Salem Sea Captain’s Historic Mansion For Sale

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Long after the Salem witch trials of the late 1600s, a successful sea captain named Nathaniel Silsbee commissioned The White Silsbee House circa 1811. Today, it’s the highest-priced property for sale in the famously spooky town.

In fact, it sits just one mile from Allison’s mansion on 318 Essex Street in the cult classic Halloween flick, Hocus Pocus. So you know it’s going to be good!

Let’s explore what makes the Silsbee House so special in this week’s “What Can I Get?” Double, double, toil and trouble, let the historic mansion tour begin!

Salem Sea Captain’s Federal-Style Residence Is The Highest Priced Ticket In Town

First off, the mansion at 2 Oliver Street has a story to tell. And it all starts with Silsbee having grand plans for a three-story brick mansion overlooking Salem Common.

The rumor is Silsbee wanted his mansion to rival two specific houses. One of which was being built for John Forrester at 29 Washington Square North. The other for John Andrew at 13 Washington Square West. This, no doubt, stems from his political aspirations which later came to fruition on a grand scale.

Shortly after erecting the mansion, the retired sea captain turned politician served in Congress as a member of the United States House of Representatives. He was also a member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives and elected to the United States Senate in 1826.

According to, “During his time in politics, Silsbee frequently entertained guests at his home. Some notable ones were the Presidents Adams and Madison, General Lafayette, his friend and colleague in the Senate, Daniel Webster, as well as Senator Henry Clay of Virginia.”

The house has since seen a half-a-dozen owners and numerous renovations. But much of the original structure and period details remain. 

19th Century Salem Grandeur On Full Display Thanks To Thoughtful Renovations

The five-bedroom, three-full-and-one-half-bathroom beauty spans a sizable 6,672 square feet with classic Federal touches offering a stately look and feel.

Per the listing, “This elegant Federal residence epitomizes the grandeur of 19th century Salem. Featuring 13 elegant and spacious rooms with dramatic ceilings, quarter sawn oak and mahogany floors, and an abundance of natural sunlight. The current owner has painstakingly renovated and restored this masterpiece while retaining the original architectural character.”

Stunning Architectural Detail Throughout 

We adore the symmetrical windows and shutters, the gorgeous wood floors, wide hallways, and moldings. There is a grand spiral staircase, a fabulous double-door parlour for entertaining, hand-carved marble mantlepieces, plus a welcoming den for cocktails and conversation.

The kitchen includes beautiful soapstone countertops and built-in stainless steel appliances. You’ll also find a bead-board range hood on one end met by an original wood burning stove on the other. 

For dinner parties, you’ll dine in high European style amidst wall-to-wall original Zuber wallpaper that is nothing short of extraordinary. The master suite is a thing of beauty too, featuring a fireplace and spa bath clad in Carrara marbles. 

Lastly, for the connoisseur, there is a 1,000-bottle, climate controlled wine cellar and tasting room that is ideal for savoring the finer things in life. Other highlights include comfortable guest suites, a handsome study, and a modern billiards room. A gracious outdoor courtyard and expansive deck complete the exceptional offering. 

A Prime Salem Commons Address

Perhaps best of all, is the prime Salem location. Living at The White Silsbee House puts you steps from the Peabody Essex Museum, the resident commuter rail and ferry, plus all the charming shops and eateries along the waterfront. 

The 210-year-old mansion is looking for its next captain to steer it through the 21st century. Could that be you?

Sarah Lubeck with William Raveis Real Estate has listed 2 Oliver Street, Salem, Massachusetts for $1.35 million.