History of the Original Homestead on Towne Pond
On the left is an 1870 photo of the Towne family homestead, the only family on Towne Pond at the time. (This photo is actually one half of an old stereo pair.) The following historical account is from The DWELLINGS OF BOXFORD, ESSEX COUNTY, MASS. by Sidney Perley, published by The Essex Institute of Salem, MA, in 1893:
"The residence of Mr. Henry A. Towne was built by his grandfather John Towne on his own land in 1790, his son Asa being the carpenter. Mr. Towne had previously lived in the old house, No. 176, which stood across the street about twenty-five rods east of the present house. John Towne married Anna Cummings of Ipswich in 1763, and had several children: Asa, Sarah, Anna, Amos, John, Solomon (who lived at No. 183), Joseph, Daniel, Samuel, Lucy and Oliver. He died in 1830, at the age of eighty-nine. The Salem Gazette in its issue of March 12, 1830, contained the following notice of his death: --"
"In Boxford, on Monday morning, Mr. John Towne in the 90th year of his age. He was a soldier in the French war, 1759, and during most of the Revolutionary war. He was in the battle of Bunker Hill, and never saw the spot again until the late half century anniversary, when he visited Boston to attend the celebration. His death was very sudden, he having retired to bed on Sunday evening in his usual good health and spirits."
"The powder-horn that Mr. Towne carried in the battle of Bunker Hill is in the possession of his great-grandson, Mr. Horatio Towne of Boston."
"Mr. Towne's son Samuel succeeded him on the place. He was
born here in 1783, married Charlotte Fletcher, and was the father of Henry A.
Towne, the present owner and occupier of the farm, which descended to him from
From UPDATED DWELLINGS OF BOXFORD by Winnifrid Chadwick Parkhurst and Barbara Carolyn Perley, published in 1977 by Rowley Printing, Inc., Rowley, MA:
"Hiram N. Towne succeeded his parents on this farm. Hiram and his wife Alice (Tufts) had no children, but two nieces, Ella and Bertha Towne, lived here with them until they married. Hiram was active in parish affairs and was the first Master of Boxford Grange in 1911. He was a dealer in wood and timber. After his death Feb. 22, 1932 and that of his wife June 16, 1932, the estate which consisted of several hundred acres was sold off in part and the remainder given to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a state forest."
"Elizabeth E. Parkhurst et al conveyed the property inherited from their uncle, Hiram N. Towne (brother of Lucy E. [Towne] Parkhust), to John F. Hughes Feb. 6, 1934. B2978, p537."
"For about 7 years, the Vaughns and their children enjoyed the property until John Frederick Vaughn conveyed it to Paul S. Knowles, May 31, 1946. B3462, p103."
"The Knowles family resided here about six years and transferred to David H. Donnan, June 9, 1952. B3900, p488."
"After ten years, David H. Donnan sold Ardon Farm, so named by the Donnans, to William E. Dorman et al, known as Ardon Farm Realty Trust, March 12, 1962. B4889, p221."
"William E. Dorman et al to Charles H. Alcorn, Jr., Sept. 24, 1962. B4987, p251."
"Charles H. Alcorn, after five years, transferred the estate to Richard H. Price, a psychiatric social worker, June 22, 1967. Mr. & Mrs. Price (Jean G.) are in residence in 1976."
The Boston Herald on September 22, 1961, had an article titled "Syndicate Buys Estate in Boxford". This article, in part, says:
"BOXFORD -- Agreements have been signed for the purchase of Ardon Farm, 250-acre estate here considered one of the most attractive properties of the North Shore."
"A small syndicate, including the noted architect Royal Barry Wills, has agreed to buy the property off Main St. from Mrs. Amelia R. Donnan who has move her residence to Ohio."
"The farm consists of some 15 parcels of land, an antique colonial restored
over the years by several substantial owners, a caretaker's cottage, barn,
three-car garage, camp, tennis court, skeet field and 30-acre pond."
[Thanks to the Boxford Historical Society for providing me with all the materials for this web page.]
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