A well-known sea merchant in his time, Joshua Ward commissioned the construction of a new home in 1784. He acquired his fortune through the import of tea, spices, molasses, and Sumatran pepper which back then was colloquially known as “black gold”. The house he ordered was located on a wharf, so he literally could see his ships entering the harbor from his home.
Nowadays, that home is The Merchant, a luxury accommodation located in the heart of the city. As a matter of fact, the owners honor Ward’s legacy both with the hotel’s name and with the tagline “Rum, pepper, and a little bit of mystery.”
What’s Inside The Merchant?
The stunning Federal-style house was created by Salem’s own Samuel McIntire. Opened in 2015, the exquisite boutique kept the home’s historical treasures, such as McIntire’s staircase and woodwork. Also, in the hotel’s common room you will find the original fireplace.
The owners tried to maintain the building’s historical character but also to bring it a modern flare. Therefore, inside you’ll find a blend of classic and contemporary decor, especially in the guest lounge.
Touring The Merchant
The hotel’s eleven comfy rooms vary in size and shape, but never in quality. This is perfectly exemplified by the fact that in 1789, president George Washington came to Salem and enjoyed staying the night in this storied establishment. The room he slept in is now called the, “George Washington King Deluxe room,” and the owners are happy to share its history with their guests.
Additionally, the building has the spooky reputation of being a quite haunted place, due to the land on which it’s built. Sheriff George Corwin, who interrogated every person suspected of witchcraft in 1692, lived and maintained his jail in this location. It’s said that the spirit of some of the innocent victims still roam the building.
Hours of Operation
The Merchant is open 24 hours per day. Book a room above to support the site and get a fantastic rate while you’re at it.