34 High Street, the White Horse Inn (1659 / 1763)

34 High Street, the White Horse Inn (1659 / 1763)

John Andrews, innkeeper sold this lot with a house in 1659. The present Federal-era house may date to the possession of Jeremiah Lord in 1763, and took its present appearance around 1800.  It stayed in the Lord family into the 20th Century.

John Andrews sold to Mr. Richard Dummer, a house and house lot of about an acre, with three acres more of pasture land adjoining, ‘which said house and land is situate, lying and being in Hill St. . . . called by the name of the White Horse.'” May 14, 1659 (Ips. Deeds 1 : 231).  The dates when Andrews acquired the land and built a house are unknown.

Thomas Franklin Waters listed the subsequent owners of the property:

“Andrews sold his establishment, and John Paine was in possession in 1671, by the deed of the adjoining property and Philip Fowler in 1678. Philip sold his son, Joseph, his dwelhng house, barns, shop and orchard, “which I have owned since 1677,” extending to the ditch that parted from Philip’s land, April 2, 1715 (27: 132), and Joseph Fowler sold to Jeremiah Lord, Jan. 7, 1723, 74 rods, the rest of the original lot that remained after his sale to Joseph Bolles (43: 106). Jeremiah Lord sold the east half of his dwelling to his son, Jeremiah Jr., May 30, 1757 (121: 22). He enlarged his lot by the purchase of 2 rods 10 ft. front of the William Caldwell estate, adjoining on the southwest, July 11, 1763 (124: 1). He inherited the remainder probably, and was succeeded by his son, Ebenezer Lord, 1771 (Pro. Rec. 347: 153). “

There is little evidence of an original First Period house, but the dimensions of rooms and cased framing in rear rooms, suggest the possibility of an early structure being incorporated into this much later house. (Information from MACRIS listing). Around 1800 the early central chimney house was altered by removal of the chimney and its replacement with two side chimneys, mounted on the ridge. Other alterations were made around 1840, including installation of the frontispiece.

Thomas Franklin Waters recorded that “The White Horse Inn was the object of much contention Corporal John Andrews offended the sensibilities of his neighbors by keeping open doors or open bar until past nine o’clock, encouraging young men in devious ways. A petition of protest against the renewal of the liquor license was presented to the Court

“Corporal John Andrews was for several misdemeanors complained of to this Court for selling wine by retail without license upon pretense of selling by the gallon and three gallons, and yet drawing it by the pint and quarte, and for entertaining Townsmen at unseasonable tymes, as after nine of the clock.”

The Court in Salem in June, 1658 determined that it “thought meet to license Corporal Andrews to keepe an ordinary for the entertainment of strangers only till the next Court at Ipswich, and not longer, provided that the Inhabitants do at the said Court present some meet person to keepe an ordinary that the Court shall approve off.” Deacon Moses Pengry, who had signed the complaint against Andrews, was instructed to prepare himself to open an ordinary.

Andrews was so angry about the verdict that he went on a rage and tore down the door of the home of chief marshall Edward Brown, the gate at Lt. Samuel Appleton’s yard, and Moses Pengry’s sign. He sold the inn and moved back to his house in Chebacco (Essex) where he was continually hauled into court for running up debts. Here’s a story about some of the young men who got in trouble.

Source: Waters, Thomas Franklin: Ipswich in the Massachusetts Bay Colony Vol I


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