The Rebecca Nurse Homestead (1678)

Located on a proprty of 25 acres of fields, pasture and woods at 149 Pine Street in Danvers is the Rebecca Nurse Homestead. The house was mostly likely built in 1678, when Francis Nurse, a skilled maker of wooden household items, began renting the property from owner James Allen. Nurse would eventually purchase the house, where he lived with his wife Rebecca and eight children. In 1692, during the Salem Witch Trials, the 71-year-old Rebecca Nurse was accused of practicing witchcraft. Initially found not guilty at her trial, her young accusers went into convulsive fits which led the jury to return with a guilty verdict. Rebecca Nurse was hanged and her family secretly buried her on the Homestead land. In 1885, the family dedicated a granite memorial in her honor in the Nurse family graveyard. The monument is inscribed with a poem by John Greenleaf Whittier. Francis Nurse died in 1695 and the Homestead remained in the Nurse family into the eighteenth century. Rebecca’s great-grandson, Francis, lived in the house and, as a sergeant in the Danvers Alarm Company, responded to the Lexington Alarm in 1775. The Homestead was owned by the Putnam family from 1784 to 1908. Purchased and restored by the Rebecca Nurse Memorial Asociation, the property was given to the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities in 1926 and, since 1981, has been a museum owned by the Danvers Alarm List Company.

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