John Hale HouseEdit profile
The John Hale House (circa 1694), also known as the Rev. John Hale Farm, is a historic Colonial house located at 39 Hale Street, Beverly, Massachusetts. The house is now operated as a nonprofit museum by the Beverly Historical Society, with period furnishings and a room containing witchcraft-related artifacts. This house was built in 1694, possibly with structural members from an earlier parsonage, by Beverly’s first minister, Rev. John Hale (1636–1700). Hale is now best remembered for playing a significant part in the infamous Salem witch trials in 1692. He had been at the forefront of the prosecutions but underwent a change of heart when his second wife Sarah Noyes Hale was accused of witchcraft. She was not convicted, and shortly thereafter the trials concluded. After his wife's death in 1697, Rev. Hale wrote a book entitled A Modest Inquiry into the Nature of Witchcraft, condemning his colleagues who played leading roles in the trials. Rev. Hale lived in this house until his death on May 15, 1700. Generations of descendants succeeded him in the house, until in 1937 they finally sold it to the Beverly Historical Society & Museum. Over the years the house was much altered from its original state. Additions include a 1745 gambrel-roofed ell facing Hale Street that now contains the main entrance. Descendents of Reverend Hale still remain in Beverly.