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The Pickering House

We are open for regular Sunday tours as of June 4, 2023.

When seeing Salem, start where it all began. The Pickering Foundation welcomes you to an extraordinary place!

It is not only Salem’s oldest House, but also America’s oldest Home: home to a single family for over three and a half centuries; home to carpenters, farmers, patriots, military leaders, deacons, diplomats, linguists, scientists, and statesmen. And as homes will, it changed with the times.

Built in 1660 by settler John Pickering — a carpenter form Coventry, England — and his wife Elizabeth, it was once just a two-room farmhouse on a vast plot of land that ran all the way down to the seaport on the North River, encompassing what is today Chestnut Street and the McIntire District.

Over the next 350 years, the succeeding John Pickerings and their wives added wings, gables, and Gothic peaks. They raised ceilings, extended the roofline, and created the distinctive fence, to evolve into the warm and gracious home it is today.

You are cordinally invited to come and see a piece of Salem history that is very much alive!

Upcoming Events

Sunday Lecture: Introducing “Eastward of Good Hope”

Sunday, January 21, 2024

Professor Dane Morrison, Salem State University Eastward of Good Hope began as a corrective to the long historiography of early American encounters beyond the Atlantic Ocean after the Revolution,” reports Professor Morrison. The breadth of these treatments, traditional and modern, has tended to romanticize “adventurous” travels to the “mysterious Orient” during “a Brilliant Era of […]

12:00 pm at Pickering House: 18 Broad Street, Salem

$20.00 members, $25.00 non-members

Sunday Lecture: Sauntering with Henry David Thoreau and his Salem Friend, John Lewis Russell

Sunday, February 11, 2024

Chris Burke Henry Thoreau and Salem’s John Lewis Russell visited and botanized together in the 1850s. Russell took two trips to Concord and roamed and boated with Thoreau in the Concord woods and on the three rivers of Concord. On September 21,1858 Thoreau came to Salem and stayed with Russell. They took long walks together […]

12:30 pm at Pickering House: 18 Broad Street, Salem

$20.00 members, $25.00 non-members

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Become A Member!

Benefits Include:

  • Participation in Pickering Foundation events, including the Annual Meeting/Open House in June
  • Opportunities for docent-led tours of the House by appointment
  • Special member discounts when you reserve the house for special events
  • Special member discounts when you attend Foundation events

Join Us