Rebecca Nurse Homestead

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
The Rebecca Nurse Homestead in 2006.
Interior view, first floor.

The Rebecca Nurse Homestead is a historic colonial house on grounds located at 149 Pine Street, Danvers, Massachusetts. It is open afternoons in the warmer months for an admission fee.

The house is believed built circa 1678 as a two-story First Period structure with central entrance and chimney, though portions may date to an earlier "mansion house" built in the 1630s for Townsend Bishop. A lean-to with kitchen was added around 1720, an additional extension in 1850, and a kitchen added in the 1900s. The house remained a private residence until 1908 when it was acquired and extensively restored by the Rebecca Nurse Memorial Association, then given to the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities in 1926, and finally in 1981 transferred to the Danvers Alarm List Company, an organization for the reenactment of period history which still owns and operates the house and its grounds. Historic New England still is involved with the property as it is protected by an easement held by its Stewardship Easement Program.

Rebecca Nurse, executed in the Salem Witch Trials (1692), was the most notable resident. She was then 71 years old. Her great-grandson Francis Nurse later occupied the house, and from it marched to the Battle of Lexington and Concord in Captain John Putnam's Danvers militia. The Putnam family inherited the property in 1784, and remained residents until 1908.

Today the house consists of two rooms on the ground floor, two rooms above, and a central chimney. The lean-to kitchen is behind the older structure with its own smaller chimney. The house contains original beams, walls, and flooring but otherwise has been extensively restored. Two older rooms and the lean-to are open to the public, and are augmented with period furnishings.

The grounds (27 acres) also contain an outbuilding with internal structure salvaged from the circa 1681 home of Dr. Zerubabel Endecott, son of Governor John Endecott, before it was demolished in 1973. Details of its internal construction may be readily seen. A good reconstruction of the earliest Salem Village Meetinghouse is also on the grounds and may be toured; it was built in 1984 for the film "Three Sovereigns for Sarah". The grounds further contain the Nurse Graveyard, a shoemaker's shed, and a dairy shed.


See also[edit]

Coordinates: 42°33′30″N 70°57′01″W / 42.5582°N 70.9504°W / 42.5582; -70.9504