Salem's Witch House: A Touchstone to Antiquity

Overview

Though located on Massachusetts?s scenic North Shore, Salem is often remembered for its less than picturesque history. The ?Witch City,? as it is internationally known, is home to numerous landmarks dedicated to the notorious trials of 1692. Of these, the Witch House is perhaps most significant; this former residence of Judge Jonathan Corwin, whose court ordered the execution of twenty men and women, is the town?s only true historic tie to the trials. It was here that Corwin examined the unfortunate accused. ...
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Salem's Witch House: A Touchstone to Antiquity

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Overview

Though located on Massachusetts’s scenic North Shore, Salem is often remembered for its less than picturesque history. The “Witch City,” as it is internationally known, is home to numerous landmarks dedicated to the notorious trials of 1692. Of these, the Witch House is perhaps most significant; this former residence of Judge Jonathan Corwin, whose court ordered the execution of twenty men and women, is the town’s only true historic tie to the trials. It was here that Corwin examined the unfortunate accused. There is, however, more to this ancient building than its most famous occupant. From wars and death to prosperity and progress, local author John Goff searches beneath its beams and studs to find stories of those who called this place home.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781596295193
  • Publisher: History Press, The
  • Publication date: 10/2/2009
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 548,299
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

John V. Goff is a historian, architectural historian, restoration architect and preservation consultant who lives and works in Salem, Massachusetts. After studying history and American civilization at Brown University, concentrating in First Period New England studies, Goff worked as an architectural historian for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Boston Landmarks Commission, Providence Preservation Society and Maine Historic Preservation Commission. He then earned his master’s degree in architecture from the University of Oregon and began working as a restoration architect in Boston and Salem, Massachusetts. In 1992, the Salem witch trials tercentenary year, Goff founded Historic Preservation & Design (HPD), a Salem-based preservation planning, restoration and consulting firm. The firm has restored many real and replica First Period (circa 1630–1730) properties, working alone and in conjunction with other firms such as Staley McDermet Associates in Salem. Recently completed HPD projects include the restoration of Boston’s oldest house, the 1661 Elder James Blake House in Dorchester, Massachusetts; the restoration of the 1703 Phineas Upham House and Barn in Melrose, Massachusetts; the restoration of the circa 1720 Francis Wyman House in Burlington, Massachusetts; a Historic Structures Report for the restoration of the circa 1660 Pickering House in Salem; and preliminary planning for the restoration of Salem in 1630: Pioneer Village. As a historian and author, Goff has written over fifty weekly “Preservation Perspective” columns for the Salem Gazette; “Salem as Architectural Mecca” in Salem: Place, Myth and Memory; and many articles in the Salem Preservationist. Between 2000 and 2003, Goff served as executive director of Historic Salem, Inc., and maintained an office in the Bowditch House. Goff, with many others, founded Salem Preservation Inc. to restore Salem in 1630: Pioneer Village between 2003 and 2008. Growing interests in Massachusetts’s earliest First Period history further led Goff to produce Native American history materials for the Salem State College Sextant magazine in 2008 and to the town of Ipswich, Massachusetts, for its 375th anniversary year in 2009. Goff also commenced working in 2009 to establish a new Naumkeag Museum/Education Center to better document, interpret and preserve Salem’s earliest Native American history, known to date back at least three thousand years.
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Table of Contents

Author's Note 7

Acknowledgements 9

Introduction 11

Chapter 1 Ancient Beginnings: Before 1626 13

Chapter 2 First Period Puritans: 1626-1674 16

Chapter 3 Troubling Times: 1675-1691 28

Chapter 4 Intense Events and the Illusions of 1692 40

Chapter 5 Colonial Kingdoms 52

Chapter 6 Forging an American Identity 62

Chapter 7 The Colonial Revival Comes of Age 78

Chapter 8 Two Influential Architects of the 1930s: Walter Kilham Samuel Chamberlain 92

Chapter 9 Preservation Crises and Restoring the Witch House in the 1940s 97

Chapter 10 The Witch House Today 107

Appendix: Known Biographical Information on Some of the Key Witch House Preservationists of the 1940s 109

Notes 113

Bibliography 119

About the Author 127

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