John Hale was born in Charlestown, MA in 1636 and came to Beverly to preach when it was still known as the "Bass River Side" of Salem.
John Hale served as the pastor at Beverly’s First Parish Church until his death in 1700; he was buried in the Abbot Street cemetery. Hale played a role in the 1692 Salem witchcraft trials and later wrote a book published posthumously,”A Modest Inquiry Into the Nature of Witchcraft,” in an effort to explain what had happened. That book was written at Hale Farm.
Visit Hale Farm
39 Hale Street
Beverly, MA 01915 United States
Opens for the season on June 2; open Fridays and Saturdays, 11am – 3pm through August
Members may contact Historic Beverly for offseason toursGet Directions
The original 1694 Hale House structure was built in 1694 for Rev. John Hale, the first minister of Beverly and an important figure in the Salem witchcraft trial. The Hales, and then their Bancroft descendants owned the property until 1937. At one point, the family owned 100 acres, including what is now Dane Street Beach.
The oldest part of the house, two rooms up and two rooms down, was built for Reverend Hale in 1694. In 1745, Colonel Robert Hale, Jr. (John Hale’s grandson), added the front section of the house with the gambrel roof. He excavated a cellar (where evidence of a buttery has been found), added the present staircases, and built an addition of two rooms down and two up, along with the gambrel roof that allowed rooms on the third floor. The property at that time included about 100 acres and extended to the ocean.
In 1881, Robert Hale Bancroft of Boston, who had inherited Hale Farm from his mother, converted the house into a summer estate for his family. He added a wing for a new kitchen and laundry in 1881, and servant quarters in 1898. Bancroft died in 1918. In 1937, his daughters sold the house and the remaining acre of property to the Beverly Historical Society.