199 Boston Street, Lemuel Clap House

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No. 18698 199 Boston Street, Lemuel Clap House, photograph November 18, 2018.

No. 1298 199 Boston Street, Lemuel Clap House in its original location, a short distance down the side street from its current location, photograph from The Clapp Memorial, 1876.

Note: Lemuel Clap spelled his name with one P. Later generations changed the spelling to two Ps.

Date of construction for a portion of the house is estimated as 1710

Remodeled in the 1760s

see National Register form for Clapp Houses

Feb. 5, 1761 from John Ward to Lemuel Clapp 95.213

Mary Clap b. Jan 23, 1738 (Samuel, Samuel, Roger) married John Ward Nov. 2, 1757 Dorchester

John Ward purchased the property from his father-in-law Samuel Clap

The Clapp Memorial. Record of the Clapp Family in America.  Compiled by Ebenezer Clapp. (Boston: David Clapp & Son, 1876), 321.

By a comparison of the will of Captain Roger Clapp with the “Deed of Division” of the estate of his son Elder Samuel Clapp, who left no will, it appears that the house first built and lived in by Roger fell to Elder Samuel’s son Samuel, then to his son Samuel, and was next bought by the son-in-law of the latter, John Ward, who sold it to Capt. Lemuel Clapp in January, 1761.  The latter, dying in 1819, provided in his will that his two daughters, Catharine and Rebecca, should have the use of the house while they lived and remained unmarried.  Rebecca, died, unmarried, Dec. 11, 1855, in her 72 year.  Catharine died, unmarried, Feb. 21, 1872, in her 90th year, having lived in her father’s house 53 years after his decease.  Since her death, the old homestead has been bought by her nephews, Frederick and Lemuel Clapp, grandchildren of Capt. Lemuel.  There were about fifty heirs to the property.  From information given by the latter of these gentlemen (the former has since died), it appears that Capt. Lemuel enlarged and improved the house about the year 1767, adding the two east rooms, the kitchen and the large chimney, and so ornamenting the parlor that it was considered the best in that part of the town.  By an examination at the present (1875) it would seem that the upper and lower bed-rooms (the lower but 6 ft. 2 in. high) in the centre are all that remain of the original house.  These rooms have been in use upwards of two hundred years, and were probably occupied by Roger himself.  The framing of the first addition to the building is very substantial, the corner posts being about a foot square, and one girt in the centre measures 8 x 16 inches.  They are of oak, and as sound as new.  The panel over the fire-place in the present west room measures 2 ½ by 6 feet.  The fire-place in the east room was, until recently, ornamented by glazed China tiles, in the style and fashion of former days.  After the death of Catharine, the east room or parlor not being used; and no fire being kept there, the wall paper became loose and a part of it came off.  This paper was known to have been on the walls one hundred and three years, and doubtless was imported from England.  It was of a showy pattern, with large columns or pillars, with bright red roses intertwined about them.  It has been said that when Capt. Lemuel’s military company was quartered in the house, in the early part of the Revolutionary War, the soldiers tried to get these roses off to put on their hats, but their efforts proved unavailing.  During the last few years, pieces of this paper have been much sought after for relics.  In the east chamber can be seen in the floor the charred marks  of the legs of the iron kettles used by the  soldiers, and in two other room the ceiling show marks made by their guns while exercising.  In striking contrast with the chimneys of the present time, the west chimney of the old house measures about eight feet square in the cellar.


Posted on

August 5, 2020