Jacob Fowle Cooper Shop

This parcel of land in Nick’s Cove in Marblehead, Mass., had been passed down through the same family since at least 1683, with merchant Jacob Fowle finally building a warehouse here around 1750.

When he died in 1772, he left what was described as “fish fence and other land there to adjoining to a warehouse, wharf, blacksmith shop, boatbuilder’s shop, cooper’s shop, fish houses and other buildings there on” to his son, also Jacob Fowle.

The younger Fowle left Marblehead for Newburyport and later Londonderry, N.H. After Fowle died, Samuel Sewall, the administrator of Fowle’s estate ended up owning the land. He mortgaged it in 1798 and in 1806, Sewall sold this building to Peter Wait, who turned it into a residence in 1801.

A boatbuilder, Wait sold the building to cordwainer Elijah Roberts, who then sold it to widow Patty Hallaran in 1810. It was inherited by Martha Lemmons, who sold it in 1855 to I.W. Mason, who appeared to be a mortgage lender.

The King family and the Bancroft families owned it for nearly the next 100 years.

According to the MACRIS database, it’s got some cool, historic interior details: “The building is heavily beamed and beaded with 3 bays and does not have the traditional house layout. The third bay is angled and painted nicely on a beam is the date 1799 and a curious figure, looking like the front half of a fox and the rear half of a fish.”

“The fireplaces have bake ovens and look late 18th century in design. Room arrangement has been altered many times, as would be expected in a structure whose function has changed. The owners think it might have been an inn or rooming house at one time as there were so many little rooms. Lead knuckles were found between the walls. Stenciling was found on the walls under many coats of wallpaper and has been reproduced by Mrs. Bancroft.”

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