General House Research
1850 – 1930
Eben Sumner and William H. Swasey and their wives bought the house at auction upon Captain Wheelwright’s death, in 1851. Sumner and Swasey were partners in a grocery located on Market Square (today’s Dragon’s Nest toy store) and later moved to Water Street, into the current Bennett and Company building.
Swasey went on to become treasurer of Towle manufacturer and a great local philanthropist. W.H. Swasey paid for the William Lloyd Garrison monument, the YWCA building, as well as the Civil War memorial in Atkinson Park. His trust continues to fund projects today.
In 1857, Swasey moved next door to the newly built row houses, and later moved to a home on 44 Broad Street. Ten Spring street was sold to Messrs. Morrill and Wigglesworth, two local carpenters and builders.
Nicholas Brown Lake bought 8-10 Spring Street in 1860 from Morrill and Wigglesworth, and lived here. He rented #10 and lived in #8.
In 1860 one of his tenants was Newburyport ship captain Stephan Bray and his Wife Elizabeth. Elizabeth Bray accompanied Captain Bray on two of his voyages, which was very unusual in those days. Her diary is here.
Nicholas Lake owned and operated a store at 12 State Street (site of today’s Valentine’s).
Nicholas was probably named after his uncle, Captain Nicholas Brown, brother of his mother (Lucy Brown). Captain Nicholas Brown has the dubious distinction of being identified as a captain of a slave ship based in Newburyport. He, and Newburyport ship owner Francis Todd, were accused of such by none other than William Lloyd Garrison. That act of public criticism landed Garrison in jail for libel.
Nicholas Lake died in 10 Spring in 1900, having lived here for 40 years. His will specified that his store, it’s contents, his home and all the contents be given to his housekeeper of 16 years, Lucy D. Nelson. The will was contested by Lake’s daughter, but upheld.
Nicholas Lake’s grandson, Harry Moody, lived in nearby Amesbury until he died on 20 December 1963.
Lucy Nelson lived in 8 Spring, and rented out 10 Spring to a Mr. Thurlow, the janitor at Old South church on Federal Street.
Lucy died in 1918, a spinster, and the house was sold by her lawyer nephew from New Bedford – apparently her closest relation.
Occupants during Lucy Nelson’s initial period of ownership included:
Sarah Nelson (mother) and Arthur Gyngell (lodger)
in #10: The Edward Perkins family: Elloa (wife) and children Ephraim, Everett, Julia, and Alice.
In 1910, in addition to Lucy, 8 Spring Street was occupied by Ruby Archibald (Lucy’s grand niece), Edward Bickford (nephew), Laura Bickford (niece) Augusta Bickford (sister) and Carrie Reed (lodger)
#10 was occupied by Daniel Turlow and his daughter Edith. Daniel was the janitor at Old South, and a piano repairer. His daughter taught music.
By 1920, Daniel continued to occupy #10, with a boarder: William Whiles.
#8 was rented by Augusta Bickford, her son and daughter (Edward and Laura), and five child boarders: David Howard (age 5), Charles Lemaine (age 6), Gloria Howard (age 8), Charles Fuller (age 2) and Charlese Fuller (age 5).
The carriage house was converted to an apartment; #6 Spring street was occupied by Joseph Farrington.
By 1930, Farrington, and his wife Mary, continue to live in #6. The Askinas family (Abe and Ida, and children Sam, Harold, and Lillian) lived in #8.
In #10 lived John Norris, his mother Drusilla, his sister Ella Currier, aunt Ida Ball, nieces Evelyn and Marjorie Currie, and nephew Leslie Currier.