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Gedney House, Salem

#15 of 15 in Historic Sites in Salem
Architectural Building · Hidden Gem · Historic Site
The Gedney and Cox Houses are historic houses at 21 High Street in Salem, Massachusetts. The earliest part of the Gedney House was built c. 1665, and the houses were added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1974. They are owned by Historic New England, which offers limited tours.
The Gedney House is a historic Colonial American house, (First Period) estimated to have been constructed circa 1665. It is located at 21 High Street, near the intersection of Summer Street. The Gedney and Cox Houses are operated as a non-profit museum by Historic New England. The house is rarely open to the public, though private tours can be arranged.
The house was built for Eleazor Gedney, a well-to-do shipwright of the Gedney family, married to the sister of John Turner, builder of Salem's House of the Seven Gables. Gedney purchased the unimproved land here in April 1664 close to the shore and the "buildplace" for his boats. He was married in June 1665, and the original portion of the house, two stories with gabled attic to the left and a parlor with lean-to roof to the right was erected at this time. Long-gone extensions at the rear (where some structural evidence survives) were probably original. They were surely in existence at the time of Eleazer's early death in 1683 when an estate inventory mentions the hall, hall chamber, a garret, "parlour or lento" and "lento chambr," and "Kitchin, Loft over it & little leantoo." The latter lean-to was presumably in the rear.
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  • This house is unlike any other historic home we have seen. It is down to bare bones. Our guide, Tom Miller knew so much about Gedney House, we swear he lives there! You’ll see the exposed beams...  more »
  • It's not often you can see something from 1665 especially here in America. The home is kept up pretty well it is on a small Street in the center of town. But worth the drive by if you are in the area  more »
  • The Gedney House was constructed for a prosperous shipwright named Eleazor Gedney. Eleazor was actually brother-in-law to Captain John Turner, who built Salem's House of the Seven Gables. The home was erected shortly before his wedding to the Captain's sister Elizabeth. Eleazor died early in his life in 1683, but his family remained in the home. In 1712, when Gedney's youngest daughter Martha was wed, her husband James moved in and they significantly renovated the property. Martha and James left the improved estate to their only child, a daughter Mary, who's son then sold the property in 1773. He sold it to a Benjamin Cox. A small home just behind the Gedney House was built by Benjamin Cox. It is now used as a residential unit, housing tenants who alert Historic New England's staff of any repairs needed to the home.

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