Ropes Mansion garden, 318 Essex St.

  • Ropes Mansion garden, 318 Essex St.
  • Cousins, Frank, 1851-
  • Photograph of the rear of Ropes Mansion, view of the garden.

    Ropes Mansion on 318 Essex Street was built in 1727 and extensively remodeled in 1894. Purchased by Nathaniel Ropes for his family, the last owners of the family mansion were Eliza Orne Ropes and her sister Mary Pickman Ropes, who left the house to be opened to the public. The mansion is in the McIntire Historic District and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

    The formal garden behind the house is a Colonial Revival-style garden carefully tended every year and visited by many for its beauty.The garden was designed in 1912 by Salem botanist and horticulturist John Robinson and the pond was added in 1930. Andy Bye was the main gardener at the Ropes Garden and worked there since 1931, after graduating from Essex Agricultural School. He also cultivated varieties of flowers in the adjacent greenhouse. Mr. Bye passed away on March 27th, 1994 at the age of 79. At the time of his retirement he had served as landscape gardener for 50 years.

    The house has been open to the public since 1912 as an independent house museum and then under the stewardship of the Essex Institute since 1978, who officially bought it in 1989.

    In August 2009, a painter's heat gun started a fire at the house, causing damage to the 3rd floor and attic area. Due to quick response time from fire fighters, the damage was minimal.

    In May of 2015, the Ropes Mansion was again open to the public for tours, with a focus on the family that lived there.
  • 1913
  • Frank Cousins Art Co.
  • No copyright restrictions.


Cousins, Frank, 1851-, “Ropes Mansion garden, 318 Essex St.,” Salem Public Library, accessed February 25, 2021,


Please let us know if you have any corrections, additional information or questions about this item.