The Samuel O. Boardman House

The Samuel O. Boardman House, 22 Bridge Street 

Amesbury born Samuel O. Boardman was apprenticed to become a shipwright around 1816.  In 1823 he moved to Manchester to begin work in Manchester’s thriving furniture making center as a cabinetmaker for John Perry Allen.

In 1828 Boardman married Manchester native, Henrietta Lee; they had three children.

In August 1836, disaster struck when a spark from the steam engine set fire to Allen’s veneering mill and then his entire complex. Fortunately, he rebuilt on a bigger scale.

In the same year, Boardman purchased the Bridge Street lot for $300 from Jacob Cheever.  (In 1843 the fishing schooner, “Vesper,” owned by Cheever, went down with six men.)   

The house lot remained undeveloped until approximately 1843 when Boardman built the newly popular Greek Revival style house.  Manchester had 25 plus houses built in this style.  It was plainer than what it became.  Note the pedimented gable with flush boards, corner pilasters, medallions over the bay window and elegant double width door.  The piazza with balcony and exquisite detailing capping the third story window are wonderful features. 

The Boardman family moved to Gloucester in 1857.  His 1878 obituary describes Samuel as “an active citizen, of exemplary habits and cheerful disposition, a well-informed and agreeable companion, an obliging neighbor and steadfast friend.” 

Mr. William Rust, Jr. married Susan Leach of Manchester in 1852.  He purchased the Bridge Street house for $1600 in 1864.  He was a grandson of Captain William Lee of 35 Central Street.  As a lad of 12 years or so, Rust joined a cod fishing crew, as cook, to the Grand Banks and later was a crewman to the West Indies and Europe under Captain John Carter of Manchester.  He caught gold fever and in 1849, sailed around the Horn to San Francisco where he had some success in the gold fields. 

Returning to Manchester in 1851, having previously learned the trade of cabinetmaking, Rust went to work for Danforth, Little & Co., then formed a partnership with N. C. Marshall in Rust & Marshall.  In 1871 the Rust & Marshall mill burned down.  They quickly moved their operations to Elm Street where they produced various pieces of furniture and piano cases. 

Susan Rust died in 1907.  At age eighty, yes eighty, William Rust remarried to a Mrs. Mary French, age 47. 

Succeeding residents of this house include Oliver Roberts, Police Chief William Sullivan and Helen and Reginald Holt.  Linda and David Crosby, current owners since 1977, are passionate about this house history program.       

Credits: You can read the complete house history by Robert Booth at the Trask House. 

The MHM House History and Marker program encourages everyone to appreciate the diversity of stories our architecture tells us about our shared history. Participants receive an extensive history of their house and occupants, a certificate, and a handsome house marker. For more information, go to www.manchesterhistoricalmuseum.org