Maudslay Timeline

Historical Accounts:

1630: Moseley ancestors emigrated from Hull, England to New England

1650: Richard Bartlett Jr. settles Bartletts Cove Silver is mined

1668: A Ferry route was established to connect to the new town of Salisbury which is now Amesbury.

1678: William Moulton, a silversmith settled along Ferry Road. The land was known as Moulton Hill and a castle was built by the family to maximize on the views. The silversmith operation stayed in family for 7 generations.

1764: the town of Newburyport became incorporated. The Merrimack River became a very important harbor for the fishing and shipbuilding industry.

1805: Ebenezer Moseley settled in Newburyport where he opened his law practice. His descendants’ love for horticulture can be traced back to Ebenezer. He is remembered for planting trees along Bartlett Mall and having a garden where the City Hall now sits.

1849-1870: Laurel parties hosted by William Ashby, a noted horticulturalist in Newburyport were held along the banks of the Merrimack River where the area was known as the Laurel Grounds. Native Mountain Laurel grew in a natural stand and still be seen today by foot or boat. Literary and distinguished figures attended the annual events, notably William Lloyd Garrison, John James Currier, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Amesbury poet John Greenleaf Whittier.

June on the Merrimack by J.G.W.

‘Thanks to the gracious Providence
That brings us here once more;
For memories of the good behind
And hopes of good before.

Of June like this must come,
Unseen of us these laurels clothe
The river-banks with bloom;

And these green paths must soon be trod
By other feet than ours,
Full long may annual pilgrims come
To keep the Feast of Flowers;

The matron be a girl once more,
The bearded man a boy,
And we, in heaven’s eternal June,
Be glad for earthly joy!’

1860: Edward Strong Moseley, son of Ebenezer, a wealthy merchant well as a conservation and horticultural enthusiasts, acquired first the Laurel Grounds and then developed the surrounding grounds around with wild flowers and shrubs planted in the woods.

1870s: Towle family purchased the silver manufacturing production from the Moulton Family.

1891: Edward S. Moseley donated the fountain to be installed in the Frog Pond at Bartlett Mall.

1893: Edward’s 3rd son Frederick Strong Moseley, stockbroker, purchased the Donahoe
Goose Farm, known as the “ Swan Cottage” and renamed the estate “Maudsleigh” after their family home in England. The cottage, the main house site, over time
development by architect William Rantoul into a 70+ room Newport-like Mansion. The
home, typical of the Country Era Home, was very fashionable to flaunt great wealth acquired between the time periods of the civil war and the great depression. Landscape Architect and engineer, Ernest Bowditch who partnered with Frederick Law Olmstead on many projects, laid out the roadways and water systems.

1896: Moulton Hill was purchased by 2nd son, Charles W. Moseley, stockbroker.

1897: Purchased the Chase Farm where the 20 acre Dairy Farm Complex now sits, corner of Curzon Mill Road and Gypsy/Hoyt Lane. The complex was developed over the years to serve the family foods needs at their three residences. Their primary residence was on Beacon Hill, Boston and Maudslay for weekend retreats and holidays and summers on the coast of Maine. The approach to farming was a Gentlemen’s approach, businesslike, to be profitable in a pastoral setting.

1899: Frederick marries Helen Carpenter.

1906: A Hay Barn was built or moved to the Dairy Complex. Two new structures were built connected to the Hay Barn, Workshop (Store) & the Dairy Barn with troughs & stalls. The courtyard that was formed by these attached buildings and the hillside corralled the 10 Guernsey cows for watering. The Guernsey were known for their rich creamy milk.

Based on the architectural style of the Barn, it is believed to have been designed by Architect William Gibbons Rantoul who designed the other main structures on the Estate. The Dairy Complex and Courtyard site are now the setting for the Arts Center.

1909: The Cow Barn & Dairy Office was built. At the Dairy the first floor was used for killing & dressing chickens as well as bottling milk and churning butter. Between the years 1900-1918 13 buildings were constructed on the Dairy Complex.

1910: Frederick purchased the Chase Farm house, a 1805 Federal, and divided it into a

1910: 3 Chicken Coops and a Piggery were built. The chickens raised were Rhode Island Red .

1918: The Root Cellar and Ice House were built. Helen Jr. later used this Root Cellar to force plants into bloom for the annual Boston Flower Show.

1922 – 1940’s: James Bothwell, family of 8 managed the DairyFarm. His family resided on one side of the duplex and on the other side, the family chauffeur. He later moved on to start his own Dairy Farm.

1938: Frederick Strong Moseley dies

1939: Helen Moseley Jr., Frederick’s unmarried daughter built her home. Designed by William Perry of Newburyport, who’s firm worked on the restoration of Williamsburg.

1952: Helen Carpenter Mosely Sr. dies

1955: Demolition of the Main House

1956: The Dairy Farm ceased operations

1970: Jim Moseley, a nephew to Helen Jr. reopens the farm with 20 Guernsey cows.

1974: Helen C. Moseley Jr. dies. The property becomes the responsibility of the Trustees of the Estate. IRS ruled the cost of maintaining was no longer tax deductible, forcing the trustees to find a way to dispose of the property.

1978: Helen’s house was destroyed by fire.

1978: State Representative Nicholas Costello filed the original legislation for the purchase of the Moseley Estate under Governor Dukakis administration. Costello’s vision was of a Passive Recreation Site combined with a Cultural Component open and accessible to the public.

1980: Negotiations begin with H.C. Moseley trust

1982: Influenced by the success of a revenue producing Cultural Center, Berwick Center for the performing Arts, interest at the State level began to peak. The Commonwealth of Mass. authorized $5 millions for the purchase of the 400 acre estate.

1985: Trustees passed the ownership to the TPL, Trust for Public Land, a national nonprofit group of California. The TPL passed the purchase on to the Commonwealth, DEM, Department of Environmental Management, the very same day. The park took on the name Maudslay State Park.

1990: Ice House, Manure Shed, and Silo were beyond repair and demolished.

1992: Maudslay Arts Center was founded by Senator Nick Costello, former Newburyport Mayor Edward Molin and Jim Gaines.

1993: The Arts Center opened to the public. The natural amphitheater was inspired by the Lenox, Ma. music venue, Tanglewood.

1993-current: The Arts Center is a summer venue for musical entertainment featuring a variety of jazz, American Songbook, pop, classical & opera, folk, country & big band sounds.

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