Mission Statement:

The Danvers Historical Society is dedicated to promoting the rich history of the original Salem Village and the Town of Danvers through preservation and the creation of engaging programs. The Society aims to inspire individuals to join this mission, and create partnerships with those that share our dedication, so that together we can have a direct and positive impact on the local community, economy, and generations to come.

Adopted January 1, 1889; Restated June 10, 2009; Revised September 2021

Employee Spotlight:

Meet Christian Clemson, Assistant Restoration Manager of the Danvers Historical Society.

Christian has been working for the Danvers Historical Society for 7 years where he has helped restore the many historic buildings and gardens. Christian is a skilled gardener as well as a passionate bird watcher, being able to identify any bird that visits Glen Magna Farms. We appreciate all Christian does to help preserve our town’s wonderful history.

Christian Clemson

Land Acknowledgement

The Danvers Historical Society recognizes and acknowledges that this meeting is taking place on the ancestral homeland of the Naumkeag band of the Massachusett/Pawtucket Tribes and the Agawam people of the Algonquian Tribe. For centuries this community moved through and lived upon this land. They followed the seasons, hunted, fished, raised families, grieved for their dead, nourished their living, shared the stories of their ancestors and considered themselves the caretakers of this area. The Danvers Historical Society asks you to join us in acknowledging the Massachusett/Pawtucket community and the Algonquian community, their elders both past and present, as well as future generations. The Danvers Historical Society is committed to the process of recognizing the strength and resilience of all Indigenous Nations. The Danvers Historical Society is also committed to incorporating the study and dissemination of this land’s Native History into its mission.

Hard to believe that we’re fast approaching the 250th Anniversary of the American Revolution, the War of Independency, when the 13 colonies spoke with one voice, telling King George III that we would no longer be royal subjects to the vagaries of his Majesty’s whims and tyranny. We stand on the precipice of the commemoration of the Birth of a Nation, when a fledgling Rabble in Arms stood fast in the face of deadly volleys from the greatest army  of that time, and through  deprivation, cold and near starvation,  showed the courage and determination that would win them their Freedom from an oppressive government, and give rise to the greatest Country in the world: the United States of America. 

I feel honored to have participated 50 years ago in the celebrations, and reenactments of the battles fought by those stalwart Patriots against the overwhelming might of the British Empire, in the Bicentennial Commemorations as a much younger man. In 1974, Richard Trask and Robert Osgood issued a “Call to Arms” for individuals interested in an educational group to reenact the battles and lifestyle of those who stood up to be counted when their Country needed them. Now I can stand once more, perhaps not as straight, and tall, but just as proud of what those farmers and shopkeepers managed to accomplish though sheer determination and believing that their Cause was Just. 

From the earliest confrontations: the Boston Massacre; to Col. Leslie’s retreat back to Boston, when Danvers and Salem Patriots refused to surrender their arms to the government in February 1775; to April 19th 1775 when Danvers Militia and Alarm

Companies answered the call to arms and marched 19 miles to confront the Government Troops, retreating to Boston after a second failed attempt at arms confiscation in Lexington and Concord, and seven Danversites gave their lives in what is now Arlington; to the Battle of Bunker Hill, on June 17, 1775, when our own  Danvers son General Israel Putnam implored the defenders “Don’t fire until you can see the whites of their eyes,” as wave after wave of British Regulars assaulted their positions;  to the overnight September 14th 1775 encampment in Danvers of some of the troops gathering for Arnolds Expedition to capture Quebec; to the Town Meeting vote on June 16, 1776, to support the Great and General Court of Mass’tts, should they vote for a separation from the Crown, and to pledge their lives, fortune and Sacred Honor in achieving that goal. 

Danvers men would continue to fight and make the ultimate sacrifice to support that Cause, in many critical battles up and down the coast, until the final Victory was won at Yorktown in 1781. 

It seems fitting, meet and just, that we come together once more to remember the Patriots who fought so valiantly for all the Freedoms we enjoy today, and celebrate their courage and determination in fighting against incomprehensible odds, for what they believed. 

David P. McKenna
Danvers Historical Society

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Revolution 250  ~ Discover Danvers

Rev250 Discover Danvers The Historical Society is commemorating people and events directly related to the War of Independence.

Look for this Discover Danvers emblem for content and events related to Revolution 250 topics.



President’s Letters

The Danvers Historical Society was founded and created in 1889 by Reverend Alfred Porter Putnam D.D. After the conception of the Society he headed the board as president for many years.
Putnam was born and raised in Danvers, he worked with his father who was the president of Village Bank, but after three years he left Danvers to pursue his education. Entering Dartmouth for a year and then transferring to Brown University to finish the remainder of three years and obtaining his D.D., Putnam soon returned to Danvers to teach. He returned to his own education attending Harvard Divinity School, graduating in 1855. He left the States for an extensive tour of Europe, Upon returning to the states, he settled in Brooklyn NY at the First Unitarian Society, where he remained for twenty-two years. Putnam helped create the Third Unitarian Church of Brooklyn, he also headed many charitable enterprises within Brooklyn. He married twice first to Louisa P. Preston of Danvers and the second time to Eliza K. Buttrick of Concord MA. Mr. Putnam published hundreds of books and was an accomplished lecturer.
When his health began to fail, he retired from the church he loved, turning his focus to his next love, local history. His love for history, especially Danvers history is what brought him to return home to Danvers. He spent his last years within the confines of his ancestral home; he died in Salem May 15, 1906 survived by his wife Eliza.


Dana Bennett-Jeffreys, CCAP – Grounds Staff
Laura Cilley – Director of Programming
Christian Clemson – Buildings and Grounds Restoration Assistant Manager
Gavin Marchant – Grounds Staff
Matthew  Martin, MCA – Buildings and Grounds Restoration Manager
Heather Palm – Director of Sales & Events
Kate Perkins – Finance & Technology Manager


David P. McKenna, President
Daniel Bennett, Vice-President
Robert B. Young, Treasurer
Louis George, Secretary
Arthur Skarmeas, Assistant Treasurer
Michele Chausse
Sandra Lane
Dick Moody
Michael Powers
Ted Speliotis
Maryann Tapparo
Lisa M. Trask
Karen Wagner
David M. McIntire, at-large