The town of West Newbury provides the following history: West Newbury’s history as a town began in 1635 when 23 men and their families, all from England, sailed through Plum Island Sound and up the Parker River, landing in Newbury. As more settlers arrived and families increased, land in Newbury became scarce, and some people moved westward to the “upper woods” beyond the Artichoke River.
The town granted large parcels of land to early settlers: in 1638, 300 acres to Edward Rawson; in 1644, 80 acres to John Emery; in 1659, 103 acres to Francis Browne, all around the Artichoke River. In 1663, Capt. William Gerrish was granted 260 acres at the Groveland line. What was referred to as the “first division of lots” occurred in 1686, parceling out the remaining land between the Bradford Road and the Merrimack River, from the land of Emery to that of Gerrish. The rest of what became West Newbury was granted to settlers in five subsequent divisions.
The area that became West Newbury was primarily a farming community until the late 1700s. Enoch Noyes began making horn buttons and coarse combs in 1759 at his home near 127 Main Street, and by the 1830s and 1840s there were 32 comb shops in town. Another local industry was shoe-making, which began with farmers making shoes for their families in little shops on their farms. Later large shoe shops were started, and West Newbury in 1875 was a booming industrial town with over 2,000 people and doing a half million dollars’ worth of business a year. There were three large comb factories and seven shoe factories.
In 1819 West Newbury finally became a separate town from Newbury, after years of petitioning the General Court of Massachusetts for that privilege, having received decades of opposition from the Town of Newbury.
The following list of West Newbury homes built before the Revolutionary War was created by Gordon Harris.
- The linked descriptions below are provide by MACRIS and the West Newbury Historical Commission. On the MACRIS page, click on the INV link to download a PDF history of the house and the families who lived there.
- Photos are from the West Newbury Patriot Properties site, as well as the dates of construction for those not documented on the MACRIS site.
- Read: Images of America, West Newbury
- Historic Sites Survey Phase 1, West Newbury Historical Commission
- Historic Sites Survey Phase 2, West Newbury Historical Commission
- 1729 West Newbury map
- 1850 West Newbury map
- 1872 West Newbury map
- 1884 West Newbury map
- 1884 West Newbury map (Main St. closeup)
WNB.1, Merrill, Abel House, 114 Ash St, r 1725
WNB.5, 26 Brickett St, r 1725
WNB.12, 37 Cherry Hill St, c 1760
4 Crane neck, West Newbury Ma: 1750
13 Crane Neck, West Newbury MA 1748
WNB.17, Hale, Thomas House, 81 Crane Neck Rd, 1717
360 Main St., WestNewbury, 1713
760 Main St., West newbury MA: 1742-1792
13 Mechanic St., West Newbury MA 1725
102 Moulton St., West Newbury MA, 1729 (WNB.187). Located opposite the intersection with Brickett St.
6 Pleasant St., 1690
8 Pleasant St., West Newbury, 1759
WNB.158 Marshall, John House 9 Pleasant St West Newbury 1740-1828
WNB.182 Pillsbury, Alfred House 10 Training Field Rd West Newbury c 1720
WNB.188, Brown, R. L. – Arrowhead Farm, 135 Turkey Hill Rd, c 1760
11 Worths Lane, West Newbury MA 1726