Salem Cross Inn
West Brookfield, Worcester Co, MA
Pictured Left: The old portion of the house
Today it is called the Salem Cross Inn, a restaurant and banquet facility sitting outside West Brookfield, MA. Listed on the National Historic Register, the front door latch holds a witch-mark designed to protect the inhabitants. It began as the home of the John White family. Sergt. John White was listed as a Brookfield, MA resident on the October 30, 1706 roster. The History of North Brookfield, Mass states, "To insure (standing guards for the inhabitants) and to hold out inducements to the sons of the first planters to remain, the Committee, at the meeting held Mar. 8, 1710, granted to Sergt. John White, 42 acres of upland and 20 of meadow, provided he live in the place four years after he is wholly disbanded, and pay rates." John White then began construction of a home for himself, his wife Prudence Hayward and their firstborn son John. The construction of the main house was not completed during John White's lifetime. Only months after receiving his land grant and with a wife pregnant with his second son, John White was killed by Indians. The History of North Brookfield, Mass reports the killing as follows. "The most distressing disaster on our frontiers this year, happened at Brookfield. July 22 (1710) six men, viz. Ebenezer Hayward, John White, Stephen Jennings, Benjamin Jennings, John Grosvenor and Joseph Kellogg were making hay in the meadows, when the Indians, who had been watching an opportunity to surprise them, sprang suddenly upon them, despatched five of them, and took the other (John White) prisoner. White, spying a small company of our people at some distance, jumped from the Indians that held him and ran to join his friends; but the Indian fired after him and wounded him in the thigh, by which he fell; but soon recovering and running again, he was again fired at and received his death wound." A monument to the event sits in Old Indian Cemetery in West Brookfield.
John White's widow eventually remarried and moved to Connecticut. Their posthumous son Cornelius White and his wife spent their lifetime in the house as did generations of descendants. Although the property is not currently owned by the family, John White's descendants can be heartened by the fact that his home has stood strong throughout time and faces the 21st century with a continuing vitality.
|Pictures of the interior of the house are all taken in the old portion of the house.|