17 Salem Street

Architectural Description: 


Style: Picturesque

Other features: form and porch detail; almost identical to 40 High Street (round instead of pointed arched windows)

Historical Narrative: 

Present owner: Phillips Academy (10 Sept 1923)

Themes: Architectural, Community development

Merrill House was razed in June 2014 for the construction of a new infirmary building for Phillips Academy.

The Rev. David Oliphant once owned this property. Rev. David Oliphant was b. Nov. 9, 1791 in Waterford, Saratoga, NY, son of Duncan & Rachael (Woodruff) Oliphant. David was an Orthodox Congregational Minister who served in several churches in New England. He was living in Keene, NH at the time of his marriage on Sept. 27, 1815 to Mary Pearson b. May 3, 1793 in Andover, MA, daughter of Dr. Abel & Mary Pearson. David & Mary had 6 children all born in Essex Co. MA; David b. 1816, Henry b. 1818, Mary Elisabeth b. 1819 - 1821, James W. b. 1822, and twins Robert W. & Mary P. b. Dec. 29, 1824 in Beverly, MA.
Wife Mary Oliphant died on Aug. 22, 1868 and was interred in the Chapel Cemetery of the Andover Theological Seminary, now owned by Phillips Academy. Rev Oliphant then sold the home to Mary C. Pierson on Sept. 19, 1868.

After her death the estate went to three sons, Issac, John O. and Stephen Pierson. Brothers John O. Pierson and Stephen Pierson quit claimed the deed to Isaac and wife Lizzie B. Pierson on Jan. 14, 1876. Isaac Pierson was a Missionary of the American Board of Foreign Missions and was in China at the time the brothers quit claimed the deed equally to Isaac and Lizzie B. Pierson.

The Peirsons were still living in China at the time they sold the property to Susanna W. Smith on Jan. 18, 1882.

Susanna Smith owned the house for 23 years then selling to Lucia W. G. Merrill on Nov. 13, 1905. Sadly Lucia died the following year on Nov. 7, 1906. Her estate went to her daughters Lucia G. Merrill and Sara E. (Merrill) Wilson. Lucia G. Merrill died on Feb. 14, 1915 her sister Sara E. Wilson inherited the property.

The Trustees of Phillips Academy purchased the house on Sept. 10, 1928 and it was then named Merrill House. The home served several functions during Academy use including faculty housing and department offices.


Essex County Registry Deeds, Salem, MA
Essex Northern Registry Deeds, Lawrence, MA

David Oliphant
Mary C. Pierson - Sept. 19, 1868 - b. 757 leaf 47 - Salem deed
Mary C. Pierson estate, Heirs, Isaac, John O. and Stephen Pierson
Isaac & Lizzie B. Pierson - Jan. 14, 1876 - b. 38 p. 599
Susanna W. Smith - Jan. 18, 1882 - b. 68 p. 482
Lucia W. G. Merrill - Nov. 13, 1905 - b. 226 p. 384
Lucia W. G. Merrill estate, heirs Lucia G. Merrill & Sara E. Wilson - Nov. 7, 1906 - Probate
Lucia G. Merrill estate, heir Sara E. Wilson - Feb. 14, 1915 - Probate
Sara E. Wilson - 1915 - 1928
Trustees of Phillips Academy - Sept. 10, 1928 - b. 543 p. 241

Inventory Data:

StreetSalem St
PlacePhillips District
Historic DistrictAcademy Hill NRH District
Historic NameOliphant - Pierson - Merrill House
Present UseNew infirmary building 2015
Original Useresidence
Construction Dateca. 1850's
SourceERDS, ENRDL, AHS file, njs, style
Architectural StyleOther
Foundationstone foundation
Wall/Trimclapboards/vinyl covered
Roofasphalt - gable
Outbuildings / Secondary Structuresmodern garage
Major Alterationsremodeled (1955)
Demolition DetailsRazed June 2014
Acreageless than one acre; lot size: 0.25 acres: approx. frontage: 567' Main street, 765' Salem Street (frontage does not match lot size)!!!
Map and parcel41-4
Recorded byStack/Mofford, James Batchelder
OrganizationAndover Preservation Commission
Date entered1975 - 1977, 4/2/2015