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The Rebecca Nurse Homestead, Danvers

(85+ reviews on the web)
Specialty Museum
The Rebecca Nurse Homestead sits on 25+ acres of an original 300 acres occupied by Rebecca Nurse and her family from 1678-1798. The property holds the traditional Salt-box home lived in by the Nurse Family. This is the only home of a person executed during the Salem Witch Trials open to the public.

Another unique feature is a reproduction of the 1672 Salem Village Meeting House where many of the early hearings surrounding the Salem Witchcraft Hysteria took place.

Located on the grounds is the Nurse Family Cemetery. It has been a longstanding family tradition that Rebecca’s son and husband retrieved her body after her execution and secretly buried it here. Recently another victim of the Hysteria, George Jacobs, was buried here after being found in the middle of the last century on his former property in a lone unmarked grave. This is the only known burial site of anyone convicted of witchcraft during the Salem trials.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • Have wanted to see this site for years, and finally got to. It's a simple property that was beautifully green in Spring. The tour guide was so friendly and she was glad to take extra time with our sma...  more »
  • Worth going to since you will get the historical account of the Witch Trials and the Salem settlements.  more »
  • This is an independent stop and not part of any Salem tour as it is not in Salem. The tour guide was friendly and knowledgeable. The house is well preserved. The replica meeting house is on site and w...  more »
Google
  • This place is a great place to learn more about what happened during the witch hysteria events of 1692. The guide we had was very well informed and did her best to help us see beyond the typical stereotypes that often accompany any discussion on the topic. I really appreciated what she had to say about the people involved. The house is a lovely example of many of the homes typical of the 17th century. The property also encompasses a replica of the Salem Village Meetinghouse at the time of the trials.
  • Beautiful historic property tucked away in a residential area. It really sets you back in time.
  • This First Period home is believed to have been built up from earlier portions of a mansion that had been constructed for Townsend Bishop in the 1630s. This well preserved saltbox-style house sits at the end of an old dirt road, nestled among 27 acres that boast several buildings including a replica 1690’s meetinghouse. There is also a family cemetery where a memorial was raised in 1885 to honour Rebecca’s true resting place. Her first grave was unmarked like many other victims, but her children secretly collected her body & buried it at the homestead. Rebecca Nurse was an unfortunate among many at the time who were falsely accused witches. A frail woman of 71, she was arrested & taken from her home in March 1692, & later hanged at Gallows Hill on July 19, along with Sarah Good, Elizabeth Howe, Susannah Martin & Sarah Wildes. Her arrest came as a complete surprise to the citizens of Salem Village as she was very well known for her piety. Her two sisters were also accused of witchcraft. Every last one of Rebecca’s accusers was either a Putnam or a friend of their family, a family who had a long history of property disputes with the Nurses. Initially found innocent, members of the community that had been pressured to insist on their torment at the hands of Rebecca, including Ann Putnam, protested the verdict. The judges reversed their verdict & Rebecca was hanged. This was the beginning of the end of the Witch Hysteria in Salem, as villagers could no longer deny their innocence. Her great-grandson Francis Nurse later occupied the house, & from it marched to the Battle of Lexington & Concord in Captain John Putnam's militia. The Putnam family actually inherited the property in 1784, & remained residents until 1908. The home had endured many remodeling projects in its time as a private residence, including a lean-to addition in 1720 with its own chimney, an extension in 1850, & a kitchen was added in the early 1900s. The house contains original beams, walls, & flooring but otherwise has been extensively restored. Today it operates as a seasonal museum.
  • An important piece of American / New England history right in our own (North Shore) backyard. Tour guide was young, but clearly studied. Cemetery is a bit of a stroll to the other end of a field, but worth it. Best for ages 5 and up.
  • A really awesome historical place.