Category Archives: Salem

Salem Athenaeum (1907)

Salem Athenaeum (1907)

The Salem Athenaeum is a private library established in 1810 with the merger of two earlier organizations: the Social Library, founded in 1760, and the Salem Philosophical Library, founded in 1781. The Athenaeum’s first permanent building was Plummer Hall, built in 1856-1857. The building was sold in 1905 to the Essex Institute, now the Peabody Essex Museum. The Athenaeum moved to its current building at 337 Essex Street, built in 1906-1907. The Colonial Revival Building was designed by architect William G. Rantoul. It closely resembles Homewood, a residence built in 1801 and now on the campus of the Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

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Allen-Osgood-Huntington Triple House (1828)

Allen-Osgood-Huntington Triple House

For my 101st Salem post I present the Allen-Osgood-Huntington Triple House, located at 31-33-35 Chestnut Street in Salem. It was begun in 1828-1829 by Pickering Dodge and completed after 1833 by his son-in-law, John Fiske Allen, a horticulturalist who lived in No. 31. As described in Fisk Cousins and Phil M. Riley’s The Colonial Architecture of Salem (1919):

there, in 1853, for the first time in New England, [Allen] grew and brought to flower in his greenhouse the Victoria regia, the great water lily of the Amazon, from seed obtained of Caleb Cope, of Philadelphia. The following season Mr. Allen enlarged his greenhouse and tank and obtained more seed from England, including that of the Amaryllis, Nelumbium and other tropical species of lilies which thrived and formed a rare collection much admired by many visitors. Mr. Allen published the results of his observations on the Victoria regia in a beautiful folio volume, finely illustrated by W. Sharpe from specimens grown in Salem. . . . Previous to Mr. Allen’s occupancy the house was for a time the home of Nathaniel Silsbee, United States senator from 1826 to 1835.

The middle house (No. 33) had various owners, including Captain Charles M. Endicott of the ship Friendship. In a famous incident that occurred in 1831, the ship was captured by Malays off the coast of Sumatra and then retaken in a fierce battle. In 1864, the house was purchased by George P. Osgood, whose family remained there until the 1940s. The bay window on this middle house is a Victorian-era addition. The house at the western end (No. 35) was home to three mayors of Salem: Charles W. Upham (served 1852-1853), who wrote the classic work Salem Witchcraft (1867), Asahel Huntington (served 1853-1854) and his son, Arthur L. Huntington (served 1885).

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Captain William Saunders House (1805)

39 Chestnut Street, Salem

The house at 39 Chestnut Street in Salem was built in 1805 for Captain Thomas Saunders. It was the first of the great brick Federal-style houses to be constructed on a street famed for its architecture. In 1893 the house was remodeled in the Colonial Revival style by architect Arthur Little for owner William G. Barker. The central bay window on the second floor above the original entryway was added at that time.

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Rogers/Russell Double House (1875)

Rogers/Russell Double House

At nos. 350-352 Essex Street in Salem is a late Italianate double house built in 1875. No. 352 was home to Arthur S. Rogers, treasurer of the Atlantic Car Company, and no. 350 was home to Benjamin W. Russell, a teller (later president) at the Salem National Bank.

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Saunders-Saltonstall-Tuckerman Double House (1810)

Saunders-Saltonstall-Tuckerman House

Thomas Saunders, who lived at 39 Chestnut Street in Salem, built a double house next door, at 41-43 Chestnut Street, in 1810-1811. It was a gift to his two daughters, Caroline (1793-1882) and Mary Elizabeth (1788-1858), who married two Saltonstall brothers. The western half was the home of Nathaniel (1784-1838) and Caroline’s family until 1880, after which it was owned by Charles Saunders into the twentieth century. Until 1851, the eastern half was home to Mary Elizabeth and her husband, Leverett Saltonstall (1783-1845), who was Salem’s first mayor, serving from 1836 to 1838. It was then home to the Tuckerman family until the end of the century. The porch on the western side is believed to be original, while the two-story wing and the porch on the eastern side date from 1838.

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Putnam-Balch House (1871)

Putnam-Balch House, Salem

In 1871-1872, on the site of the Benjamin Marston House, James S. Putnam erected an elaborately and eclectically ornamented house, known as Greymoor, at 329 Essex Street in Salem. From 1881 to 1921, it was owned by Frank Balch and then the house served as the headquarters of American Legion Post 23. The house was restored in 1979-1981. The house was recently restored to its 1872 color scheme.

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Loring-Emmerton House (1818)

The Pickman-Loring-Emmerton House, at 328 Essex Street in Salem, was built in 1818 as a Federal style house. In the mid-nineteenth century, it was the residence of George B. Loring (1817-1891), who served in the U.S. House of Representatives (1877-1881), as United States Commissioner of Agriculture (1881-1885) and as Minister to Portugal (1889-1890). The house was later owned by George R. Emmerton, a merchant and president of the Merchant’s National Bank. In 1885, he hired architect Arthur Little to expand and remodel the house in the Colonial Revival style. Emmerton was the father of Caroline O. Emmerton, the philanthropist and preservationist who established the House of the Seven Gables Settlement Association.

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