Col. James Hartshorne House, circa 1930

  • Col. James Hartshorne House, circa 1930
  • "The Col. James Hartshorne House on Church Street is situated on land first owned by William Hooper, who in 1644 and 1650 bought two parcels of land on which he built his homestead. According to historical records, Hooper sold his land to Mary Hodgman in 1664. A wealthy widow at the age of 24, Mary married Thomas Hodgman and bought Hooper's land and home with her own name on the deed. Sometime between 1664 and 1680, the Hodgmans either moved the original Hooper house across the road or built a new one. They sold the house and land in 1725 to the Widow Patterson who occupied the house for 13 years, until her death in 1738. Her son sold the homestead in two parcels, the first, with a 'small house' to Jonathan Cowdrey in 1757, and the second, across the road to Samuel Poole in 1758. It was Cowdrey who is believed to have added to the house during his 34 years of ownership, as did the next owner, D. John Hart. Dr. Hart, a Revolutionary War surgeon, owned the house from 1792-1802 and used it as an investment, eventually turning it into an inn, called the Lafayette House. The Blue Lodge of Masons also met in a second-floor room during his ownership. Shoemaker Col. James Hartshorne purchased the house in 1803 and lived there until he died in 1870. His second wife, Mary, lived there until 1884. In 1890, J. Reed Whipple and John G. Morrill, bought the house and turned it into a tenement for Morrill-Atwood Ice Company workers. The Town of Wakefield voted at a Special Town Meeting on October 14, 1929 to purchase the home and meadow for $14,999 following a devastating fire that destroyed the ice houses in September. The Town also voted to restore the home as part of Wakefield's participation in the Tercentennial Celebration of the Massachusetts Bay Colony in 1930. The Col. James Hartshorne House Association was formed in July 1930, and incorporated in 1936 for the purpose of preserving and maintaining the house."
  • Image from the Wakefield Municipal Gas and Light Department annual calendar, 2014
  • Photo courtesy of JC Marketing Associates
  • ca. 1930
  • Wakefield, Mass. : Wakefield Municipal Gas & Light Department


“Col. James Hartshorne House, circa 1930,” Lucius Beebe Memorial Library, Wakefield, Mass., accessed June 23, 2021,


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