The earliest (rear) section of the Putnam House in Danvers was built in 1648 by Lt. Thomas Putnam. The house would go on to be the home of twelve generations of the Putnam family. During the Salem witchcraft trials, Joseph Putnam, who spoke out against the ongoing hysteria, lived on the property. Joseph’s son, Israel Putnam, for whom it’s now known, was born in the house in 1718. General Israel Putnam was a famous colonial officer and one of the primary figures at the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775. In the 1850s, Daniel Putnam operated a shoe-making business in the house and in the twentieth century, the family ran a candy and ice cream shop next door called the Putnam Pantry. A number of additions were made to the house over the years, including the eighteenth-century gambrel-roofed section that is now the front facade. The Putnam family gave the house to the Danvers Historical Society in 1991.
The First Church of Danvers was established in 1672, when the area was still a part of Salem and was known as Salem Village. Instead of traveling every Sunday to Salem, the people of Salem Village wanted their own meeting house, which was built over several years at what is now the intersection of Forest and Hobart Streets. This building was the site of most of the examinations at the start of the 1692 Salem withcraft hysteria. The original meeting house was abandoned in 1701 and new one was built on the site of the current First Church of Danvers. This second meeting house stood until 1785, and a new and larger one was then built on the same spot the following year. This building lasted twenty years, until it burned down in 1805. Its replacement, built in 1806, was constructed of brick. Concerns about some cracking and settling of the brick walls led to its being replaced in 1839 by yet another new structure. Remodeled in 1869 and again in 1889, this fifth building burned to the ground in 1890. The next church building was dedicated in 1891 and the seventh and current building opened in 1980.
At 27 Centre Street in Danvers, in what was the old Salem Village of the Salem Witch Trials, is a house built in 1692 by John Holton, a cooper. He died in 1721 and the house passed to his widow Mary and then to Joseph Buxton, the son of his sister Elizabeth. Buxton, also a cooper, died in 1750 and his son, Anthony, sold the house in 1777. The house has a Beverly jog.
Glen Magna Farms in Danvers began with a house, built in the 1790s by Jonathan Ingersoll. In 1812, the property was acquired by Capt. Joseph Peabody, wealthy Salem shipping merchant, as his gentleman’s estate. Additional acres were later acquired by the Peabody family, who occupied the estate for over a century. In 1893, Peabody’s granddaughter, Ellen Peabody Endicott, hired the Boston firm of Little, Browne and Moore to expand the house into a stylish Colonial Revival mansion. In 1926, she was awarded the Hunnewell Gold Medal from the Massachusetts Horticultural Society for the estate’s plantings. After her death the following year, her son, William Crowninshield Endicott, Jr., continued enhancing the estate until his death in 1936. In 1901, he had brought the 1793 Derby Summer House to Glen Magna. Since 1963, the house and the eleven central acres of the property have been owned by the Danvers Historical Society, which has restored the historic gardens and grounds.
The Thomas Haines House, on Centre Street in Danvers, was built in 1681 by Hains, an innkeeper. During the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, Haines gave testimony in the trial of Elizabeth How of Topsfield which resulted in her being hanged as a witch on July 19, 1692, the same day as Rebecca Nurse, her sister-in-law. Haines moved to New Jersey in 1704 and sold his house to John Allen of Salem, a gunsmith.
The c. 1700 Hutchinson-Kimball House, on Forest Street in Danvers, is considered to be a fine example of First Period architecture. According to Chronicles of Danvers (Old Salem Village) Massachusetts, 1632-1923 (1923), by Harriet Silvester Tapley, the house was “Built by Ambrose Hutchinson, grandson of Richard Hutchinson, the Emigrant, early in the 18th century.”
The earliest sections of Ingersoll’s Ordinary in Danvers date to around 1670, although the building has had additions and changes over the years, most notably in 1753. In the late seventeenth century, when Danvers was known as Salem Village, this ordinary, an early type of inn and tavern, was run by Deacon Nathaniel Ingersoll. During the Salem Witch Hysteria of 1692, the ordinary was used by those involved in the examinations, held at the nearby meetinghouse. The first group of women to be accused were originally going to be examined at the ordinary, but the large crowds required the use of the meetinghouse. Tituba, a slave owned by Samuel Parris, was one of the first three people accused of practicing witchcraft during the Salem witch trials. Her husband, John Indian, also owned by Parris, worked at the ordinary. The former ordinary is now a private residence.