The Sutton-Peirson House in Peabody is a Gothic Revival cottage built in 1847 by General William Sutton as a wedding gift to his daughter, Elizabeth, and her husband, Abel Peirson Jr. An officer in the Massachusetts State Militia and a state senator, William Sutton was a wealthy wool merchant. In 2009, the house was donated to the Peabody Historical Society and moved from its original location on Aborn Street to 33 Washington Street, next to the Osborne-Salata House. The house is being restored and will house the expanded Ruth Hill Library and Archives.
The Osborne-Salata House, at 33 Washington Street in Peabody, was constructed around 1860. This Italianate house was built for Thorndike and Sarah Daniels. It was later owned by Dennison Osborne and next served as a boarding house. The house’s last residents, from 1945-1997, were Dr. Benjamin Salata, a dentist, and wife, Celia, a music teacher. She donated the house to the Peabody Historical Society, which already owned the adjacent General Gideon Foster House. Today the Osborne-Salata House contains the Historical Society’s Elizabeth Cassidy Folk Art Museum, the Peabody Art Association Gallery and the Ruth Hill Library & Archives.
General Gideon Foster was a leader during the Revolutionary War from South Danvers, now Peabody. Leading the militia of South Danvers, he marched to the Battle of Lexington and Concord, fighting the British during their retreat to Boston at the Battle of Menotomy. He and his men also resupplied American forces at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Foster was made a General of Militia after the War. In 1815, he purchased a house, built in 1810 on Washington Street in South Danvers, and lived there from 1818 to 1831. During this time, Foster ran the grist, bark and chocolate mills that he had inherited from his father. After his death, others owned the house, which was acquired by the Peabody Historical Society in 1916 and continues to serve as its headquarters and museum.
Peabody, originally South Danvers, is named after George Peabody, a merchant, financier and philanthropist. He spent his early career in Baltimore and in 1837 took up residence in London, where he remained until his death in 1869. During his lifetime he was the benefactor of numerous institutions, including the Peabody Institute Library (1852), the Peabody Institute Library of Danvers (1856), the Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University (1857), the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology at Harvard University (1866), the Peabody Museum of Natural History at Yale University (1866) and the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem (1867). George Peabody was born in South Danvers in 1795 in a house his father Thomas rented and soon purchased at 205 Washington Street. Built around 1790, the house passed to George Peabody’s older brother David in 1811, who took out two mortgages on the property the following year. In 1816, George Peabody purchased the house, where his mother resided until her death in 1830. Peabody sold it two years later and it has had many owners over the years. In the twentieth century, it housed workers of the American Glue Company (later Eastman Gelatin). In 1989, the City of Peabody purchased the house and restored it to become the George Peabody House Museum.