Glen Magna Tea House Summer Derby House

The History

The Derby Summer House, also known as the McIntire Tea-house is a beautiful Adamesque teahouse that was designed in 1793 and built by Samuel McIntire in 1794 for Elias Haskett Derby at his farm in Danvers (Peabody). The teahouse is an extremely rare and well-preserved example of an 18th-century summer house, and also includes some of the earliest American sculpture in the carved wooden figures mounted on its roof.

The structure is 20 square feet, 2 ½ stories tall, decorated with pilasters, swags, and Grecian urns, and topped with rustic wood statutes of a Reaper and Milkmaid. The ground floor is punctuated by central arched openings on the east and west facades, each flanked with arched windows with wooden keystones. The second floor is ornamented with swags and fluted Ionic pilasters at the corners and between windows.

The house was purchased in 1901 by William C. Endicott and moved to Glen Magna Farms, Danvers, Massachusetts about 4 miles from its original site, where it now opens onto a walled rose garden designed by Herbert Browne. The two statues atop the house are not the originals. The Milkmaid was missing when the house was transported; after 20 years, she was found atop an Andover mill building, damaged by fire. A duplicate was carved in 1924, and the original was donated to the Peabody Essex Museum. The original Reaper fell in a storm in 1982. It was also reproduced and the original is in the Danvers Historical Society collection.

The Summer House is a rarity and is important because it represents American Federal architecture at its finest. Since 1958 it has been owned by the Danvers Historical Society. The Teahouse is a National Historic Landmark and listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1968.

The Restoration

After Gienapp Design completed a preliminary assessment of the Derby Summer House, we identified numerous building deficiencies that required remediation and the repairs were prioritized into two Phases.

The purpose of this project was to perform emergency repairs on the exterior including roof, and eaves.

The initial Phase (1) was comprised of emergency repairs to stabilize and preserve the historic building from further damage. The extensive emergency repairs helped with structural issues, as well as exterior issues. The Phase 2 restoration work will include other necessary but less urgent repairs.