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.