Monday, July 2, 2012

A Visit to the Rebecca Nurse House - Danvers, Massachusetts

Although there were other witch trials in the 17th century, the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 are the most well-known in American history. Nineteen victims were hanged, and one was pressed to death between June and September of that year. There were others who died while in prison. Rebecca Nurse, probably the most well-known of the victims was hanged, along with five other women on July 19. She was 71 years old at the time of her death. 

Thanks to one of my cousins, I learned a few years ago that my daughter and I are direct Nurse descendants. We have been several times Salem Witch Trials Memorial, but until two weeks ago had never been out the the "family homestead" in what was then Salem Village (now Danvers). 

The Meetinghouse was not part of the original homestead. It was built in the 1980s by PBS for the film Three Sovereigns for Sarah. 

The original house

Dan, our very knowledgeable tour guide, shows us the gardens with some of the plants that would have been grown at the time.

 First floor fireplace

 The entire family slept in the one bedroom on the second floor.

Rebeccas's great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great; and great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great granddaughters contemplate her fate.

This memorial marker is in the family burial site on the homestead grounds. Nurse is likely interred on this site, as witches were not allowed to be buried in church graveyards.

More information about the family at American Family History

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