It never ceases to amaze me just how much history resides in this small town of ours. The Marblehead Powder House is a prime example of that. Situated on Green Street (a fairly busy residential street) and tucked in just a bit from the sidewalk stands this circular brick structure. The only sign suggesting its history is the date above the door – it reads ‘BUILT 1755’.
A bit of searching reveals that the Powder House was built on what was then called Ferry Road to serve as storage for muskets and ammunition. It did so during the French and Indian War, the Revolutionary Was as well as the War of 1812. In particular, the ‘black powder’ of that era was very unstable compared to more modern ‘smokeless’ gunpowder and thus powder houses were built for safe storage. Apparently, Marblehead’s Powder House is one of only three left standing in the United States…though I haven’t been able to find the location of the other two. Hopefully someone can add a comment with that information.
*Update – thanks to information from Fans on Facebook, I have found a number of other powder houses: