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338 Main Street

338 Main Street

Elijah Leavitt House, 1795

The Elijah Leavitt house at 338 Main Street was built around 1795 for the cooper (1768-1813) and his wife, Hannah Cushing (1766-1820). It was built as a Cape Cod style structure occupying the front section of the current house. The Leavitts had 4 children, all of whom died unmarried except for the oldest daughter, Hannah Leavitt (1797-1878), who married Charles Howard (1791-1860), a plough maker, in May 1821. Charles bought the house from his father-in-law’s estate in 1822. In 1850 the Howard property included the house, barn, a machine shop, and 4 other structures on ¾ of an acre. Charles had seven children ranging in age from 12 to 24. The house was eventually enlarged in the back by his son Charles Howard (1825-1891) in 1873 with three rooms added, possibly from a former barn on the property. Two of the rooms had fireplaces and bedrooms above, while the third served as a kitchen. The beams of the original house can be seen exposed where it meets the addition. Charles Jr. was also a machinist. He apprenticed with his father and later became owner of the Eagle Iron Foundry at Hingham Harbor. Members of the Howard family continued to own the property into the 1960s when it was bought by the Fisher family.

The current owners bought the house after it stood vacant for several years. The last major renovation occurred in 1998. In the former larder space stands an old Hingham post office desk with carrier map holes in sides, found in Marshfield. The kitchen space in the front of the house still has the original oven.