Salem, Massachusetts is a small, historic town with a handful of historic hotels. Although this little city doesn’t have as many historic hotels as a big city like Boston does, it still has a few notable historic accommodations.
The dates of these buildings range from first period homes to early 20th century buildings. Not only are these hotels historic, but many of them are considered the best hotels in the city.
The following is a list of historic hotels, inns and B&Bs in Salem:
The Merchant (Joshua Ward House)
Address: 148 Washington Street, Salem, Mass
Built in 1784, the Merchant Hotel is a boutique hotel located in a brick Federal-style mansion that was once the home of merchant Joshua Ward.
Not only is the building itself historic but the land is as well because it was the site of Sheriff George Corwin’s house in 1692. Ward demolished Corwin’s house when he purchased the land and built the mansion in its place.
The mansion was designed by woodworker and architect Samuel McIntire and was one of the first brick houses in Salem. It features an original McIntire staircase, which is the oldest surviving staircase created by him, as well as a fireplace in the common room with a fireback that is said to have been forged by Paul Revere.
On October 29, 1789, George Washington stayed in the home during his tour of New England and the room he stayed in, the Washington Room, is now named after him. Washington was said to have specifically requested to stay in the house during his trip.
After Ward died in 1825, the mansion was turned into a hotel called The Washington Hotel.
In 1978, the Joshua Ward House was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The house then served as the headquarters of a bookseller during the 1990s until it was turned into a hotel again in 2015.
Address: 18 Washington Square W, Salem, Mass
Built in 1925, the Hawthorne Hotel is a 89-room hotel located in a Colonial-Revival style building that was the largest of its kind in Salem when it was first constructed.
The hotel, which was named after Salem author Nathaniel Hawthorne, was built to accommodate the growing number of tourists in Salem. It was designed by architect Philip Horton Smith and features corner quoins, Palladian windows, and recessed arched windows.
Notable guests who have stayed at the hotel include actress Betty Davis, news anchor Walter Cronkite, General Colin Powell, President George Bush, President Bill Clinton, and New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick.
The hotel was built on a plot of land that was once home to the The Franklin Building, which was a meeting hall for the Salem Marine Society. The society agreed to demolish the hall and sell the land to the hotel under the condition that it build a room on the roof of the hotel where they could hold their meetings. The society continues to hold its meetings in this room, which is actually a replica ship cabin, to this day.
Stepping Stone Inn
Address: 19 Washington Square North, Salem, Mass
Built in 1846, the Stepping Stone Inn is a six-room inn located in a Greek-Revival house that was the home of Customs Officer Abraham True.
The house remained in the True family until 1871 when it was sold to Charles Sewall and was eventually converted into a boarding house in the 1930s.
The house was then converted back into a single family home in the 1950s and then became the Stepping Stone Inn in the 1980s.
Amelia Payson House
Address: 16 Winter Street, Salem, Mass
Built in 1845, the Amelia Payson House is a three-room bed and breakfast located in a Greek Revival house that was once the home of Amelia Payson and her husband, local bank clerk Edward Payson.
This fully restored house features oversized six-over-six windows, a large dining room complete with a fireplace with an African marble mantel as well as cast iron bathtubs. Each room is also furnished with period antiques.
The Amelia Payson House was mentioned in Yankee Magazine as an Editor’s Choice Award and was named as one of the best B&Bs in Salem in Fodor’s Travel.
Daniels House Bed and Breakfast
Address: 1 Daniels St, Salem, Mass
Built between 1667 and 1693, the Daniels House Bed and Breakfast is a four-room bed and breakfast located in a first period house built by mariner Stephen Daniels.
The Daniels House website states it is the oldest bed and breakfast in Salem and in America and it features open hearth fireplaces, paneled walls and exposed beams.
The house stayed in the Daniels family until the mid 1700s when Stephen Daniels II’s daughter Mary married into the Silsbee family and it was inherited by her son, Samuel Silsbee, a carpenter who remodeled and enlarged the house in 1756.
In the mid 1800s, the Silsbee family divided the house into two separate properties and later sold them to two different buyers in the 1860s.
Over the next century, the house was subdivided and served as apartments, a day nursery, a boardinghouse and a tea room until it became a bed and breakfast in 1962.
Morning Glory Bed & Breakfast
Address: 22 Hardy Street, Salem, Mass
Built in 1808, the Morning Glory Bed & Breakfast is a three-room bed and breakfast located in a fully restored Georgian Federal-style home.
In a nod to Salem’s history, the rooms are named after some of the Salem Witch Trials victims and include the Rebecca Nurse Room, the Elizabeth Howe Room and the Sarah Good Suite.
Northey Street House
Address: 30 Northey Street, Salem, Mass
Built in 1809, the Northey Street House is a three-room bed and breakfast located in a Federal-style house that was once the home of a local cabinet maker, Nathaniel Appleton Jr, and his daughter, Suzanna, and son-in-law, Captain Isaiah Woodbury.
Appleton purchased the land that the house sits on from local merchant Abijah Northey shortly before building the house. The house remained in the family well into the 20th century and became a bed and breakfast in 2002.
Coach House Inn
Address: 284 Lafayette St, Salem, Mass
Built in 1879, the Coach House Inn is an 11-room inn located in a Victorian mansion built by local sea captain Ephraim Augustus Emmerton.
Emmerton purchased the land that the house sits on from Charles and Clarence Clark in July of 1879 and built the mansion that same year. Not much else is known about the history of the house.
Henry Derby House
Address: 47 Summer Street, Salem, Mass
Built in 1838. the Henry Derby House is a bed and breakfast located in a historic Greek Revival house that was built for local tailor Henry Derby.
Derby purchased the land that the house sits on from merchant Robert Brookhouse in October of 1838 shortly before he built the house.
The house didn’t stay in the Derby family for long because Henry sold it in 1840 to Thomas Downing. Downing lived in the house for a number of years before he sold it to Ebenezer Putnam.
The Putnam family owned the home until 1899 when it was sold to Sarah Pickering. The Pickering family owned the house until 1960 when it was sold to Frank and Margaret Rizzotti. The house continued to change owners many times until it was turned into a bed and breakfast sometime in the late 20th century.
Fidelia Bridges Guest House
Address: 90 Essex Street, Salem, Mass
Built in 1808, the Fidelia Bridges Guest House is a three-room guest house located in a historic Federal-style house that was once home to artist Fidelia Bridges.
In the late 1980s, the house was converted into a guest house called the, “Suzannah Flint House.”
In 2003, the Hawthorne Hotel purchased the guest house and changed its name to the Fidelia Bridges Guest House in 2011.
If you want to learn about more historic sites in Salem, check out this article on the Salem Heritage Trail.
“History of the Hawthorne Hotel.” Hawthorne Hotel, hawthornehotel.com/history/
“47 Summer Street, Salem, Mass.” Historic Salem Inc, hsihousehistory.omeka.net/items/show/184
“284 Lafayette Street, Salem, Mass.” Historic Salem Inc, hsihousehistory.omeka.net/items/show/418
“History.” Northey Street House, northeystreethouse.com/history
Mofatt, David. “House History.” Daniels House, danielshousesalem.com/about
Foster, Barbara. “Home Profiles: Great Greek Revivals in Salem.” Wicked Local Salem, 29 June. 2015, salem.wickedlocal.com/article/20150629/NEWS/150626637?template=ampart
“The Inn.” Stepping Stone Inn, thesteppingstoneinn.com/about-the-inn
“Hawthorne Hotel Reaches a Major Milestone.” North Shore Magazine, 26 Jan. 2010, nshoremag.com/community-news/hawthorne-hotel-reaches-a-major-milestone/
Roth, Charlotte. “The Merchant in Salem.” North Shore Magazine, 2 May. 2016, nshoremag.com/community-news/the-merchant-in-salem/
“The Coach House.” s3.amazonaws.com/omeka-net/28828/archive/files/f6f17a986b3d75de58da128c03266981.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAI3ATG3OSQLO5HGKA&Expires=1605744000&Signature=MwSkfJ68ZkrjOHQpx%2BVSq%2FV5BJM%3D