Tag Archives: Danvers

Rebecca Nurse Homestead (Danvers, MA)

As I mentioned in an earlier blog, not all of the accused witches from the Salem witch hysteria came from Salem, Massachusetts.  In a quaint, unassuming town once known as Salem Village (now Danvers, Massachusetts), a number of people were accused of “consorting with the devil.”  One of the denizens of Danvers who was accused of such transgressions was Rebecca Nurse.  The Rebecca Nurse Homestead in Danvers keeps Rebecca’s memory and the memory of all the victim’s of the hysteria alive.

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The main living quarters has been renovated and maintained through the years but it still keeps the basic feel of what living in that era was like.

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The early settlers planted most of their crops in their yard.  The staff at the Homestead continue growing these crops such as mugwort, sage and chamomile.

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Pictured below is the front of the house.  The front part of the house is what we might consider “the back” because the settlers always wanted their houses to face the south.

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The accommodations are what a modern day realtor might call “cozy”.

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They were “spinning” before it was cool.

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There is also a meeting house, shoemaker shed and wood shed that still have a very rustic feel to them.

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The Homestead also keeps their grounds well maintained.

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According to legend, after being hanged, Rebecca Nurse was buried in a shallow unmarked grave because people convicted of witchcraft were not considered worthy of a Christian burial.  Her family dug her up and buried her at the Nurse Homestead and they erected a memorial in her honor.

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George Jacobs, another victim of the witch hysteria, is also buried at the Nurse Homestead.

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Rebecca’s great grandson, Francis Nurse, resided st the homestead until he joined the Massachusetts Militia during the Revolutionary War.  He is know interred at the Rebecca Nurse Homestead.

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There are also a number of other monuments and graves in the Nurse gravesite

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There is also a variety of wildlife on the Nurse Homestead grounds.  I ran into these turkeys during my visit.

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And I met a bear.  Well, sort of.  One of the workers was dog sitting and he brought his Golden Lab, Bear with him to the homestead.  Bear likes to play catch.

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New England Nomad


Witch Trial Memorial (Danvers, MA)

When most people think of the witch hysteria that gripped the New England colonies in 1692 and 1693, they are likely to think it began and took place exclusively in Salem.  However, although they are known as the Salem Witch Trials and Salem largely takes the infamy of the witch hunt, Salem does not hold that infamous title.

Salem Village, now known as Danvers, has the infamous distinction of being the beginning of the Salem witch hysteria.  It is here in Danvers, Massachusetts, where a somber memorial stands as a constant reminder to remember this past and to never let something like this happen again.

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Erected in May, 1992, the monuments lists the 20 people who were executed during the witch trials.

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Each slab lists a quote of innocence from each victim.

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The rays spilling in from the top of the memorial was a nice touch.

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Some of the more poignant quotes listed on the wall are:

“Well!  burn me or hang me.  I will stand in the truth of Christ…” – George Jacobs, Sr

“Amen. Amen.  A false tongue will never make a guilty person.” – Susannah Martin

The memorial also has a sculpture of “The Book Of Life” on top of a table that has a tribute etched in the base.

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Attached to each side of the book are chains.  Stark reminders of the pain they endured.

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Someone left a flower at the memorial, a common occurrence at this memorial, particularly during this time of the year.

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The memorial site has many pretty views to photograph from a variety of angles and the foliage added a nice touch.  The foliage gave a serene feeling in contrast to the moving memorial.

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In front of the memorial, there is monument that lists the generous donors who made the memorial possible.  You may notice the red door on the house in the background.  This is not unusual for the area.  The houses in Danvers and the surrounding area were beautiful in their understated uniqueness and pretty yet rustic nature.

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A sign, inconspicuously posted by the side of the road explains the origins and history of the site and surrounding area as well as the meaning behind the memorial.

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