The Duncan House, known as “The Buttonwoods”, is a good
example of a Federal style house built by prosperous
merchants in the early 1800’s. This house was built in 1814
by James Duncan, a Haverhill merchant, as a wedding present
for his son, Samuel White Duncan and his wife Mary.
Samuel White Duncan and his father and grandfather, both
named James, were merchants who had family ties to
southern New Hampshire. The Duncans owned Haverhill-built
ships, warehouses, a distillery, and general stores. The
Duncan family traded goods from England, the West Indies,
and southern New Hampshire.
Mary Duncan Harris gave “The Buttonwoods” to the Haverhill
Historical Society in 1903 and the Museum opened in 1904.