Captain Jonathan Hodges House

Originally built in 1805 as a two-family house, Captain Jonathan Hodges (1764-1837), for whom this house is named, was its original owner.

Hodges was a busy dude in every respect. A merchant, Hodges also owned and operated a distillery, and served as the town treasurer. He was no slouch in the parenting department either. Jonathan and his wife Mary had six children, and moved in to this house soon after its completion.

Hodges’ daughters, Priscilla and Elizabeth, and their husbands John Clark and Captain George Cleaveland occupied the house during the 1820s. An early resident of the house was Nathaniel Bowditch, who lived there during the first decade after its construction.

Hodges sold the house to his widowed niece, Sally F. Orne, in 1829. Orne continued to live at a few blocks away, while members of the Hodges family remained in the house until after Hodges death in 1837. The house was then occupied for a few years by tenants, before its sale by the Orne family to Jonathan Willard Peele.

Peele (c. 1810-1871) was a merchant at Phillips Wharf, and lived here with his wife, Sarah, and two children for 20 years. The house was probably altered to a single-family house during Peele’s ownership, with interior and exterior modernizations occurring at that time.

In 1865, Nathan Nichols (1815-1890) bought the house. Nichols was an active member of the Society of Friends,
and was engaged in the shoe findings business in Boston. During the 1870s and 1880s, the house was occupied by various members of the Nichols family, including in-laws and grandchildren, as well as several servants.

Between 1888 and 1941 the house was owned by Emily C. F. West, wife of Arthur W. West (1861-1925), and her heirs. While little is known of Emily Fessenden West, her husband was the son of a successful China trade merchant. West was active in local business and civic and charitable organizations. During the remaining years of the twentieth century the house has remained a single family residence.

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