Click on the image for a larger view.

Adams House, 1705     Pearson Drive, Byfield


Built in 1705, this is one of the few remaining garrison houses.  From this house Abraham Adams and three sons went to the Revolutionary War.  Located on the site originally called The High Field, near the Newbury falls.

Atkinson House, c. 1664     Green Street at Hanover Street, Newbury Upper Green


The town fathers granted the first owner of the house, John Atkinson, one acre of land with the provisio that he live in Newbury and serve as the town hatter for a term of seven years.  He and his wife Sarah (Mireck) had 11 children.  The house has a connection to the Salem Witch hunts of the 1690s, as well.  According to the testimony of Sarah Atkinson, Susannah Martin visited the house during a storm some years previously, and having had to walk so far in such bad weather, Mrs. Atkinson was surprised to see Susannah bone dry with her feet mud-free. The unfortunate Susannah was hanged based on Sarah’s and others’ testimonies.

Bray House, c. 1820     no longer standing


A note on the back of the photo says "Moved from High Street, 1851."  According to Currier's History of Newbury, a Richard S. Bray was chosen in 1854 as one of the "tithing-men" for the First Parish Church.  The position was discontinued the following year.

Byfield Female Seminary, c. 1797     Elm Street, Byfield


A faction of the Byfield Parish Church broke away in 1797, worshipping in a meetinghouse which became known as the "Sleigh Meetinghouse," named for its pastor, The Rev. William Sleigh.  When the church reunited, church deacon Benjamin Colman bought the meetinghouse and moved it beside his own house.  The first female seminary in the country was organized in 1807 in this building, with The Rev. Joseph Emerson as its first preceptor.  Among its graduates were Miss Mary Lyon, founder of Mount Holyoke College, and American missionary Harriet Newell.  A third floor was added in the early 20th century and between 1963 and 1975 the building was in use as the New England Military School.  Today it is a private home.

Byfield Parish Old Parsonage, c. 1703     formerly on Elm Street, Byfield


This dwelling was built for The Rev. Moses Hale.  The elderly gentleman in the sepia photo standing next to the chair is possibly the Rev. Withington.  An interesting wooden fence conforms to the roundabout in front of the stable.

Byfield Parish New Parsonage, c. 1800     Elm Street, Byfield


Formerly the home of Deacon Benjamin Colman, this house was used as a post office in 1826 and bought in 1875 for use as the parsonage of the Byfield Parish Church.

Cheney House, c. 1690     West Street, Byfield


Peter Cheney operated one of the first mills in Newbury.  On January 5, 1687 the town appointed a committee to "treat with Peter Cheney about setting up a corn mill and a fulling mill at the upper falls."

Caldwell House, c. 1799     Elm Street, Byfield


Now at the front of the Caldwell Farms development, the Caldwell House once housed the South Byfield Post Office in a small addition on the right side of the house.  The staircase features a "mortgage button" on the top of the newel post, supposedly signifying that the mortgage had been paid.  (It is now thought that the decorative button found on many homes' newel posts was just a way to dress up the joinery).

Coffin House, 1678     14 High Road, Newbury


Built by Tristram Coffin, Jr. in 1678 and home to 7 generations of the Coffin family from 1678-1929.  Front section added 1712.  Home to Joshua Coffin, Newbury historian and schoolteacher of Quaker poet John Greenleaf Whittier in East Haverhill.  The centennial founding of the town was celebrated on the front lawn in 1735.  Acquired by SPNEA in 1929.  Later anachronistic additions (such as overhanging porches) were removed by SPNEA in the 1940s.  The last full-time resident of the home, Lucy Coffin, is seen sitting on the front walkway in the circa 1893 photograph.  For information on open houses and other programs at the Coffin House, visit

Coffin House, c. 1715      formerly on Scotland Road, Newbury


Built circa 1715, this 1 1/2 story house formerly stood on Scotland Road.  The right-hand photo features William Coffin in the driver's seat.  The house burned down in 1915.

Fatherland Farm, 1802     formerly on Central Street, Byfield


The house was built in 1802 by Eben Parsons, son of Moses Parsons.  It was destroyed by fire about 30 years ago and a housing development bearing its name is now located on the site.

Gerrish House, c. 1680      Orchard Street, Byfield


Col. Gerrish was a member of the Legislature for twenty years.  A large, strong man, it is said that he swam across the Merrimack River near its mouth every year until he was past 70.  He had four children whose collective weight was 1,200 pounds.

Goodrich House, c. 1700     Forest Street, Byfield


Following the Battle of Lexington, Oliver Goodrich was among the Byfield men who enlisted in their country's aid.  He later became a member of George Washington's body guard.

Hale House, c. 1650     formerly on Old Rowley Road, Newbury


This house was built prior to 1652, when it was conveyed by Stephen Kent to Thomas Hale.  Hale left town around 1657, but returned in 1661 and lived the remainder of his life in the house with his son.  Renovations in the late 1800s dramatically altered the appearance of the house.  It succumbed to fire in 1923.

Ingram House, c. 1800     Parker Street, Newbury


This quaint little Cape is painted dark red today.  The entry porch, perhaps added around 1840, is a fine example of Greek Revival detail.

Jackman-Willett House, 1696     Cottage Road, Newbury


Originally built near the foot of Old Town Hill, the building is owned by the Sons and Daughters of the First Settlers of Newbury.  Complete history can be found on their website.

Jacques House, c. 1700 / Old Elm of Newbury, 1713     Parker Street, Newbury


The Old Elm of Newbury, said to have been planted in 1713 by Richard Jaques, was celebrated in verse and prose for many years.  On June 16, 1913 the tree was blown down in a storm.  Fourth photograph is the Jaques barn.

Knight-Ambrose House, 1695     Elm Street, Byfield


Used periodically as a dormitory for Governor Dummer Academy; the South Byfield post office was once located here.  In recent years it was painted white with light blue trim.  It now bears colonial red paint.

Robert Adams House, c. 1710     Orchard Street, Byfield


An 1884 map shows a Mr. Larkin living on the property.  Its proximity to the falls suggests that the owner may have worked at one of the Byfield Mills nearby.  The house has recently been brought back to life after many years of neglect.

Leigh House, c. 1700     Hay Street, Newbury


The historic view of the original house was taken from the rear of the property.  Hay Street runs along the upper left of that photo.  Today a newer but still beautiful home sits on the property.

George Little Farm, c. 1700     Green Street, Newbury


Said to be the oldest continuously-cultivated farm by the same family in the United States.  George Little was a tailor near London Bridge before coming to Newbury in 1640.

Wallace Little Farm (Silverledge Farm), c. 1810     Green Street, Newbury


The Jackman family bought the house in 1941 and established the Silverledge Farm.

Longfellow House     formerly near the falls, Byfield (Orchard Street?)


he ancestral home of the Longfellows, commencing with William who married Anne Sewall in 1676.  The house was taken down in the late 1880s.

March-Hale House, 1667     Hanover Street, Newbury

Marquand House, c. 1800     formerly Kent's Island, Newbury


Pulitzer Prize-winning author John P. Marquand bought the old farmhouse on Kent's Island in 1935 and spent many years renovating and adding to the building. Though he willed the property to his children, they sold it to the state in 1974.  From that time until the well dried up in 1978 a state trooper lived on the property.  By 1984 the home was slated for demolition when then 10-year-old Newbury resident Jeffrey Noonan fought to protect the historic building.  His efforts were unsuccessful in the end, however, and the building was razed in 1985.

Moody House, c. 1670     Central Street, Byfield


The Moody House remained in the family for over 200 years, and was the birthplace of William H. Moody, Secretary of the Navy and one of Massachusetts' Attorneys General.

Noyes House, 1646     Parker Street, Newbury


Built by The Rev. James Noyes, cousin of The Rev. Thomas Parker, first minister of Newbury's church.  The two lived here together for about ten years.  During early 20th century renovations, a secret closet was uncovered, accessible only from the cellar.

Pearson Tavern, 1674     Main Street, Byfield


A fine First Period oak-framed house built by Jeremiah Pearson and operated as a tavern for over 100 years.  "Lord" Timothy Dexeter of Newburyport is said to have been among the clientele.

Benjamin Pearson House, c. 1710     Main Street, Byfield


On Aug. 10, 1709, Benjamin Pearson purchased 24 acres from the descendants of Peter Cheney "on ye southerly side of the Falls River, bounded easterly by a tract of land which was formerly given by ye said Peter Cheney, deceased as aforesaid to his son Peter Cheney.. and southerly and westerly by ye common land of Newbury, northerly by ye saw mill yard and Falls River" (Essex Deeds 25:36). It is believed that soon after this date, Benjamin Pearson built the house which is still standing near the present mill.  The elm tree that stood in front of the house became known as one of the best specimens in the state, but was blown down in November of 1898.

Poor Tavern, c. 1642 or c. 1664     formerly on Marsh Avenue, Newbury


Once standing south of the Parker River, this 17th century house is commonly thought to have been built in 1642, although a second theory dates the house at 1664.  The oval trade sign was given to the Marine Society of Newburyport sometime after 1851.  The addition at left was built by John Poor in the mid-1700s, and had been removed by the time the third photo, below, was taken.  The building was taken down in the spring of 1890.

Riverview Farm, 1728     Main Street, Byfield



Rolfe House, c. 1690     Rolfe's Lane, Newbury


In 1710 the town chose a committee to inqurie of purchasing "Rolfe's Lane" (then a private road) for the town's use.  It appears no headway was made until 1735, when the lane was finally laid out and accepted as a town road.  It measured "1 rod, 11 feet wide" at the end near the Merrimack River, "30 feet in breadth against Henry Rolfe's House," and "27 feet in breadth" at the upper end near the green.  (Town records, Dec. 24, 1735)

Seddon Tavern, 1728     Lower Green, Newbury


In 1727 Samuel Seddon was given land at the corner of the Lower Green to construct "a house for the entertainment of travelers."  The house also served as the point of contact for the ferry service over the Parker River.  The house was for a while under the auspices of SPNEA, but is now owned privately.  A series of fires and a slight relocation in the 1933 altered the appearance of the tavern, which has since been restored to a classic early 18th century appearance.  (The historic image, below, shows the tavern in its pre-restoration state).

Sewall House, c. 1678     High Road, Newbury


Described as "newly built" by Henry Sewall and given by his will, dated August 17, 1678, to his wife Jane (Dummer) Sewall.  After her decease the house became the possession of their son, Samuel.

Short House, c. 1715     High Road, Newbury


IThis magnificent brick-end house was built by Nathaniel Knight and was in the possession of SPNEA until the late 1970s, when it was sold (with historic restrictions) to a private owner.  It is sometimes known as The Knight-Short House.  The original segmental-arch door pediment, with its dentils and stop-fluted pilasters in the Doric order, intrigued curators at the Metropolitan Museum of Art so much that they were able to acquire the original front door and surrounding architectural work to install in the American Wing.

Spencer-Peirce-Little Farm, c. 1690     Little's Lane, Newbury


The land upon which this impressive manor house sits was granted to John Spencer in 1635.  The brick and stone house is thought to have been built by Col. Daniel Peirce circa 1690.  The Little family occupied the house for over 120 years, between 1861 and 1984, when it was given to SPNEA.  The Stekionis house, attached to the rear of the manor house, was opened in the summer of 2012 for the first time.  For more information, please visit Historic New England's website.

Swett-Ilsley House, c. 1670     High Road, Newbury


Built circa 1670 by Stephen Swett and occupied by the Ilsley family for about 100 years beginning in 1797.  Possible additions circa 1756.  The house has been used as a chocolate works and a tavern, and it is said that the first newspaper published in Newbury was printed here.  This was the first house purchased by SPNEA in 1915, which operated the Four High Road Tea Room from the house before returning it to use as a house museum.  The kitchen fireplace is over 10 feet wide, although there are no pictures of this particular fireplace here.

Tenney-Dole House, c. 1710     Elm Street, Byfield

Toppan House, c. 1697     High Road, Newbury


According to legend, a pretty woman was walking past Mr. Toppan's house when she asked out loud, "I wonder whose house that is?"  Mr. Toppan's quick response was, "Yours, ma'am, if you will!"  She accepted his unique proposal and the couple were married soon after.  Alternate spellings name the house The Tappan House.

Withington House, c. 1740     High Road, Newbury


The Rev. and Mrs. Withington stand in front of their fence and home.  Withington served as pastor and pastor emeritus of the First Parish Church from 1816 to 1885!  The Newbury Town Hall is located to the right of this home today.

Woodbridge House, c. 1785     Upper Green, Newbury


Also known as the Little-Muzzey House.

Newbury Historical Commission   : :   25 High Road   : : Newbury MA 01951   : :   : :