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Marrett family papers


This collection consists of the papers of seventeen individuals (each arranged into a series), including Marrett family members, relatives, and close friends. Most of the information about male members of the Marrett family documents only their early years while they still lived at the Marrett House in Standish, Maine. Of the female members of the family, Frances S. Marrett is the most thoroughly documented. The papers consist of correspondence, diaries, financial records, legal papers, literary papers, manuscript materials, printed materials, graphic materials, organizations or societies with which the individual was associated, and photographs.

The collection also includes a series of "general and unassignable" papers, which consists of material documenting the Marrett family, relatives, and friends and material for which the connection to the Marretts is unclear. This material also includes correspondence, diaries, financial records, legal papers, literary papers, manuscript materials, printed materials, graphic materials, and photographs. This series also includes paper dolls found in the Marrett House.

NOTE: Processing/updating the collection and making the finding aid accessible online were made possible through grants from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (Award Number: NAR13-RH-50051-13), the Bedford Family Foundation, and an anonymous donor.


Collection Name
Marrett family papers
Collection Code
This collection documents the Marrett family of Standish, Maine, though personal and professional papers of family members, relatives, and colleagues.
Acquisition Type
Physical Description
5.76 linear feet (2 records cartons, 5 manuscript boxes, 1 oversize box, 14 oversize folders)
Finding Aid Info
An electronic finding aid is available through Historic New England’s Collections Access Portal. A paper finding aid is available in the Library and Archives.
Collection Type
Description Level
Custodial History
The materials in this collection came to Historic New England (then the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities) through the bequest of the Marrett House and its contents in 1944. Prior to the bequest, the materials had been created and preserved in the house by Marrett family members. The materials were gathered and arranged by Historic New England staff members.
Credit Line
Bequest of Marrett House and contents by Frances S. Marrett, 1944.
Reference Code

Historical/Biographical Note

The Rev. Daniel Marrett (1767-1863) was born in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and his family moved to Lexington, Massachusetts, when he was four years old. He graduated from Harvard College in 1790, and in 1796, he was ordained as the Congregational minister of the Old Red Church in Standish, Maine. Also at the time of his ordination, he married his first wife, Mary Muzzy of Lexington, and moved into what is now known as the Marrett House in Standish, becoming the third owner of the property. Mary died in 1810, leaving Daniel with six children. Daniel remarried soon afterward to Dorcas Hastings, also of Lexington, with whom he had eight more children.

Daniel's small minister's salary was bolstered by gifts and favors received from his parishioners, services he provided, and items he leased. Daniel was a farmer as well as a minister, and it is said that he introduced grafting to the community. During the War of 1812, gold from the banks of Portland, Maine, was stored in the Marrett House, for which the foundations were strengthened and extra locks installed. By 1834, a division in the congregation had arisen, and Daniel was asked to leave the Old Red Church. He did, and with seventy-three followers he moved into the then new Congregational Church of Standish.

Of the children of Daniel Marrett who survived infancy and youth, most left the "Old Homestead." Daniel M. Marrett became a trader in Portland, Maine, and Mary Ann Marrett (who married Warren Duren) moved to Woburn, Massachusetts. Lorenzo Marrett studied at Bowdoin College (graduating circa 1833) and went to Cambridge, Massachusetts, to study law. It was in Cambridge that he married Eliza A. Winzor of Providence, Rhode Island, and became the trustee of many estates at the Savings Bank and Lechmere National Bank of East Cambridge. Twin sons of Daniel, Samuel Hastings Marrett and Dane Appleton Marrett, married twins Frances W. Lock and Eliza Ann Lock. The two couples both moved to the Cambridge/Somerville, Massachusetts area where Samuel was a trader and Dane dealt in wholesale groceries. Mary Elizabeth Marrett moved to Nantucket, Massachusetts, in 1892 to become the third wife of Myron Samuel Dudley, a minister. When she returned to the Standish home after her husband's death (ca. 1930), she brought with her the furniture from the Nantucket house, some of which had been purchased by Dudley's first and second wives. Henry Weston Marrett left Standish to live in San Francisco. Avery Williams Marrett remained in Standish with his father. In 1847, Avery became the legal owner of the Standish house and property. He became a respected farmer renowned for his apple orchard. Avery married Elizabeth Bancroft Weston, the daughter of the Rev. James Weston, the Congregational minister in Lebanon, Maine, from 1824 to 1836, who was also active in the Lebanon Temperance Society. Avery and Elizabeth had six children.

Helen Maria Marrett, daughter of Avery and Elizabeth, was highly educated, as were her sisters. She lived in the Marrett House for most of her life teaching in women's classes and becoming superintendent of the Sunday school. Walter Hastings Marrett, son of Avery and Elizabeth, attended Bowdoin College (graduating in 1876), received a master of science in 1879, and took classes at Dartmouth Medical School. He became a travelling salesman for a medical publishing house, and in the early 1890s he returned to Standish, where he ran a large stable and became the editor of American Horse Breeder. In 1897, he moved to a fox farm near Juneau, Alaska. He returned to Maine for his fiftieth reunion at Bowdoin in 1926, and he returned permanently in 1937. Caroline Louise Marrett, daughter of Avery and Elizabeth, also remained at the family home in Standish for most of her life. The house's garden was her joy, and she designed it following the plan of a garden she had seen in Salem.

Frances S. Marrett, daughter of Avery and Elizabeth, graduated from Abbot Academy in Andover, Massachusetts, in 1885, and she pursued a career as a teacher at the Perkins Institute for the Blind. It was probably at Perkins that she met her companion Sarah M. Lilley, who also worked at Perkins. It was also while she worked at Perkins that Frances became acquainted with Helen Keller. In addition to her work at Perkins and her involvement with the Howe Society, Frances also made at least one trip to Europe. In 1928, she and Sarah Lilley retired to their home at 102 Gainsborough Street, Boston. Frances's ties with her family remained strong, and in 1936 she became the executrix of the estate of Esther Sargent, the old family nurse. Frances was also a member of the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, and at Caroline's prompting, she bequeathed the property, house, and its contents to the Society in 1944.

Foster, N. A History of the Old Red Church. Undated brochure. Hudson, C. History of the Town of Lexington, Middlesex County, Mass. from its First Settlement to 1868, Volume 2. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1913. Jones, H. G. Sebago Lake Land: In History, Legend, and Romance. Portland: Bowker Press, 1949. Sinnett, C. N. Historic Lebanon, Maine, and the Grand Work of its Congregational Church. Haverhill, Mass.: C. C. Morse & Son, 1903.


The collection is arranged in eighteen series: Series I: Daniel Marrett papers, Series II: Dorcas (Hastings) Marrett, Series III: James Weston, Series IV: Daniel M. Marrett, Series V: John Marrett, Series VI: Lorenzo Marrett, Series VII: Avery Williams Marrett, Series VIII: Elizabeth Bancroft (Weston) Marrett, Series IX: Samuel Hastings Marrett, Series X: Helen Maria Marrett, Series XI: Walter Hastings Marrett, Series XII: Mary Elizabeth (Marrett) Dudley, Series XIII: Myron Samuel Dudley, Series XIV: Caroline Louise Marrett, Series XV: Henry Weston Marrett, Series XVI: Frances S. Marrett, Series XVII: Sarah M. Lilley, and Series XVIII: General and unassignable material.

Each series is arranged by topic into some or all of the following categories: correspondence, diaries, financial records, graphic material, legal records, literary papers, maps and drawings, manuscript material, miscellaneous, photographs, printed material, and scrapbooks.

Record details

Marrett family
Other People
Dudley, Mary Elizabeth (Marrett), 1852-1934
Dudley, Myron Samuel
Duren, Mary Ann (Marrett)
Duren, Warren
Keller, Helen, 1880-1968
Lilley, Sarah M.
Marrett, Avery Williams, 1819-1894
Marrett, Caroline Louise, 1855-1940
Marrett, Dane Appleton, 1822-
Marrett, Daniel M., 1797-
Marrett, Daniel, 1767-1836
Marrett, Dorcas (Hastings), 1786-1857
Marrett, Eliza Ann (Lock)
Marrett, Elizabeth Bancroft (Weston), 1820-1905
Marrett, Frances S., 1865-1944
Marrett, Frances W. (Lock)
Marrett, Helen Maria, 1849-1936
Marrett, Henry Weston, 1857-
Marrett, John, 1799-1821
Marrett, Lorenzo, 1816-
Marrett, Mary Muzzy
Marrett, Samuel Hastings, 1822-1850
Marrett, Walter Hastings, 1850-1938
Sargent, Esther
Weston, James, d. ca. 1876
Winzor, Eliza A.
Other Organizations
Abbot Academy
Congregational Church (Lebanon, Me.)
Congregational Church (Standish, Me.)
Harding family
Historic New England (Organization)
Howe Society
Old Red Church (Standish, Me.)
Perkins Institution and Massachusetts School for the Blind
Perkins School for the Blind
Ray family
Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities
Standish Debating Club
Standish Lyceum
Temperance Society (Lebanon, Me.)
Tyler family
Weston family
Descriptive Terms
account books
address books
autograph albums
cartes-de-visite (card photographs)
clippings (information artifacts)
community organizations
copybooks (instructional materials)
estates (property)
greeting cards
legal documents
letters of recommendation
marriage certificates
paper dolls
Material Type
family papers
Boston (Suffolk county, Massachusetts)
Cambridge (Middlesex county, Massachusetts)
Connecticut (United States)
Lexington (Middlesex county, Massachusetts)
Maine (United States)
Nantucket (Nantucket Island, Nantucket county, Massachusetts)
New Hampshire (United States)
Somerville (Middlesex county, Massachusetts)
Standish (Cumberland county, Maine)
Places (Buildings)
Marrett House (Standish, Me.)
This collection is available for research.
Related Items
Marrett House, Standish, Maine. Historic New England properties photographic collection (PC006).
Portrait of Dane Appleton and Samuel Hastings Marrett. Daguerreotypes collection (PC005).
Portrait of Miss Frances Marrett.
Portrait of Reverend Daniel Marrett.
Washdrawing of Marrett House.
Accruals Note
Accruals are not expected.
Appraisal, Destruction and Scheduling Note
The following materials have been removed from the collection during the original processing in 1981: one cardboard box was discarded; approximately 250 envelopes were discarded; duplicate postcards were removed and added to Historic New England’s postcard collection and copies of the originals were placed in the collection; one blank check from Casco National Bank, Portland, Maine, was removed; one playing card was removed; one edition of New England Courier, published by the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities, was removed; Walter H. Marrett’s diploma tube was removed; one matchbox was removed; “Satin from my mother’s wedding bonnet” was removed; Myron Dudley’s captain’s badge was removed; and one scrap of manuscript paper was removed.
Language Note
Materials are entirely in English.
Physical Access Restrictions
There are no physical restrictions on this collection. There are no technical restrictions on this collection.
Preferred Citation
Item identification. Box #, folder #. Marrett family papers (MS018). Historic New England, Library & Archives.
Processing Information
This collection was originally processed and the finding aid written by S. Kennick, April 30, 1981. In 2014, the finding aid was updated to be DACS-compliant and made available online by Abigail Cramer with grant funding provided by the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (project #RH-50051).
Rules and Conventions
This finding aid is DACS-compliant.