• Salem Maritime National Historic Site

    Salem Maritime

    National Historic Site Massachusetts

Derby House Closure

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Date: June 1, 2012
Contact: Jonathan Parker, 978-740-1663

Historic Derby House to Close for Preservation Work, Restoration

SALEM, M.A. - The Derby House, part of Salem Maritime National Historic Site, will be closed starting June 18th, 2012 for historic preservation work and maintenance. During the closure the National Park Service will continue to provide visitors with information and exterior tours of the Derby House on ranger-guided tours. The work will continue throughout most of 2012, with a completion date to-be-determined.

The Derby House, built in 1762, was the home of Elias Hasket and Elizabeth Crowninshield Derby and is the oldest surviving brick building in Salem. The Derby Family was heavily involved in Salem's pre-Revolutionary trade, sponsored American privateers during the Revolutionary War and then spearheaded the development of Salem into a global hub of maritime commerce.

"Thousands of park visitors have walked in the footsteps of one of Salem's most influential maritime families while touring the Derby House," said Superintendent Michael Quijano-West, "and, like any other home, the Derby House needs fresh paint, new carpets and some carpentry work. This historic preservation project will insure that the Derby House can open its doors for the next generation of visitors." The current scope of preservation work includes interior repainting, new carpeting, wall/ceiling repair and general carpentry.

Ranger-guided tours of Salem Maritime National Site, including the exterior of the Derby House, are offered daily. For more information, please call 978-740-1650 or visit the park on the web at www.nps.gov/sama.

Did You Know?

The octant is a navigational tool based on the curve of one eighth of a circle. It measures angles for solar and celestial navigation.

In 1799, Salem native Nathaniel Bowditch revised John H. Moore's New Practical Navigator, the standard navigation manual of the 18th century. Bowditch discovered and corrected over 8,000 errors in Moore's manual! In 1802, Bowditch published the New American Practical Navigator.