387 Linebrook Road, David Tulley Perley farm (1880)

David and Elizabeth Perley house, built this Victorian house at 387 Linebrook Rd. in approximately 1880.
David and Elizabeth Perley built their Victorian home at 387 Linebrook Rd. in approximately 1880.

We received a couple of wonderful photographs of the old Perley farm on Linebrook Rd. from Chris Gorham. Her grandmother, Bertha Cheever Perley Moulton, was born in Ipswich in 1886 to David Tullar Perley and Elizabeth Lavalette Perley. Bertha Perley graduated from Manning High School in 1905.

The Perley family barn at 381 Linebrook is now known as Linebrook Farm, and has offered has provided horse boarding, riding lessons, training and summer camp programs since 1978.

The house at 387 Linebrook also still stands and is separately owned. The present owners have notes indicating that the house was built in 1850, and was ’embellished’ in the 1880’s, identical to the house as it still stands.

David Tullar Peley was the son of Abraham and Mary Perley. He was the first and only child born to Abraham Perley and his cousin-wife Mary Perley, who died in the birth. When Abraham died 37 years later, David was the only heir to the estate.

David Tullar Perley
David Tullar Perley

From the book Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony Volume II, we learn that David and Elizabeth Perley were among the first members of the Linebrook Church, the organization of which was completed in 1749. David Perley (1824 – 1891) was chosen to fill the vacancy of Ruling Elder on November 39, 1756, but the ancient office was falling into disfavor, and David Perley and Deacon John Abbot both refused to accept the office on the following grounds:

“Chief reasons for their Refusing said Office Alleged by them were in ye first place ye apprehensions they had of their Own Unfitness for so Important a Trust; & in ye Next place their Not being fully satisfied that there is any such Officer in ye Church, appoint by X as a Ruling Elder distinct from ye Pastor.”

The Linebrook Church, this house and two others were nominated as a National Register Historic District in 1984. Anne Grady wrote for the Ipswich Historical Commission, “The Linebrook Church and the four houses along the same side of Linebrook Road east and west of it form an intact 19th century grouping with no intrusions. The houses include the Country Federal house at the easternmost end of the area, the richly-ornamented Queen Anne dwelling next west, the Greek Revival cottage with a hint of Gothic just west of the church, and the simpler cottage with doorway drawn from Asher Benjamin’s Practice of Architecture (1833) at the west end of the area. The houses form a period setting for the church which is the major focal point of outer Linebrook.

The Perley family and farmhouse at 387 Linebrook Rd. This picture is believed to have been taken in 1888. Standing: David Sydney Perley (2-21-1862) Seated in front: Louise Hart Perley (9-5-1865) On her lap: Marion Perley Jenks (1-7-1888) Seated: David Tuller Perley (1-17-1824) Seated in front: Bertha Perley Moulton (10-18-1886) Chester Garfield Perley (11-13-1881) Seated next to David T. Perley: Elizabeth Lavalette Perley (2-15-1857) On her lap: Harrison Otis Perley ( 9-30-1888) Standing: Roscoe Damon Perley (8-11-1864) Seated: Carrie Sophronia Perley (10-18-1865) Standing: Mabel Perley Charlton( 8-19-1883)
The Perley family and farmhouse at 387 Linebrook Rd. This picture is believed to have been taken in 1888. Standing: David Sydney Perley (2-21-1862) Seated in front: Louise Hart Perley (9-5-1865) On her lap: Marion Perley Jenks (1-7-1888) Seated: David Tuller Perley (1-17-1824) Seated in front: Bertha Perley Moulton (10-18-1886) Chester Garfield Perley (11-13-1881) Seated next to David T. Perley: Elizabeth Lavalette Perley (2-15-1857) On her lap: Harrison Otis Perley ( 9-30-1888) Standing: Roscoe Damon Perley (8-11-1864) Seated: Carrie Sophronia Perley (10-18-1865) Standing: Mabel Perley Charlton( 8-19-1883)
Perley Farm, 387 Linebrook Rd. in a photo dated about 1880. The smaller building in the middle of the photo was torn down and the large barn on the right was extended over its footprint.
Perley Farm, 387 Linebrook Rd. in a photo dated about 1880. The building in the middle of the photo was torn down and the large barn on the right (still standing) was extended over its footprint.

In the History of Essex County with Biographical Sketches published in 1888, Duane Hamilton Hurd wrote a biographical sketch of David Tullar Perley.

“David Tullar Perley 1 was born in Linebrook Parish in Ipswich, January 17, 1824. He is of stock and a descendant in the seventh from Allan Perley who came from London in ship Planter and settled in Ipswich in 1635, where he died in 1675 aged sixty five years. His youngest son Timothy, born 1653 and died 1719, married Dorothy by whom he had Patience, born March 28, 1682; Stephen, born June 15, 1684; Allan, born March 1, 1688; and Joseph, born June 3, 1695.

Stephen died 1725. He left a son Abraham, born 1793, who died 1861, who was the father of David the subject of this sketch. Abraham Perley was a farmer and dealer in cattle He lived in Linebrook Parish where he owned a large farm and carried on an extensive business.

David Tullar Perley was educated in the public schools, and at Topsfield and Dummer Academies. He succeeded to his father’s business, and owns the largest and best conducted farms in the western part of the town. Mr. Perley has never sought or held any public office but has devoted himself entirely to his business and has been very successful both as a farmer and dealer in cattle

  • He married first Sophronia O. Plummer of Newbury,June 12, 1851, by whom he had one child ,Oscar, born March 3, 1853. Mr Perley’s first wife died March 14, 1853
  • His second wife was Abigail Kent Stevens of West Newbury, whom he married May 16, 1861. They had three children, namely David Sidney, Roscoe and Carrie. The mother of these children died June 19,1879, aged fifty-three years
  • He married Lizzie (Elizabeth) daughter of Nathaniel H. Lavalette of Ipswich, October 18, 1880 by whom he has had three children: Chester, Mabel, and Bertha.”

.”

Obituary of David Tullar Perley

David Tullar Perley and other family members are buried at the New Linebrook Cemetery, not far from their home.
David Tullar Perley and other family members are buried at the New Linebrook Cemetery, not far from their home.

“The typical description of hardscrabble farmers barely eking out their existence on poor rocky soil surely fits most of our ancestors. But there are some exceptions, and one of these was David Tullar Perley of Linebrook Parish in Ipswich, MA. Upon David’s death, the Ipswich Independent newspaper reported the following:

David Tullar Perley, the extensive farmer and Essex County cattle-broker, died very suddenly last Sunday morning at the age of 67 years and 7 months less one day, having been born Jan. 17, 1824. Arriving at his majority, he came to the large estate left him by his father. He applied to it his native energy and enterprise, and enrolled himself among the richest men of the county.

As a farmer he ranked among the first. The old meadows were reclaimed, the upland soil was enriched from his extensive herds, his crops were grown from selected seeds, and his farm was the largest and most productive in the county, all through his untiring energy.

Mr. Perley was the only cattle-broker in the county, if extent of business makes one; for no one began to approach him in magnitude of traffic. It was no uncommon thing for him to own the stock of half a dozen milk farms, at the same time. Probably at his death, he had a thousand cows scattered upon Essex County farms.

Mr. Perley’s barn is one of the notable things as you pass that way. Its length is 120 feet, and it has all the appliances and appointments necessary to the easy conduct of his business. [Ed…Both grandson Bryce Moulton and great-grandson William Moulton have memories of playing in the hay in the great barn years later at different times up to the 1950s.]

Mr. Perley was a temperate, honest, and hard workingman. He was educated at Topsfield and Dummer Academies. He never had any desire to engage in office of any kind, seeing more money and less friction in minding his own business. He was a very just man. A customer knowing the kind of creature he wanted but not able to judge of the creature, could trust Mr. Perley to select, and that the price would be fair. He had hundreds of customers who felt a keen regret at his death. His disease was measles; the immediate cause of death was heart-failure. He died 16 August, 1891.”

…………………..

Bertha Cheever Perley Moulton

Bertha Cheever Perley was born in Ipswich in 1886 to David Tullar Perley and Elizabeth Lavalette Perley. She graduated from Manning High School in 1905. She married William Clarke Moulton in 1910, at age 23. William Clarke Moulton was born in 1887 in New Hampshire, to Charles B Moulton and Georgianna Colby.

Linebrook Farm
Linebrook Farm
The Linebrook Farm barn, a familiar sight to people traveling on Linebrook Rd.
The Linebrook Farm barn, a familiar sight to people traveling on Linebrook Rd.

References:

9 replies »

  1. I am thinking that Don Souter (who owned the big barn and the east side of the property) married a Perley as we (O’Donnells) were told we were the first non-Perley family to own the home. I just can’t recall Don Souter’s wife’s first name. I am certain when we bought the property, Perleys owned it.

  2. My husband and I bought this home around 1970 (John and Elizabeth O’Donnell). We lived there with our 3 young daughters. The 10 stall red barn was built by us. At the time, the original big barn was owned by the Don Souter family – they had converted a chicken coop to a home. I think this part of the farm had been given to them by his father (?) (somehow connected to Perley family?).

    We did a lot of renovations to the house.I recall there were 3 large chestnut trees in the front that we were told were planted by different generations of the family.

    I was almost killed by one of our horses (freak accident) in the red barn in 1972.

    We filled a gully to build the red barn. I won first prize ($100!) at the Topsfield fair for a ‘conservation’ competition. My poster board of the land and the barn was titled ‘Land:Too Precious to Lose’. There were a lot of impressive competitors, including a Boy Scout Troop!

    I later divorced my husband and allowed the property to be foreclosed to get his name off the deed! My brother bought back the property at auction. My kids and I lived there for awhile and then I sold the property.

    What a great home. Beautiful view back then (across the stone walled meadow pasture to the little white church)!

    • If you ever find photos of your time in the house, please let me know. One chestnut tree still stands to the side of the house. Still a beautiful view over to the church.

      • I am getting ready to go through our old photos and try to organize them. I’ll see what I have.

        Betty O’Donnell Orlando, FL

    • Thank you Betty! I’d be happy to send you pics if you want to see how it looks now. I did paint it a beige/yellow a few years back and restored /reinstalled the old shutters. Was there an apartment in the rear, behind the Ballroom, when you lived there? Did you renovate the kitchen into the cherry cabinets with black-green granite counters or was that after your time? Im told that was mid 80s.

      • Kerry:
        I found a photo of the house on Google.The color of the house looks great. I did put in cherry kitchen cabinets. We tore the old kitchen out as soon as we bought. We tore the walls out that encased the front staircase (seemd a shame to hide it), and there was a small office in front of the downstairs bathroom – we tore that out, too. We added cabinets and book shelves in the family room.

        There was no apartment anywhere when I was there. Not sure which room you say it is behind.
        The original doors on the garage were wood, 3 sets of doubles that opened in the center and the large modern door was on the big garage stall on the left end (this area must have been an add-on).

        The large garage (far left) we used to store hay. At one time I did rent it to friends who brought in a huge machine – and they made purses and belts for Capezio. That was the only area we ever rented.

        The ‘sheds’ (opposite the kitchen door) were used by someone for a workshop for some kind of business. This was after we left. Can’t recall why I was there and saw people working there.

        The original cast iron stove was in the kitchen when we lived there. It was huge – and we used it for fun during freezing temperatures. But I went to the property to retrieve our cat (she made it from Boxford all the way back) and that’s when I saw the stove was gone. Guess the buyers sold it. Too bad – it was beautiful.

        The coffered ceiling in the dining room was beautiful, as were the wood floors.

        There was an old bed of asparagus behind the sheds – delicious! And a huge flagpole in the main driveway.

        A friend recently found an old movie film of my kids riding in the ring at the Souter’s next door. It was short, but pretty cute!

      • Wow! So much info to process and so many more questions! Which room do you consider the family room? Was there a room behind the kitchen? Do you have pics of the old stove? There were sheds off the kitchen,? I’ve seen a map showing them drawn on but no photos. Long gone now but 3 car garage here, looks like it was once 5 car garage,, 2 lwft bays are an apartment now… My email is kerrynovello@gmail.com, feel free to continue this via email I’d love to send you pics so I can figure out what is same/different. On 2nd floor at end of hall there’s a door that looks like might have been a door to stairs at rear of house? Stairs would have come out at back of kitchen. Im sitting in the dining room now, coiffered ceiling still there! Floors don’t look so great but floor in the parlor, front room on east side is gorgeous still. Was there still a carriage house out by the flag pole when you were here? Flag pole bracket still there. I renovated all the old windows during covid… all the fireplaces were ripped out prior to 1990 owner so I hope you have pics. When did you move out? Were you the family that knew John Denver and had him visit? Sorry for all the qs but we are so excited to learn more about this fabulous house. Thanks! Be well! Kerry and Kevin

  3. My grandparents lived on Linebrook Rd, and when I was a very little girl, perhaps around 3-4 years of age, i remember my grandmother taking me to me old Mrs. Perley at the Perley house to have tea. I was fascinated by the old lady. She was sitting in a large wicker chair with white gloves and a parasol, and a table was set in the little yard to the left of the house. She and my grandmother were great friends apparently. I remember the house looking exactly like the pictures I’ve found. Around that time there was also another older Perley who was the unofficial history buff of the area, but i can’t remember what his name was. When I was older, we kids in the neighborhood used to get together on our bikes and ride over to the stables to pat the horses. We used to fish in a little pond down the hill from the stables too altho we never caught anything. The wife of one of the Perley’s started a nursery school in the church next door, and my brother and I went there. In the summer there was the strawberry festival where kids were dress up and parade around, and then we’d have strawberry shortcake in the field next door. Looking thru the website and recognizing old houses and other things has brought back a lot of good memories!

    • Kathi – If you still have photos of this house, I’d love to see them! It’s our house now, and we love it dearly. My daughter went to nursery school in the church too.

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