Join me as I begin a series of posts about ancestral homes & properties that belonged to our family. I find it fascinating seeing where people lived, especially when the homes are still standing. Most of these homes are in and around the Beverly, Massachusetts area.
Beverly is like a home away from home for me. I have only been there (in person) twice, but this place is deeply rooted in my soul. After reading and researching so much about my ancestors on this “green rocky strip of shore,” I have come to call it my second home. Most of my direct ancestors originally lived in “The Farms” just outside of the city of Beverly. The first record that I know of for Larcom land purchases was here, Beverly Farms, Massachusetts, around the late 1600’s.
I love the architecture of these New England homes, and I have a few stories that go along with them as well. Let’s begin with Cornelius Larcom’s estate.
View 675 Hale St in a larger map
Cornelius Larcom Estate
Located at 675 Hale Street, Beverly Farms, Massachusetts, this was the original Larcom homestead, purchased in 1658 by Cornelius Larcom (1653-1747), my 7th great-grandfather. The original home was built by David Larcom, my 6th great-grandfather, in 1730. It was eventually torn down, and the current building was erected in 1838. The image on the left was sketched from memory by Rufus Larcom, my 3rd great grand uncle.
This land was mentioned a few times in Lucy Larcom’s book, A New England Girlhood:
“And then he was but a simple yeoman, a tiller of the soil; one who must have loved the sea, however, for he moved nearer and nearer towards it from Agawam through Wenham woods, until the close of the seventeenth century found his descendants – my own great-great-grandfather’s family – planted in a romantic homestead-nook on a hillside, overlooking wide gray spaces of the bay at the part of Beverly known as, “The Farms.” The situation was beautiful, and the home attachments proved tenacious, the family claim to the farm having only been resigned within the last thirty or forty years.
… I used to sometimes feel a little resentment at my fate in not having been born at the old Beverly Farms home-place, as my father and uncles and aunts and some of my cousins had been. But perhaps I had more of the romantic and legendary charm of it than if I had been brought up there, for my father, in his communicative moods, never wearied of telling us about his childhood; and we felt that we still held a birthright claim upon that picturesque spot through him. Besides it was only three or four miles away, and before the day of railroads, that was thought nothing of as a walk, by young or old.”
In 2008, two cousins, both of whom I met through this website many years ago, were able to visit this property. Here are some photos of them and the home that is on the land today: although the original structure no longer exists, some resemblance from the original sketch is still in effect, noting the gambrel roof. In 2011, the home and all 18 acres of property was sold for $5,540,000. More beautiful photos and details of the sale here.