DERBY STREET HISTORIC DISTRICT
Local historic district established in 1974;
Includes 95 properties on both sides of Derby Street;
Buildings date from 1655 to 1950;
Resources include historic residences, commercial and government buildings, a wharf, and a lighthouse.
History of Derby Street
Derby Street, which runs parallel to Salem Harbor, retains its strong association with Salem’s maritime history during the half century that Salem served as one of the leading ports of entry in the U.S. Many of the district’s buildings, both residential and commercial, are directly associated with the individuals, families, trades and services that flourished as a result of the extensive foreign commerce carried on here in the 1760-1820 period.
On either side of the 1819 Custom House stand houses built for some of Salem's most prominent merchants, including Elias Hasket Derby. Further down Derby Street, the closely-built homes and shops, many dating from the pre-1800 period, accurately convey the intimate character and feeling of a Federal Era coastal community.
This district includes some of Salem's oldest buildings as well as the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, Derby Wharf and Derby Lighthouse. The district also includes one of the nation's most important historic landmarks, The House of the Seven Gables complex with its famed Turner-Ingersoll Mansion (1668) and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s birthplace.