The Stephen Phillips House (1821)

In 1800, Captain Nathaniel West and his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Elias Hasket Derby, hired Samuel McIntire to design a country estate in Danvers. They later divorced and Elizabeth retained the house, but Capt. West eventually inherited a third of the building. In 1821, he transported his three rooms by ox sled to Chestnut Street in Salem, where they formed the core of his new Federal-style mansion. The West family sold the house in 1863 to Malvina Tabitha Ward, who ran a boarding house and school in the residence. In 1875, the house was sold to Annie B. Webb and in 1911, Anna Wheatland Phillips and her husband, Stephen Willard Phillips, bought the house. By that time the house had been expanded and much altered over the years in various architectural styles. Anna and Stephen W. Philips hired architect William Rantoul to remodel the house to reflect its origins in the Federal style. Stephen W. Philips, who was born in Hawaii, collected Oceanic art. His father, Stephen Henry Phillips, had served as Attorney General for the Kingdom of Hawaii from 1866 to 1873. Stephen W. and Anna Phillips’s son, Stephen Phillips, who died in 1971, had wanted his childhood home to become a museum. In 1973, his wife, Betty, established the Stephen Phillips Memorial Charitable Trust for Historic Preservation, which opened the house to the public. Since 2006, the house has been owned by Historic New England. The property also includes the carriage house, which contains the family’s collection of carriages and automobiles.

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