, Salem, MA


April 23, 2013

Letter: Luck salvaged a historic mansion from Salem's fire in 1914

To the editor:

William Shepard Gray was a prosperous merchant on Federal Street in the early 1800s. He was born in Lynn in 1773 and took his mother’s maiden name in 1797, becoming Shepard Gray.

“Billy” Gray, as Salem people knew him, made money in commercial ventures on land and at sea, owning the ship Eliza before the War of 1812, in 1810.

It is likely Samuel McIntire did design work on Gray’s 179 Federal St. mansion when it was built circa 1809, the brick house still dominating its area. But the important point remains: It survived the Salem fire in June 1914.

The Gray mansion is in faded glory now, but think how close it came to destruction, along with its two neighbors at the fire’s edge. “Billy” Gray died in Cambridge in 1824, but his mansion still stands on Federal Street in Salem, thanks to luck.

Edward W. Carberg


Text Only | Photo Reprints

AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Comments Tracker
Roll Call
Helium debate