Danvers, MA was settled in 1636 as Salem Village, and was the home of many of the accusers and the accused during the Salem witch trials. The Rebecca Nurse Homestead in Danvers is a historical landmark.
According to legend, the King rejected the town’s petition for its own charter, with the words, “The King Unwilling.” In 1757, the town was incorporated, named for settler Danvers Osborn, and the King’s rebuff was included on the town’s seal.
This list of First Period, Georgian and early Federal houses in Danvers, MA comes from the Massachusetts Historical Commission site (MACRIS). Construction dates have not been confirmed. Photos were taken in the late 20th Century, and are displayed alphabetically in order of street name. House numbers may have changed. Click on any image to view a larger photo. To request or add information, please contact Gordon Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
John Porter was “born about 1712 to Benjamin and Hannah (Endicott) Porter and married Apphia . The couple had nine children. About 1745 Porter built a 2-§- story gambrel roofed house at the corner of present-day High and Conant Streets, and used it as an inn. In 1748 Porter petitioned the General Court for an innholder’s license, having neglected to petition the Court of Sessions for a license renewal. In the petition, Porter stated “that for three years ending July last he was an Innholder in his new Dwelling House, a place very convenient for travelers and expended a considerable sum in building, etc. The gambrel cottage was moved to this location ca. 1838.
The Burley farm composed of 250 acres retained its original size for over 200 years. In the seventeenth century, the locality was known as “Gott’s Corner” and it’s owner was Deacon Charles Gott, who, with others, conveyed it to John Porter. Capt. William Burley, then a resident of Boston, who purchased it in 1793. Captain Burley was a native of Ipswich, the son of Andrew and Hannah (Cogswell) Burley.
Built before 1730, the Benjamin Holten home at 52 Centre St. was a tear down but was instead restored in 2014.
On July 1, I765, Deacon Edmund Putnam sold one acre of his extensive farm to Henry Putnam Jr., housewright, for £15, and shortly thereafter, Putnam built a house on this land. In the Revolution, Henry was an ensign in Captain Richardson’s Co. of Col. Israel Hutchinson’s 27th Regiment. On November 16, 1776, was taken prisoner following the fall of Fort Washington, New York, and was later exchanged. In I806, for $800, Henry conveyed the premises to his son Frederick, a housewright.
Although there’s a family traditionthat Jonathan Putnam, Sr., (1659-1739), built this house for his son Jonathan, Jr., (1691-1732) at about the time of the son’s marriage to Elizabeth Putnam in February, 1715, it appears to be mid-Georgian. The estate was sold in 1768 to Aaron Putnam (1730-1810) housewright, who is the likely builder of the house.
- Pratt, Annette M, “Centre Street Folks and The Houses They Lved In” Danvers Historical Society Collections, 1944, vol.32, p.12-13
- Prince, Moses, “List of Houses and Cellar Holes In District No. 5 About 1852” Danvers Historical Society Collections, 1936 vol. 24, p.24