Built around 1761 (perhaps as early as 1755), the Landlord Fowler Tavern is located at 171 Main Street in Westfield. Daniel Fowler was granted a tavern license in 1761 and the building continued to function as an inn until the 1830s. At the start of the American Revolution, Daniel Fowler served on the Committee of Correspondence, which met at the tavern. As related in The Westfield Jubilee (1870):
It is said that General Burgoyne, when he passed through this town as a prisoner from the field of Saratoga, spent the night at this tavern, and with true military politeness, kissed the wife of the landlord, on the morning of his departure.
Another prisoner of war to stay in the house during the Revolutionary War was Hessian commander General Friedrich von Riesdesel. H. C. Schaeffer owned the property between 1885 and 1916, during which time he conducted a cigar-making business on the premises. More recently, the former tavern has been restored and converted into apartments. The Fowler Tavern‘s original Connecticut River Valley broken scroll pediment doorway was removed in 1920 by Wallace Nutting and placed in the American Wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. The current doorway on the building is a replica.
The earliest (rear) section of the Putnam House in Danvers was built in 1648 by Lt. Thomas Putnam. The house would go on to be the home of twelve generations of the Putnam family. During the Salem witchcraft trials, Joseph Putnam, who spoke out against the ongoing hysteria, lived on the property. Joseph’s son, Israel Putnam, for whom it’s now known, was born in the house in 1718. General Israel Putnam was a famous colonial officer and one of the primary figures at the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775. In the 1850s, Daniel Putnam operated a shoe-making business in the house and in the twentieth century, the family ran a candy and ice cream shop next door called the Putnam Pantry. A number of additions were made to the house over the years, including the eighteenth-century gambrel-roofed section that is now the front facade. The Putnam family gave the house to the Danvers Historical Society in 1991.
The David Boyce House, at 7 Lynn Street in Salem, was built in 1782. As mentioned in “Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolution,” in The Essex Antiquarian, Vol. XI (1907),
David Boyce, cordwainer and shoemaker, lived in Salem as early as 1777; married Hannah Lang of Salem July 27, 1777; she was his wife in 1789, and was dead in 1825; he died in Salem Aug. 20, 1838, apparently leaving no issue.
He must have lived in Salem before then, because the sign on his house indicates that he participated in Leslie’s Retreat in 1775 and, according to Charles M. Endicott in his Account of Leslie’s Retreat at the North Bridge in Salem, on Sunday Feb’y 26, 1775 (1856), when the British regulars were approaching,
To remove as many of the guns as the time would permit beyond the reach of the troops, and to a place of safety, appeared the universal determination of the people. Mr. David Boyce, who lived in a house adjoining the North Church, is remembered to have been seen hurrying away with his team, and all the truckmen of the town were upon the spot without delay.
John Glover was a Marblehead fisherman and merchant who rose to the rank of general in the Revolutionary War. His schooner Hannah was the first of many privateers authorized by George Washington to raid British shipping. Glover‘s Marblehead militia became the 14th Continental Regiment, known as the “Amphibious Regiment,” which evacuated Washington’s Continental Army after it lost the Battle of Long Island. His seafaring men would again man the boats for Washington’s Crossing of the Delaware in 1776. John Glover’s gambrel-roofed house at 11 Glover Street in Marblehead was built in 1762.
The Judge Samuel Holten House in Danvers was built in 1670 by Benjamin Holten in what was then known as Salem Village. In the house resided Sarah Holten, who testified against Rebecca Nurse during the Salem Witchcraft Hysteria of 1692. From a much smaller initial core, the house, which served as a tavern, was expanded six different times over the years, making it a prime example of the development in stages of a Colonial house. In the later eighteenth century, Judge Samuel Holten lived in the house. He was a physician and statesman who served as a member of the Continental Congress from 1778 to 1780 and again from 1782 to 1787. In 1778, he was a signer of the Articles of Confederation. Since 1921, the house been owned and restored by the General Israel Putnam Chapter of the Daughter of the American Revolution.
General Gideon Foster was a leader during the Revolutionary War from South Danvers, now Peabody. Leading the militia of South Danvers, he marched to the Battle of Lexington and Concord, fighting the British during their retreat to Boston at the Battle of Menotomy. He and his men also resupplied American forces at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Foster was made a General of Militia after the War. In 1815, he purchased a house, built in 1810 on Washington Street in South Danvers, and lived there from 1818 to 1831. During this time, Foster ran the grist, bark and chocolate mills that he had inherited from his father. After his death, others owned the house, which was acquired by the Peabody Historical Society in 1916 and continues to serve as its headquarters and museum.
The late Georgian brick house of Deacon Nathaniel Ely is at 674 Longmeadow Street in Longmeadow. It was built in 1780 (originally to house two families, father and son) and is referred to as the “Old” Nathaniel Ely House to differentiate it from the “New” Nathaniel Ely House nearby, built in 1856. The house’s projecting portico is probably a later Colonial Revival addition. Deacon Ely was a captain in the Revolutionary War and Tory prisoners, on their way from Boston to New York, were kept in his house during the war. Dacon Ely’s fourth wife was a widow, Martha Williams Raynolds, daughter of Longmeadow’s minister, Rev. Stephen Williams. As children, Rev. Williams and his sister Eunice had been abducted in the 1704 Raid on Deerfield. Stephen returned to Massachusetts with their father, Rev. John Williams, but Eunice remained in Canada, marrying a Mohawk man and converting to Roman Catholicism. In 1800, Thomas Thorakwaneken Williams, Eunice’s grandson, arrived in Longmeadow with his two sons, Eleazer and John, who were to stay with the Ely’s while they were educated at a local school. John later returned to Canada, but Eleazer Williams remained and attempted to become a Congregational minister, although he faced resistance from relatives due to his Indian heritage. He eventually became a missionary and later claimed to be the Lost Dauphin, son of the executed King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette!