Isaac Hart House in Lynnfield, MA
Also sometimes called Lynn and Lynnfield Center


The Hartt House in winter
Click on any photo for an enlargement

Around 1970
before it was restored to its original look

Click Here for photos and a letter from the current owner!


Written by owner Alexander Simpson in late 40's or 50's

1 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 the King.)
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 insulation.
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 then)
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 effect.
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 area.
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 vintage.
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 weather.
31 Old glass (Uneven) in many windows.

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.

Summer 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 parents.

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.