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

In 1865, the Civil War ended and our country was reunited. Twenty-four years later, the people of Danvers founded the Danvers Historical Society. The purpose of this organization was “to discover, collect and preserve objects which illustrate local history, but particularly the history, development and people of the Town of Danvers.”

This celebrated decision was an expression of triumph, hope, and optimism for the generations that would follow. The founders understood that a society that abandons its history, in a sense loses itself. A society that abandons its culture and traditions is a one that loses its identity.

The Danvers Historical Society is dedicated to ensuring that the many stories of our extraordinary town are preserved for present and future generations to experience and cherish. Through the hard work of countless volunteers, staff, and trustees, priceless artifacts, documents, and properties are being cared for and made available for the world to see.

And now, the challenges are greater than ever. Financial support and community involvement are needed to sustain our properties and continue our mission.

Please take some time to explore our website and learn about our remarkable properties, collections and enrichment programs. Then please consider joining us in our efforts to preserve and expand our offerings for all to enjoy!

Thank you, and welcome!

Thomas M. Page

President, 2016 – 2021
Danvers Historical Society

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.

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Staff

Dana Bennett-Jeffreys, CCAP – Grounds Staff
Laura Cilley – Director of Programming
Christian Clemson – Buildings and Grounds Restoration Assistant Manager
Liam Jones – Office Assistant
Matthew  Martin, MCA – Buildings and Grounds Restoration Manager
Heather Palm – Director of Sales & Events

Trustees

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