On the Market: A Home with Ties to the Salem Witch Trials
The John Proctor House dates back to 1638.
348 Lowell Street, Peabody
Size: 3,910 square feet
A home that once belonged to the family of John Proctor, one of the victims of the Salem witch trials, hit the market last week in Peabody. The house stands on land Proctor once leased, but according to a Boston.com report, it’s unclear how much of the home Proctor actually lived in, if he did at all.
In the mid-1600s, Proctor opened a tavern near Salem Village, an area that eventually became present-day Peabody. It’s this slice of land on Lowell Street—then a main thoroughfare called Ipswich Road—where Proctor operated a farm and opened the tavern. The house at 348 Lowell Street may or may not have been home to the tavern at some point.
If you’ve read Arthur Miller’s The Crucible, a fictionalized version of Salem’s infamous hysteria, you may be familiar with Proctor’s story. When his third wife, Elizabeth, was accused of witchcraft, he swiftly came to her defense, denouncing the accusations and challenging the accusers. His opposition to the trials lead him to be accused of witchcraft by a young woman named Abigail Williams. While both Elizabeth and John Proctor were convicted, Elizabeth was not put to death because she was pregnant. John Proctor, however, was hanged on August 19, 1692. The aftermath of the trials reverberated in the Proctor family for generations after, and his ancestors lived on the property for almost two centuries after his death.
Today, the 1600s Colonial on former Proctor land retains a handful of original features, including a hearth in the living room and several other wood-burning fireplaces. Exposed bricks, beams, and hardwoods give the place old-world charm, while outside, a more modern in-ground pool could be the focal point of a summer barbecue. The whole centuries-old package asks just $153 per square foot—not bad for your very own slice of New England history. Boston.com reports the Peabody Historical Society is interested in purchasing the place. Its history makes it ripe for researching, and for a possible archaeological dig, per Boston.com. Ever get into a bidding war with a historian? No, us either.
For information, contact Joseph Cipoletta, J. Barrett & Company, jbarrettrealty.com.