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Photographer: Kelbert McFarland Photography


The Witch House

Today in history (1692), the last "witch" in Salem was hanged. We previously posted about the Ropes Mansion (Allison's House in Hocus Pocus) which we visited in Salem in the Chestnut Street District a couple years ago. Today we will look at more of the historic houses in the Chestnut Street District, including The Witch House and the Francis Cox House. The Witch House is not a "witch's" house but it is the only house still standing in Salem that was involved with the witch trials as it was Judge Jonathan Corwin's house. The house definitely looks like a witch house, similar to the one the Sanderson Sisters live in in Hocus Pocus with its Tudor cottage style and dark coloring. The house is believed to have been built possibly as early as 1620. Some scholars believe it was built for Roger Williams, founder of Providence Plantations Rhode Island, and that Judge Corwin bought the house from him. Today it is a house museum and below is a picture from our visit to the house.

Next are some pictures I took of the house.

I love the Tudor windows and gambrel roof.

The inside has Jacobean type furniture similar to that found in the early houses of Plymouth or Jamestown that we have detailed previously. Again, pewter is present, this time mixed with brass objects.

The bedroom even has brass sconces and a canopy bed. The house shows how the wealthy of the time lived in the Massachusetts colonies.

One last picture of The Witch House by photographer Jeff Folger:

He takes amazing fall themed New England photos perfect for your screen saver. The next house we wanted to include in this post, called the Francis Cox House, was built much later in the historic district in 1846. It is the house of one of our own Cox ancestors. According to "The Cox Family in America" and "New England Cox Families," two brothers Francis and Benjamin Cox settled in Salem before 1700. Our 5th great-grandmother, Hannah Cox, was the last Cox in our line and her parents lived in Salem in the 1800s. Their brother should be the owner of the house.

The Italiante house is #1 Chestnut Street and is famous for its architecture. Below is a drawing of the house by John Willand, an architectural illustrator.

On my trip to Salem, I took a picture of a very similar house (below) because of the Jack-O-Lantern in the Italiante window.

There is one more famous Cox house in Salem called the Gedney & Cox House which dates back to 1665. This house was built by Eleazer Gedney and purchased in 1773 by our 8th great-grandather Bejamin Cox as an investment property. He converted the house into apartments. The house is now a museum house and is known for its original paint. Below is the house.

It is worth noting that Eleazer Gedney's brother-in-law built The House of the Seven Gables, which we also visited on our trip. We will cover that house in an upcoming post...stay tuned!