Arguably, the grandest home ever built in Danvers, The Lindens, is neither located in New England or demolished, its in Washington DC! Originally known as the King Hooper House, this Georgian summer estate was built for Robert “King” Hooper, from Marblehead, Massachusetts, who sided with the Tories before the Revolutionary War. Hooper was a successful merchant, commonly called “King” Hooper because of his great wealth and luxurious style of living (notable from his ornate homes). In the spring of 1774, General Thomas Gage, was appointed Governor of the Province of Massachusetts and as “King” Hooper was a Loyalist sympathizer, Governor Gage made the Lindens his home from June to September of 1774. As the residence of the British Governor, the Lindens became the headquarters of the Loyalist cause in the Bay Colony. After the conclusion of the Revolutionary War and British defeat, Hooper was harassed for his siding with the British cause and his businesses took a massive hit, causing him to lose his summer estate in Danvers, to creditors. He died in Marblehead in 1790.
The Lindens remained in the hands of the Hooper heirs until 1798, when it was purchased by Judge Benjamin Collins until his death in 1820. His body is reported to have lain in state in his front hallway for a month before burial. Eventually, the estate was purchased and restored by Francis Peabody who’s family retained the home until 1914. In 1933, due to immense development pressure of the growing town of Danvers, the house was sold for about $13,000 to George and Miriam Morris of D.C., who were seeking a period house to showcase their collection of early American furniture. The Morrises had the house dismantled and shipped to Washington, with the pieces numbered, in six railroad boxcars. The home was reassembled and occupied by the couple. Subsequent owners sold some of the original interior details at auction, but the home retained a large portion of the original fixtures and wallpaper. The home stands today as the oldest house in Washington D.C., ironically, and is located on Kalorama Road NW (and I was lucky enough to get a picture of it in 2019).