Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory - Massachusetts


The Pickering House

The Pickering House, 18 Broad Street, Salem, Essex Co, Massachusetts (42.518483, -70.900143)

(a) Phase I Felling Date: Winter 1663/4

(b) Phase II: Parlour extension Felling date: Winter 1681/2

(a) Tiebeam 1663(16C); Sleeper (1663(18C); Transverse summer beam 1661(6); Storey posts (1/2) 1659(7); Rafter (reset) 1655. (b) Sill beam 1681(24C). Site Master 1429-1681 PCK (t = 10.3 IWH; 10.1 BOSTON02; 8.6 ALC3x; 8.4 H7G-1).

The original part of the Pickering House was built John Pickering in 1664 or shortly thereafter on land he acquired in 1659. Previously thought to have been built by his father, John Pickering, Sr. before his death in 1657, the structure was two-and-one-half stories in height and consisted of the present south-east (right-hand front) rooms and chimney bay. The room and chamber were framed with double transverse summer beams and summer tie beams supported by story posts, a framing configuration typical of Salem. A room and chamber were added west of the chimney in 1682, making the statement in the Pickering Family papers that the rooms were added twenty years after the original construction, nearly correct. A lean-to added subsequently was raised to a full two stories in 1751 according to another statement in the family papers. In 1841, the exterior of the house was Gothicized with window hoods, new façade gables and a balustrade above the front entrance and a fence, both of trefoil design. In 1904 a wing was added to the rear, and in 1948, Gordon Robb, a Boston architect, oversaw the restoration of the interior. The house, which has remained in the Pickering Family since it was built, is owned by the Pickering Foundation and is open to the public. (See Cummings 1979: 178-179.)

Oxford Dendrochronology Laboratory Unpublished Report 2007/27

Link to the Pickering House's webpage here.

The activity that is the subject of the Pickering House Report has been financed in part with Federal funds from the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, through the Massachusetts Historical Commission, Secretary of the Commonwealth William Francis Galvin, Chairman. However, the contents and opinions do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of the Interior. This program receives Federal financial assistance for identification and protection of historic properties. Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended, the U.S. Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability or age in its federally assisted programs. If you believe you have been discriminated against in any program, activity or facility as described above, or if you desire further information please write to: Office of Equal Opportunity, National Park Service, 1849 C Street, N.W., Washington, D.C., 20240




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Oxford Tree-Ring Laboratory

Michael Worthington
Jane Seiter, Ph.D

25 E. Montgomery St.
Baltimore, MD 21230