Our Collections     

Tapley Memorial Hall, built in 1930, houses the Society’s large and varied local history collections.

The DHS collections are diverse and contain some remarkable artifacts. The DHS also holds an extensive collection of textiles, including a rare early 19th-century corset stay.

Hours and Tours

Tapley Memorial Hall, 13 Page Street, is open for special exhibits and can be opened during office hours, Thursday and Friday. Please check our events page for updated exhibits at Tapley Hall.

Tapley Memorial Hall a unique setting for showers, concerts, lectures, cocktail receptions, holiday parties and other special events.

For information about holding your event at Tapley Hall, please click here.

Tapley Hall Exterior, Brick building with green grass

Collections On-Line

As part of Danvers High School’s Senior Internship program, the Society’s Come Grow With Us program welcomed Apollo Mooney and Alexandra Gagnon to the Page Street Campus to research artifacts in our collections at Tapley Memorial Hall and the Jeremiah Page House. Both programs provide students with a real world, career-oriented experience. Apollo and Alexandra, having an interest in pursuing history in their future studies, chose a wide range of artifacts. Their narratives and photos will be seen here and on the Society’s facebook and instagram feeds. They also exhibited some artifacts at their High School Internship Showcase. We welcome everyone to share their knowledge with us!

Sabre and Scabbard, Accession #-1908.2.26 A-B

~~ Apollo Moony, Danvers High School 2019

This sword was given to the Society in 1908, having previously belonged to General F. S. Dodge. The blade itself has bright and dull finishes, and is engraved with an eagle which says “E pluribus Unum” (“out of many, one”)  underneath each of the wings. The design differs from that of Civil War blades, being narrower than those used during the war. The blade is marked near the hilt with “Henry V. Allien, New York”, implying that the blade was made by Henry V. Allien and Co.

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The sword and the scabbard have a nickel finish with a horn hand grip. Added on there is a black and gold tassel which was the officer’s motif. The gold and black tassel is knotted at the end, creating a decorative piece to add to the sword’s hilt. This sword would have been used up until the end of WWI. This sword has been identified by process of elimination, due to the fact that there was no tag. General Dodge would have been the only one to have given the Society regular army gear dating up to his death in 1908 (there are several pieces in the collection).

Born in Danvers on September 11, 1842, Dodge served in the Civil War as Private and Corporal, 23rd Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, October 9, 1861-December 19, 1863. He was appointed First Lieutenant, United States Colored Cavalry, December 20, 1863, and then promoted through the ranks to Brigadier General, January 23, 1904. He retired by operation of law on September 11, 1906. He was breveted February 27, 1890 for action against hostile Indians at Colorado, September 29-October 1, 1879. He received the Medal of Honor on March 22, 1898, for “most distinguished gallantry” against Indians near White River Agency, Colorado, October 2, 1879. He served in North and South Carolina, 1861-63; in Virginia, 1863-64; Texas, 1864-65, and after the Civil War at various posts throughout the West.

Henry V. Allien was born in 1814 In Brooklyn New York. He began his commercial career as an employee of the old firm of Brugiere & Allien, silk importers of Hanover-Square, the junior member of which was his elder brother. Afterward, he was with Jacquelin & Allien, in the same line, and eventually he became the New York representative of William H. Horstmann & Co. of Philadelphia, the pioneer silk manufacturers of this country. Then he founded the house of Henry V. Allien & Co., of which he remained the head up to the time of his death. Mr. Allien was at one time a member of the old Light Guard.

~~ Apollo Moony, Danvers High School 2019

Sword with Tassle
Sword with Eagle Engraved

Postage Stamps #- DH2541

~~Alexandra Gagnon, Danvers High School Class of 2019

The stamps pictured here are examples of the first ever American revenue stamps. They were first issued in 1862.  The design on the stamps is a profile view of George Washington, the very first president of The United States.

Revenue stamps were used during the American Civil War by the federal Gov to raise funds for the war. People and businesses would purchase these stamps and the gov would use the proceeds for the war effort of the Union Army.

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After the war ended in 1865 the way they were used changed. The main use of the stamps turned into a new way to tax. The stamps were used to pay tax on goods, mail, and other legal documents.  Businesses also used these stamps to show that a person who purchased an item paid for the item and paid the tax for it. The business would put one of these stamps on the sold item to show the customer paid and did not steal the goods.

The stamps shown here were never used for those specific reason because they were discontinued in 1865, but the federal gov produced other versions of these stamps for those reasons. These specific stamps were sold by the government to raise money fast for the war.

Wood Souvenir from Parris House,  Accession #-DH326

~~ Alexandra Gagnon, Danvers High School 2019

The above object is a engraved piece of wood that is from Reverend Parris household. The stick is engraved with a witch on a broom and three spikes. The writing says “The Salem Witch Trials 1692” and “This wood is from the house of Parson Paris”.

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The reason why it’s from the Parris household is because that’s where the whole witch trials started. The house isn’t standing anymore but the cellar is still there but in that very cellar is where Parris’ daughter Betty and her cousin Abigail Williams first accused their slave Tituba of being a witch.

The girls started experiencing strange fits and complaining of pain in February of 1692, Tituba and her husband John helped a neighbor named Mary Sibley bake a witch cake, a cake made from rye meal and the afflicted girl’s urine, and fed it to a dog hoping it would reveal the name of whoever bewitched the girls. The girl’s “symptoms” took a turn for the worse and just a few weeks after the incident they accused Tituba, Sarah Good and Sarah Osburn of bewitching them. The three women were promptly arrested.

The Salem Witch Trials would have ended with those three arrests but the events of Tituba’s examination by Judge John Hathorne in March sparked a massive witch hunt, in the end more than 200 people were accused of practicing witchcraft (the Devil’s magic) and 20 were executed.

The people who were wrongly executed were: Bridget Bishop (Age: 50s),  Sarah Good (Age: 39), Elizabeth Howe (Age: 57), Susannah Martin (Age: 71), Rebecca Nurse (Age: 71), Sarah Wildes (Age: 65), Reverend George Burroughs (Age: 40s), Martha Carrier (Age: 33), John Willard (Age: about 30), George Jacobs Sr (Age: 72), John Proctor (Age: 61), Alice Parker (Age: unknown), Mary Parker (Age: about 40), Ann Pudeator (Age: 70s), Wilmot Redd (Age: unknown), Margaret Scott (Age: 77), Samuel Wardwell (Age: 49), Martha Corey (Age: 72), Mary Easty (Age: 58), Giles Corey (Age: 71)

Eventually, the colony admitted the trials were a mistake and compensated the families of those convicted.

~~ Alexandra Gagnon, Danvers High School 2019

Wood from Parris House, Danvers
Wood From Rev Parris House

Accession #- DH62 A,B

~~Alexandra Gagnon, Danvers High School Class of 2019

The item pictured to the right is a cup and saucer from the 1790s. It was made on Jan. 27, 1790.  It use to belong to the Israel Adams family of Jaffrey New Hampshire. It was donated to the Danvers historical society in 1890 by Israel’s niece Sarah I. Putnam.

The cup and saucer is made out of porcelain painted blue and white with casual paintings of large Pagoda and trees in the foreground and mountains in the background.

~~Alexandra Gagnon, Danvers High School Class of 2019

Cup and saucer from the 1790s
Cup and saucer from the 1790s

Noah’s Arc

Donated by Alden Goodnow. Alden, you will be missed. Thank you for all of your dedication and hard work to make the Danvers Historical Society what it is and has been.

Beginning in Victorian time when more toys were produced, children in very religious families were not allowed to play with their toys on Sundays, but soon parents bought Noah’s arc toys to be played on Sundays.

Noah's ArK Toy