The John Cabot House is the headquarters of the Beverly Historical Society, with two floors of rotating exhibits that reflect the breadth and depth of the Society's collections and the rich history of Beverly. The largest exhibit space is in Memorial Hall, originally two bedrooms that were converted into one room that serves as the Society's primary meeting and program space. Bronze panels list the names of all men from Beverly who served in the American Revolution and colonial wars including King Phillip's War; and the first fifty settlers of the community. The panels are just one of the Society's many genealogical resources.
The Cabot House is open for guided tours on Tuesday and Thursday - Saturday, 9:30 am - 4 pm and Wednesday, 1 pm - 9 pm.
Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors/students. Society members, active duty military, and children under sixteen are free.
Emerging from Salem’s Shadow
After the tumultuous years of the second half of the 17th century, filled as they were with political upheaval, Indian wars, and culminating in the witchcraft crises of 1692, the new century must have seemed to local residents like entering a calm port.Although religion remained an important aspect of colonial life, the power of the church in civic life was on the wane. Beverly’s economy remained focused on maritime trades and agriculture, but new trades emerged during the period. Clockmakers, cabinet makers, silversmiths and other artisans created objects for an emerging well-to-do class. A spirit of change and possibility emerged in the 18th century, with profound consequences for our local community and America. Painting by Avis Thomas
From Revolution to Republic
The tumultuous 40 years between 1775 and 1815 included years of war, epidemics, sacrifice and suffering. But they also saw the excitement of the birth of the new nation, with new opportunities both in politics and business.
A Chilly Business
Beverly Bank: An Early American Bank, Est. 1802
Displaying original documents and artifacts, this exhibit uses the history of the bank, which began at the Cabot House, to explore the role of banks in the development of a strong financial system in the United States. The Cabots and their business associates used profits from their highly successful, global trading enterprise to invest in the building of key infrastructure, such as the bridge to Salem, in Beverly and throughout Massachusetts. Original records and physical evidence such as paint still extant in the room evoke an early nineteenth-century American bank.
Items on display include:
- an original portrait of the bank's first president Israel Thorndike,
- a bankers' desk,
- early currency,
- original records of the bank's shareholders and directors,
- scales for weighing gold