique in Salem. The house sits farther back on its large corner lot than most of its neighbors. It is a two-and one-half-story house on a rectangular plan with a two-story rear ell (E) extending from a saltbox section, and a two-story gabled ell (W). The main block of the house is five bays wide by three bays deep; the west ell extends one bay, and the east ell is three bays deep. According to Abbott Lowell Cummings the east section of the house was built first (c. 1651), followed twenty years later by an expansion to the west. A lean-to was added, and in 1751 the rear was raised to a full two stories. The Gothic Revival style alterations were made in 1841, when changes to the house included the front gables, finials, round windows, modillions, cornice brackets, clustered chimney, and extended entry porch.

SAL.2454 John Ward House, 7-9 Brown St. Salem MA 1684

This house is one of the least altered examples of the 17th century construction in the United States. It is an outstanding illustration of the organic building process of the time, still strongly reminiscent of medieval forms.

SAL.2506 Goult – Pickman House, 43 Charter St. Salem MA c 1680

This restored house is a rare surviving example of 17th century architecture. It is further significant by association with two famous residents: Benjamin Lynde, Jr., Judge and Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and Michele Felice Corne, a prominent marine artist credited with the introduction of the tomato to America.

SAL.2616 Stephen Daniels House, 1 Daniels St. Salem MA c 1667

This house was built in 1667 for shipwright Stephen Daniels. The oldest parts of this building are the lower- two stories of the southern half. The northern half, the third floor, and the large lean-to ell were added by Samuel Silsbee in 1756. Silsbee was Daniels’s great-grandson and a carpenter by trade. In 1756, the house was expanded to give it its current Georgian configuration.

SAL.3239 William Murray House, 39 Essex St. Salem MA c 1688

The William Murray House is two First Period framed buildings joined together. The three easternmost bays (farthest from Essex St.) enclose the original c. 1688 single cell house. That house originally had overhangs on the south and east facades and a roof pitch comparable to the current roof pitch of the west end of the house. The three bays on the west were added early 18th century. The two halves of the house were owned separately from 1759 until the mid 19th century, so there are two small lobbies with staircases side by side. The southernmost staircase is trimmed with turned balusters of late Second Period profile.

SAL.2669 Christopher Babage House, 46 1/2 Essex St. Salem MA c 1717

This house has been heavily altered over the years. From the exterior it has a Georgian appearance, but the interior is reported to have chamfered oak beams indicating an earlier First Period core. Perley reports that the eastern portion of the structure was cut off in 1859 and moved to Kosciusko Street leaving a three-bay half house. The structure has a gambrel roof with a deep soffit and an integral lean-to at the rear.

SAL.2593 Narbonne House, 71 Essex St. Salem MA c 1672

The Narbonne House is an important First Period survivor. The structure consists of a two-story, three-bay gable-roofed half-house to which has been added a lh story gambrel-roofed section at the south end. These two parts share a large chimney. According to architectural historian Abbott Lowell-Cummings, the oldest portion of this house was built for Thomas Ives, a slaughterer, who was in possession of it by January 1676 and perhaps at the time of his marriage on April 1, 16 72. Cummings believes that the original structure “consisted of a room with chamber and garrett and chimney bay (left hand portion) and an original lean-to with a fireplace of unusual size and character.” (Tolles, p. 42) The gambrel-roofed ell and the central portion of the lean-to are thought to have been added when Capt. John Hodges owned the property between 1750 and 1780. Subsequently, the lean-to was enlarged a third time.

SAL.1510 Judge Jonathan Corwin House, 310 Essex St. Salem MA 1675

The original owner of 310 Essex Street was Nathaniel Davenport, commander of the fort on Castle Island in Boston Harbor from 1645 until 1665. Subsequent to that post, he began construction of this dwelling which has become known as the Salem Witch House. Jonathan Corwin, a merchant, bought the unfinished house from Davenport in 1675. He immediately contracted for its completion with the mason, Daniel Andrews. At that time, the dwelling had steep gables, a large, central chimney and a projecting, two-story entry porch at the center of the facade. During the witchcraft delusion of 1692, those suspected of practicing witchcraft were brought to the house for pretrial examinations, during which Corwin acted as judge. Jonathan Corwin’s grandson, Captain George Corwin, lived in the house until his death in 1746. His widow, Sarah Corwin, replaced the cross-gable roof with a gambrel roof, removed the facade gables and enlarged the building. The present state of the building is the result of a restoration to its presumed original state, carried out c. 1945 by Boston architect, Gordon Robb, in consultation with historical architect, Frank Chouteau Brown (1876-1947), also of Boston. According to architectural historian, Abbott Lowell Cummings, this house had been altered and enlarged c. 1746-1747. Rooms were added above the rear lean-to, the three facade gables were removed, and a gambrel roof was built over the entire frame.

SAL.1156 Eleazer Gedney House, 19-21 High St. Salem MA c 1664

The earliest part, of the Gedney House was constructed circa 1665 and changes were made to it circa 1700, and again circa 1800. It was, however, the final alteration to the house, made in the early 1960’s, which determined the major importance of the house today. At that time, the property was purchased for investment purposes, and the builder tore out most of the original and later trim. Only the frame of the house remains and, according to Dr. Abbott Lowell Cummings, this fact has made the Gedney House the most important study house of seventeenth century Massachusetts, rivaled only by SPNEA*s William Boardman House in Saugus. Eleazer Gedney was a prominent figure in late seventeenth century Salem. He was the sixth child of John Gedney who had immigrated to Salem from Norwich County, England in 1637. The younger Gedney became a shipwright and purchased his house lot near the South River in Salem. There he constructed Gedney’s Wharf and built the original part of the Gedney House structure. He served as Salem juryman in 1670 and as grand juryman in 1675 and in 1676. He was Clerk of the Market in 1667/68 and a Fence Surveyor for the North Field in 1678/79. He acted as Salem Constable in 1671» the same year he became a freeman. Upon his death in 1683, Gedney’s widow conveyed the house to Gedney’s eldest son, Eleazer Jr., who occupied it with his wife until around 1690.

SAL.3425 House of Seven Gables, 54 Turner St. Salem MA 1668

The Turner house was erected in 1668 for Captain John Turner, a merchant. The property remained in his family for three generations, first inherited by his son, John Turner, Jr., and including the Ingersoll’s, relatives of Nathaniel Hawthorne. In 1908, the property was purchased by Caroline O. Emmerton, founder of the House of Seven Gables Settlement Association. The Association restored the house and interior to the 1840’s, the time of Hawthorne’s association with the property. This 2 1/2-story, gable-end house is irregular in plan and has a rambling, asymmetrical appearance punctuated by a many-gabled roof line. The east gable end of the original, 2 1/2-story section of the house fronts on Turner Street. Built on the hall and parlor plan with an off-center chimney, its facade faces south, toward the water. That facade consists of an eastern facade gable, the remainder of likely two, previous Gothic, cross-gables in the original facade.

SAL.3426 Hathaway House, – Old Bakery 54 Turner St. Salem MA c 1682

According to Cummings’ Framed Houses of Massachusetts Bay, the earliest part of this house is the southernmost end, including the chimney, main entrance, facade gable, and overhang. The dwelling was built on the single-room plan. Sometime after 1784, the house was doubled in size when the present two-bay northern section was added and a one-story lean-to was attached to the rear. The lean-to was later increased to two stories in height. The Beverly jog was also added later. This house was moved to this site from 23 Washington Street around 1911 and restored by architect, Joseph E. Chandler.

SAL.3427 Retire Beckett House, 54 Turner St. Salem MA c 1655

According to Perley, this pre-1655 house, formerly located on Becket Avenue, was originally the home of John Jackson (d. 1655). The property passed to Jonathan Porter who sold it to John Becket (b. c. 1626; d. 1683) on May 26, 1656. John Becket, shipwright was the first of a line of noted Salem shipbuilders and the great, great grandfather of Retire Becket (b. c. 1754; d. May 29, 1831), the most famous family member for whom the house is named. Perley claims the house remained in the family for more than two hundred years. This 2 1/2-story, 2-bay, side-entry, gable-end house is 2-bays deep and has a rear, lean-to addition. It is based on the 1-room and loft plan and has an overhang across the width of the main facade. According to the Tolles’s, the house is reputed to have been doubled in width and acquired a central, brick chimney when John Becket’s son was married. The rear lean-to was attached in 1682.


The John Sanders House, Mudnock Rd. Salisbury MA

Also called the Greely – Deal House. The house has gunstock corner posts, 20 inch pine board flooring, open beam ceiling, a small cellar with 9 inch floor beams, and a rock wall foundation. John & Hester (Rolfe) Sanders were among the 1st 5 settlers of Salisbury who were given permission “to begin a plantation at Merrimack”Sept. 6, 1638. It was named “Colechester,” Sept. 4, 1639; but the name changed to “Salsbury,” Oct. 7, 1640. Sanders moved to Wells, Maine and sold his house, planting lots, and meadow lots to Richard Wells, but Sanders was still in Salisbury in 1645, The house was later owned by Andrew Greeley, born ca 1620, died 30 June 1697.

Fitch house, 114 Elm St., Salisbury MA Constructed circa 1690

The house is shown as being owned by R. R. Fitch in the Salisbury 1872 map.

17 Ferry Rd., Salisbury MA

The land along Ferry Road has belonged to members of the Pike Family since the settlement of Salisbury in 1639-40. The area known as Robert Pike’s pasture was divided and portions of the land were given to the Pettengills.

Joseph March House, 16 Second St., Salisbury MA c 1690.

Joseph March house

Joseph March House and Tavern; Also known as the Samuel Fellows Pike – Capt. Joseph Coffin House. Joseph March was born in Salisbury, Massachusetts, on 7 Aug 1715 to John March and Martha Fowler, and lived there all his life.

Jonathan Dole house, 5 Third St., Salisbury MA circa 1680

The Jonathan Dole House is a quintessential New England 1680 Saltbox located on Ring’s Island, just across the bridge from downtown Newburyport. Integrity to the period has been meticulously preserved. Authentic architectural features include original wide pine floors, gunstock corner posts, wall paneling, Bible doors, 5 fireplaces, wooden gutters and wood shingled roof (2012). This first period home is sited in the center of this former fishing village. Two outbuildings grace the manicured grounds including gardens, lawn and rock walls. Town water/town sewer, newer oil boiler and tank, new cedar shingle roof on garden shed with copper flashing.


SAU.27 Saugus Iron Works – Iron Works House, 244 Central St. Saugus MA 1687

The Iron Works House was constructed as the residence of the agent for the Company of Undertakers of the Iron Works in New England in pursuance of its contract with the agent, Richard Leader. Originally a Tudor-style structure consisting of two rooms on each floor around a central chimney, together with a two-story projecting porch and a full-length lean-to, the house was gradually altered over the years to have a two-story lean-to, an ell consisting of a two-room 18th century building on the west end, and a full-length open porch replacing the original porch. In 1915 it was acquired by a pioneer in historic preservation, Wallace Nutting, and restored to what he and his architect, Henry Charles Dean, felt was its original appearance. In 1917 Nutting enlarged the ell to form a six-room cottage for a caretaker. It is probably the oldest house in Saugus, and one of the oldest European frame houses in the United States.

SAU.219 Boardman House, 7 Howard St. Saugus MA c 1687

The Boardman House was built by William Boardman who was a jointer by trade, but who was probably assisted in the construction of the house by a carpenter.The Boardman House represents the earliest phase of development in Saugus. One of two first period buildings surviving in Saugus, the Boardman House was originally constructed around 1687 on a “hall and parlour” plan. It consisted of two rooms at each story separated by a stair hall at.the front and by a massive central chimney at the rear. A distinctive element of the original house was the framed overhang at the second story of the facade. By 1696 a rear lean-to had been added to the Boardman House and contained a bedroom, “milkhouse,” and kitchen where a new hearth was opened in the center chimney. A second stair was added at-the kitchen that provided access to the kitchen chamber above.


SWA.71 Sir John Humphreys House, 99 Paradise Rd. Swampscott MA c 1700

The core of the so-called Humphreys, or Burrill, House may be an early 18th century single cell house, probably built with a rear lean-to, of unusually large scale and proportions. While most of the interior is boxed and sheathed with later 18th century finish work, the house contains a First Period frame of quality craftsmanship. The use of a single transverse summer beam at the first story, with two transverse ties at the second, is unique. Those on the first floor must relate to the framed overhang or jetty, extending to support chimney girts. Together with the limited evidence of rear corner post, these features are the only visible Period construction. The probable plan of the first single cell of large proportions with added (?) leanto that the house contains examination is likely to and the construction of this as do the end and partially unboxed evidence of First phase of building the is important plan information, although the idea two older frames must also be explored. Further yield greater information both about the plan unusual dwelling.

Topsfield MA

TPF.1 Rev. Joseph Capen House, 1 Howlett St. Topsfield MA 1683

The Capen house was built on a 12-acre lot in 1683 as the parsonage for the local Congregational Church. It is located at what is now 1 Howlett Street, next to the Topsfield Common. It was first owned by the Reverend Joseph Capen, who had moved to Topsfield from Dorchester. His wife had seen the previous parsonage and was disappointed by its condition. The family lived there for over forty years.At the time that it was built, it was considered to be the best house in the town.The house was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1960. The Topsfield Historical Society currently operates it as a historic house museum. View the historic structure report by Finch and Rose.

TPF.112 French – Andrews House, 86 Howlett St. Topsfield MA c 1718

The c. 1718 frame, characteristic of late First Period treatment in its minimal decoration, nevertheless embodies certain features which link it to earlier buildings in the Topsfield area and even to the earliest buildings in Massachusetts. The massiveness of the frame and the use of beams which are deeper than they are wide relate the structure to the Parson Capen house of 1683. The deeply jowled corner posts are found also in the Stephen Foster house and the Zaccheus Gould house of c. 1700, suggesting a persistent local style of post treatment. The framing of door posts for interior doors into chimney girts and tie beams is a structural technique found in the earliest houses in Massachusetts including the Fairbanks house and directly derived from English practises. Normally superseded by other methods of framing doors in later houses, the use of such door posts in the French Andrews House is a rare and conservative expression of direct transfer framing practices. The house is also significant for the survival of original finish in situ. The fireplace trim in the left-hand room and particularly the wide board feather-edged sheathing in the right-hand chamber are noteworthy and up-to-date examples of late First Period finish. On the basis of these features and the minimal chamfering of the frame, Cummings felt that the house was built after Joseph Andrews of Boxford acquired the property in 1718, although earlier there was a single cell house on the site owned in 1693 by John French Sr.

TPF.120 Jacob Peabody – Stephen Foster House, 109 North St. Topsfield MA c 1680

This house has a completely oak frame of substantial dimensions. These characteristics of the frame might suggest either an early construction date. The massive oak frame of this house is only exposed on the second floor and in the attic. Framing on the first floor is concealed behind later finishes, although nail evidence indicates ceiling joist spacing of 21″ on centers. A straight-run staircase has replaced the original chimney in the chimney bay at the right hand end. On the second floor, the summer tie beam is embellished with 1 3/4″ flat chamfers and a stylized variant of the lamb’s tongue stop. The stops are not fashioned in a continuous cyma curve, but are formed of two distinct concave curves (see photograph). The substantial corner posts, jowled about 2′ above the floor, have flat chamfers. Pegs indicate rising braces of considerable length in the outer walls. Studs were pegged to the tie beam and plates only centrally to these two long braces. Instead of a framed brace between the rear plate and chimney girt, a tree branch left on the plate serves as a brace. Roof framing visible in the attic is comprised of principal rafters bridle jointed at the ridge, four large purlins per slope and a purlin at the ridge. The purlins, 5 l/2″-6″ wide and 3″ deep, are hewn, like the major framing members. The roof over the chimney bay was rebuilt probably at the time that the central chimney was removed in the late 19th century. The house was originally known as the Stephen Foster house, but was constructed by Jacob Peabody before 1700, who married Rebecca Baker. Their daughter Rebecca was born on Feb. 3, 1716, married Stephen Foster and had 4 children.

TPF.128 Hubbard House, 11 Prospect St. Topsfield MA 1686

This house was formerly in the Perkins family, but known as the Hubbard house. It was remodeled in 1887 by its owner, Samuel H. Dane, and when the old chimney was taken down, a brick was found dated “1686.”

TPF.216 Zaccheus Gould House, 85 River Rd. Topsfield MA c 1670

The Gould House earlier frame exhibits on the summer beam a particularly well-executed example of the relatively rare quarter-round chamfer and lamb’s tongue stop without collar. The house was enlarged from single to double cell plan within the First Period. The distinctive deeply jowled corner posts of the c. 1700 end of the house are also found in the Stephen Foster House in Topsfield.

Evidence of the two First Period frames, c. 1670 in the right hand rooms and c. 1700 on the left is seen in all four front rooms. Doubled framing members are found at the junction of the two frames. In the older right (east) room, there is a longitudinal summer beam with broad quarter-round chamfer and lamb’s tongue stops. Other framing members in the room are unchamfered. Joists are spaced 18 1/2″ on centers. In the right hand chamber, the summer tie beam and end tie beam have slim flat chamfers and taper stops. In the left hand room of c. 1700 the longitudinal summer beam has two-inch wide flat chamfers and triangular stops. Joists are spaced 20 1/2″ on centers. The summer tie beam in the left-hand chamber also has flat chamfers and triangular stops. Other framing members in this room have slim flat,chamfers and taper stops. Corner posts in the chamber are massive and are jowled 2 feet from the floor.

TPF.343 Boyd, Samuel – Peabody, Matthew House 86 Salem Rd Topsfield MA c 1720

This building is a family homestead dating to the early 18th Century. It was owned as early as 1720 by Samuel Boyd, and there is a record of Parson Hobart, who only lived in Topsfield between 1672 and 1682, being present at the raising of this house. Little is known about Samuel Boyd, who apparently owned and occupied the house between 1720 and 1736, the years during which five children were born to him and his wife. In 1736 the property, with twenty acres of land, was acquired by Matthew Peabody. He was a farmer, of the third generation of the family in Topsfield. His grandfather, Lt. Francis Peabody, settled in the north part of town in 1650, and built the town’s earliest gristmill in 1664, an enterprise that was operated by Peabodys for over 178 years. Matthew Peabody and his two wives had seven children in all, and the house was shared with various family members over the years. Most tragically, Matthew and Sarah Peabody are best known for the way they died. In a severe outbreak of dysentery in 1777, Matthew, Sarah, and two of their young grandchildren all died in the house within two days of each other. Husband and wife both died on October 20, and were buried in the same grave. The Matthew Peabody House is an outstanding example of a 2 1/2-story 5-bay, center-chimney “saltbox” farmhouse built at the turning point from the First to the Second Colonial periods. The north roof slope of the rear leanto continues east from the main house over a one-story ell. The ell, probably built later than the leanto itself, is one room deep, with an open woodshed on its outer end. We received the following additional information from the owner: There are significant architectural signs that suggest that the east end of the house is First Period. The summer beams are boxed and can’t be seen, but corner posts and the chimney girts are exceptionally larger in the east end (compared to the west). The posts are ‘gunstock’ and beams in the basement are chamfered. In addition, it appears the chimney was rebuilt, likely in the early to mid 1700s, as it is supported with one large arch rather than rubble. The hall chamber chimney closet reveals an old gunstock post that held the original chimney girt but when the chimney was rebuilt, the girt was moved (the chimney now stands where the girt would have been). The post remains, however, and no longer bears a beam. In addition, the first floor chimney girt bears the empty holes (mortises) for the original door posts, so it appears the door frame was changed when the new chimney was added and the ‘updated’ hall paneling was installed. The paneling in the hall and parlor is on the fireplace wall only and is early Georgian in style (non-symmetrically paneled). The lean-to paneling exists on all four walls with one wall being vertical floor to ceiling and three walls being horizontal wainscoting. The two upstairs chambers are far plainer in style with unadorned paneling. The hall chamber chimney closet door is cut out of the paneling and it appears that the door framing may be in part re-used First-Period window framing as it is beaded, bears small empty mortise holes, and seems to retain traces of early paint.

The lean-to is not integral to the house as the original oak exterior skived sheathing with rosehead nails is still visible in the upstairs storage closet. Its condition suggests that it was not exposed to the elements for long, but there are no nail holes to suggest it was ever clapboarded. Further evidence that the lean-to was added is that there is brick daubing in the north wall of the hall chamber. When the house was restored in the early part of the 20th century, a small portion of the wall was revealed behind glass. The bricks are rough and the daubing is mud. The one-story addition was added in the 1930’s or 1940’s by Malcolm Burroughs’ father-in law, Chester Patton (no relation to the general), a well-regarded, and wealthy builder in the area who restored the house when he purchased it in the late 1930’s. Early photographs of the house show it without the addition. My understanding in speaking with neighbors is that Patton completed the exceedingly sensitive restoration and gave the house to his daughter, Pat. Pat and Buzz kept the house as it was and did minimal, if any, changes architecturally. I have scans of interior photographs from the ’40’s and the interiors, including the wallpaper, remain the same.The house has five fireplaces, two with beehive ovens in the rear of the fireboxes. The largest fireplace is 7′ wide x 4′ tall x 3′ deep (lean-to). The floors appear to be original, heartwood wide pine. The widest board is 24″. I do not know the exact age of the house. Framing suggests that the original one-over-one room house is quite early, perhaps 1680ish, and that when the chimney was added, so was the second section of the house (with lighter summer beams and posts). Given that Matthew Peabody bought the property in 1736, it’s possible that these changes were made shortly after he purchased it. The Georgian paneling certainly works with the 1736 date.

TPF.140 Stanley Lake House, 95 River Rd. Topsfield MA c 1693

The Stanley-Lake barn, built before 1718, consisted originally of four bays. A fifth bay was added within a few years. The bays were varied in width according to function. The entry bay was the widest, and was equipped with high doors on one side for the use of carts loaded with hay. Lower doors originally on the opposite side allowed empty carts to exit. Roof framing is composed of principal rafters, purlins, and cambered tie beams. Walls are framed with heavy posts, braces, plates and girts. There are no studs. Intermediate girts serve the strengthening function of studs in other barns. Construction of the bents is varied according to function of the spaces and raising sequence. The bent raised first has a collar beam to hold the rafters rigid during raising. The other bents have struts from tie beam to rafters in place of collar beams. Mathew Stanley built the original house between c. 1680 and 1693. His heirs sold the property with buildings (i.e. including the barn) to Eleazer Lake in 1718.

TPF.155 Capt. Joseph Gould House, 129 Washington St. Topsfield MA c 1690

The Capt. Joseph Gould house is six bays long, two rooms deep, and two and one half stories high. The original, pre-1700 house consisted of the three easternmost bays and was from the beginning 2 rooms deep and 2 1/2 stories in height, the unique example in the study of this plan type built in the First Period. With the addition of the three western most bays in the early 18th century, the clapboarded house achieved its present extent except for the mid 20th century screened porch on the west rear. Exterior trim is simple; windows are irregularly spaced, though for the most part vertically aligned. Two chimneys pierce the ridge of the roof. The eave on the facade is boarded on a diagonal, supposedly to protect a plaster cove underneath. Framing with First Period characteristics is visible in the rear rooms and stairhalls of the older and newer portions of the house, and in the chambers of the older part. Framing is doubled at the junction between the pre and post 1700 portions of the house. Summer beams are transverse throughout the house. In plan, the rear rooms of the house are two thirds as deep as the front rooms. In the rear room the the older (east) part of the house, the exposed transverse beams exhibit flat chamfers, 1 1/4 inches wide, and lamb’s tongue or triangular stops. The chamfer on the central west beam stops 6′ 8″ from the rear wall, perhaps indicating the site of an earlier feature such as a partition wall. Story posts at the rear wall are elaborately molded with a deep quarter round and two fillets. In the stair hall, which is fitted into half of the middle bay of the older part of the house, the post has a flat chamfer and supports a beam with flat chamfer and lamb’s tongue stop. Upstairs in the earlier part of the house, summer tie beams have flat chamfers and lamb’s tongue stops at the outer walls and on either side of the partition wall. Joist spacing in the floor of the east chamber is 25″ on centers.


WAT.10, Browne Abraham House, 562 Main St. Watertown MA 1694

The Browne House is an outstanding example of the single-cell original plan, with unique construction and decorative features associated with First Period architecture in eastern Massachusetts. The three-part casement opening in the rear wall is the only known Massachusetts example found in situ (and became the model for many later restorations besides its own). The late use of tusk tenon floor joist joints is an unusual conservative trait of structural carpentry. The high survival of molded horizontal sheathing on the first floor, wrought decorative hardware, painted decoration on the original plaster wall, and applied decorative trim to fireplace and ceiling of the second floor make it one of the most complete First Period houses in the county. Its roofing system of principal rafters is one of a small group that form the heart of a Middlesex county regional pattern that continues into the later eighteenth century. The original c.1694-1701 core is a two story single cell house with a pilastered end chimney in the original west bay. The house has a transverse 1st floor summer beam and 2nd floor transverse tie, both decorated with bevel chamfers and taper stops. It is unusual for a late 17th century ceiling to use joists with tusk-tenons, a feature largely supplanted by butt-cog floor joists after 1660. The interior walls of the first floor have horizontal sheathing with a molded edge and a large original fireplace.


WAK.40, Green Capt. William House, 391 Vernon St. Wakefield MA c 1680

Local historians state that this one cell 2 1/2 story First Period house was originally built across the Saugus River in Lynfield, ca 1680. The house was moved to Wakefield and incorporated into a Second Period 2-cell gambrel-roof house by Capt. William Green around 1750. Captain -Green’s son, Caleb, acguired the house around 1790 and moved it to its present site. The c. 1680 east section of the house was reputedly moved to Wakefield in the 1750’s, when the west end and gambrei roof were added, creating a central chimney plan house. The entire building was moved in the 1790’s to its present location. Both floors of the east end of the house exhibit late 17th century chamfered frames with chamfer stops. The first floor east room has exposed summer beam, chimney girt, northwest post, and rear girts with wide bevel chamfers. Where the summer beam meets the chimney girt, the north side of the summer has a lamb’s tongue stop with three notches; the south side has a simple triangular stop. The chimney girt has a triangle stop where the north end of the summer meets the girt. The south end of the girt is now covered, but also seems to have the remnants of a triangle stop where the girt meets the summer. The exposed northest part has a bevel chamfer with taper stop. The chimney and rear girts have triangle stops at this corner. The two east rooms on the second floor exhibit simpler stops. The south hall and southeast corner posts have bevel chamfers with taper stops. The south plate is exposed and has a very rough bevel chamfer with a taper stop at the southeast corner. The exposed east end girt has a bevel chamfer and a very flat lamb’s tongue or triangle stop in the southeast corner.. The second floor northeastern chamber has an exposed transverse summer beam with bevel chamfer and lamb’s tongue stops at the north end. The north plate has a very crude bevel chamfer.


WNH.117 James Friend House, 114 Cedar St. Wenham MA c 1725

James Friend, (b.1633,) was a carpenter and hewer of timber. [1] In 1691, the town of Wenham granted Friend and John Porter privilege to stop a brook “to set up a Sawe mill…” on the brook across Topsfield Road from the house. [2] In 1699 James Friend was granted liberty to cut timber on common land for 8000 shingle, perhaps in order to construct the house. The original house was of double cell, central chimney plan. A lean-to was added before 1738. The rear of the house was raised to a full two stories and the roof rebuilt with ridge on the center axis in the 19th century. In the early 20th century, the house was moved back from the road and covered with stucco. Simple window frames a single narrow chimney at the ridge and a modest early 20th century door hood characterize the exterior. First Period features, in the form of an exposed late First Period frame, are visible in the rear, left-hand/center room and bathroom on the first floor and in the right-hand and left-hand front chambers. The original right rear chimney post, visible in the bathroom, has a narrow, flat chamfer. Ceiling beams in the left/center room which was part of the original lean-to are flat chamfered. In the right and left hand chambers, all framing members except the summer tie beams are exposed. There are slim flat chamfers and taper stops on splayed corner posts, plates and end tie beams in both rooms. In the attic, the original rafters were left in place when the roof was raised. The early framing was comprised of principal rafters, two purlins per slope and no collar beams. The left-hand room retains fine mid-18th-century cyma-molded cornices and crown moldings along the boxed longitudinal summer beam.

WNH.116 Newman – Fiske – Dodge House, 162 Cherry St. Wenham MA c 1658

This house is on land that was in the hands of the Fiske family at an early date. William Fiske, Sr., brother of our 1st minister, Rev. John Fiske and father of the 3rd, owner of this property, acquired this land not long before his death in 1654. It was sold to Edward & Anne Kemp, 1668, They, in turn, sold their “house Lott” in town & a farm of 100 acres to Rev. Antipas Newman, our 2nd. minister, who seems to have been a man of means. He married Elizabeth, the daughter. of John Winthrop II, founder of Ipswich MA. Rev. Newman owned this farm until his death in 1672. This house was originally built as a one room plan of 2 stories on the right hand side of the huge chimney. The outside walls of this room on the ground floor are 10 in. thick & the roof has a very steep pitch. There is a chamfered beam in each of the two rooms on this side. In this part of the house, there is some Seveenteenth Century sheathing. The right hand portion is the original single cell structure built possibly as early as 1558. The left-hand cell was added in 1695/5.In the right-hand room, the longitudinal summer beam, 13 inches wide, has quarter round chamfers and lamb’s tongue stops. Joists are spaced 18 inches on centers. In the right-hand chamber, there is a summer beam with 1 1/2 inch fiat chamfers and lamb’s tongue stops. The chimney girt also has a flat chamfer and lamb’s tongue stop. The fireplace in this room is 45 inches high and 47″ wide. The fireplace is rather deep and has straight sides suggesting it may be an original fireplace opening. The left-hand room, considerably wider than the right-hand room, must have become the hall when it was added in 1695/6.

WNH.110 Larch Farm, 38 Larch Row Wenham MA c 1700

The Goldsmith-Pickering House, also known as Larch Farm, is an eight-bay-long clapboard structure, three bays deep in the four northern bays and two bays deep in the four southern bays. At its core is a First Period house with additions to its back (north) and front (south) now enveloped in a Post-Colonial exterior trim with a late Federal period doorway with elliptical fanlight and sidelights. Late Georgian projecting window heads decorate the evenly spaced windows of the current front (west) facade, except the higher second story windows of the south wing which reflect the higher first floor of the addition and abut the main cornice. The roof ridge parallels the main facade and continues in a lean-to covering the greater depth of the north wing with a gable at right angles to the main roof covering the original house. The original core of the house began as a 40*x 20′ two story single cell plan with an original end lean-to room west of the chimney bay. After a 1963 fire the plank frame of the original house, jetties along the original south facade and east end, and elements of the internal frame were exposed. The original hall (now with the original chimney bay), presently the dining room, was located west of the south-facing lobby entry and first chimney. The old chimney was removed after the house was remodeled into a Georgian double pile plan by the north addition. The room’s longitudinal summer has flat chamfers and lamb’s tongue stops. The chimney girt also has flat chamfers and lamb’s tongue stops at its outer ends and on both sides of its juncture with the summer. These latter stops do not terminate but are joined by a unique flat chamfer joining the two stops along the outer edge of the chimney girt beneath the summer.

WNH.86 Claflin – Richards House, 132 Main St. Wenham MA 1661

This house is part of the nonprofit Wenham Museum and may be toured by appointment (regular tour hours are Tuesday – Friday at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm and Saturday & Sunday at 11:30 am, 1:30 pm and 2:30 pm). The house was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973, and included in the Wenham Historic District in that year. The old Clafflin house is structurally a very interesting survival of a style of building which is truly mediaeval in character. The ogee curved braces and the unusual feature hewn overhang indicate its antiquity. Joseph Gerrish spent the twenty most active years of his pastorate in this house and it was a meeting place for his parishioners who at that time faced the demands of King Philip’s War and passed through the black period of Salem witchcraft, against which Rev. Gerrish took an active stand.

WNH.122 “Old Farm” 9 Maple St. Wenham MA c 1689

Restored and 1911 by Mr. and Mrs. Alanson Daniels of Boston as their the house is representative of a larger group of First structures which have been preserved on the North Shore circumstances. Old Farm was the subject of an article Beautiful in 1921. The restoration is illustrative of Joseph Everett Chandler, a prominent restoration architect in the early 20th century. The left-hand front rooms and chimney bay comprise the original single ceil house. The right-hand rooms and a lean-to were added in the 18th century. Between 1890 and 1900, the house was raised to a full two stories and a new gambrel roof built. First Period features in the form of exposed decorated framing are visible in the left-hand room and chamber. All framing members are exposed except the longitudinal summer beam. There are inch-wide flat chamfers on beams and posts.

WNH.121 Solomon Kimball House, 26 Maple St. Wenham MA c 1700

The Solomon Kimball House is a 5 bay wide, two room deep, central chimney structure with a c. 1970 addition to the left (west) rear. Exterior clapboarding, a symmetrical facade, simple fenestration and a one story enclosed entrance porch contribute to the late second period vernacular style of the building. The earliest portion of the house, built c. 1700, is composed of the right-hand front rooms and chimney bays. The left-hand front rooms were added in the early to mid 18th century. Sometime later in the 18th century, the building was extended to a full 2 1/2 story two room deep house. The roof was raised at that time to accommodate the house’s increased depth under a symmetrical gable roof. First Period features are seen in the right hand room and chamber. In the right-hand room, there is an exposed longitudinal soft wood summer beam with inch-and-one-quarter flat chamfers and lamb’s tongue stops. The rear girt, the only other exposed beam in the room, exhibits no well-defined chamfer. The front and end walls of the room are ten inches thick, perhaps concealing evidence that there was once an overhang on the house. In the right-hand chamber, the summer tie beam has flat chamfers and tapered stops. Flared corner posts have flat chamfers. The girts and plates are unchamfered. The front and end walls of the room are six inches thick. In the attic, the rafters of an earlier purlin roof which covered just the front rooms of the house are still in place on the front slope of the roof.


WNB.49 Samuel Chase House, 154 Main St. West Newbury MA c 1715

The Samuel Chase House, built c. 1715 is a seven bay, two story, central-hall plan, brick house with gable roof. Originally it had fireplaces in the gable ends, although later alterations created two new chimney stacks inset from both ends in the rear slope of the roof. During the 19th century a wooden rear lean-to with Beverly jog to the left side was added to the house. The house has a much altered fenestration as a result of 18th and 19th century changes. The front facade now exhibits a five-part composition with paired windows on either side of the hallway and entrance at both stories set in from the gable ends. The Chase House exhibits several key features of the transition from First Period to Georgian era construction techniques. It is of brick laid in English bond. While the east first floor room and the chamber above it are plastered at the ceiling as well as the walls, the rooms on the west side retain exposed tie beams from front to rear at both stories. Those at the second story mimic the rafter pattern of the principal and purlin roof. The outer bays reflect the original chimney depth, apparently with side closets lit by now blocked windows. The two interior room spaces then have two “summer beams” running parallel 78″ apart and a central hallway of some 7′ wide with arched door openings at both ends. In the first floor west room the 12″-13″ beams are decorated with narrow flat chamfers ending in 2.5″ long lamb’s tongues. On the second story the beams are each 11″ wide, decorated with a delicate reverse cyma without stop running the entire length of the beams

WNB.93 Samuel March House, 444 Main St. West Newbury MA c 1695

The Samuel March House is a five-bay, two-and-a-half story structure, one cell deep, and presently covered with vinyl siding. It began as a First-Period, one-cell structure (the right three bays) and received a one-room addition to the left of the chimney also during the First Period. The central chimney block was later removed.

WNB.108 Timothy Morse House, 628 Main St. West Newbury MA c 1730

The right (east) rooms on both floors exhibit late First Period chamfered summer beams combined with boxed framing members. The first floor right room, 15′ 6″ x 18′ 6″, has an exposed longitudinal summer beam with flat chamfers and small lamb’s tongue stops.

WNB.109 Rev. John Tufts House, 750 Main St. West Newbury MA c 1714

The house has a well-documented association with the Rev. John Tufts, for whom the house was built after his ordination with the West Parish in 1714. He is significant for being one of the first, (some say the first) in 1714 to publish “a very plain and easy introduction to the art of singing psalm tunes” by notes rather than lining-out in the traditional fashion. The Tufts House began as a double cell, two story, central chimney plan house with lobby entrance. The house has a series of modern additions, including a rear lean-to across two thirds of the back wall that gives the left gable profile a classic saltbox appearance. This now functions as an enclosed porch, with modern sliding doors on the rear and interior end walls. There is also a one story gabled addition on the opposite end of the house, connected to the main block by a small inset shed-roofed hyphen, and cut into the hillside for modern sliders at the cellar level. The frame of the ca. 1715 house is entirely of oak and clearly of a single build, as the bladed scarf in the upper hall plate indicates. The frame is exposed in the four major rooms, each 17’6 x 18’6″, and had flat 2″-wide chamfers on the first floor 13″-wide longitudinal summers, which terminated with lamb’s tongue stops. Oak joists are 25″ on centers. While the west room has later paneling on the fireplace wall, the front chimney post retains a carved post head with a 4″-deep rolled molding profile. The second floor tie beams are 11 x 10″, with 1.5″-wide flat chamfers and stops similar to those on the first floor. There is evidence of falling wind braces at all upper corner posts. There is also evidence in the stud spacing that the two front windows in the east chamber were originally one central opening. While the roof has been rebuilt, the old rafters show evidence of dovetailed collar beams. There is a good Second Period closed string triple-run staircase with panels beneath it in the lobby entrance.


WTH.302, Deane Winthrop house, Winthrop MA 34 Shirley St. 1675

The c. 1638 to 1650 construction date, corroborated by Cummings, places the Deane Winthrop house among the earliest surviving dwellings in Massachusetts. The retention of original shadow molded sheathing of two varieties and the presence of an intact principal rafter/common rafter roof with evidence of facade gables and rafter feet exposed at the eaves makes this house among the most significant structures in the area. First Period features are visible in all areas except the added lean-to. In the left hand (earliest) first floor room, the transverse summer beam and chimney girt have c. 2 inch wide quarter-round chamfers, flat collars and lamb’s tongue stops. Corner posts and girts have one inch wide flat chamfers and taper stops. In the right hand first floor room, the transverse summer beam and chimney girt have 1 1/2 inch flat chamfers, lamb’s tongue stops, and pips. The owner reports that the studs are 4″ x 8″ laid depthwise and that there is nogging in the outer walls. In the upper stair hall, the jowled corner post of the original single cell house, with mortise for rising brace, is visible at the center of the present chimney bay.

5 thoughts on “First Period houses of Northeastern Massachusetts”

  1. Wonderful! I suspect many house have been left out for one reason or another. Research for anther day. Thank you!

    I question the photograph of March’s Tavern on Second Street in Salisbury. Please comment. Thank you.


  2. Excellent! Thank you for the pictures and the history of the houses. My father would have loved reading all about the construction of the houses as he was a man of many talents, one of which was carpentry. I was hoping to see Governor Roger Conant’s house, and the Isaac Cummings Sr. house, but they must be gone by now. I have familial links to both of these men.


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