Saturday, July 07, 2007

The John Cabot House

Stephen Hall, the director of the Beverly Historical Society and Museum ,provided me with excellent advice for daytrips to admire the historical houses and to learn about local history. Today I was very fortunate to receive a lengthy, detailed, and very informative tour from the curator of their history museum and archives located in the handsome John Cabot House. The Museum has some temporary exhibition spaces and some longer term exhibitions such as Beverly Bank: An Early American Bank, that includes; a real vault, real and counterfeit paper money, and a balance for weighing gold.

John Cabot was an ancestor of the famous Cabot-Lodge political family and while no Cabots remain in Beverly there are some Lodges. Beverly was once a thriving port and then went through an agricultural phase. Later it became the world headquarters of The United Shoe where 95% of the shoemaking machines for the world were manufactured. The giant factory closed twenty years ago and now high tech firms have moved in near route 128. Stephen Hall wrote that "Henry Clay Frick summered in Beverly at the turn of the 20th century, as did, Oliver Wendell Holmes (both the poet and the jurist) as did President William Howard Taft."

Beverly has so much history that it would definitely be worth another visit. I wonder if walking tours are offered. On Wednesdays from 7 p.m. until 10 p.m. there are meetings of transportation enthusiasts in the John Cabot House. The Historical Society has a nice store and also owns two other historic houses.


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