• Salem Maritime National Historic Site

    Salem Maritime

    National Historic Site Massachusetts

The Derby House

The Derby House, a Georgian style house.

The Derby House is a beautiful example of the Georgian style of architecture.

NPS photo

Built in 1762 as a wedding present,
the Derby House was the home of Elias Hasket and Elizabeth Crowninshield Derby for the first twenty years of their marriage. The Derbys raised seven children in this house.

Hasket, Elizabeth, and their children lived here during most of the Revolutionary War. As part of the war effort, Hasket converted many of his family's cargo vessels to privateers. The wealth that the Derbys amassed from privateering was the foundation of the great East India trade that Hasket and others pioneered after the Revolution.

The Derbys sold the "little brick house" as Hasket called it, in 1796, to Capt. Henry Prince, who built the West India Goods Store next to the house around 1800. The Princes lived in the house until 1827. After that time, the house had numerous owners during the remainder of the 19th century. For a while, it was used as a tenement house, and multiple families lived in the building. Many of those families were members of the Polish community who came to work in the nearby mills.

In the early twentieth century, the Derby House was purchased by the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities (now Historic New England), and restored to its 18th century grandeur. In 1937, SPNEA transferred the house to the newly formed Salem Maritime National Historic Site.

 

Visiting the Derby House
The Derby House is open by tour only. Click here to go to our tour schedule page.

 

For More Information

On architecture in Salem:

On privateering in the Revolutionary War

On the residents of the Derby House

Pickled Fish and Salted Provisions
Links to pdf files of issues of our occasional publication on subjects associated with Salem Maritime National Historic Site. These issues are directly related to the Derby Family and their home.

 

Did You Know?

On a sunny day, a small boat motors past the 1871 lighthouse at the tip of Derby Wharf.

Salem native Captain John Derby was the first to bring news of the Battle of Lexington and Concord to England when he sailed from Derby Wharf in April 1775. In 1783, Captain John Derby was also the first person to bring news of the signing of the Treaty of Paris to America.