Peabody, Massachusetts

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Peabody (pronounced /ˈpiːbədi/) is a city in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. The population is about 53,000. Peabody is located in Boston's North Shore suburban area.

Contents

History

First known as the Northfields, "the Farms", and Brooksby, the area was settled about 1626 within Salem, which had itself been founded in 1626 and incorporated in 1629. In 1752, the area was set off from Salem and incorporated as part of Danvers. It was usually referred to as "the South Parish", associated with the church located in the center (now Peabody Square). In 1855, the community broke away from Danvers to become the town of South Danvers, incorporated that May 18. The name was changed on April 30, 1868 to Peabody after George Peabody, a noted philanthropist. It would be incorporated as a city in 1916.

Giles Koraey, the only person pressed to death by stones in the Salem witch hysteria of 1692, had his farm and was buried here beside his wife next to Crystal Lake.

On the morning of October 28, 1915, 21 young girls lost their lives in a fire at the St. John's School on Chestnut Street in the Downtown area. The 21 girls who were trapped were found after the fire subsided, huddled together and burnt beyond recognition, on the other side of the entrance - just steps away from survival. All the teachers escaped with their lives. The students' deaths were privately mourned in Peabody and were rarely mentioned, as many tried to forget the tragedy. Because of this, Peabody became the first city to make a law that said all doors must push out [1][2]

Beginning as a farming community, the town's streams attracted mills which operated by water power. In particular, Peabody was a major center of New England's leather industry and tanneries remained a linchpin of the city's economy into the second half of the 20th century. The tanneries have since closed, but the city remains known locally as the Leather City or Tanner City and its high school sports teams are nicknamed the Tanners.

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