Category Archives: Organizations

Worcester Historical Society Building (1892)

Worcester Historical Society Building

The Worcester Society of Antiquity was first organized in 1875. The Society acquired a permanent home after Stephen Salisbury III donated land at 39 Salisbury Street and $25,000 towards the construction of a new building. Built in 1890-1891, it was designed by Barker and Nourse. It was formally opened on June 28, 1892. The organization’s name was changed to the Worcester Historical Society in 1919 and to the Worcester Historical Museum in 1978. The Museum moved to a new and larger location at 30 Elm Street in 1988. The Museum’s former home is now used as a commercial building.

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Holder Memorial (1904)

Holder Memorial

Located at 210 Church Street in Clinton, the Holder Memorial building was built in 1904 to be the home of the Clinton Historical Society by Francis T. Holder as a memorial to his parents, David and Ruth Bassett Holder. A native of Clinton, F.T. Holder had risen to become president of the Alexander Smith Corporation, which manufactured carpets. You can learn much more about Francis T. Holder and the Holder Memorial in the book The Holder Memorial Given to the Clinton Historical Society, published in 1905.

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East India Marine Hall (1825)

East India Marine Hall

East India Marine Hall, on Essex Street in Salem, was constructed in 1824-1825 by the East India Marine Society. The Society had been founded in 1799 as a charitable and educational organization whose membership consisted of ship masters or supercargos who had sailed around either Cape Horn or the Cape of Good Hope. The Society also maintained a library and a museum, called a “cabinet of natural and artificial curiosities.” The Society rented rooms in the Stearns Block from 1799 to 1804 and, needing more space for its growing collections, in the Salem Bank Building from 1804 to 1825. Again needing more space, the Society moved into the new East India Marine Hall, which was dedicated on October 14, 1825. The building was designed by architect Thomas Waldron Summer. In 1867 the society deposited its collections with the newly established Peabody Academy of Science which also bought the East India Marine Hall. Additions were been made the the Hall over the years as the institution grew into today’s Peabody Essex Museum, but East India Marine Hall has maintained its original appearance. The building’s grand banquet hall is available to rent for events.

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Harvard Shaker South Family Dwelling House (1846)

Harvard Shaker South Family Dwelling House

Harvard Shaker Village was divided into separate complexes known as the Church, North, South, and East Families. Among the buildings that survive from the South Family is the large Dwelling House (or Dormitory), constructed in 1846/1848 (its current address is 101 South Shaker Road). It is joined at the rear to the laundry, or washhouse, built in 1823 (or perhaps as early as 1800). With their numbers dwindling in later years, the Shakers sold the building in 1899 and the remaining members of the South Family moved to join the Church family. The Dwelling House was later used as a chicken coop and in the 1940s as a fresh-air camp for city children. In 2003, it was converted into living space. The Dwelling House has a bell tower containing its original bell. The building also retains 65 original windows. (more…)

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Harvard Shaker Ministry Shop (1847)

Shaker Ministry

The Ministry’s Shop at Harvard Shaker Village was built in 1847-1848. For half of each month, it was the residence and workplace of the Ministry–the Elders who governed a bishopric that included both the Harvard and Shirley Shaker villages. The building, at 84 Shaker Road in Harvard, is now a private residence. It has a wing and ell that were added in the 1930s by architect Stanley Bruce Elwell.

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Harvard Shaker New Office Building (1841)

Harvard Shaker New Office Building

Replacing an earlier office next door (now at the Fruitlands Museum), the Harvard Shakers built the structure known as the New Office Building (or Second Trustees’ Office) the at 78 Shaker Road in 1840-1841. Here the Harvard Shakers had their dealings with the outside world. The large building housed the community’s Trustees, hired help and visitors (among whom were Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorne). A shop on the first floor sold the Shaker Sisters’ fancy work. In 1935/1936, architect Stanley Bruce Elwell remodeled the interior of the building as a summer residence for Robert Treat Paine. The novelist Thomas Wolfe was once interested in buying the house which, like the other buildings of the Harvard Shaker Village, remains a private residence.

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Harvard Shaker Second House (1795)

Shaker Second House

The second house or dormitory to be built by the Shakers of Harvard was constructed in 1795. The Harvard Shakers divided their community into separate complexes: the Church, North, South, and East Families. Located at 79 Shaker Road, the Second House is the only surviving Church Family dwelling house. About 1860/1870, it was enlarged from a gambrel to a gable roof structure. The Shaker Second House was later owned by Dr. Benjamin Woodbury, who divided it into rental apartments during the Second World War. The house remains a private residence today.

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