In 1800, Captain Nathaniel West and his wife, Elizabeth, daughter of Elias Haskett Derby, built a grand country estate in South Danvers, Massachusetts (the site of the present-day Northshore Mall). The West marriage ended in a bitter divorce in 1806, Elizabeth retained the house, and then left it to the three West daughters at her death in 1814. The youngest daughter Sarah died unmarried and childless and Nathaniel West inherited one third of the estate – four rooms of the South Danvers house. In 1820-21, he had those rooms cut off the South Danvers house and moved to Chestnut Street thereby making up the front four rooms – the core – of the present house.
The Phillips House Today
The Phillips House has been open to the public since 1973 and is owned and operated by Historic New England (www.HistoricNewEngland.org), the oldest and largest regional preservation organization in the country. The museum is open for tours (Tues-Sun, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., every half-hour, last tour 4p.m.) and are decorated with five generations of Phillips family objects: Federal-era furniture, Chinese export porcelain, ship portraits, and artifacts collected in Hawaii. The tour provides insights into the lives of the Phillips family and their domestic staff, Salem history, and life on historic Chestnut Street. The Hawaiian flag is flown at the Phillips House because Stephen Willard Phillips, who lived here, was born in Hawaii in 1873; his father was in King Kamehameha V’s cabinet.
The Carriage House contains antique carriages and cars owned by family members. The automobiles are:
1929 Model A Ford;
1924 Pierce-Arrow Seven Passenger Touring Car
1936 Pierce-Arrow Limousine.
|A quick snapshot as we toured by on the Salem Trolley today.|
The Phillips House exterior looks like a typical Federal-era house (a style popular from c. 1780 to c. 1825) –elegantly proportioned with a shorter third floor (for perspective), Palladian window (three-part window with arched central light and rectangular side lights), and a hipped roof (uniformly pitched roof). In fact, the
exterior is a combination of Federal architecture and the “antique” look of the early twentieth century
Colonial Revival style, as seen with the 1911/12 columned front porch, front door, and fan light window. The
renovations by the Phillips family in 1911/12 preserved the elegant Federal style fireplaces and proportions to the rooms, but brought modern conveniences to the house, and fashionable early 20th century Colonial
Additional information is available upon request to the site manager, Julie Arrison.
Phillips House 2014 Season
Open: Tuesday-Sunday beginning May 27 and through November 2; Winter Hours are Saturday-Sunday November 8-May 26, 2015; Tours are available from 11:00 – 4:00 and leave on the hour and half-hour, with the last tour at 4:00 p.m.
$4.00 Students and Children (6-12)
June 7: Open House and Ice Cream Social
August 10: 13th Annual Phillips House Car Meet
October 31: Tricks, Treats, and Treasures
Visit www.HistoricNewEngland.org for more information and an up-to-date program list. Like us on facebook www.facebook.com/PhillipsHouseMuseum