Wenham, MA: history, population, rivers, lakes, mountains, resorts, hotels, motels, inns, and landmarks.

New England > Massachusetts > Wenham

Wenham, Massachusetts

Essex county. This town is 20 miles N. by E. from Boston, 6 N. from Salem, and 16 S. from Newburyport. First settled, 1643. Population, 1837, 689.

Wenham or Enon pond is a beautiful sheet of water, about a mile square, and affords an abundance of excellent fish. It is much visited. The first sermon preached in this place was on the border of this pond, by the celebrated Hugh Peters, minister of Salem, about the year 1636. His text was, "At Enon near Salem, because there was much water there."

Mr. Peters went to England, as agent for the colony, 1641; engaged in the civil wars on the side of the parliament, and was executed after the restoration of Charles II.

The surface of the town is pleasant: the soil is generally of a good quality, and well cultivated by industrious and independent farmers.

John Duntan, an Englishman who travelled in this country in 1686, and on his return to England published a journal of his travels, gives the following account of Wenham and of its minister, Joseph Gerrish, who was ordained Feb. 13, 1675, and died Jan. 6, 1719.

"Wenham is a delicious paradise, it abounds with rural pleasures, and I would choose it above all other towns in America to dwell in; the lofty trees on each side of it are a sufficient shelter from the winds, and the warm sun so kindly ripens both the fruits and flowers, as if the spring, the summer, and the autumn had agreed together to thrust the winter out of doors. It were endless to enter on a details of each faculty of learning Mr. Gerrish is master of, and I therefore take his character in short hand. The philosopher is acute, ingenious and subtle. The divine, curious, orthodox and profound. The man of a majestic air, without austerity or sourness; his aspect is masterly and great, yet not imperious or haughty. The christian is devout without moroseness, or starts of holy frenzy and enthusiasm. The preacher is primitive without the occasional colors of whining, or cant, and methodical, without intricacy or affectation; and which crowns his character, he is a man of public spirit, zealous for the conversion of the Indians, and of great hospitality to strangers. He gave us a noble dinner, and entertained us with such pleasant fruits, as I must own, Old England is a stranger to."

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