On May 18th, 1855, 167 years today, the town of South Danvers, now Peabody, was incorporated.

It feels like we have changed our name more times than the monument has been moved in the Square.  Today, let’s look back at the many names of Peabody, along with some special glimpses of what Peabody would have looked like.



English Settlement of Salem. Peabody was referred to as Northfields, The Farms or Brooksby

Courtesy of the Danvers Alarm List Company. Map created by WP Upham of Salem 1692 for Charles W. Upham’s Salem Witchcraft, With an Account of Salem Village and a History of Opinions on Witchcraft and Kindred Spirits (1867)


Formation of the Middle Precinct of Salem consisting of the area between Salem Village (now Danvers) and Salem Town.


Founding of the District of Danvers. The Middle Precinct became known as the South Parish of Danvers.


Official separation from Salem and incorporation of the Town of Danvers. Peabody was still known as the South Parish of Danvers.

“Eagle Corner and Washington Street” by artist Charles Dole, circa 1825 Far left is the corner of Main and Washington Street; Painting extends down Main Street to the right towards today’s Peabody Square.

Painting of Peabody Square area, 1828; Looking towards today’s Central Street from Foster Street and Main Street

Sketch of Peabody Square area, circa 1848; Looking towards today’s Central Street, Lowell Street to the left and Main Street to the right


Official separation from Danvers and incorporation of the Town of South Danvers.

“View of South Danvers,” Print from Buxton’s Hill looking onto downtown Peabody, by J. B. Bachelder, 1856

Photograph from Buxton’s Hill looking onto downtown Peabody, circa 1875


Change in name from South Danvers to Peabody after George Peabody

Photograph from the Old South Church Bell Tower, June 11th, 1896


Incorporation of the City of Peabody

Cropped Panoramic Image of Peabody Square, March 7th, 1915
Photographer – Dansereau Photo