Preserve The Historic Sweetheart Inn

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Petition to preserve Thomas Dow house / Historic sweet hearth INN

The residents and neighbors of the Historic sweet hearth Inn / Thomas Dow house would like the Methuen Ma 01844 City council to vote it a historic district / site preserving this rich in Local history home for future generations the following is a brief history of the Inn

The Thomas Dow House

80 Myrtle Street


Thomas and Mary Dow built their 1 1/2-story, side gable Colonial era-dwelling with a squarish-rectangle footprint, and centered entry in October, 1775.   In addition, an old Assessor’s drawing shows a small shed-roofed structure attached to the SW corner of the original building.  The Dow house sits back from the road atop a hill, reached by a long driveway extending east-northeast from Myrtle Street.  The earliest map of Methuen dated 1795 (but thought to be closer to 1806) shows the Dow House, the nearby Boles House (40 Myrtle Street, c.1795) and two others.  Over the years many additions were added to the Dow House and Methuen locals speak fondly of it’s reputation in the 1920’s as a Speakeasy.  Unfortunately, the present owners of the Sweetheart Inn as it is known today, are in the process of trying to demolish the Thomas Dow House to enable the building of several homes.

Thomas Dow, Minuteman and Patriot

Thomas Dow was born in Amesbury, MA on 11 April 1743.  He was the son of Isaac and Martha Hanniford Dow.  Thomas was a successful blacksmith who trained in Salem, MA.  He married Mary Barker on 28 Feb 1767 in Methuen.   On 30 Oct 1775, Thomas and Mary Dow purchased a 50-acre property in Methuen from John and Elizabeth Bodwell and built their home.  Thomas served as a minuteman, and he is on the muster roll of those who responded to the alarm of the 19th of April in 1775.  It is written that he served as a Corporal.  He was listed twice in the muster rolls in 1776 and likely returned home in 1777.   Thomas and Mary Dow sold their farm and shop and 51 acres to David Sawyer on December 1786.  He resettled in Danville, VT where he built a blacksmith shop and a public house and served in the Legislature.  In his later years, Dow moved to Yorkshire, NY where he died on 15 Mar 1822.


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