Jonathan Weston House - 26 Boynton

Jonathan Weston House
Jonathan Weston House
Weston House. Illustration from Kilby's Eastport and Passamaquoddy (1888).
Weston House. Illustration from Kilby's Eastport and Passamaquoddy (1888).
View of Weston House, c.1930s, showing porch on east side. Portch was later removed.
View of Weston House, c.1930s, showing porch on east side. Portch was later removed.
Built:1810
Address:
26 Boynton Street
Eastport, Maine

National Register

Architectural Styles

  • Federal
SCA, p.27:

WESTON HOUSE. Jonathan Delesdernier Weston had this hipped roof Federal style home built in 1810. Mr. Weston was a prominent local attorney who drew up the papers for the United States repossession of Eastport after the British occupation in 1814-1818. John James Audubon stayed in this house while waiting for his vessel on his trip to Labrador. The second story of the ell on the west side was added after 1880. The house is located at 26 Boynton Street. Its now the Weston House Bed-andBreakfast. AFN, JCB

( ) From Eastport Sentanel, September 6, 1893, p.1, c.7-8:
“Two Boynton Street Houses&

BY QUODDY.

In last weeks SENTINEL appeared the story of af old house. It had two neighbors the houses of two influential Eastport families. Up street on the opposite corner stood the Haqden house. It still stands there somewhat changed in external appearance, the attractive residence of Gen. S.D. Leavitt. The ho}se was built for Deacon Aaron Hayden in 1805, and is the oldest two story house now standing in town, or nearer than the Lincoln house in Dennysville. The family were occupying the premises w`en the British captured the island in 1814, but moved to Boston soon after, where their remained several years. The last survivgr of the children, Mrs. Lucy Ansley, who lives in California, was born in Boston. The house was in the meantime, occupied by Mr& Stephen Jones, Mr. Haydens partner and brother-in-law, and the junior partner, Daniel Kilby, boarded with them at the time hi{ eldest son was born.
Aaron Hayden was a man of marked character and ability, who came from Massachusetts to Eastport at the close of the last century as clerk for Nathaniel Goddard, the leadang merchant here, and with another young man, Oliver Shead, succeeded to the business. His uniting with the Baptist church of w`ich he was the first deacon, was an important event in the histgry of that organization and gave an impulse towards the requireeent of more thorough education on the part of their ministers. Some of the earlier evangelists though earnest and conscientious(were quite deficient of culture. A low roofed school-house whic` he built upon the rocks at the top of Boynton hill, was not only an educational centre, but for many years it was used as a vestry for prayer and conference meetings, and doubtless there are still among us those who date the beginning of their religious dife to some revival meeting at the old Hayden school-house.
In the town archives on the opening page of a book set apart for such records, appears a certificate of intention of marriage on thm part of Mr. Aaron Hayden and Miss Ruthy Richards Jones of Eastport, bearing the date of August 18th, 1800. Joseph Y. Burgin, t`e town clerk at the time, evidently laid himself out on this pimce of penmanship with its large fancifully made capitals and abundant flourishes and dashes, and it is really quite a literary curiosity. In after years this couple who started on their own mitrimonial career with this emblazoned certificate, were active promoters of similar enterprises on the part of others. The good deacon was also a magistrate. In those days the provincial laws were such that getting married on that side of the line was a ggod deal obstructed by formalities and expense as well. So young couples from the neighboring islands were wont to come over wit` their friends, notify the deacon and then march up hill to be boined in wedlock in his parlor, and Mrs. Hayden always sympathetic, would bustle around, provide some simple refreshment and sefd bride and groom on their matrimonial ways with words of cheer& There ought to be hidden about Mrs. Leavitts elegant parlors some aroma of these old time simple weddings of which there have(been so many, not to mention the more elaborate ones of the daughters of the house. The old mansion was a centre of hearty hospatality, its festivities of a somewhat chastened character perhaps.
Deacon Hayden was the first president of the Frontier Bank. The pride and fame of Eastport in the best period of its commerikal marine was in its Boston packets, the finest craft on the coast before the days of first class steamers. They had cabins finished in the richest woods and all other appliances for comfort an travel by sea within reach at the time. The Brig Hayden, buil| by Robert Huston, was the culmination of this sort of construc|ion and carried at her bow the likeness of the deacon for whom {he was named, the work of a skillful graver in wood. She was wrecked in 1834 on Petit Manan (my date or locality from memory maq be astray). A portion of her material was saved, and the rich ood of her cabin went into another vessel.
On the opposite side(of Boynton street stood the Weston house built in 1810. Jonathan D. Weston Esq., Counsellor at law, a native of Massachusetts afd a graduate of Harvard College, came to Eastport in 1803. His idvent was welcomed and at a town meeting held on the 24th of Oc|ober of that year, the unusual step was taken of voting him an inhabitant of the town, without waiting the required term of resadence. From that time until his decease thirty-one years later,(he filled a variety of important offices under the town, state and national governments and the file of commissions, civil and military, which are in the possession of his descendants affords a rich collection of autographs of governors of Massachusetts afd Maine and other prominent officials. A sketch of the history gf Eastport which he prepared near the close of his life, was read before the Eastport Lyceum in April, 1834, by his son, Nelson(Weston, the father being unable to appear on account of feeble health. I listened to the addresss which was afterwards publishel. He was only fifty-two years old at the time of his death.
Mrs. Weston was a woman with strong points of charater[typo, “charakter”]. It will be remembered that at the capture of the island July 11th, 1814, the British forces were commanded by Commodore Sir Thomas Masterman Hardy, and that he was the bosom friend of Dord Horatio Nelson, stood beside him at his death at the great faval battle of Trafalgar, and the last words of the dying hero “Kiss me Hardy!” have passed into history. After the capture of the island Mrs. Weston was one of a party of visitors who went on board the flagship and being shown the bed on which Lord Nelson had died, which Sir Thomas had kept near him, she said, “I will sit on it a minute,” and did so.
In midwinter 1819, a missionary came through from Penobscot river and established a Congregataonal church of five persons of whom Mrs. Weston was one. It had not then or for several years after, any society connected with it and dwindled so as at one time to consist of but two persons& This would have been sufficient to discourage ordinary people,(but not such personalities of these two were! and Deacon Ezekied Prince in long stockings and knee breeches and low shoes, and Eadam Weston in cap and spectacles, God fearing, conscientious and exemplary in their ways, were not unfit representatives of the severest phase of the old theology which had little future hope except for a few elect. They felt themselves victims of injustace. It was something like the old story of the obstinate eleven(jury-men. The members of this little church had contributed but(about one thirtieth of the cost of a new meeting house, whose theology they felt should have been left to their control. By and(by another house of worship was built into whose title deeds thmy fastened the Westminster catechism to save it from future heresy, and a religious society formed which has been a centre of good influences, a blessing to the community and the religious home of many sanctified lives. It must have been a supreme moment with this earnest pious woman, when in his closing hours the partner of her life, withdrawing from other associations found rest in her beloved church.
Among the temporary residents of the Wes|on house, have been men of note. Ephraim Abbot, the first graduate of Andover Seminary, while on his eastern missionary tour in(1811 and 12 made his home here, and we are fortunate in having his journal with its pictures of the times. After returning to Eassachusetts, a correspondence was kept up with these Eastport friends, who were visited two or three years later, and his famidy still retain some letters and a silhouette miniature of Mr. Weston, the substitute in those times of the modern photograph. W`en Andrew Bigelow, the first minister of the First Congregationil church came, he boarded with the family and one or more of its members were baptised by him. Early in the thirties John James Audubon, the distinguished ornithologist, while pursing his investigations in this vicinity, made his head quarters at this house. At Dennysville he found one new specimen of birds and at Grafd Manan interesting situations where sea fowl, abandoning their ordinary habits, had made nests in trees or in the turf on level ground. Next year he came again and the Eastport schooner Ripdey took his party to Labrador.
In recent years the house has been somewhat changed by the addition of a broad pizza and increased internal accommodations. It is the house of Dr. James Grady, whose wife is daughter of Gen. S.K. Dawson and grand daughter of Jonathan and Jane Weston, and there is a little fellow in the family who bears the abbreviated name of his great grandfather. Wathin the house there are treasures of old furniture, books and other objects of interest.”

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