Rebecca Nurse Homestead

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The Rebecca Nurse Homestead in 2006.
Interior view, first floor.

The Rebecca Nurse Homestead is a historic colonial house built about 1678 on grounds at 149 Pine Street, Danvers, Massachusetts. It had later additions and was restored in 1908. Owned and operated by the Danvers Alarm List Company, the house is open to the public on afternoons in the warmer months for an admission fee.

Description[edit]

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. In 1926 the Association donated the house to the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities. In 1981 it was transferred to the Danvers Alarm List Company, an organization for the reenactment of period history. The Company still owns and operates the house and its grounds. Historic New England is also involved with the property, as it is protected by an easement held by the Stewardship Easement Program.

Rebecca Nurse, convicted and executed in the Salem Witch Trials (1692), was the most notable resident. She was 71 years old at death. Her great-grandson Francis Nurse later occupied the house, marching from it 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 and has 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 also contain the Nurse Graveyard, a shoemaker's shed, and a dairy shed.

At a ceremony related to the 300th anniversary of the trials in 1992, the remains of George Jacobs were reinterred here.[1] He was another victim of the accusations who was executed.

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