White-Ellery House Tercentennial Lecture

White-Ellery House Tercentennial Lecture on April 3, 2010

In celebration of 300 years of the construction of the White-Ellery House, the Museum is pleased to offer expanded programming throughout 2010. A tercentennial lecture series will begin on Saturday April 3 at 11:00 a.m. with Private Lives _ Public House: The Story of the Families Who Lived in the White-Ellery House with the Museum’s Librarian/Archivist, Stephanie Buck and Curator, Martha Oaks. This program is included with Museum admission and reservations are required. Call 978-283-0455, x11 to reserve a space.

Private Lives _ Public House will explore the life and times of the occupants of the White-Ellery House. The lecture will begin with Reverend John White (1677-1760), the first occupant of the White-Ellery House and the community’s religious leader during the first quarter of the 18th century. The house was constructed in 1710 at what was then the Town green and served as White’s parsonage for almost 25 years. A Harvard graduate, White was married three times and fathered 11 children, all with his first wife. He was called to serve the Gloucester community in 1702, leaving his position of chaplain at Fort Saco on the coast of Maine to assume the position. It was during Reverend White’s tenure that the town separated into four parishes, a process that was rife with controversy and emotions.

The lecture will also trace the ownership of the White-Ellery House through six generations of the Ellery family, and in doing so recount the social and economic growth of the greater Gloucester community as it moved from a subsistence agricultural community to a thriving maritime based one.

The White-Ellery House is one of a handful of surviving First Period buildings in Massachusetts. The house was placed on the National Register of Historic Sites because of its design, materials, and workmanship, and its plank frame construction. Recent stabilization work of the roof and clapboard siding was completed last year.

Funding for this program was made possible through a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency which promotes excellence, access, education and diversity in the arts, humanities and interpretive sciences, in order to improve the quality of life for all Massachusetts residents and to contribute to the economic vitality of our communities.

The Cape Ann Museum is located at 27 Pleasant Street in Gloucester. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and Sundays from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. The Museum is closed during the month of February, on Mondays, and on major holidays. Admission is $8.00 adults, $6.00 Cape Ann residents, seniors and students. Children under 12 and Museum members are free. The Museum is wheelchair accessible. For more information please call: (978) 283-0455. Additional information can be found online at www.capeannmuseum.org.