The Hathaway House

Page 1

Blue Gray Line

     When Gerald Johnson found the information on Arbella and Salem settlement by the Winthrop Fleet, he graciously sent it to me. I then sent some of the pictures and words to Guy Bigelow, who sent it on to Loring Bigelow, as I requested. Loring wrote the original article on the Winthrop Fleet, so I thought he would be interested. He sent further info about Salem and Hathaway House, also through Guy, which I will post below.........ROD

     As you know, John 1 probably came over in the Winthrop Fleet along with his sister, Elizabeth, who research states was aboard. She was married to a minister or man of the cloth. There were 4 ministers in the fleet two of which can be named. John, a blacksmith, was only about 14 or 15 years of age at the time. A blacksmith, in those days, did more than "shoe horses", but made household, marine and agricultural items.

     How do the Hathaways enter into my genealogical picture?? Francis Cooke and son John, age 12 or 13, came over on the Mayflower as did Richard Warren. John Cooke later married the daughter of Richard Warren who came with her mother and the rest of Richard's family shortly after the Mayflower year, 1620. So, John Cooke's daughter, Sarah, married Arthur Hathaway who was also an early arrival. In reality, Francis and Richard would be my 9th great grandfathers on my mother's side. Hence, I belong to The Mayflower Descendants Society - big deal, right? Ha, Ha. I located John Cooke's plaque which states that he was the longest living MALE passenger of the Mayflower. This plaque and monument is in Fairhaven, Mass., and on the site of one of his holdings.

     Note on page 41 of my exhibit "B", second paragraph, "No picture has come down to us of the "fayre dwelling". It is believed that as the "fayre dwelling" went into ruin, certain timbers were used to build the "Hooper" house which later became that of my great grandfather. When I was last in Salem and went to the location of my great grandfather's house, the entire block was a parking lot! When they moved the house, in 191 1, they had to saw it into three sections to get down the narrow streets of Salem. The moving, of course, was all done with teams in those days.

The Hathaway House

   The ancient dwelling now known as the Hathaway House was built by Benjamin Hooper in 1682. But to start my story in 1682. would be to do the old house a grave injustice, for the roots of its history go back to the earliest days of Salem, indeed, to the time before Salem was Salem, when it was only the wooded peninsula of Naumkeag, inhabited by a few Indians.
   Let us go back then to the year 1626, when Roger Conant came to Naumkeag from Cape Ann. He had with him a mere handful of followers, all that was left of that gallant band of Merchant Adventurers whose leader he had been for the past two years. The experiment of the Merchant Adventurers in making a settlement on bleak Cape Ann had proved a failure. The company had dispersed - some to Virginia, more back to England - there were only a few whom Conant could persuade to follow him to Naumkeag, there to await the coming of more emigrants from England.
Naumkeag was more sheltered than Cape Ann, still it was very cold in the rude huts which they hastily built, and Conant must have thought often with regret of the "fayre dwelling" which had been built for him on Cape Ann and which he had been forced to abandon.
   In 1628 the expected emigrants came to Salem, but at their head was John Endicott with the title of Governor. At first there was friction between the Endicott faction anct the Conant faction, but these difficulties were soon adjusted and the name of the place was changed from Naumkeag to "Salem," the Hebrew word for peace.
   John Endicott, as the successor of the Merchant Adventurers, claimed the "fayre dwelling" on Cape Ann. He sent for it, had it "shook and brought hither," and set up on his three-acre lot which was known as "Governor's Field." This piece of land lay between Washington Street and St. Peter's Street. It fronted on Church Street and from there ran back to the brow of the hill above the North River. The house was placed on the westerly side of this lot, on what is now Washington Street, but which was then known as the "street that goeth from the meeting- house to the river."
   No picture has come down to us of the " fayre dwelling," but we can be sure that it had both dignity and charm. Its timbers were probably brought over from the West of England with the first emigration, but in any case it was built by West of England car- penters, so was in the style peculiar to that region.
   The little colony grew and prospered, Governor Endicott continuing at its head. His jurisdiction extended over eastern Massachusetts, and in 1655 he moved to Boston, perhaps foreseeing its advantages as a capital.
   Soon after this the "fayre dwelling" became the home of the Governor's son, Zerubbabel, who settled in Salem to practice medicine.
   Medicine, although an honorable, was not a lucra- tive profession in those days when a physician had to travel long distances over poor roads for small fees. Zerubbabel Endicott, with his family of ten children to provide for, apparently could not afford to keep the "fayre dwelling" in good repair, for at the time of his father's death in 1666, the house and the three- acre lot were only valued at one hundred pounds.

Loring Notes:
A. (See "Old Naumkeag", pages 18 &19)   It has always been my belief that our John1 left Salem for Charlestown, Watertown, Malden, etc with Winthrop.  These two pages are from a book I own, published in 1877, titled "Old Naumkeag, An Historical Sketch Of The City of Salem" by C.H. Webber & W.S. Nevins.

B.   (See page 42)   B.H. refers to the Benjamin Hooper House. My great grandfather owned it later and my mother and her mother were raised there.  F.D.: Fayre Dwelling;  D.E.: Danield Epps house.

C.   (See page 45)   The Hathaway House (my g-grandfathers house) is located on the grounds of the House of the Seven Gables. I have visited it many times since the first time in 1934.

D. Please credit the ESSEX INSTITUTE for any of the attached regarding the Benjamin Hooper House that might find its' way onto the Internet or elsewhere. Eliza & Eleazer Hathaway were my maternal g-grandparents. The Essex Institute is located in Salem, MA.

Continued on Page 2 of Hathaway House.
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Information on Hathaway, etc.:
Loring L. Bigelow
386 G Avenida Castilla
Laguna Woods, CA 92653-3777

Information on Arbella pages provided by:
Gerald G. Johnson, Ph.D.
648 Salem Heights Avenue, So.
Salem, OR 97302-5613
Blue Gray Line

Rod Bigelow (Roger Jon12 BIGELOW)
Box 13  Chazy Lake
Dannemora, N.Y. 12929
Back to Bigelow Society