Marblehead Historical Commission & Marblehead Architecture Heritage
A rare opportunity to see inside Marblehead's 1755 round brick Powder House with its unusually shaped conical roof. Built in 1755 for storage of weapons and ammunition, it is among the oldest of several such structures surviving in New England and the United States. Few remain; and most date from later in the 1700s or first decades of the 1800s. Located on the former road to a ferry to Salem, it was built as hostilities between England and France escalated in North America during the so-called French & Indian War (part of the Seven Years War in Europe), when Marblehead was a thriving international Atlantic fishing and shipping seaport, and the 6th or 7th most populous town in British North America. (For further information about American powder houses, see the comprehensive book "Historic Powder Houses of New England" by Matthew Thomas.)
The red brick Powder House occupies a VERY small piece of land, surrounded by private homes. PLEASE respect homeowners' property and keep voices low and stay on sidewalks until you reach the Powder House. After viewing the Powder House, you might also consider walking 3/10 of a mile (10 min.) further (or driving 4/10 of a mile with limited parking) to see Marblehead's c.1811 brick Gun House at 45 Elm St. (construction authorized in 1810). Afterward, continue into downtown Marblehead for a full day of events until 7 pm ! Consider lunch or dinner or at one of Marblehead's terrific harbor-side restaurants ! PLEASE NOTE -- No public parking in the residential parking lot across from the powder house.
47 Green Street, Marblehead, MA, 01945
From North: I-95 to Rte-128N, Exit 25A. Follow Rte-114 East through Salem into Marblehead ~ 5 miles. At a signal (after a baseball park on your left), turn LEFT onto West Shore Drive. Drive about 1 mile to signal at Village Street. Drive straight through signal, then, a half mile past that signal, turn RIGHT onto Green Street. Drive less than a half mile, to 47 Green Street. Park on right side of street. (parking might be limited) From South: Rte-1A North (Paradise Rd.) into Vinnin Square. At central signal, turn RIGHT onto Tedesco Street. Drive one mile (pass country club), then turn LEFT onto Maple Street. Drive 3/10 of a mile, then turn RIGHT onto Lafayette St. (Route 114). Drive 2 blocks and at signal (after a baseball park on your left) turn LEFT onto West Shore Drive. Continue about 1 mile to signal at Village Street. Drive straight through signal, then, a half mile past that signal, turn RIGHT onto Green Street. Drive less than a half mile, to 47 Green Street. Park on right side of street. (parking might be limited)