39 – 41 High Street, the Daniel Lummus house (1746 with earlier elements)

The Daniel Lummus House at 39-41 High Street stands on the nine acre grant to Governor Thomas Dudley. In 1769, Jonathan Lummus bequeathed “a small piece of land out of my homestead adjoining to his homestead” to his son Daniel Lummus, “to make a convenient way to his barn.” Thomas Franklin Waters did a study of the house and concluded that “the house is probably the original, built by Daniel Lummus before 1769.” The wing on the right appears to have been moved and attached to the house.

The traditional date of construction for this house is 1746. Daniel Lummus, son of Jonathan and Margarett, was born Nov. 20, 1720. He married, 1st, Prudence Smith (int.) 8 Nov., 1746, which supports the 1746 date of construction (*Edward Lummus of Ipswich MA and Some of His Descendants).

Fireplace in the Daniel Lummus house

After the house was purchased by Al Boynton and Kathy Bruce, they discovered elements that would date before 1720, possibly as early as 1686. Kathy and Al 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 of a 17th Century style that seems to predate the construction of this house by the previous owner of the lot, Capt. Symon Stace, who purchased the nine acre lot in 1671.

Ipswich historian Thomas Franklin Waters wrote about the house in Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony:

“Given and granted to Thomas Dudley Esq. in October, 1635,” one parcel of ground containing about nine acres lying between Goodman Cross on the West and a lott intended to Mr. Bradstreet on the East, of which nine acres, Mr. Dudley hath built an house,” with other lands, “all which premises aforesayd, with the house built thereon and the pilings sett up thereon, the say’d Thos. Dudley Esq. hath sold to Mr. Hubbard and his heirs etc.” (Town Record).

“Thos. Dudley is the redoubtable Governor Dudley, who removed his residence from Cambridge at this time, and removed to Roxbury a few years later. “Mr.” Hubbard is undoubtedly Mr. William Hubbard, a prominent character in our early town history. Feoffee, Deputy to General Court, and Justice of the Quarterly Court. He removed to Boston about 1662. He died in 1670, leaving three sons. His son, Richard, sold Symon Stacy the dwelling, and nine acres of land, bounded by High Street on the southwest, by Richard Kemball’s land on the northwest, and Robert Collins on the southeast, July 5, 1671 (Ips. Deeds 3: 253). This house-lot was the largest ever granted by the Town, and its size alone would identify it with the Dudley lot.

“The administrators of Captain Stacy, William Baker and John Staniford, sold the homestead, bounded west by “Shoarborn” Wilson and east by Sergeant Robert Lord, to Jonathan Lummus, Sen., June 18, 1712 (24: 236). Lummus bequeathed his lands to his son Jonathan, by his will, approved Aug. 17, 1728 (Pro. Rec. 316: 378-80).

He (*Jonathan) bequeathed his son Daniel, ‘a small piece of land out of my homestead adjoining to his homestead, to make him a convenient way to his barn, and so to extend from the northerly end of his homestead, until it come to the cross fence as it now stands” and “the residue of the real estate, save a part of the house reserved for Margaret his daughter, to his son Jonathan.” Approved Sept. 25, 1769 (Pro. Rec. 345: 529-531)

“The Committee appointed to divide the estate of Daniel Lummus, son of the first Daniel, assigned to the widow, Anna, the eastern half of the Daniel Lummus homestead, bounded by land of Samuel Baker; to his son Daniel, the other half of the homestead, and to his daughter Anna, wife of John Hodgkins, Jr., the eastern half of the house now known as the Low house. May 4, 1813 (Pro. Rec. 383 : 622).

5 thoughts on “39 – 41 High Street, the Daniel Lummus house (1746 with earlier elements)”

  1. What is the type of paint and paint color used on the front paneled door? Does it need repainting every few years? Thank you!

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