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The Barn - Before Disassembly

barn
The Barn at 234 Lafayette Road

barn This house originally stood on the Post Road just over the line in North Hampton and was the tavern in the north part of what was then Hampton. Widow Mary Leavitt was the tavern keeper in March 1733 when the house caught fire during the Sunday church services. By the time men arrived from the center of town, the tavern was destroyed. Shortly afterwards, the townspeople raised a new house for the widow, and it served as a tavern until 1751, when the people of the new town of North Hampton persuaded her son to establish a new tavern near North Hill. Between that time and 1796, the house was moved to its present site on Lafayette Road, where it was a private dwelling until Sanders & McDermott, a law firm, bought the house in 1988.

The barn is in very good condition and retains its entire original framework, some beams measuring 38 feet in length. Experts who have seen the barn belonging to this property believe that the present barn dates from the late eighteenth century and is an outstanding example of an in-town carriage barn. Such a barn would not serve a working farm but would instead be used for housing a couple of cows, horses, and a carriage. It is known that Capt. Caleb Toppan, a merchant from Newburyport, lived in the house from 1796 to 1806, and he may well have been the builder of the barn. It is not yet known if he also moved the house to its present site. Research is ongoing.


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