History
Timeline

Edited and Compiled by Bill Purdin
(An on-going project. If you would like to
make a correction or an addition, let us
know.)

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"And, on the eighth day, God created Marblehead."
-- traditional beginning of almost any yarn about the Good Old Town.
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1700 - 1800 - 1900 - 2000

1615 In a war with the Tarrantines, the Naumkeags and their Chief, Nanepashemet, are defeated.
1619 Nanepashemet is killed at Mystic and his widow, Squaw Sachem of Saugus, succeeds him.
1620 December 21st: First settlers land at Plymouth Rock, actually at Clark's Island across the harbor.
1621 A party from Plymouth found the Great Forts of Nanepashemet, one of which was in Marblehead, near Forest River (Leggs Hill Road), and perhaps the home of Nanepashement
1622 Thomas Graye begins fishing and trading operations in the region.
1625 Doliber is living in a "hogshead" on a beach on Peach's Point, according to legend, becoming Marblehead's traditionally honored "first" settler, however...
1628 Other than the Doliber legend, probably the most likely first resident of the Town was Thomas Graye whose house by 1631 was scheduled to be "pud downe and that noe Englishe man shall hereafter giue howseroome to him or intertaine him, under such penalty as the Court thinke meete to inflicte." Graye was engaged in fishing and trading throughout the Cape Ann region since 1622 with what became known as Marblehead as his base of operations.
1629 Town is settled, records established. Isaac Allerton sets up the first fishing plantation.
1630 -- Englishman John Peach settles on Peach's Point, which for almost 250 years afterward was used for farming.
-- John Withrop becomes Governor of the Colony
1631 -- September: Isaac Allerton, one of the most prominent men of the Plymouth Colony, having had some diffiulty with his associates, set sail in the White Angel for Marble-Harbor. His son-in-law, Moses Maverick accompanied him.
1632 Marblehead first produces an entire shipload of cured fish for export to Europe
1633 --Moses Maverick officiates at a Christian burial to John and James, the first and second sons of Nanepashemet
--July 2nd: The first mention of the name "Marblehead" in the Colonial records "July 2, 1633, James White is ffine xxxs for drunkeness by him comitted att Marblehead, on the Sabbath day. John Bennet is ffined xs for being drunke at Marblehead. Their true residency, however, was not established by the records.
1634 Oath of the Freeman in Massachusetts is approved as a precise and noble declaration of a colonial citizen's duties and rights. Marblehead did not subscribe to its clauses which excluded Quakers, Catholics, dissentors and irreligious.
1635 Marblehead is declared a separate plantation, then this was reversed the next year, returning the Town to Salem.
August: Reverend John Avery set sail to Marblehead from Newbury, to become the Town's first pastor, after declining Marblehead's first invitation. The vessel, owned by Isaac Allerton, was destroyed by a storm on the way.
1636 -- The building of a college was proposed for Marblehead in the vicinity of Mr. Humphrey's farm, between the "Clifte and Forest River. Instead, Harvard was built in Cambridge.
-- The first Colonial slave ship is constructed in Marblehead, The Desire. It was 120 tons and the third ship built in the Colonies. Captained by William Pierce. The ship and its Marblehead crew set a new record to London of 23 days.
-- Land was established from Darby Fort to Hogsties (20 pole into the land) for a Town Commons.
-- The Pequot War. The Puritans and their indian friends attempted to destroy the fierce Pequots (who were alligned with the well-armed English) in a savage and destructive war. Marblehead and its friendly Naumkeags were not involved, or very little.
1637 -- The Fort Darby Ferry begins service to Salem.
-- January: Salem assesses a "tax" on Marblehead residents of 8 pounds each. At this time there 24 residents identified in the records.
1638 Old Burial Hill established. 600 casualties of the Revolutionary War were later buried there.
-- September 6th: Moses Maverick is permitted to sell a "tun of wine at Marblehead, and not to excede this yeare."
-- Mr. William Walton began is ministries, without ordination.
-- A Meeting House was erected on "Old Hill" and services began and a burial ground around it was established.
1640 -- Arthur Sanden was allowed to establish an "ordinary" in Marblehead, and then in 1641 to keep a "victualling house," probably the First Public House.
-- Marblehead inhabitants were granted "all such lands near adjoining them as have not been formerly granted to other men."
1641 Marblehead is given permission by Salem to layout its own acreage with the approval of a Salem appointee
1644 -- David Curwithin elected first constable of Marblehead
-- General Court allows Marblehead to fortify and directs that "two guns to be delivered unto them with convenient ammunition thereto. Gale's Head becomes the site of Fort Sewall
1645 The "Plain Farm" is purchased for grazing by the leaders of Marblehead, persuading William Walton to stay, createing a financial resource for the Town, and reinforcing the power of the group under the leadership of Moses Maverick and John Peach, Sr.
1648 -- First Town Meeting held
-- Tuesday, December 22nd: the first Marbehead Board of Selectmen meeting
1649 -- May 2nd: Incorporation Day. Salem's Town Meeting concedes full independence to Marblehead, pending approval of the General Court.
-- King Charles I is beheaded.
1658 Town taxes are collected by Mr. William Walton
1660 -- The King's agents declare Marblehead to be "...the greatest towne for fishinge in New England."
-- There are 16 houses in the "entire township"
-- Hugh Peters, living in the Devereux area, leaves for England to join the Cromwell forces, advocating the overthrow of the King and beheading him. Captured, sentenced to death, "drowned after a hurdle"
-- John Codner urges the formation of a Town Wharf at the (now) State Street Landing
-- April: Marblehead Salem road is first laid out
1662 Town Wharf (State Street Landing) is set aside as a "Common Landing place."
1680 The Three Cod is constructed near the corner of Glover Square and Front Street.
1684 -- July 14th: At a meeting of the commoners and proprietors of Marblehead James Quannapowit laid claim to all lands in Marblehead and argued that the town was giving out land that rightfully belonged to him. A committee composed of Moses Maverick, John Devereux, Captain Samuel Ward, Theodore Riddan, William Beale, Thomas Pitman, Richard Reed, and Nathaniel Walton plus the Selectmen found in favor of James Quannapowit's title claim. The committee empowered Ward and Devereux to negotiate "reasonable terms" and to obtain a lawful deed of sale. Developing political problems with the English government over the colony's charter, claims of royal land ownership, Quannapowit's seemingly clear legal claim, and memories of the all-too-recent war with King Philip were excellent reasons to enter into a rapid settlement.
-- July 18th: Inhabitants of Marblehead "procured" (for a pittance) a deed of their township from the heirs of Winnepoykin, who married Ahawayet, daughter of Poquamum of Nahant. Winepoykin was the third son of Nanepashemet, and was also known as "No Nose" George. This "procurement" was a hurry-up situation to avoid land issues caused by the British rescinding of the famous Massachusetts Bay Charter. (Doliber)
-- September 16th: A deed of sale was marked and signed by the rightful heirs of Nanepashemet: James Quannapowit (his grandson); Ahawayet (his daughter-in-law); Sarah and Susannah Wenepoykin (his granddaughters); Israel and Joan Quannapowit, David Nonoponowgo, and Jonathan Tonotuoughoqione (his great-grandchildren). The township of three thousand seven hundred acres was sold for sixteen pounds, current money of New England, and the deed was duly registered in Essex County. (Doliber) The Town ownership is "signed, sealed, and delivered" under Govenor Simor Bradstreet (Charles II reign)
-- The First Church of Christ (Congregational) was formally organized with Reverend Samuel Cheever as pastor, first meeting house was on Burial Hill. The second meeting house was on Franklin Street (1695) and then the Old North Church on Washington Street, its present location, in 1824.
1688 Marblehead's fishing season produced 8,400,000 of fish worth £37,000 sterling.ß
1690 "Black Joe's" Tavern built, named for a freed black slave. His wife, Aunt Crese, developed the lily-pad- shaped molasses and giner cookies knowns as "Joe Froggers" that everybody loved, and loves still.
1692 -- Wilmott "Mammy" Redd hanged on Gallows Hill in Salem on September 22nd as a unconfessed witch during Salem's sad period of hysteria. Many townspeople witnessed the execution. Margaret Scot was the only other Marblehead resident killed as a witch. It wasn't until the year 2002 that this horendous act was finally renounced by the Commonwealth.
1693 Colonial Depression begins and continues until roughly 1700
1699 -- May 2nd: Marblehead celebrates its 50th Anniversary of Incorporation.
 

Top - 1700 - 1800 - 1900 - 2000

1701 The "Golden Age of Trade" begins (1701-1775)
1714 -- St. Michael's Episcopal Church, 26 Summer Street, built. After the reading of the Declaration Of Independence, local patriots stormed into the closed church, ripped the royal coat of arms from its place of honor, and rang the bell until it cracked. Paul Revere eventually recast the bell.
-- Teachers salaries paid for the first time from taxes
1715 "Old Spite House" built for Robert Wood at the interesection of Orne and Gas House Lane. Three fishermen Graves brothers, were famous for ignoring and spiting each other.
1727 -- Old Town House built
-- Children paid for classes in the Town's first official building
-- "King" Hooper Mansion built (competed in 1745)
-- October: A severe storm washed away and greatly damaged River Head Beach. The damage was so great that the town could not afford the expense of repairing it, and at a town meeting held shortly afterwards it was voted to petition the General Court for help, "praying the care of the Province therein."
-- October: Earthquake hits the North Shore
1728 -- Sunday, March 17th: First Town Meeting held in the "new" Town House.
1730 One of the darkest years in Marblehead's history. Small-pox devastates the Town for the next year, and while the numbers of those killed by the virulent disease are not recorded, every family in Town was affected, and all but two members of the Board of Selectmen were killed, resulting for the first time in a history a special election being called by a Justice of the Peace to replace the fallen members.
1731 -- March 31st: Marblehead petitions and wins the right from the General Court to establish a separate jail of its own, to solve the problem of "many strangers and Seafaring men from other parts of the world coming and residing there who often prove ill-minded, disorderly person and disturbers of the peace."
1732 -- February 22nd: George Washington is born into a Virginia planter family
-- November 5th: John Glover is born to Jonathan and Yabitha (Bacon)
1742 -- The fortification built on Gale's Head by the federal government, under the direction of Sir Harry Franklin, collector of the Port of Boston, is completed.
1744 July 17: Elbridge Gerry born, third Vice President of the United States under James Madison, 1812-1814, signer of the Declaration of Independence.
1745 Marblehead vessels and mariners participate in the Louisburg Expedition where American colonial forces took the French fortress there.
1749 -- May 2nd: Marblehead celebrates its 100th Anniversary of Incorporation.
1751 March 19th: The fire department of Marblehead is first organized, by a vote accepting the gift of Robert Hooper's fire engine, the "Friend," and the establishment of a "Board of Firewards."
1752 March: The town passes an ordinance against "pitching pennies" and for children under fourteen, the vote holds the parents responsible for the fines.
1753 Robert "King" Hooper gives the Town its first fire equipment, a hand-pumper, named "Friend."
1754 -- John and Hannah (Gale) Glover are married. Over the next 17 years they have 11 children.
1755 Powder House built at 35 Green Street, as a storage facility for ammunition and arms during the French and Indian War (1754-1763). Only one of three pre-Revolutionary buildings of its type in existence in America. The design was intended to allow an explosion to send the rounded flying without destroying the curved, double walls.
-- November 18th: An earthquake hits the seacoast from Nova Scotia to Chesapeake Bay, causing extensive damage. Dr. Edward Augustus Holyoke, of Salem, describes it as follows: At 4h. 15m. we were awakened by a greater earthquake than has ever been known in this country. Tops of chimneys and stone walls were thrown down, and clocks stopped by the shake. I thought of nothing less than being buried instantly in the ruins of the house." Interesting to historians of Marblehead might be the coincidence of this earthquake hitting Marblehead and Lisbon, for one person almost killed in the Lisbon side of the quake was none other than our famous Sir Harry Franklin. And also interestingly, Agnes Surriage, saved his life by phyiscally digging him out of the crushed carriage in which he and a dead female companion were trapped. It was this event in the life of Sir Harry Franklin that caused deep introspection about the life of self-immersion he had been living and ultimately resulted in his marriage proposal to Agnes, finally granting the humble Marblehead girl the status and respect she so richly deserved. (see Road's History, Chapter V)
1758 Benjamin Franklin, then Colonial Deputy Postmaster, appoints Woodward Abraham Postmaster of Marblehead.
1762 -- Robert Hooper gives the Town its first fire engine
Marblehead streets are first officially identified by the Board of Selectmen, many names associated with England.
1763 -- May: the Town pump sunk at the northeast end of the Town House.
-- August 2nd: Market of Market Square opened in the lower level of the Town House.
-- King George III ascends to the English throne
1765 -- November 1: Parliament enacts the Stamp Act, despite widespread opposition in the colonies, to raise revenues for British military operations in America. The measure was passed without debate.
-- William H. Shepard's apothecary shop built at 98 Washington Street. The store remained in business as an apothecary into the 1950's.
1768 -- The Jeremiah Lee Mansion built at 161 Washington Street. Visitors to the mansion included George Washington, James Munroe, Andrew Jackson, and the Marquis de Lafayette. The three-storied mansion measures about 10,000 square feet, and the sixteen rooms of various dimensions contain twelve working fireplaces and eleven closets. There is a full attic and a large cellar of brick and granite.
-- Nine Marblehead vessels, with their crews, were lost at sea.
1769 -- Fourteen Marblehead vessels, with their crews, were lost at sea. In two years 122 men and boys were lost
-- April 17th: The brig Pitt Packet of Marblehead, Captain Thomas Powers, is boarded near Cape Ann by a British gun boat, in an attempt to impress the crew. A "desperate encounter" ensued over the next three hours. The British sustained one fatality and were forced to withdraw.
1771 Twin lighthouses at Thatcher Island are lighted.
1773 December 16th: three companies of 50 men each, masquerading as "Mohawks," passed between the protecting lines of a tremendous crowd of spectators, went aboard three ships of the East India Tea Company, broke open the 342 tea chests, and the contents into the harbor. As the electrifying news of the Boston "Tea Party" spread, other seaports followed the example and held tea parties of their own.
1774 Janaury: a band of fearful and angry Marbleheaders burn the smallpox hospital on Cat Island to the ground.
1775 -- February 26th: a regiment of British soldiers, under the command of Colonel Leslie, commander of the British 64th Regiment of Foot, were ordered to capture the eight cannons stored on Salem's North Fields. 250 men disembarked at Holman's Cove in Marblehead at around 2 o'clock in the afternoon. Marbleheaders, led by Major John Pedrick (who knew Leslie personally), rang the alarm in Salem and together with those citizens ultimately confronted the British on the North Bridge in Salem. Colonel Leslie demanded that the bridge, which was up on the far side, be lowered. But the locals refused, knowing that Pedrick's forces were on the way. Colonel Leslie ordered his men to fire. But Captain John Felt of the Salem militia informed the Colonel that the British troops had no right to fire and if they did, they would all be killed. Incidentally, Frank Benson and Joseph Whicher during all of this sank two barges nearby so the British couldn't use them to cross. When British soldiers poked their bayonets at them, the two men flippantly bared their chests in the frigidly cold New England air. Whicher actually received a superficial wound, drawing the first blood of the American Revolution. The situation drew out over the afternoon, all the while word was that thousands of patriots were on the way. And agreement was ultimately reached where the draw was lowered and the British allowed to march about 165 yards into the North Salem before turning around and returning to Marblehead, on the way constant disparaged by residents with catcalls and insults. The British returned to Marblehead, led by their fifers playing "The World's Turned Upside Down," (the same tune palyed at Lord Cornwallis' surrender at Yorktown in 1781. Unable to seize the cannons in Danvers that were the object of their invasion, Colonel's Leslie's reputation was protected by his friends in high places as reflected in Lord Dartmouth's report to Governor Gage: "The places [the cannons] were said to be concealed in were strictly searched, but no artillery could be found; and we have since discovered that there had only been some old ship guns, which had been carried away from Salem some time ago."
-- April 17th: The famous, "Leslie's Retreat" occurred. Lt. Colonel Alexander Leslie,
-- April 19th: Growing rebellion against the British repression and harassment explodes into war in Lexington and Concord.
-- Jeremiah Lee, a staunch patriot, served as a colonel in the local regiment and a member of important provincial political committees. He contracted a fatal fever while evading British troops in a field near Lexington on April 19, 1775.
-- Allegedly shots fired from the British frigate Lively struck the side of the Three Cod Tavern on Front Street.
-- June 16th: Captain Samuel Russell Trevett, leads the Marblehead Company at the Battle of Bunker Hill.
-- September 2: The Hannah was commissioned,
-- September 5: The Hannah sails as the first American Naval vessel under the ownership of John Glover and with Nicholson Broughton as Captain, crewed by Marbleheaders.
-- October: Marbleheader John Manley (Russell) in command of the schooner Lee capatures the British ship Nancy and brings her into Boston laden with 31 tons of muskets and ammunition, including cannons and cannon balls.
-- October 10, the Hannah encounters HMS Nautilis in Beverly Harbor. She was run aground while fleeing from HMS Nautilus, a 16-gun sloop. Saved from destruction by spirited resistance from local patriots, she was soon decommissioned by Washington, who had meanwhile hired vessels more appropriate to the Army's needs.
-- December 13th: HMS Lively, HMS Nautilus, and HMS Hinchinbrook appeared off the coast of Marblehead terrifying residents who expected the ships to level the Town as they had in Falmouth, Maine. Women and children were evacuated and the men manned Fort Sewall, even though there war no powder. Pretending their guns were armed and ready the Marbleheaders bluffed the British into retreat. (This entry is based on an article in the Salem Evening News, 12/20/04 by Jim McAllister.
-- December 22nd: a Continental naval fleet was organized, in Marblehead of course, for the first time.
1776

-- Marblehead's population of 4,386 was one of the largest in the Colonies.
-- January to July: Glover's Regiment is charged with improving fortifications in Beverly and guarding that important city.
-- May 19th: Captain James Mugford dies during a naval engagement in Boston Harbor. The British transport, "Hope," heavily laden with guns and ammunition, was taken by Mugford and his crew, as a prize into Boston. Leaving the harbor, the Franklin went aground,and was attacked by 200 armed sailors in boats from the nearby British fleet. The heroic crew beat off the attack with guns, pikes and cutlasses, causing the British to suffer a loss of 70 men. But during the fight, Captain Mugford was killed. Later that month, the schooner "Franklin" sails into Marblehead bearing his body.
-- July 20th: Reordered and renamed the 14th Continental Regiment, Glover's Regiment is ordered to march to New York to join General Sullivan's Brigade.
-- Mid August: Glover's Regiment is ordered to join Washington's Continental Army in New York just prior to the Battle of Long Island.
-- August 29th: 10:00 p.m. Glover Regiment begins the evacuation of Washington's army from Long Island and saves the army in less than 10 hours of skillful rowing and sailing in arduous conditions, avoiding being cut off by a stunned British force of 10 frigates and 20 gunboats and sllops of war. Had the evacuation failed, Washington's Army, Glover's Regiment and the American Revolution might easily have been lost, according to historians.
-- October: Glover was again called upon by the Commander-In-Chief to help the Continentals escape. During Washington's retrest from Harlem Heights, Glover's clever deployment of his men saved the Army from a vastly superior British force at Pelham Bay.
-- December 25th: At about 10:00 p.m. Washington begins the crossing of the Deleware with his ragtag army of 2000 soldiers and attacks 1200 Hessian mercenaries at Trenton again assisted and rowed by General John Glover and his famous Marblehead Regiment, saving the army and the revolution for the second time. Afterwards Colonel Glover was promoted to General.

1782 General John Glover retires and moves to estate of William Browne at the border of Marblehead and Swampscott.
1783 September 3: Colonies victorious, Revolutionary War ends.
1784 Lafayette visits Marblehead for the first time.
1787 September 17th: The Constitution is completed and signed by a majority of the delegates at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia. Elbridge Gerry eloborates his eleven reasons for not signing, despite being one of the few delegates present to have signed both the Declaration of Independence and the Articles of Confederation. His participation and hesitation, along with others, to cede to a federal government individual and states "basic rights" led to the inclusion of the Bill of Rights and the ultimate ratification.
1788 June 21st: The Constitution of the United States goes into effect
1789 -- January 7th: First National election held
-- April 30th: George Washington is sworn in as the first President Of The United States on the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York City.
-- October 29th: President George Washington and Marquis de Lafayette visit Marblehead to thank the Town for its Revolutionary War sacrificies. "May your prosperity, in the preservation of that liberty so gloriously purchased, ever venerate the memory of their ancestors." -- Lafayette. Washington especially wanted to visit his retired General John Glover, now a Selectman, who led the crowds of people welcoming the President. In his message of thanks to Marblehead he wrote, "Your attachment to the Constitution of the United States is worthy of men, who fought and bled for freedom, and know its value."
-- Marblehead Academy built at 44 Pleasant Street, the first school building. The original structure was razed in 1879, and a new brick building built on the site.
1790 -- Robert "King" Hooper dies. The nickname applied to him, not so much, apparently, for his stately style of living as for his fairness and integrity in dealing with the sailors who manned his ships. His served on the Board of Selectmen in 1760 and as Town Moderator. He married four times and had eleven children (all with his first wife, the sister of Mrs. Jeremiah Lee). He was a loyalist forced to leave during revolution and lost all of his holdings and businesses. Died bankrupt.
-- The Town is beginning to think about improvements of Great Harbor Beach, which by this time is commonly called the Causeway. Sometime around 1727 had received some funding for a seawall. But access to the "Great Necke" was still subject to disruption. The state granted $4000 for the repair of the Causeway, to be repaid through a local lottery.
1791 December 15th: Bill Of Rights ratified.
1793 First Marblehead U. S. Post Office established, Thomas Lewis, Postmaster.
1794 August 25th: Town Meeting cedes the fort to the United States of America, Justice of the Peace Samuel Sewall was present at the release.
1795 September 7th: Benjamin Abbot born in Marblehead to his father Bejamin Abbot, a master mariner, and his mother, Marcia Martin. With the sad death of his mother, Benjamin steered his life away from his father's plans for him on the high seas towards a trade: barrel-making. Neither discouraged nor deterred by the fires the destroyed his shop he continued on his path towards success. He ultimately married, Olive Welch of New Hampshire, and as she died after 40 years of marriage, is quoted as saying that, "There was never an unkind word between us." When he died a wealthy man on Sepetember 29, 1872 at the age of 77, he left $14,800 to missionary and educational institutes, $70,000 to 62 relatives and friends, and, most significantly, nearly $100,000 to the Town of Marblehead, for the erection of a building, named after him, for the use of the Town's residents. He simply said of the reason for his generosity to Marblehead, "It was my birthplace."
1796 June 6th: Azor Orne dies and is entombed in the Green Street cemetery.
September 19th: Washington refuses a third term as President and gives his farewell address.
1797 -- John Marchant gave the Town $937 to help the poor of Marblehead and the Town ultimately built two schoolhouses, one named after him.
-- January 30th: General John Glover dies, age 65, living his final years as a cordwainer. A statue by the Irish-born sculptor Martin Milmore adorns Commonwealth Avenue Mall in Boston since 1875.
1798 Baker's Island light erected.
1799 -- May 2nd: Marblehead celebrates its 150th Anniversary of Incorporation.
-- December 14th: George Washington dies at Mount Vernon three years after retiring. The cause of his death may have been strep throat. The nation mourned his death for months.
 

Top - 1700 - 1800 - 1900 - 2000

1802 Captain Thomas Peach dies as a well-beloved centenarian.
1804 The Marblehead Bank purchased the Lee Mansion and owned it for almost a full century.
1807 USS Chesapeake is attacked by British ship Leopard near the capes of Virginia. In a town meeting on July 11,th the residents of Marblehead declared their support and resolved to assist the cause.
I808 -- Because of his failure to aid another vessel in distress during a Gale, Skipper Floyd "Flud" Ireson, Captain of the Betty, was tarred and feathered by the Townspeople. John Greenleaf Whittier commemorated this event in his 1857 poem, "Skipper Ireson's Ride." Also, this event is depicted in Will H. Low's 1881 painting, "Here's Floyd Ireson."
-- The Gun Artillery House, a federal period arsenal, was built at 45 Elm Street
1809 The Marblehead Light Infantry was formed.
1814 -- Fort at Gale's Head was named Fort Sewall in honor of local official Samuel Sewall, who became the Chief Justice of Massachusetts
-- Elbridge Gerry dies. A patrician patriot, Gerry was the Town's representative to the first Continental Congress, a signer of the Declaration of Indendence, and a govenor of Massachusetts. He died in office while Vice President under James Madison. He said, "It is the duty of every man though he may have but one day to live to devote that day to the good of his country."
-- Sunday, April 3rd: HMS Tenedos and HMS Junon, powerful British warships, chase USS Constitution to Marblehead, and then turn away before the guns of Fort Sewall could bear down upon them. Constitution was saved from certain destruction. Samuel Green, one of the Marbleheaders on board, was actually at the helm and piloted Constitution safely into Marblehead Harbor. Green Street is named in his honor.
-- June 23rd: the vessel Arnold Sears, belonging to Marbleheader Captain Thomas Martin, is shipwrecked off Baker's island.
1824 -- The names of Marblehead's main streets were changed by vote of Town Meeting. For example, Ye Queen' Highway became Washington Street, and King Street became State Street.
-- Lafayette visits Marblehead for the last time as an old man.
1825 Old North Congregational Church, 41 Washington Street, built.
1830 March 13th: The Marblehead Register, Marblehead's first local paper publishes its first edition. Publisher was Mr. Henry Blaney.
Oliver Wendell Holmes writes, "Old Ironsides," which is credited with saving USS Constitution from being scuttled.
1831 -- Grand Bank founded, named for the fishing territory off Newfoundland where so many Marblehead fisherman made their living.
-- August 30th: Town votes to build a 20 foot lighthouse on the rocky point of Marblehead Neck. The light was a burning flame fuel by whale oil. The keeper had to carry the oil to the lighthouse, polish the reflectors (lenses came into being in the 1860's), and pull the shades during the day.
1832 -- Old Town House raised high on a granite foundation.
-- Second Congregational Church built at 28 Mugford Street
-- President Andrew Jackson visits Marblehead in the wake of his successful campaign and Marblehead's role.
1833 St. Stevens Methodist, 26 Summer Street built.
1835 First lighthouse erected on Point o' Neck after a four year struggle with the government about the location. The first keeper was Ezekiel Darling, a former quarter gunner on Constitution. Miss Jane C. Martin, the only woman keeper on the coast followed Darling, then John Goodwin and Captain James Bailey. In 1895 this structure was torn down and replaced by the higher, steel tower that stands today.
1838 The white marble obelisk was erected at Old Burial Hill by the Charitable Seamen's Society in memory of the deceased members on shore and at sea
1839 First railroad station built in Marblehead on Pleasant Street. The Eastern Railroad initiated service. This was the first of four Marblehead train stations.
1844 The Greek Revival Lyceum Theatre built near Market Square on Washington Street. In 1916 the Lyceum showed the locally-filmed silent movie, The Pride Of The Clan, starring "America's Sweetheart," Mary Pickford. The theater was razed in 1951.
1845 -- Joseph Story dies
1845 "Gerry" fire engine is purchased
1846 A tremendous gale on George's Bank sinks the Marblehead fleet of ten ships killing 65 Marblehead fishermen. A white obelisk monument commemorates their sacrifice at Old Burial Hill.
1847 First U.S. Postal stamps come to Marblehead
1849 -- May 2nd: Marblehead celebrates its 200th Anniversary of Incorporation.
1850 -- Marblehead population listed as 6,167.
-- Town begins to play a vital role in the anti-slavery "underground railroad," help slaves escape to Canada
-- Current Town newspaper is the Marblehead Advocate and Mercury
1851 June 2nd: Colonel Josiah P. Cressy and Eleanor Prentiss Cressy begin the race from New York around Cape Horn to San Francisco in a record 89 days, 21 hours, sailing with great skill the extreme clipper, Flying Cloud,
1853 -- April 15: Police Department officially begins
-- A. Pickett left his house and property to the Town vauled at $13,500, establishing the Pickett Fund
1854 Streets in Marblehead were first illuminated with gas lights.
1856 The Squash House is moved to 59 Elm Street from Gerry Island, where it was built in the early 1700s. It served as a playhouse in the 1890s, home to the Squash Players, who performed there for a number of years.
1861 -- April 12th: Civil War breaks out
-- April 16th Company C Eighth Regiment Infantry, USV, assembled at Faneuil Hall in Boston amid sleet and snow to earn the distinction of being one of the first, if not the first, companies from the state to respond to President Abraham Lincoln's call to protect the Union. The company also rescued USS Constitution from the secessionists, opened railroad communications for troops between Annapolis and Washington, and guarded the nation's capital. Other commanders of this fabled company were: Captain Samuel C. Graves and Colonel Benjamin F. Peach, Jr. Of the 1,048 Marblehead men who saw service in the Civil War, 827 were in the Army and 221 in the Navy. 110 died, 87 were seriously wounded, and many others taken prisoner and were listed as missing in action.
-- The Okommakamesit hand engine, manned by the "Oko's," as they were called, was built in Pennsylvania. The engine was still mustering in Town at the beginning of the year 2000.
1863 -- Free mail delivery begins in Marblehead
-- January 1st: President Abraham Lincoln issues the Emancipation Proclamation.
1866 M.A. Pickett No. 1, the fire company on Franklin Street was formed in May.
1868 First Baptist Church and Odd Fellow's Hall built at 17 Pleasant Street.
1869 -- Odd Fellow's Hall, built at 11 Pleasant Street.
-- After a series of arguments and "agitations" with the state government, they finally authorized Marblehead to construct a seawall over Riverhead Beach to the Neck. The Neck changed and blossumed over the next half century, from its humble beginnings on its way to the most prestigeous address in Town.
1870 The Eastern Yacht Club is formed
1871 -- Population 7,703 (25% increase since 1850)
-- Seeing the potential for the unspoiled land, Boston businessman, Francis B. Crowninshield, purchased a large portion of Peach's Point. And the next year he built an estate to the right of the highest elevation.
-- August: After several unsuccessful attempts the Town votes to issue $75,000 in bonds to aid the construction and equipping of a railroad spur in Marblehead.
-- October 19th: Eastern Railroad branch from Lynn opens in Marblehead, with small depots at Devereux, Clifton, Beach Bluff and Phillips Beach (Swampscott).
-- December: Marblehead Messenger begins publication.
1872 September 29: Benjamin Abbot dies at the age of 72.
1873  The second railroad station built on Pleasant Street. This one was bigger and much fancier with Gingerbread decorations enhancing the overhanging roof of the elevated woodframed depot, with a Victorian clock tower. Less than five years later it was destroyed in the first great fire (1877).
1874 Devereux Train Station built. It stayed in service for 85 years until 1959, when it was razed.
1875 -- Our Lady, Star of the Sea built on prospect hill.
-- Marblehead becomes the first town in Massachusetts to supply pupils with free textbooks
1876 -- The Spirit Of '76 is painted by Archibald M. Willard for the 1876 centennial celebration in Philadelphia. An 8 x 10 feet painting which depicts American Revolutionary fervor as an intergenerational trio marches through a battlefield with fife and drums as a flag waves in the background, the Spirit Of '76 became one of the most widely recognized images in the world. Originally, entitled Yankee Doodle, Willard used his father as the central figure of the older man leading the way, the fifer was Willard's friend Hugh Mosher, and the drummer boy was the son of General John H. Devereux of Cleveland, Ohio. General Devereux, four years later, donated the painting to the Town of Marblehead in hopes that it would "be erected in Abbot Hall to the memory of the brave men of Marblehead who have died in battle on sea and land for their country.
-- The Mugford Monument dedicated at the junction of Pleasant and Essex Streets. In what was the largest celebration in the history of Marblehead to that point, the 18 1/2 foot monunent was erect to honor the memory of Captain James Mugford, on the centennial of his death in the Revolutionary War. Made of Hallowell Granite from Maine, it escape destruction in the next year's fire and was moved to the summit of Old Burial Hill in 1912.
-- July 4th, the tallest of the three commemorative granite obelisks in Town is erected at the junction of Elm, Green and Mugford Streets in memory of Marblehead soldiers and sailors who gave their lives in the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812, and the Civil War
-- July 25th: the cornerstone of Abbot Hall is laid
1877 -- December 14th: Formal dedication of Abbot Hall. Designed by Lord & Fuller and built on Training Field Hill. Donated to the Town by Benjamin Abbot, a cooper, the structure was the tallest in Town, 164 feet to the top of the weathervane. During the 1930's the interior walls were adorned with local-history murals. The bell of Abbot Hall was donated by James J.H. Gregory. And, "Marblehead Forever" was heard for the first time in public at a Town event.
-- May 7th: $10,000 was appropriated to enlarge the water source of Redd's Pond and build a reservoir. The pond had long served as the Town's freshwater supply. Adoniram Orne had called for this safety measure for years, but the Town wouldn't listen, and only now, one month before the fire that burned most of the Town to ground, did the Town heed his warnings and wisdow. Alas, it was too late; before the system could be built and put in service the First Great Fire struck six weeks later.
-- June 25, 1877 the First Great Fire of Marblehead wiped out the manufacturing center of the Town (consuming 72 buildings, including the Central Fire Station) and the income of most of the inhabitants. It started in a stable at the rear of a hotel near the Lynn Shoe Factory, and burned to the ground 72 buildings.
1878 The third train station is built on Pleasant Street. This station like its ornate predecessor was destroyed in fires to come in 1888.
1880 -- January 27th: Edison patents incandescent lamp
The History And Traditions of Marblehead
by Samuel Roads, Jr. first published.
-- Spirit Of '76 is donated to the Town Of Marblehead to be hung in Abbot Hall
1882 A spontaneous reception for the 21st President of the United States, Chester A. Arthur. With no formal plans to visit the Town, the President was moored in Marblehead Harbor, aboard the yacht Despatch, he landed at Dixey's Wharf, with the intention of going to Salem. A Marbleheader approached him and asked him to speak to the people of the Town, but because of a "busy schedule" the request was denied. returning to Marblehead the President was again approach by the same Marbleheader, again the request was denied. The Marbleheader jumped into the driver's seat and brought the carriage to Abbot Hall. Amid much fanfare the president was brought into the auditorium and interrupted by cheers and much applause he delivered a speech. He later stated, "...I can never forget the fact that I was once kidnapped in Marblehead!" The "kidnapper" was never fully identified, although it is suspected by historians that it was Samuel Roads, Jr. "the perpetual patriach of that mystic organization... the Sea Serpent Club." (Gamage, 198)
1883 Lydia Pinkham, born in 1819, originator of Mrs. Lydia E. Pinkham's Vegetable Compound, which achieved phenomenal success as one of the most popular patent medicines in America, a lifelong friend of Frederick Douglas, died at the age of 64.
1884 An effort to have "Clifton Village" become a separate town, including the area of the old Horace 0Ware estate and Marblehead Neck, fails after several weeks of hearings before the Committee on Towns in the Legislature.
1885 -- Corinthian Yacht Club is formed.
-- Nathaniel G. Herreshoff and Edward Burgess began building defenders of the America's Cup and won (1885, 1886, and 1887)
-- Town's population reaches 7,467, with 1.930 registered voters.
1886 -- Uriel Crocker gives most of the land on Bartoll's Head to the Town, making it the first public park in Marblehead.
-- Frankin Street Engine House built for the M.A. Pickett Engine Company.
1887 -- Pleon Yacht Club is formed
-- Marblehead yacht Volunteer wins the America's Cup and is welcomed home with a townwide celebration and fireworks
1888 -- YMCA purchases Hooper Mansion
-- December 25; The second great fire strikes the Town. The fire started with an explosion around 10 P.M. on Christmas Eve, destroyed fifty important buildings, leaving almost 2000 people out of work.
1889 -- Marblehead first surveyed, the year after the second great Fire
-- The Brick Steamer House built on School Street as a fire house.
-- Rechabite Building built.
1890 -- The fourth (and final) railroad station on Pleasant Street is built out of brick with a slate roof in compliance with the Board of Selectmen's order that all construction in the downtown area be of masonry.
-- Hutchinson's Potato Chips opens
-- Population is recorded at 8,202.
1891 -- Tower School is founded.
1892 August 11th: The United States steam cruiser Marblehead is launched at South Boston.
1894 Small scale racing regattas begin at Redd's Pond
-- May 1st: The Burgess Yacht Club is formed.
1895 -- January 23rd, Marblehead was illuminated by electricity for the first time, "...the light being furnished by 165 arc lamps of two thousand candle power, and 40 incandescents of twenty five candle power each." (Roads)
-- April: The original white lighthouse is replaced by a high iron skelton type tower in the same location (134 steps in the tower); the only lighthouse of its type east of Coney Island. This structure will continue to shine one of the few fixed green lights on the Atlantic Coast into the 21st century.
1896 -- December 27th: Selectmen Benjamin F. Martin, 2d and Henry C. Sparhawk present the commander of USS Marblehead a set of flags for use on the cruiser in appreciation for the honor of having the ship named after the Town.
-- Visiting Nurse Association founded in Marblehead
1897 -- The United States cruiser Marblehead visits the Town for six days.
-- Free mail delivery begins in Marblehead, with the assignment of four letter carriers.
1898 -- The last time Fort Sewall is used by the military as soldiers from Company C in Chelsea bivouac at the harbor embankment awaiting orders during the four-month-long Spanish-American War. They returned from the Cuban campaign and paraded in Marblehead on April 17, 1899.
-- Fred Bingham Litchman established his first photography shop on State Street. In 1914 he moved his shop to 157 Washington Street. One of the most prolific photographers in Marblehead's history.
-- Cruiser USS Marblehead bombards Guantanamo and sends marines ashore to take the fort. Forever after Guantanamo becomes a U.S. Naval Fort
-- November 26th: The "Great Portlant Gale" occurs sinking the side-wheeler steamer , "Portland" drowning 157 people. The storm struck Marblehead and many local vessels were sunk or damaged. A famous picture of this storm exists with the fishing schooner "Eddie Minot" aground on Riverhead Beach near the Causeway.
1899 -- May 2nd: Marblehead's 250th Anniversary of Incorporation
-- Marblehead Historical Society founded
-- The Fliegel-Fladger Family, Marblehead's first Jewish settlers moved into 10 Central Street in the Shipyard area. The family moved to Beverly in 1930.
-- The organization of the hose companies: M.A. Pickett, Oko's, The Phoenix, the Liberty Hose, and the Washington Hook and Ladder, put an end to the volunteer fire departments.
-- Mary Devereux Watson publishes, From Kingdon to Glory, a sentimental love story of the Revolutionary War period. The book was popular in Marblehead at this time.
-- The "Horribles Parade" is added to the Town's Fourth of July Celebration
 

Top - 1700 - 1800 - 1900 - 2000

1900 -- Marblehead population listed as 7,582.
-- W. Starling Burgess begins experimenting in Redstone Cove and later in Little Harbor with seaplanes and in 1910 succeeded in a short flight of the Flying Fish. During World War I, his plant grew to 800 employees turning out 8 planes a day.
-- Census records Town as having 7,583 inhabitants
1901 -- The Rockmere on Skinner's head built off Gregory Street, at Pier No. 1, Allerton Place.
-- Telephones first appear in Marblehead
1902 The Boston Yacht Club moves to Marblehead and joins with the Burgess Yacht Club and began a racing series known as "Race Week," establishing Marblehead's reputation as the "Yachting Capital of America"
1903 Tedesco Country Club founded.
1904 -- The Honorable Samuel Roads, Jr. dies. A drummer in the Civil War, Roads grew up listening to stories about his hometown and incorporated them, along with vast original research, into his outstanding work, The History And Traditions of Marblehead.
--
The Roads School 26 Rowland Street, built, named in honor of Marblehead's most noteworthy historian.
-- Tedesco Country Club built on Tedesco Street. The surname of a female Cuban opera singer of the mid-nineteenth century who preformed in Boston was chosen for this golf club. Sixty-nine members joined the first year, then a six-hole course. Three disastrous fires leveled the successive clubhouses, the present structure was built in 1953.
1905 -- The "new" Post Office is built on Pleasant Street.
-- New Fountain Inn, adjacent to Crocker Park, built. The name was later changed to the Harbor Inn
-- Second Post Office and Custom House, 61 Pleasant Street, built. Postmaser B.F. Martin was head at that time.
1906 -- Gerry School, 50 Elm Street, is built. The first principal, Mary Looney, "a sweet, kindly woman," was also a full-time teacher. The school originally included grades 1 through 8
-- August 25th: Excelsior Junior Drum Corps organized for the first time
-- September 3rd: First Grand International Yachting Festival at Marblehead
1908 -- The Adams House built by John T. Adams, a former fire chief, at the time a one-story structure next to the smaller Rock Haven Sea Grill.
-- Marblehead Pottery is first made. Between that year and 1936, when Marblehead Pottery closed it doors, mainly because of the Great Depression, approximately 200,000 pieces of art pottery were produced. Dr. Herbert Hall, prescribed various handicraft activities as a way to treat emotionally disturbed patients.
1909 -- The Marblehead Historical Society acquired the Lee Mansion, with the Abbot Public Library Board of Trustees, for its headquarters.
-- Saturday, October 16th: The Town's first football team plays against Ipswich and wins (12-6) with Raymond O. Brackett, owner of the Rockmere Hotel, as the head coach, amid some controversy by parents not wanting their sons to play in such a dangerous contact sport. Brackett argued that the team represented Marblehead's fighting spirit that created American freedom. George P. Campbell, the High School's principal, was in charge of training the team.
-- W. Starling Burgess suceeds in launching a plane from the harbor for the first time.
1910  -- October 1, 1910 the Second Congregational Church, Unitarian, built in 1832, is destroyed in a fire on Mugford Street.
-- James J.H. Gregory, seedsman and Town philanthroper, dies.
-- YMCA Building, 104 Pleasant Street, built. The organization moved from its former headquarters in the King Hooper Mansion to this site on the former Allerton Block, which was destroyed in the 1877 fire.
-- Male-only Heliotrope Club has a clubhouse on Brown's Island.
1912 -- August 1st: Alfred Cunningham takes off from the middle of Marblehead Harbor in Burgess seaplane and inaugurates the first American entry into Marine Aviation
-- The Marblehead Power Squardon was formed.
1913 The Soldiers and Sailors Monument is moved (it took eight days) to its new location at the corner of Pleasant and Essex Streets in Memorial Park.
-- The new High School built on Workhouse Rocks off Pleasant Street opens.
1914 -- Litchman's Printing moves to 157 Washington Street.
-- A serious flood occurs in the Shipyard area on March 1st, caused by an underground drain backup after a heavy rain.
-- July 28th: World War I begins in Europe.
1915 Marblehead Laundry moves to 7 Lincoln Avenue
1916 -- Marbleheaders fight with General Pershing in Mexico against Pancho Villa
-- January 16th: The 10th Deck Division was organized and mustered into service. consisting of three commissioned officers and 56 men. Headquarters were established at the old High School building on Pleasant Street. The company was federalized on March 29, 1917 and assigned to duty aboard USS Nebraska.
-- November: Mary Pickford arrives in Marblehead for filming of "The Pride Of The Clan."
-- The Glover School built on Maple Street
1917 -- April 16th: War breaks out with Germany in Europe. Government asks for 100 recruits from Marblehead, 461 join up. Most Marbleheaders served in the renowned "Yankee Division" (101st Artillery 104th Infantry).
-- Rector Lyman Rollins was decorated as the "Fighting Chaplain of St. Michaels"
-- Eastern and Corthian YachtClubs organize coastal U-Boat patrols, purchasing 8 60-foot patrol boats, with CYC's Roger Upton serving as the local commander.
-- Alexander E. Little buys almost 10% of the Town and establishes the Sorosis Farm to grow farm products for his workers at his Lynn shoe factories. The farm went bankrupt in 1934
1918 -- February 5th: Edwin Thomas Martin, a Marbleheader, loaded the first American shell fired against the Germans at 3:45 P.M. The empty shell casing is on display in the statehouse in Boston.
-- July 20th Second Lieutenant Charles Herbert Evans, born in 1887, was the first Marblehead man to be killed in World War I. He died at the battle of Chateau Thierry in France. By September, the registration list showed that a total of 1,346 Marblehead men from the ages of 18 to 45 were in uniform and one Marblehead woman, Edna Jane "Dolly Dal" Dalrymple.
-- November 7th: The Burgess-Dunne plant at Little Harbor catches fire and is completely destroyed, on the night of the "False Armistace"
1919 Marblehead Pottery publishes its first mail order catalog with fifty illustrations and listing the colors of green gray, orange, rose, tobacco brown, wisteria, and the most popular, Marblehead blue.
1920 -- Mary Alley Hospital opens on Franklin Street
-- January 17th: Prohibition begins in the United States
-- February 5th: A winter snow storm hits the Town described as the "biggest in history." Macia Selman wrote a poem about the storm in which indicates that there was six to eight feet of snow after the storm. Another storm hit on March 6th.
-- August 26th: 19th Amendment giving women the vote is passed
-- September 8th: Marblehead Neck Inprovement Association is formed with Henry A. Morss as its first president.
1922 May 12th: Fort Sewall deeded to the Town of Marblehead by the federal government for use as a park in perpetuity
1923 -- October 8: U.S.S. Marblehead (CL-12) commissioned by the smashing of a champagne bottle on its bow by Hannah Martin Evans, a World War I "Gold Star" mother, Marblehead's first. The first U.S.S. Marblehead was a Spanish-American War-era ship (C-11). The most recent ship was launched into the Deleware River in Philadelphis.
1925 -- July 4th: President Coolidge visits Marblehead Harbor aboard the presidential yacht "Mayflower"
1926 -- State passes a low mandating the Town to build a municipal sewer system.
-- Castle Brattahlid, 2 Crocker Park Lane is built, modeled after the ancient castle of Eric the Red in Greenland. Constructed from the blasted out surrounding rocky ledge, Mr. And Mrs. Waldo Ballard, the castle features a dungeon and a scret stairway and room for 200 seated guests at one time. L. Francis Herreshoff aqcuired the Castle in 1945.
-- During this summer President and Mrs. Calvin Coolidge and their entourage visited the Rockmere Hotel.
-- A fire on Misery Island burns almost everything. Once a reunion place for Harvard University, the island over the years held a casino, a hotel, an air strip, and tennis courts. One a half of a house was float to Flint Street on the Neck.
1928 -- November 3: John Orne Johnson "JOJ" Frost dies. Born in 1852, he became a local artist, creating unsalable primitive paintings, that were not popular in his own lifetime. After his death his paintings have become eagerly sought by American folk art connoisseurs. He was born at 47 Front Street, was married to Annie Lillibridge Frost. He is best remembered for selling sweet-pea flowers and small, oil-based land and seascapes from his wheelbarrow.
-- Glover School opens at Humprey and Maple Streets
1929 -- Marblehead held a week-long tercentenary of the founding of the Town with a three-month Town-wide celebration.
-- Star of the Sea Catholic church enlarged and rebuilt on Atlantic Ave across from Seaside Park
-- October 29th: Crash on Wall Street, The Great Depression begins
1930 Graves Yacht Yards acquired their "upper yard" on Front Street from Stearns & McKay.
1931 -- July 29 and 30: USS Constitution visits Marblehead on an unscheduled stop in a national tour. Gloucester agreed to "relinguish" Consitution for two days in honor of the Town's 1814 protection of the ship from British marauders, Tenedos and Endymion.
1934 -- Clifton Improvement Association is founded.
1935 -- The Lynn & Boston Railroad Company's Marblehead Trolley makes it last run.
-- The Marblehead Yacht Club is formed.
-- Carcassonne Castle is built on the Neck by Lydia Pinkham Gove, the grandaughter of Lydia Pickham, at a cost of $500,000. She named the structure, "Sky High." After her death in 1948, the castle sold for $50,000. The Town briefly considered the structure for a hospital, but the idea was discarded at Town Meeting.
-- The first Halifax Race is held.
1937 John Ingalls Tucker, perhaps the next-to-last of the Civil War veterans, dies at the age of 94.
-- The last business closes on Marblehead Neck. The post office and store at 103 Harbor Avenue had been serving the Neck for 50 years.
1938 Hooper Mansion acquired by the Marblehead Arts Association
1939 September1: World War II begins in Europe
Charles Phelan starts WESX on Naugus head.
1940 --In the fall Towers were built on Marblehead Neck as coastal watch stations
1941 December 7: Pearl Harbor spawned harbor patrols, watch tower use on the Neck intensified, yachts were commandeered. Marbleheaders rushed to volunteer, 1250 to 1300 served, 31 were killed in action and a total of 46 Marbleheaders died in service to the country in World War II, and many more were wounded or captured. For more information see: http://www.marblehead-in-ww2.org
1942 January 9: Samuel Snow II, the last of Marblehead's Civil War veterans dies at his home in Marblehead after a brief illness at the age 93. Born in Marblehead 22 January 1848, son of James Hooper Snow and his wife Hannah A. Breed. Mr. Snow died 9 January 1942, as reported in The Marblehead Messenger and The New York Times. He left a widow Agnes Josephine Murphy. Samuel Snow joined the Northern Army in 1863 at the age of 15 and served with Company G of the First Massachusetts Artillery. Mr. Snow saw Abraham Lincoln inaugurated for the second time and then served as a member of the guard of honor at the President's bier. Mr. Snow is buried at Waterside Cemetery. (With thanks to Ernie Christensen for his assistance on this entry,)
1946 The Marblehead Frostbite Sailing Club is founded by George O'Day and Ray Hunt.
February 14: Maddies' Sail Loft is founded by Ken Duncan and his brother-in-law, Maddie.
1948 -- Anya Seton's romantic novel, The Hearth and the Eagle (set in Marblehead) is published and still popular.
-- Chandler Hovey donates Point o' Neck land to the Town, which named it Chandler Hovey Park in his honor.
-- America's foremost playwright, Eugene O'Neill is living on Point o' Rocks Lane, in seclusion and in the grips of Parkinson's disease. After a fall in a snow storm in 1951, he and he wife, Carlotta, never returned to their "little house by the sea."
-- Dill's Restaurant opens its doors
1949 -- Veterans Housing is built on Broughton Road.
-- May 2nd: Marblehead celebrates its 300th Anniversary of Incorporation.
-- June 14th: National Flag "Stars and Stripes" adopted for the first time.
1950 -- Ted Hood opens Hood Sailmakers, Inc.
-- Dolphin Yacht Club formed.
1951 Harry Kemmelman moves to Marblehead and begins writing more than a dozen murder mysteries featuring the amateur detective Rabbi David Small. Kemmelman died in 1966.
1953 -- Construction begins on the new Mary A. Alley Hospital on Widger Road.
1954 -- Clifton Lutheran Church is built on Humphrey Street
-- Temple Emanu-El is built on Atlantic Avenue.
-- Massachusetts Audubon Society opens a sanctuary on Marblehead Neck.
-- A new Mary A. Alley Hospital is built on Widger Road
1955 -- The new Marblehead Junior High School opens on Village Street
1956 -- February 28: The Swampscott Train crash that killed 13 people shook up the town's commuters. At that time the train was very popular as a way to get to Boston.
1957 October 4th: Sputnik I is launched
1958 -- The convivial postman, Wallace Dana Weed, depicted in the painting, "Poet Postman," by Orlando Rouland, died. He was a veteran of the Spanish-American War, and a popular figure around Town.
-- Ray Hunt builds Easterner the 1958 America's Cup's trials for Chandler Hovey
-- New Fire Station opens at Ocean and Pleasant Streets.
-- The new Malcolm Bell school opens off of Baldwin Road.
1959
Marblehead finally accepts the "new" rotary dial telephone system
1960 Lighthouse at Chandler Hovey is automated.
1961 Town Meeting established the Marblehead Conservation Commission
1962 -- Nefertiti built for America's Cup at Graves Boatyard in 96 days
-- May 13th: Temple Sinai is built at One Community Road.
-- The Cabin Colony land along Goldthwait Beach is taken by imminent domain and joined with Joel E. Goldthwait's donation of the Goldthwait Reservation, preserving the shoreline of the old Devereux property.
1964 October 8th: The Marblehead Reporter publishes its first edition.
-- Historical Commission is established "to preserve, promote, and develop the historical aspects of the Town."
1965 -- The Rockmere is torn down to make way for the Glover Landing's complex.
-- Monday, May 5th: Ted Hood's proposal to develop Riverhead Beach into a world-class marina and yachting center is defeated at Town Meeting. Within a few years Hood Enterprises relocates to Newport, Rhode Island ending the era of Marblehead as the "Yachting Capital of America."
1966 December 25: Metco comes to Marblehead
1967 The Old And Historic Districts Commission is established to oversee the exterior and architectural changes in the historic district.
1968 -- February 22nd: the last of the Lead Mill buildings burns down at Lead Mills Hill in a spectacular fire
-- Marblehead's Historic District was accepted. In addition, Marblehead has 7 buildings and Fort Sewall on the National Register of Historic Places: St. Michael's Chruch, Old Town House, Hooper Mansion, Glover's Home, Lee Mansion, Elbridge Gerry's Home, Abbot Hall.
-- Janaury: The harbor freezes over and people walk the harbor ice.
-- February 22nd: The Historic Chadwick Lead Mills building burns to the ground. The factory gained its fame during the Civil War producing bullets for the Grand Army of the Republic. Located on a coastline of Salem Harbor originally known as "Throgmorton Cove," where prior to 1649 fire holes and outlines of wigwmas could be seen from Nanepashmet's fortress and emcampment area. In the 20th century Associated Grocers used the building as a distribution warehouse. The fire remains of "suspicious origins" in the fire department records.
1969 Fire destroys the Whiting Dairy on Lafayette Street at the top of Lead Mill Hill.
1971 -- Town's population is listed as 21,183, making Marblehead the sixth most populated town in the Comonwealth of Massachusetts.
-- Joyce Maffei, is elected as the first woman on the Board of Selectmen.
1974 Ted Hood wins America's Cup in Courageous against Southern Cross
1976 August 8th: The "New" Post Office at 27 Smith Street opens to better deal with 13 million pieces of mail for 21,574 residents. Donald M. Stacey, current Postmaster was originally appointed in 1954. There are 63 employees (3 women), 24 daily mail routes, five incoming mails and four outgoiing mails. The event was commemorated with an Open House and a special Marblehead "cancellation" featuring the signing of the Declaration of Independence by Elbridge Gerry.
1978 -- Courageous and Independence practice off Marblehead for almost a year.
-- Ted Turner in Independence win the America's Cup
-- February 6th & 7th: The Great Storm of '78 hits the Town hard.
1980 -- May 1st: Marblehead Magazine publishes its first edition.
1982 January: the harbor freezes and people walk from the Boston Yacht Club to the Corinthian Yacht Club.
1983 Roads School is converted into 41 elderly housing units.
1986 The Mary Alley hospital closes on Widger Road forclosing on future Marbleheaders actually being born in Town for the first time in history.
1994 September 5th: In the early morning hours, Penni's Supermarket catches fire and burns to the ground in the biggest Marblehead fire in years. Before it was over, seven alarms had been struck and sixteen communities had rushed their firefighting equipment to help.
1996 Town Meeting votes to have utility lines buried underground in a portion of the historic district covering the area from the ocean-side foot of Abbot Hall hill, Darling Street, Front Street, State Street, to the top of Migford Street Hill and the portion of Washington to Franklin Street.
1997 -- Sunday, July 20th: USS Constitution visits Marblehead as the world watches.
-- Monday, July 21st: USS Constitution sails off Marblehead under her own power for the first time in 116 years. The event is featured on all major networks and on the front pages of all major newspapers in the world.
1999 -- The E. Howard clock in Abbot Hall tower underwent extensive repair and recalibration during the year.
-- April 26th: The "Big Dig" project to bury downtown overhead wires begins
-- May 2nd: Marblehead celebrates its 350th Anniversary of Incorporation.
-- May 10th: Jeffrey N. Shribman is elected to the Board of Selectmen, replacing F. Reed Cutting
-- June 14th: Marblehead votes overwhelming in a townwide election to build a new High School at Tents Corner on the Sevinor Land taken for that purpose by imminent domain in the 1970's. Planning and design begins, opening scheduled for 2002.
-- August 25th: Board of Selectmen proclaim "Tyler Hamilton Day" in honor of Marbleheader who assisted Lance Armstrong in winning the Tour de France.
-- August 30th: Harry Wilkinson dies at 91.
-- October 20th: Virginia Clegg Gamage is appointed the first official Marblehead Town Historian by the Board of Selectmen. Thomas A. McNulty announces the closing the Warwick Theater to the Board of Selectmen.
-- November 1st: Norris Harris, former 18-term Selectman and three-term State Representative dies at the age of 84.
-- November 10th: Selectmen, with Town Meeting's authorization, sell the Old School Street Fire house to The Marblehead Little Theater for $25,000
-- December 1st: Board of Selectmen vote to make the Old Townhouse handicap accessible by installing a limited-use, limited-availability elevator from the ground floor to the first floor voting area.
 

Top - 1700 - 1800 - 1900 - 2000

2000
See our 2000 News digest (click here)
2001
See our 2001 News digest (click here)
2002
See our 2002 News digest (click here)
2003
See our 2003 News digest (click here)
2004
See our 2004 News digest (click here)
2005
See our 2005 News digest (click here)
2006
See our 2006 News digest (click here)
2049
Marblehead celebrates its 400th Anniversary of Incorporation and opens the first of two time capsules sealed in 1999. The contents are well-preserved.
2349
Marblehead celebrates its 700th Anniversary of Incorporation and opens the second of two time capsules sealed in 1999. The contents have dissolved.

Sources:

Samuel Roads, Jr., The History And Traditions Of Marblehead (1897, 3rd Edition), Press of N. Allen Lindsey & Co.
Thomas E. Gray, The Founding Of Marblehead, Gateway Press, Inc. Baltimore, 1984.
Priscilla Sawyer Lord and Virginia Clegg Gamage, Marblehead. The Spirit of '76 Lives Here, Chilton Book Company, 1972
Russell W. Knight, 'Headers in Life and Legend, (1989) Legend, Inc.
Historic Records in Town Clerk's Office and in Abbot Public Library.
Selectmen's Minutes, Abbot Hall
Sidney Perley, Marblehead in the Year 1700, Essex Institute Historical Collections
John Hardy Wright, Images of America, Marblehead - Volume 1(1996) by , Arcadia Publishing, 1996
Hollyhocks To Hot Top, Wilkscraft Creative Printing, 1976, 1977
Lorrane Allison, Marblehead Stories, Marblehead Reporter, various issues.
Marblehe4ad Matters: A Guide to Local Government published by the League Of Women Voters, 1984
Hartkey Alley, A Gentleman From Indiana Looks At Marblehead, Bond Wheelwright Company, 1963, 1972
Virginia C. Gamage, Historic Marblehead Coloring Book, Illustrations by Ethan Berry, Marblehead Publications, 1993
Thomas Amory Lee, The Ornes Of Marblehead, Essex Institute, Historical Collections, Vol. LX, Salem, 1924.
George Athan Billias, General John Glover and his Marblehead Mariners, Holt, Rinehard, & Winston, New York, 1960.
Files of the Marblehead Historical Society, Marblehead.
Marblehead Messenger, many issues.
Marblehead Magazine, Volumes I to XII, all 35 issues, 1980 to 1994.
Daily Evening Item,
many issues.
The Salem Evening News, many issues.
Marblehead Reporter, many issues.
Benjamin J. Lindsey, Old Marblehead Sea Captains And The Ships In Which They Sailed, Marblehead Historical Society, Marblehead, 1915.
Day Merritt Gotshcall (editor), Marblehead Celebrates 350 Years of Democracy, 1649 - 1999, Marblehead 350th Anniversary Committee, 1999
Christine Leigh Heyman, Commerce And Culture, The Maritime Communities of Colonial Massachusetts, 1600-1750, W. W. Norton & Company, New York, 1984.
Samuel Roads, Jr., A Guide To Marblehead, Merrill H. Graves, Publishers, 1895.
marblehead-in-ww2.org

Plus, the innumerable and ongoing conversations with Thomas Gray, Virginia Gamage, Donald Doliber, Dan Dixey, Paul Lausier, the late Russell W. Knight, and many, many others, have been enormously helpful over the years.


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