Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory - Massachusetts
Felling Date: Summer 1678, Winter 1678/9, Summer 1680
Mantelbeam 1679(11½C); End girt/tie 1678(8C); Chimney rafter 1678(12C); Chimney girt 1677(14½C); Centre rafter 1667(H/S); Chimney tie 1676(9); Chimney post 1674(3); Summer beam (0/1). Site Master> 1545-1679 HRT (t = 6.7 DWH; 6.5 CHN; 6.3 JWL).
The earliest part of the Hart House, a single room plan house, two-and-one half stories in height with chimney bay on the east end, was built in 1680 or shortly thereafter by Samuel Hart. Samuel was the son of Thomas Hart, who had settled in Ipswich by 1639. When an addition was built on the opposite side of the chimney by c. 1725 or later (Cummings 1979), the new structure was positioned half a story above the original house and was only one-and-one-half stories in height because of the land loped up sharply to the east. Subsequently the house was further enlarged on the east side and rear. In 1902 Ralph W. Burnham purchased the property for use as a guest house. He restored certain portions of the building. In the process he fitted up the original west room with shadow-molded sheathing and a lintel cover board embellished with dentils. TThese were thought to have come from the Saltonstall-Merrifield House in Ipswich/st1:place> (Waters 1907). In 1920, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York replicated the original west room for an exhibit in the newly-established American Wing. In 1936, the museum purchased and dismantled the original room and chamber in Ipswich and associated outer wall framing. The room replaced the earlier Hart room exhibit in the American Wing. The chamber and its framing were acquired for exhibit by the Henry Francis du Pont Winterthur Museum in Winterthur, Delaware. Photos indicate that when the room and chamber were removed, the original chimney bay framing was left in place. When reproductions of the room and chamber were installed in the Hart House in Ipswich, the original rafters were put back in their original positions.
Oxford Dendrochronology Laboratory unpublished report 2006/7