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Saving the historic home of an important early American hero & military veteran

Overview

The historic General Glover Farmhouse, or more widely known as the General Glover House, has stood for over 250 years and is now at risk of being demolished. It was the final home of Revolutionary War hero and military veteran, General John Glover. The house sits on a uniquely shared historic site in Swampscott, Marblehead, and Salem, Massachusetts, and has been an important contribution to the history of all three communities for centuries.

 

Several historic organizations in these communities are working together to help save this historically significant house from demolition to make room for a residential development. A survey of the house in the spring of 2023 by a historic building structural engineer determined that the house can be saved and restored.

 

Community support is needed to preserve the original 1700s portion of the house that General John Glover and his family lived in. It is the hope that through various preservation grants and fundraising efforts, the house can be saved and restored for the upcoming 250th anniversary of the American Revolution in 2026. This will give the house that many have dismissed and forgotten the recognition it deserves, by preserving the nationally significant historic house of General John Glover.

CONTACT & HOW TO HELP

Like any preservation effort to save a threatened historic building, community support is its greatest asset. Reach out to local, state, national representatives, preservation and military history organizations, and make them aware of the potential loss of this historically significant house.

 

Fundraising efforts are also important, in which donations go to historic surveys and documentation, stabilization, and restoration efforts to save the house for future generations. Donations can be made at the link below: 

Volunteering and donating services is also greatly appreciated to make this preservation effort successful. 

 

Send Questions and Comments here: contact@savetheglover.org

WHY THE HOUSE IS IMPORTANT 
WHAT WILL BE LOST

The Glover Farmhouse is historically significant, both on the local and national level, with a history spanning the last 250 years:

  • Inhabited from the end of the Revolution until his death in 1797 by American military hero General John Glover, who helped organize the first American Navy, hero of the Battle of Long Island, rowed General George Washington’s Continental Army across the Delaware River, and leader of one of first integrated regiments in the American Revolution.

  • The house itself is directly connected to the politics of the American Revolution, having been seized by the Massachusetts government due to policies established during the war.

  • Prior to the American Revolution, the house was owned by local and international figure William Browne: Salem militia leader, Massachusetts judge, and Royal Governor of Bermuda.

  • Architecturally one of the oldest houses in Swampscott, and one of the few surviving that was built in the 1700s in the town.

  • One of the last intact 18th and 19th century farm properties in the towns of Swampscott and Marblehead

  • An important local gathering spot and hospitality institution in the 20th century as a historic inn, owned by A.E. Little, and later restaurant owned by Anthony Athanas, contributing to the more recent cultural heritage and community history.

  • An area that has been occupied by indigenous groups and colonists for over 400 years. It sits on one of the first colonial roads, and is a potentially important archaeological site. 

  • Eligible to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places under multiple criteria and designated a National Historic Landmark.

Despite these multiple points of historical significance connecting the house to local, state, and United States history, the Glover House is scheduled to be demolished in 2024.

Read more about the house & site history here

Washington Crossing the Delaware, transported by Glover's troops
General John Glover
Glover House view from SE3_edit_edited.jpg

"By his courage, energy, military talents and patriotism, he secured the confidence of Washington,
and the gratitude of his country"

-Excerpt from the John Glover statue in Boston

Read more about the Glover House on the state inventory of historic places at the Massachusetts Historical Commission site

OPTIONS TO SAVE THE HOUSE

The scenarios explored for the future of the house have precedents in other communities. These initial scenarios included:

  • Preserve in place: with a slight redesign to the proposed plan, the Glover House could could be integrated it into the site design of the new housing development by Leggat McCall Properties. This would preserve the historic integrity of the site, being in the same location as John Glover himself experienced it, and which it has been a feature on for over 250 years. This would not only be the preferred option, but the most financially practical, and allow the house to be a historic centerpiece bridging the past and future site, enhancing the value of the new development.  *This option has been proposed, but the developer has expressed they have no interest in keeping the historic Glover house on their future site.

  • Move the house: relocate to another location on site, or adjacent site location.

  • Disassemble the house: take apart the house and store until a new location can be found.

  • Demolition delay expires: the house is demolished by the developer, and the final home of a military hero is lost, a disservice to the legacy of General John Glover. 

Views of site today at 299 Salem Street, Swampscott, MA, highlighting the footprint of the historic Glover House that should be saved, followed by a diagram of approximate location of the 1700s Glover House in relation to the proposed development.

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