The Coffin family lived in this Newbury, Mass., home for more than 300 years. Built in 1678, the house now serves as a museum that contains original family furnishings and offers a glimpse into early life in America.
Tristram Coffin, his wife Judith, and their children lived sparsely; they lived, cooked and slept in just a few rooms. It wasn’t until 1712 that the house more than doubled in size to accommodate a son Nathaniel, his wife, Sarah and their family which eventually grew to include eight children.
Nathaniel and his father were both merchant-tailors, performing a few different jobs to support their families. However, Nathaniel also began a tanning business to supplement income.
The family continued to grow, so lean-tos and partitions were added to allow different generations to live together. In 1785, two Coffin brothers divided the house into a two-family home, each with its own kitchen and living spaces.
The house remained in the family until 1929, until a descendant, Margaret Coleman Merriam, inherited both sides of the house. She realized its importance and donated it to Historic New England.
The house contains rooms from the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries.
Tours are available on Saturdays from July 2-October 16. Advance tickets are required.