Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory - Massachusetts


Narbonne House

Narbonne House, 71 Essex Street, Salem, Essex County, Massachusetts (42.522631, -70.887361)

Primary Phase Felling dates: Summer 1674, Winter 1674/5, and Spring 1675

The earliest portion of the Narbonne House, which faces west, consisted of the left-hand rooms, chimney bay and attic, together with a lean-to (now replaced) and perhaps additional original construction south of the chimney. In the mid eighteenth century a separate story-and-one-half building with gambrel roof, built with reused timbers and consistent in style with construction between 1725 and 1750, was drawn up and attached south of the chimney bay, replacing earlier south rooms that, if not original, were present by 1695.

Paul Mansfield acquired the unimproved lot on which the house was built in 1669. By January 6, 1676, Thomas Ives was the owner, and it was presumably Ives who began to build the house the previous year. Captain Joseph Hodges purchased the house in two transactions, in 1750 and 1757 respectively, from separate owners. When Hodges sold the house in 1780, the value of the property had more than doubled, suggesting that he was responsible for attaching the south rooms. Archaeology undertaken in the 1970s supports the mid-eighteenth century timing of the addition of the gambrel-roofed structure.

Since 1954, the Narbonne House has been an historic site administered by the National Park Service.

Miles, D H, Worthington, M J, and Grady, A A, 2002 "Development of Standard Tree-Ring Chronologies for Dating Historic Structures in Eastern Massachusetts Phase II", Oxford Dendrochronology Laboratory unpublished report 2002/6

Link to the Essex National Heritage Area's webpage for the Narbonne House here.




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Contact Information

Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory

Michael Worthington
Jane Seiter, Ph.D

25 E. Montgomery St.
Baltimore, MD 21230