March 28, 2022 12:01 pm

In 1637, a yeoman carpenter from England by the name of John Pickering settled in a small, untamed piece of land in Salem. Over 360 years later, the house his son built on this property is still standing, and his direct descendants continue to converge under its old beams. Ten generations of Pickering lived at 18 Broad Street: a shipwright, ministers, sea captain, top-ranked statesman, world’s foremost linguist, a preeminent naturalist, two celebrated astronomers, and more. The most celebrated among these, Colonel Timothy Pickering, spent all of his adult life in the service of his country. Appointed by President George Washington as Quartermaster General in the Revolutionary War, he was present at the battles of Brandywine and Germantown and at Cornwallis’ surrender. Pickering is the only person to serve three cabinet posts: Secretary of State, Postmaster General, and Secretary of War — which included administration of the Navy and Indian affairs. And he oversaw the building of three noble frigates, the “USS Constitution,” “United States,” and “Constellation,” starting a love of things marine for succeeding generations.

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