34 Chestnut Street — Open to the public
A property of Historic New England
Chestnut Street is considered one of the most beautiful streets in America, with its wide layout, magnificent mansions, trees, and gardens. In Salem, we think it is THE most beautiful. Near the head of Chestnut Street is one of only two buildings that are open to the public — the elegant Phillips House.
The following information was provided by Historic New England, which does a wonderful job telling the "upstairs" and "downstairs" stories at the Phillips House:
"The Phillips House tells the story of a well-to-do Chestnut Street household in the years immediately following World War I. The Phillips family cherished their maritime roots, but at the same time embraced elements of the emerging modern era, one of convenience – hot and cold running water, electricity, and the automobile.
Stephen W. Phillips was a lawyer, financial manager, collector and preservationist. His wife, Anna Pingree Wheatland Phillips, ran the household in the modern scientific manner, and was an active traveler and volunteer including for such organizations as the Thread and Needle Society (one of Salem's famously secret sewing circles), the Salem Female Charitable Society, and the Colonial Dames of Massachusetts. Anna Phillips was treasurer for the Special Aid Society for American Preparedness (Salem Branch), a group affiliated with the American Red Cross during World War I.
Anna's son, Stevie, attended the progressive Tower School in Salem. The family also had a staff of domestic servants who where either Irish immigrants or were of Irish descent. There was a cook, Bridget Durgin, a waitress, Delia Cawley, a nursemaid/second floor maid, Katherine Shaughnessy, a chauffeur, Patrick O’Hara and a handyman/groundskeeper, Connie Flynn."
To illustrate the family stories told at the Phillips House is a stunning collection of home furnishings, works of art, and personal items culled from the Phillips family's centuries-old holdings.
And by the way, the site manager is a woman — Julie Arrison!
Earlier on this site
34 Chestnut was also the site of Tabitha Ward's school for girls in the mid-1800s, one of many schools that gave Salem the reputation as a female-friendly place for education
• Phillips House, Historic New England
• Salem Gazette