Halloween in Spring: a Series. Samuel McIntire, Salem's Architect

Portrait of Samuel McIntire, c. 1786, pastel portrait attributed to Benjamin Blyth (1746-1811) of Salem, Massachusetts. Courtesy of the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts.

NOTE: This series, "Halloween in the Spring," is based on the posts I wrote for my Halloween 2020 Take-Over of AHNCA's (Art Historians of Nineteenth Century Art) social media accounts. It's a jolly bit of writing and the inspiration for this blog. I've left the posts almost identical to the originals to preserve the rollicking tone; however, I've added links to the original sources, museum websites, or other information you, dear reader, might find interesting. Without further ado, it's time to celebrate Halloween in the springtime!

Since we’re already in Salem we might as well explore the town. As you know, Salem is known for the infamous Salem Witch Trials of 1692, but did you know that Salem is also known for its maritime history? After the Revolutionary War, Salem experienced immense prosperity thanks to shipping, ship building, and worldwide trade. All this resulted in the construction of many mercantile mansions and fine homes, some of which were built by Salem’s own carpenter-architect, Samuel McIntire (1752-1811).

Peirce-Nicholas House (1782)

 McIntire was a master carpenter, carver, and self-taught, "amateur" architect. His early plans, like those for his first commission, the Peirce-Nicholas House (1782), represent the transition from Georgian to Federalist architecture. The Gardner-Pingree House (1810) is demonstrative of a fully mature Federalist style, in which McIntire incorporated Adamesque Neoclassicism. This particular house was influenced by Charles Bulfinch’s 1st Harrison Gray Otis House in Boston. McIntire was hired by one of Salem’s most prosperous merchants, Elias Hasket Derby, to build a number of dwellings, including the Benjamin Hawkes House (1780, 1800). In addition to private dwellings, McIntire designed public halls and buildings like Hamilton Hall (1805).

Gardner-Pingree House (1810)

 What does this have to do with Halloween? Well, we’re in Salem! Salem takes Halloween quite seriously and the entire month of October is one, big Halloween Party called Haunted Happenings. Just being here this close to October 31 is spine-tingling!!!

Benjamin Hawkes House (1780, 1800)

For more information about the McIntire Historic District: https://www.pem.org/visit/historic-houses/mcintire-historic-district



Portrait of Samuel McIntire, c. 1786, pastel portrait attributed to Benjamin Blyth (1746-1811) of Salem, Massachusetts. Courtesy of the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Massachusetts.
Fletcher6, Pierce-Nicholas House; Stephen Phillips House; Hamilton Hall; . CC BY-SA 3.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0>, via Wikimedia Commons
Daderot at en.wikipedia, Benjamin Hawkes House. CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=18002975
Elizabeth B. Thomsen, GardnerPingree House. CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

Comments