Salem in Essex County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)
McIntire Historic District
Essex National Heritage Area
On the northwest corner of Essex and North Streets sits the Jonathan Corwin House ("Witch House") (1642-1675), a high style First Period house built for a late 17th c. merchant who served as a judge for the 1692 Salem Witch Trials. Nearby at 9 North Street lived Nathaniel Bowditch, an unschooled shipmate who became a renowned mathematician and astronomer. In 1802, Bowditch published The American Practical Navigator, which served mariners As an essential navigational bible for the next century and a half.
On Essex Street, the Salem Athenaeum (inc. 1819) houses an extraordinary collection of contemporary and historical literature. This Colonial Revival building, completed in 1907, was designed by William G. Rantoul based on the mansion "Homewood” located at Baltimore's Johns Hopkins University. Initially located at Plummer Hall—now the Phillips Library of the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM)—its first president was Dr. Edward A. Holyoke (1728–1829), who was awarded the first M.D. degree ever given by Harvard Medical School and was the first to use the small pox vaccination successfully.
Further down Essex
Salem was the center of New England Quakerism in the 17th/18th centuries. One Quaker meeting house, built in 1688 between 275 and 277 Essex Street, was later moved behind Plummer Hall at the PEM. The Quaker Meeting House at South Pine and Warren Streets, built 1832, burned in the Great Fire of 1914. Friends Cemetery (1718), the burying ground on Essex Street next to the Quaker meeting house, still remains.
Parallel to Essex Street is Chestnut Street, one of the most architecturally significant streets in America, which includes Hamilton Hall built by architect Samuel Mclntire (1757-1811). Here, John Remond (1785- 1874), a native of Curaçao and a prominent abolitionist and caterer, catered a banquet held for the Marquis de Lafayette, the Revolutionary War hero, in 1824. Across Chestnut Street from Hamilton Hall towered South Church, also designed by Mclntire, but lost to fire in 1904.
Chestnut Street was also home to dozens of artists, including the painters Frank W Benson (1862–1951) and Philip Little (1857-1942). Their work, and those of many other Salem artists, may be seen at the PEM.
( photo caption )
Clockwise from top left: ca. 1920 postcard of the Jonathan Corwin House ("Witch House "); painting of Nathaniel Bowditch by Charles Osgood, 1835; Salem Public Library, 1910; South Church, ca, 1890.
Erected by National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Architecture • Notable Buildings.
Location. 42° 31.271′ N, 70° 53.927′ W. Marker is in Salem, Massachusetts, in Essex County. Marker is at the intersection of Summer Street and Essex Street, on the left when traveling north on Summer Street. Located in Captain William Driver Park. Touch for map. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Captain William Driver (here, next to this marker); The McIntire District (a few steps from this marker); Alexander Graham Bell (within shouting distance of this marker); The Witch Gaol (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Town House (approx. 0.2 miles away); The First Meeting House Erected in Salem (approx. 0.2 miles away); Lyceum Hall (approx. 0.2 miles away); First Armed Resistance (approx. ¼ mile away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Salem.
Credits. This page was last revised on December 3, 2020. It was originally submitted on November 29, 2020, by TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio. This page has been viewed 30 times since then and 2 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on November 29, 2020, by TeamOHE of Wauseon, Ohio. • Michael Herrick was the editor who published this page.