Monument and Cemetery Etiquette

As the fall season comes to a close and the crowds begin to dissipate from the Greater Salem area we have begun to have some thoughts about proper visitation of Historic memorials and cemeteries.

While we realize that many visitors like to leave mementos to show their care and well wishes, some of these seemingly harmless tokens can sometimes cause real damage. While we can’t speak for other sites we just ask that in the future while visiting The Nurse Family cemetery, and Witch Victims Memorial in Danvers you try to follow these guidelines. 


Please do not leave: 

  • Perishable items like food; this includes pumpkins. These items rot and decay, draw insects and/or rodents which end up making a huge mess and potentially staining the stones or monuments they are placed on.
  • Other items like wax candles, glass bottles, or plastic wrapped flower bouquets; these items eventually degrade, get broken or blown around essentially becoming litter. (If you really would like to leave flowers, remove the plastic wrappings and lay them on the grass or ground in front of the stones)  
  • Coins, or other metal items shoved between the stones on our monument. Over the past few years we have noticed large amounts of money (we have collected over $50 just in metal coins) shoved into gaps or small cracks in our monument which have caused permanent staining and large divots in the stone which now allow water to collect causing mildew to form.
Other items left on top of other gravestones or shoved into the crevices of the granite obelisk

We often see people leaving items without knowing why they are doing it other than seeing that others have done so before them so we also wanted to provide a little context for those who are interested. Historically there are lots of traditions people are familiar with like leaving flowers but other traditions include leaving stones or rocks on a grave; you can read more about it HERE

Leaving different denominations of coins is a common military tradition which you can read more about HERE

While all of these traditions are all beautiful sentiments, the best way to show you care is simply to visit, pay your respects, and leave the space as you found it.

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October Tickets

If you would like to pre-purchase tickets for October CLICK HERE

To help reduce overcrowding on site we are selling timed entry slots 10:30am-12:30pm and 12:30pm-2:30pm. You are welcome to arrive ANYTIME within this time slot. (Please note that on Tuesdays the museum closes at 1pm so there will be no afternoon time slot).

Due to expected large visitation numbers in October we are NOT offering guided tours of the house in October, we will have volunteers stationed in our historic buildings to answer questions, and audio tours will be available for download from your phone.

  • Last entry to the museum will be a 30 minutes before close time.
  • Please plan extra travel time if traveling from Salem, traffic can be very heavy in October.
  • Due to high demand for tickets in October, refunds will only be given with 24 hours notice. Any questions please call (978)774-8799.
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Trails & Sails: Digging for History CANCELLED

Due to the rainy weather predicted for this weekend we have decided to cancel this event.

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Upcoming Events

These events hosted in partnership with Essex Heritage for their Trails & Sails event series.
This event is hosted in partnership with Essex Heritage and historian Donald Friary
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Annual Gala Day 2023

Join us for a 1920s Picnic and open house. Play classic games on the beautiful grounds of the historic Rebecca Nurse Homestead and partake in vintage entertainment and fare.

For this year’s theme we are traveling back to the 1920s! Come experience our version of Gala Day. We encourage guests who would like, to come dressed in their best 1920s attire and spend the day with us! The site will be open from 10am-3pm.

  • Explore the Historic Nurse Homestead Museum and its beautiful grounds.
  • Listen to popular music from the 1920’s
  • Watch silent “moving pictures” in the Meetinghouse
  • Try your hand at playing period-style lawn games. We have Croquet, Bocce, Lawn Shuffleboard, and Horseshoes. (But feel free to bring your own lawn games as well.)
  • Play period table games like cribbage, dominoes, and nine mens morris
  • Enjoy a Picnic
  • Our special 1920’s themed picnic boxes designed for two people are available for pre-purchase as an add-on with your admission (these must be ordered in advance and will not be available to order the day of the event). CLICK HERE to purchase admission tickets.
  • You are also welcome and encouraged to bring your own snacks or a picnic lunch (no alcoholic beverages). Some light refreshments including Pastries, Lemonade, and Rootbeer Floats will also be available for purchase.

Things to bring:

  • Blankets
  • Lawn chairs
  • Picnic Foods (we will have some baked goods and cold drinks available for purchase)
  • Sunscreen & Bug Spray
  • Lawn Games

Please do not bring

  • Alcohol
  • Cigarettes or similar items (we do not allow smoking on-site)
  • Grills of any kind
  • Pets (only certified service animals are allowed on-site)

We also have a carry-in, carry-out policy for trash, we will gladly supply small trash bags for people to place trash into before you leave. 

Check out our Facebook Event page to learn more about this event.

CLICK HERE to purchase admission

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2023 Season

Please note that our open hours are subject to change we will post on our Facebook and here with any last minute changes to our schedule.

May & June: Saturdays Only from 10am-3pm
July & August: Wednesday-Saturday from 10am-3pm

(Check back here for any updates to our schedule.)

Guided tours of  the Nurse family home will at 10:15, 11:15, 1:15, & 2:15. If you would like the formal guided tour instead of a self guided walk-through please arrive at one of these time slots listed above. We also have a FREE site brochure and an audio tour you can listen to on your smartphone, and our knowledgeable staff will also be available to talk with visitors and answer any questions.

Admission Prices:
Adults $10.00
Seniors (65+) $8.00
Children (6-16) $7.00
Children Under 6 FREE

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Revolutionary War Tactical at the Rebecca Nurse Homestead

Join the Danvers Alarm List Company as they host a one day 18th century living history event at the Nurse Homestead on November 5th from 9:15am-3pm.

Reenactors will be dressed in late 1770’s period clothing, and demonstrating everyday activities as well as 3 planned battle tactical demonstrations, and a lecture by Sandy Spector “10 things you may not know about Martha Washington”

All public are welcome to come to this event. (Please note that ALL reenactors MUST be pre-registered.)

Admission: $9.00 for Adults, $7.00 for Seniors, & $6.00 for Children (RNH members are FREE)

PLEASE NOTE: The Museum buildings will be open for visitation during this event but we will NOT be doing formal guided tours of any of the buildings; the meetinghouse will host the 10:15 lecture, and the Nurse family home will have reenactors demonstrating hearth cooking, and other household activities. During the tactical demonstrations we may cut off access to the lower field and cemetery path due to musket firing.

Check out the Facebook Event Page for updated information about this event

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Fall Reminders

As enter the busy fall season we please ask potential visitors, and locals to keep a few things in mind…

For the safety of you as a visitor, and and the safeguard of our historic property, we do not allow visitation of ANY part of the property while we are closed (this includes locals who have previously used the property as a walking/bike trail or shortcut to Collins Street or the Rail Trail), and ask that you be respectful of this.

If the sign at the entry way says CLOSED then please do not enter the property via car or by foot.

October we will be open Tuesdays from 10am-1pm and Saturdays & Sundays from 10am-3pm.

November 5th-13th we will be open Saturdays & Sundays only from 10am-3pm.

If you are planning on visiting on a day that we are not open to the public you can request a private tour. (For private groups of 5 or less people we charge a $50 opening fee, but for larger groups over 5 people we charge the standard admission rate.) Private tours depend on our staff availability so please give us at least one week notice.

Thank you in advance for your patience and understanding, of the limited resources of our volunteer run site.

For more visitor information CLICK HERE

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Digging for History Trails & Sails Event Cancelled

We are sorry to inform you that the Trails & Sails: Digging for History Event is cancelled for this weekend. The Eugene Winter Chapter of Mass Archaeological Society WILL still be doing their Atlatl event CLICK HERE to learn more about it.

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Updated Schedule for the rest of the season

July 1st through August 27th: Wednesday-Saturday 10:00am-3:00pm 

September 3rd through 25th: Saturdays & Sundays ONLY 10:00am-3:00pm

October 1st through 30th: Tuesdays 10:00am-1:00pm and Saturdays & Sundays 10:00am-3:00pm (Check back here for updated schedule.)

November 5th through 13th: Saturdays & Sundays ONLY 10:00am-3:00pm

We will NOT be doing guided tours in October but we will have an audio tour available to listen to from your smartphone, and our knowledgeable staff will be able to answer any questions you may have.

If you would like to purchase tickets in advance for our regular hours in October CLICK HERE (pre-purchase is NOT required, we will have a select amount of tickets available at the door)


These are the only guided tours we will be offering in October…The event begins at sunset; with a walk along the tree lined path to the back of the property to the ancient Nurse Family Cemetery. The next stop is through the circa 1678 house which was occupied by Rebecca Nurse and then members of the Nurse family until 1798. You will hear the story of the Nurse family and Rebecca’s accusation of witchcraft. As you wander through the completely candlelit home you will be able to imagine what it was like living here 330 years ago. CLICK HERE to learn more about this program and to purchase tickets. (PLEASE NOTE tickets will NOT be available at the door for this program)

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