Mariner's House

Mariner's House
Photo courtesy of Winter Street Architects, Salem, MA
Constructed in 1847 as a temperance boardinghouse for seamen, the Mariner's House is significant as one of the oldest continuously operating sailors' boardinghouses in the United States and for its association with Father Edward Thompson Taylor. Father Taylor, also known as the "Sailor Preacher," founded the Boston Port and Seamen's Aid Society. He ministered at the Seamen's Bethel, the predecessor to the Mariner's House, which was initially housed in a vacant Methodist chapel in Boston's North End near the future site of the Mariner's House. Father Taylor is credited with the idea of creating a seamen's boardinghouse to eliminate the common practice of charging sailors exorbitant prices for lodging and often robbing them during their stay. The popularity of Father Taylor and the Seamen's Bethel grew and fundraising eventually provided for the construction of the Mariner's House.

Designed in Greek Revival style, the Mariner's House is a four-and-one-half story, red brick building. It consists of the main block, which faces the street, and a four-story ell that projects at an angle from the northwest corner of the main block. The ell appears to have been original to the building, but was only three stories in height. On January 16, 1998, the building was closed for a major interior remodeling to bring the accommodations up to present-day standards for first-class boardinghouses. The Boston Port and Seamen's Aid Society continues to operate the Mariner's House today, providing hospitality and guidance to the professional mariner.

The Mariner's House is located at 11 N. Square in Boston's North End. It is owned and operated by the Boston Port and Seamen's Aid Society. The boardinghouse underwent a complete renovation in 1998-1999, adding modern amenities, elegantly-appointed common areas and four floors of unique guest rooms at affordable rates. Guests must show proof of active maritime service to reserve a room at the Mariner's House. For more information call 617-227-3979 or visit the Mariner's House website.

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