|The Nathaniel Silsbee House, 94 Washington Square East at Briggs St.|
This three-story brick house was built in 1818/1819 for the shipmaster and U.S. senator from Massachusetts, Nathaniel Silsbee. According to Bryant F. Tolles, Jr., in his book Architecture in Salem when Silsbee's son moved into the house c. 1850, he made extensive changes in the Italian Revival style and so it is difficult to know how the house appeared before that time (29). The changes included the Italianate windows on the facade and the square-columned, balustraded porch (Tolles 30). Silsbee's daughter, Mary Crowninshield Silsbee (1809-1887),an admired beauty often referred to as "The Star of Salem," was more glitter than substance according to James R. Mellow in Nathaniel Hawthorne In His Times.Hawthorne met her around 1837, and he was soon captivated by her. A year later, however, after a series of events that revealed Mary's manipulative and deceitful ways, Hawthorne, as Elizabeth Peabody expressed it, "crushed her."
|(photography by Bruce Hibbard)||close window|