House in winter
Click on any photo for an enlargement
Around 1970 before it was restored to its original
Here for photos and a letter from the current owner!
ISAAC HART HOUSE IN LYNNFIELD, MA
by owner Alexander Simpson in late 40's or 50's
Unusually long spanned summer beams in living and dinning rooms.
2 Corner beams in many downstairs rooms
3 Back bedroom originally known as "Borning" room
right off old kitchen
4 Front and side window frames in living and dining rooms are
proof of Indian shutters, but shutters are long gone.
5 Well warn doorsill between old kitchen and living room shows
hundreds of years of use.
6 Many door latches and hinges still exist which were hand made
hundreds of years ago.
7 Hand made strap hinges on cellar door are supposedly examples
of earliest metal hinges made in this country.
8 Beehive oven in one of three fireplaces.
9 Original hand carved paneling in evidence over fireplaces.
10 No boards (floor & wall) in evidence over 20 inches long.
(reason being, that when we were a British Colony, all boards
over 20 inches long were reserved for and shipped overseas to
11 Old grindstone is used for the front door step.
12 Massive granite blocks form foundation. Thought to be cut
in Lynnfield out of granite unlike any other found in New England.
13 Old outside double walls back plastered and show hand made
lathe and there is evidence of cornhusks and seaweed used as
14 Wainscoting in many rooms although appearing to be of wood
is a thick paint coated canvas material.
15 Means and runners in roof are all pegged and still have bark
on some of them, PLUS toed and notched beams in attic floor
and Roman numerated for matching.
16 Three walls in pine room still have original pine boards.
17 Silk worms, were reputed to have been grown, or raised in
upstairs bedroom to supply old Danvers Silk Factory.
18 Outside and inside wall planking are all over one inch or
greater thickness and used as actual support. (2 x4's unknown
19 Massive and solid oak beams used in construction of original
house are mentioned in "History Of Lynnfield" as so
solid that "No wind would ever blow the Hart house down."
20 Rough plastered walls remain as such to maintain old original
21 Post light is same as found in City of Boston Freedom Trail
including Louisburg square. 48" high, it is a replica of
old original Paul Revere lantern found on his house in Boston.
22 Unusual effect of ceiling or roofing boards in the Red Shed
show, their nesting effect as all coming from the same tree.
23 Interesting carved "heart" imbedded inside beam
in Pine room showing or signifying the "HART" family.
24 Apple room, now the kitchen originally was an apple storage
25 Large Brass Bell at peak of roof originally used to summon
all the field and orchard hands to meals.
26 Attic was used at one time to house farming hands.
27 Wormholes in many of the wood floorboards show real early
28 Many of the interior exposed carrying beams and all of the
attic beams are pegged and notched.
29 Very old stonewalls which surround the house are in great
disarray due to tree roots upending them as they grew large,
and signify great age, and emphasized the antiquity of the house.
30 House originally was a saltbox. Roof extended straight down
back of house on North side to ceiling level in old kitchen
to minimize winter cold. House faces south with front windows
getting benefit of sun's warm rays assisting in heating in cold
31 Old glass (Uneven) in many windows.
QUARREL OVER THE LYNNFIELD HART PROPERTY
Written by Mary (Hart) Pletsch
(Fred/Frank, Joseph, Joseph, John, John, Samuel, Isaac)
In 1917 my father's uncles died. They were twins, Frederick
and Franklin Hart. (1847-1917) Because of that my father and
a cousin of his inherited the old Hart Farm in Lynnfield Center,
Massachusetts. This cousin was a George Pierpont Estes Hart
of Danville, Virginia. He and my father (George Albert) were
the only survivors of that generation of Harts, even though
the family had been numerous. The women had not married or died
quite young and only two sons had had families. Since George
Pierpont Estes Hart lived so far away, he was willing to sell
out. My father bought his share of the inheritance except for
a few keepsakes, which his cousin wanted, and so he became the
sole owner of the old farmhouse, the original home, land and
everything that belonged to the farm.
Now I understand my grandfather's, Henry Jackson Hart, (1833-1891)
problems. From letters and tales it appears that he and Charles
Nelson Hart,(1835) they were the oldest brothers, were close
and so were the twins, Fred and Frank. But between the two pairs
there was not much rapport. There was some family quarrel about
a loan, secured by the Hart farm, which almost lost them the
farm. Julia seemed to have been especially upset about this
affair. She seemed to have resented the older brothers. At least
her letters to Frank appear to indicate that.
To tell a little more about that loan: My grandfather, Henry
Jackson Hart, was the oldest child after Frederick who died
at age 13. There were all together eight children, but only
the four brothers and a daughter survived. The daughter went
their ways and had no interest in the farm, but the four brothers
did have. Henry Jackson decided to go into the coal business
and left the farm. His father, Joseph Hart, then took a mortgage
on the farm to give Henry Jackson the money to start this business.
Unfortunately, along came the depression of 1890 and he did
not do well and lost his business. As a result, the family nearly
lost the farm to the mortgagor. As a further result, Henry Jackson,
his wife and her children were no longer wanted at the farm.
As still another result, in his will, Joseph, the father, expressly
excluded Henry Jackson from any inheritance. Not that he did
not love his son, but because he had already been give more
than his share.
After his business failed, Henry Jackson was engaged as manager
of the Damon Farm in Ipswich. His son, George Albert, my father,
became acquainted with the Damon Bolles family. This eventually
worked into a real connection. Mr. Bolles soon went into the
investment business, stocks and bonds. He was very helpful to
both my father and my mother after father's death and indirectly
to my sisters and me after my mother also died.
Lynnfield Centre, being somewhere between twenty-five and thirty
miles distant from Essex where my father had his business, made
it necessary to buy an automobile so that he could look after
the property and visit it regularly. In 1917 or 18 an automobile
was still an uncommon thing. My ego got another boost every
time we drove regally about town in this new and wonderful vehicle.
It was a Chandler touring car and I thought it was the most
elegant thing on wheels.
The car was used mostly on Thursdays and Sundays only. It was
then used to go to "the Farm" and those were red-letter
days in my life. I loved the old house that had been built in
1642 and lived in by generation after generation of my ancestors.
I felt at home there. I loved the wonderful farmland and woods
that went with the house.
Jago the Black Welsh Pony Loved the Hart Farm
Our coal black pony, "Jago" was driven up there every
summer and put out to pasture. He was a Welsh pony, wild as could
be, bought at the Vail Farm in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. He came
by freight in a crate and I remember how he reared and snorted
with fright when he arrived. He was born out in the pastures and
had never seen a bucket or a stall. He was afraid of the watering
pail and it took a good deal of coaxing to get him to drink.
When he and I were older, I used to try to ride him in our orchard
at the farm. He did not care too much for that. He would rather
roam in the orchard, eating applies from under the trees - or,
on occasion, walking on his hind legs to pick his meal of apples
from the lower branches. Or he would run like a wild horse from
the orchard through the gate and into the woods - all through
the woods and out into the pasture on the opposite side. One could
hear, as he took the other horses with him, the pounding of their
feet as they raced and chased each other through the night.
Vacation on the Hartt farm (1923)
During the summer vacation of 1923 my sisters and I lived alone
on the Hart farm in Lynnfield Centre. I am not sure why this
came about. Did Papa decide Mama should not leave him alone
to fend for himself all summer or did Mama feel guilty and decide
she should stay with him? Children should not look too far into
what may have been a critical stage in the lives of their parents.
My sister, Grace had her future husband, William J. Marlowe,
as a suitor and he visited every weekend (can that be?) arriving
grandly but always late in a grandiose sports car with the top
down and bearing armloads of fruit and vegetables and candy.
Somehow the air seemed to sparkle the moment when he arrived
- notwithstanding the dubious although tolerant smiles of my
House cleaning on Friday was done by my sisters. A visit of
a special stranger besides parents was expected and we must
shine. Out came every rug in the house. Over the clothesline
they were thoroughly beaten with the rug beater. Then they were
left on the grass in the sun while the old board floors were
mopped or swept, or whatever my sisters did. Cleaning I did
not have to do.
Never will I forget the day when my strong-armed and quick sister,
Dorothy, brought back an armful of nice clean rugs, dropped
them on the floor and. . . .. Wow! I thought the house was on
fire! What screams from my sister Grace, who was simply terrified
of SNAKES! A medium sized garden snake had ill advisedly crawled
in among the rugs, nice and warm. He went to sleep until there
he was on the kitchen floor. Sister Dorothy nearly died laughing
and hardly had strength left to get the coal shuttle to pick
up Mr. Snake and put him out the back door. She was a real tease
and delighted in frightening her more timid older sister.
Mary wrote the following about spring on the Hart Farm
Springtime at the Hart Farm
All winter we lived in our stodgy everyday world of work, school,
et cetera; but when spring came, it was time to start those bi-weekly
visits to the farm. As we drove up the country streets bounded
by stone walls and guarded by enormous trees just coming into
leaf, suddenly there they were behind the house - a sea of golden
daffodils nodding and bending there before the old stone wall.
There were so many and so thick and so bright! You were blinded,
yet saw with such intensity that all the world was golden daffodils.
Another time it was the lilies of the valley: a huge bed beneath
the lilac trees. And then there was the time, that special time,
to search out those flowers most delicate of all.
Was this the time? Was this the day? You'd looked so many times
before. Up through the field behind the house with flying feet
one ran, pulled up the hook of that big gate and let is weight
swing it wide open before you.
The mood, all quiet, fairylike, though smelly and dark, was waiting
here and whispered: "Come explore." They grew in a certain
place - not many, sad to say - and there was always the fear that
some day they might disappear. Oh, there they were at last! All
pink, veined and strangely shaped, majestic, jewel-like. Silent,
as waiting in a dream, they stand with quiet hoods to shield them
from the dews. One does not talk out loud nor shout. Reverence
is what one feels for these so charming, so precious to the ritual
of spring. They stand Inviolate, supreme, the lady-slippers.
Beyond and just bordering the farm property was a high voltage
power line. The land for this overhead line had once been part
of the Hart farm. A one hundred feet wide right of way had been
cleared. Only low growth was permitted. So all about that area
flourished millions of blueberry plants. Mary took me there. It
was on a gentle slope. We had a good feast of these berries, which
were quite large and very sweet. Mary pointed out to me that this
area once had trees growing on it, but now the signs of progress
were showing all over.