In 1784 the town poorhouse on Loney’s lane had fallen into disrepair. Dr. John Manning and John Heard convinced the town that if it would buy John Harris’ previous home at the corner of High and Manning, he would provide $400 annually for the care of the poor. The contract was so controversial with residents in the affluent Hamlet section of town that they succeeded in breaking away in 1793 to create the town of Hamilton.
In 1795 John Harris bought for $1000.00, “a certain messauge or tract of land..a half acre or more with all the buildings thereon” from Nathan Foster of Boston. (164:236). See the deed at the end of this post. Several dwellings on this side of High Street burned in 1858, leaving this house, which is assumed to have been built by Harris in 1795. The depth of the house, the trim and the central chimney suggest that it could be considerably older.
Mark Jewett bought the property in 1833, and it remained in his family for many years. Jewett was a housewright and built the Linebrook Parish House in 1828. He also contracted to rebuild the First Church. The finished work was accepted on the condition that he repaint the pulpit “in a sacred color”.
- T.F. Waters, Ipswich in the Mass. Bay Colony, vol. I, pp. 364-365.