Salem Maritime National Historical Site
— National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior —
The modest house in front of you is one of the oldest in Salem. Built here in 1672, the Narbonne House is also one of America’s few surviving middle-class homes of the 1600s.
The builder and first owner was a”slaughterer,” or butcher, Later, residents included a weaver, a shoreman, a tanner, and several seamen. One of the last owners was Sarah Narbonne, a seamstress, who operated a tiny “Cent Shop” in the lean-to on the side of the house. Their lives have all left traces, which recent archeological investigations have brought to light.
By 1760, a small brick-floored dairy in the backyard kept milk and cheese cool. Between 1780 and 1820, prosperous owners put up a handsome carriage house and narrowed the lean-to so a carriage could get past it.
In the 1870s, when the house hooked into city water mains, residents began filling their outmoded backyard wells with discards and trash. In all, the Narbonne lot has yielded more than 142,000 artifacts of middle-class in Salem.
Narbonne House in 1913 (photo to the right): 1. Original home (1672). 2. Gambrel-roof addition (1730s). 3. Lean-to (ca. 1800).
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Architecture • Colonial Era • Settlements & Settlers.
Location. 42° 31.349′ N, 70° 53.236′ W. Marker is in Salem, Massachusetts, in Essex County. Marker is on Essex Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 71 Essex Street, Salem MA 01970, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Capt. John Hodges House - 1750 (within shouting distance of this marker); Privateer Warehouse (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Derby House (about 300 feet away); Home for Aged Women (about 400 feet away); The Custom House (about 400 feet away); Derby Wharf (about 400 feet away); Central Wharf (about 500 feet away); Salem Maritime National Historic Site (about 500 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Salem.
Credits. This page was last revised on September 30, 2020. It was originally submitted on January 11, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. This page has been viewed 320 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4. submitted on January 11, 2013, by Don Morfe of Baltimore, Maryland. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.