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The Highfield Estate: Newbury, MA

April 26, 2010

Last weekend, Newbury, MA began a year-long celebration of its 375th anniversary with tours of the town’s historic houses. Among these was the Highfield Estate.

According to the celebration’s official site, “Built in 1705, this is one of the few remaining garrison houses.  From this house Abraham Adams and three sons* went to the Revolutionary War.” 

“Located on the site originally called The High Field, near the Newbury Falls.”

Abraham Adams House (‘Highfield Estate’)
1705 Pearson Drive, off of Orchard Street [click here for Google Map]




-All images NPLA

From Judge Sewell’s Diary[1]:

Capt. Abraham Adams lived where his descendant, George W. Adams does now. He was an enterprising sea captain, who launched coasters from the river in front of his house. The present homelike and interesting house, which is rich in heirlooms, was built by him, it is said, in 1705. His wife, Anne, was the daughter of William and Anne (Sewall) Longfellow. Mr. Adams has in admirable preservation a highly interesting ancient deed. In it Samuel Sewall and his wife, Hannah, deed to Sergt. Abraham Adams half "the High Field," which still bears its ancient and fitting title, and half "the great Meadow" on the River Parker, and other land for five hundred pounds. The deed states that the property had been conveyed by Henry Sewall, the father of the Judge, to john Hull, the mint master, and implies that Hannah, the Judge’s wife, inherited it from John Hull, of whom she was "Daughter and sole heir." The deed is dated June 11, 1705. The property, while deeded to Sergt. Abraham Adams, was "intended for a settlement" for his son, Captain Abraham, "who married with Anne Longfellow, niece of the said Samuel Sewall." So substantial a present from the uncle and aunt of the bride must have been very encouraging to the newly wedded pair.

Recent/current photos of the Highfield Estate have not been found, but would be appreciated. Please contact the author or leave a comment if you would like to submit materials.

*Our family’s generations #3 & #4 —Jules

[1] Page 91, The Story of Byfield by John Lewis Ewell, D.D., The University Press Cambridge, USA, 1904

10 Comments leave one →
  1. Douglas Q. Adams permalink
    June 11, 2010 8:57 am

    Pictures of Captain Abraham Adfams’ house as it is now can be found on Flickr:
    Jed's parent's house "The Adams House"
    Jed's parent's house

    • Marilyn permalink
      July 15, 2012 3:18 pm

      Thank you for posting this new photo! I tried to see the house abt 12 years ago, and it has been much updated since then. I am a descendant of Abraham through son Samuel, through Capt. Stephen, son Stephen, daughter Caroline m. Frederick W. Blake. Would love to see more info and know when it passed out of the Adams family. I believe Leonard lived there abt 1900.

  2. June 11, 2010 9:59 am

    Oh, you are WONDERFUL, Mr. Adams! I am so glad to meet you. Thank you so much for sharing these links – my family will be so glad to see the house! I really wish I had been able to make it out for the celebration in Newbury this year, but I do still hope to visit the town sometime in the next few years. I really appreciate you reaching out to me – if there’s anything I can do for you, please let me know. Also, if you’d like to keep in touch, that’d be great!

  3. Steven permalink
    February 20, 2011 9:32 am

    God, it’s impossible to find anything on this house! Is it a museum? I spent and hour going around in circles on line looking for something like a web site.

    • February 20, 2011 2:32 pm

      According to information posted on last year during the town’s 375th anniversary, the Highfield Estate is a historic house, not a museum. It was open for tours a few times last year, but it is unclear if it is open to visitors at any other times. Information from the celebratory website has been taken down now that the activities are over, but the landing page says that a new website called is planned. We can only wait & see what kind of historical topics and photographs they will cover.

  4. Kathleen Bernstein permalink
    March 19, 2011 6:31 am

    I am so excited to see this house. Abraham was my ggggggggg grandfather! I am descended from his great granddaughter, Susanna. I had no idea that this house existed. Can’t wait to come up and see it.

  5. March 26, 2011 3:05 am

    Nice to ‘meet’ you, Kathleen! Thanks for visiting & keep us posted if/when you visit the house. I’d love to hear about your experience.

  6. Brenda Ward permalink
    October 16, 2011 2:27 pm

    I was born in that house. I have so many pictures and some of the furniture that was in the home. The best years of my life were spent there I would not trade those years for anything in this world !!!!!!!!!

    • Marilyn permalink
      July 15, 2012 3:15 pm

      Brenda: I descend from this Adams line through daughter Caroline (Stephen, Jr., Stephen, Samuel, Abraham …..) I believe I have a table that used to be in the house. Would love to see some of the furniture that used to be in the house if it belonged to the Adams’ family. Are you related?

  7. Joe Chambers permalink
    April 16, 2012 6:13 am

    Hello, looking to find information on ties from Robert Adams of Newbury Mass.
    To president(s) John and John Q. Adams.
    I am a decendent of Robert Adams.
    Thank you
    Joe email,

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