The Derby Summer House

The Derby Summer House (sometimes called the McIntire Tea house) was designed by Samuel McIntire for Elias Haskett Derby of Salem in 1793 and was constructed by McIntire in July 1794 on Derby’s farm on Andover Street (Route 114) in Danvers (now Peabody).  The farm was located where Route 114 now intersects Route 128 and included the area that is now the North Shore Mall and an equal amount of land on the other side of route 128.

Read more

Samuel McIntire was Salem’s most prominent woodcarver, house builder and cabinetmaker during the Federal period in American Architecture (1790-1825).  Likewise, Elias Haskett Derby was Salem’s most prominent merchant.  His ships were the first to land in Canton, China to buy spices, silks, porcelains, lacquer ware and other goods.

From the diary of a young lady who visited the Derby Farm in July 1802, we know that the Summer House sat in the center of a garden filled with rare plants and trees.  The arch was open without the lattice doors on it today.  She wrote of going up the stairs to the room above, “The air from the windows is always pure and cool and the eye wanders with delight over the beautiful landscape below…  The room is ornamented with some Chinese figures and seems calculated for serenity and peace.”  It is probable that the building was used more often as a place to cool off from the summer heat and to view the garden, than as a place to drink tea.

In 1901, Ellen Peabody Endicott (Mrs. William Crowninshield Endicott, Sr.), purchased the Summer House and had it moved to Glen Magna Farms, a distance of four miles. It was so well built that not even the plaster cracked during the move. At the same time, however, it had only one figure on the roof—The Reaper. After a twenty year search, the Milkmaid was found again on a mill building in Andover, badly damaged by fire. An exact duplicate was carved spring of 1924, she was placed back in her original position. The original Milkmaid is now in the collection of the Peabody Essex Museum of Salem. The original Reaper fell off in a storm in 1981. It too, was reproduced and the original is in the collection of the Danvers Historical Society.

The Derby Summer House is unique. There is no other extant building like it in the United States today. McIntire did design a second summer house—for Derby’s son’s farm—but only a painting remains to show what it looked like. Aside from its rarity, the Summer House is important because it represents American Federal architecture at its finest. The Federal style was based on the work of the Scottish architect Robert Adam who studied private homes in ancient Rome, especially at Pompeii and Herculaneum. Walk around the Summer House and notice the delicate columns, the festoons above the second story windows and the runs on the roof, all carved by McIntyre himself. Check the dramatic scale and careful details of the Reaper and the Milkmaid, carved for McIntire by John and Simon Skillin of Boston. Look at the building from across the garden and observe the perfect proportions. Remember, that it was all made by hand more than two hundred years ago. Louise Thoron Endicott (Mrs. William Crowninshield Endicott, Jr.) willed the Derby Summer House to the Danvers Historical Society in 1958.

Photos of interior needed >

Help Restore the Derby Summer House!

Please help us MATCH a pledge from the Essex National Heritage Commission.

Please donate today by mailing your donation to Danvers Historical Society, Derby Summer House, PO Box 381, Danvers, MA 01923. Or, you may donate using PAYPAL.

Thank you for your support!  PLEASE ASK your EMPLOYER about MATCHING GIFTS – Thank You!

We lose this source of funds if we do not MATCH the Essex Heritage  pledge.

Read More

Thank you to those who helped us MATCH the $50,0000 pledge from the Massachusetts Historical Commission:

SAMUEL McINTIRE FELLOW
$5,000 or more
Maryann and Donald Kowalski
David McIntire
North Shore Bank

ELIAS HASKET DERBY SOCIETY
$1,000 or more
Sheila Cooke-Kayser
Linda Coulson
Cheryl Dyment
Karen and Thomas Guidi
Selina Little
David P. McKenna
Martha and Thomas Page
Mollie and O.D. Taylor
Ann Thoron Hale

WILLIAM C. ENDICOTT PARTNERS
$500 or more
Roger and Valerie Carmody
Ann Thoron Hale
Marjorie Huse
Richard and Christine Moody
Marian and George Saluto
Debbi and Kevin Tierney
Richard and Ethel Trask

MARY CHAMBERLAIN CARNEGIE CIRCLE
$250 or more
Martha and Ralph Ardiff
Mark Brennan
Paula and Don Gates
John and Joline Hentschel
Christine and Anthony S. Patton
Hugh Williams

FRIEND of the DERBY SUMMER HOUSE
$100 or more
Ingrid and Tom Barry
Mary Gordon
Louann and Gregory Basillio
Beth Beringer
Trudy Cullen
Kate Day
Maria and Jim Dobbins
Bruce Eaton
Gail Eaton
Myrna Fearer
Janice Flynn
Ann and Bill Fouhey
Susan Goldsmith
Marion Graves
Alan Hartnett
Phyllis Jones
Sandra Lane
Jean Lewis
Edna McLaughlin
Audrey and Roger Michaud
Terry and Michael E. Morris
Kevin Riley
Martin Rogosa
Eleanor Ross
Kathy and Jim Sheridan
Gretchen Sinnett and Joe McMaster
Sharon Taskey
Peter & Gail Torkildsen
George Watson
Nathan Dane Woodbury
Carla VanBennekom

THANK YOU EVERYONE !
We are getting closer to our goal !
Linda Bouchard
Barbara & Robert Coleman
Marsha Coogan
John Doyle
Sue Dropo
Bobbie Gifford
Jonathan Gilbert
Sheila Moulton and Kevin Kelly
Sally Kerans
Philip Krajewski
Peter LaChapelle,
Fraternity Lodge #118 IOOF
Diane Langlais
Corinne Manning
Kay Maurice
Mary and Kevin McCarthy
Paul Meinerth
Kathryn Morris
Eileen Orlando
Robert and Jacqueline Pariseau
Pamela and Steven Porter
Lorraine Robinson
Eileen Russell
Norma and Robert Sosnowski
MaryAnn and David Tapparo
Joan and Emery Todd
Diana Topjian
Kristen Webb
Sidney Williams

Derby Summer House

Events / Programs / Tours

Glen Magna Farms gardens & grounds, 29 Ingersoll Street, are open to the public from 9 AM until dusk, Monday – Friday. In addition, we are open Saturday and Sunday, 9 AM – Noon, unless closed for a private function.

The mansion and gardens are available for weddings and functions. Please call 978.774.9165 or visit glenmagnafarms.org for more information.

The interior of the Derby Summer House is not available for tours. Visitors are welcome to tour the Gardens from 9 AM until dusk, Monday – Friday. Saturday & Sunday from 9 AM to Noon, unless otherwise posted for a private event.

Suggested Admission: A $2.00 donation is appreciated for self-guided tours of the grounds only.

Seasonal group guided tours (20 or more) are available by appointment. Please call 978.774.9165 for reservations and prices.

Seasonal guided lunch tour (10 person minimum) of the Endicott mansion and gardens is offered May – October, and includes a boxed lunch. Reservations are required by the previous Friday. Please call 978.774.9165. The cost is $20 per person. Wednesdays only, 11 AM, rain or shine.

There are many other special events and tours going on at Glen Magna Farms—check them on our calendar!

 

Photos of events needed >