John Cabot House and Beverly Historical Society
Constructed in 1781, the John Cabot House is now the headquarters of the Beverly Historical Society. The Cabot family were among the first merchant families in the region, settling in Massachusetts in the 17th century. John Cabot was the son of Joseph and Elizabeth Cabot and his mother moved to Beverly after she became a widow and built a home at Central and Cabot. This stately home was built for the family of her son John in 1781 and was the very first brick mansion in Beverly. The home contains two floors of exhibits related to local and regional history, as well as the Beverly Historical Society's Research Library. Both are open to the public.
Backstory and Context
At the start of the 17th century, the land that became Beverly was part of Naumkeag within the territory of the Agawam Indians. Colonists first arrived in what would become Salem in 1628 and began building homes. By 1635, colonists were building homes in the community that would eventually separate from Salem to become the community of Beverly. The harbor brought merchants to the community and during the Revolution, many of the most influential merchants and privateers who supplied the rebel American army were located in this region of Massachusetts. Beverly was the home of the first ship commissioned by General George Washington. In 1775, it was also the site of a small battle between naval forces and local militia.