I went over to Abbot Hall this morning to do some research on the exterior of our house. I would like to restore the front door and molding to it’s original glory. I found a few photos and information about the house and my street. The image above is from a slide that was digitized by the Marblehead Historic Commission. Note the beautiful shutters, round top fence, single dormers and molding around the door. We couldn’t find a date on the slide but maybe the children in the left part of the slide might help?
The slide below is from a postcard we found at a local shop and I also found in the digital library via the Historic Commission. Note the fence is now picket. The second photo below is from 1978 I found in a file asking for permission to remove the asphalt shingles and replace with metal siding. The request was denied. I’m not sure when the asphalt shingles were added but on the inside alley between my house and neighbors the asphalt shingles still remain. And finally at the bottom a view of the house in May 2011.
A few things I found in a file documented by the M’Head Hist Dist Comm October 31, 1978:
Mugford Street was the ancient way to the ferry on Salem Harbor side. It was called a highway in 1703, Ye highway or street in 1713 and the street leading to the New Meeting House in 1722. It was called Mugford Street as early as 1882 and probably named that because the young Revolutionary War hero James Mugford lived on the corner of Elm (my house) with his bride Sally Griest. She was the daughter of the wealthy John Griest who lived at 32 Mugford Street.
This section that is typical of old town development: 200 years of building houses, some elegant, some plain and some built on the site of earlier homes. There has been intermittent commercial use of land and buildings in the area: a boat yard, slaughter house, grocery store, boat building, dry goods store, seed business, and small shoe factory.
In a document from a file documented by the M’Head Hist Dist Comm dated November 20, 1978, the house is dated as c 1720. Other documents have dated it to 1750. On the back of this form the statement includes:
Public stories and private rumors have collected about this house. Caption James Mugford set up housekeeping here with his bride, Sally Griest. After his death, Sally married Martin and moved to her parents’ house. I was always told that when the fireplaces were blocked up, all the 18th century cooking equipment and andirons were sealed inside.