Our History: Partial List of Treasures

Alms Boxes Hand carved wooden “poor” boxes, one from the eighteen century made by the Rev. William Harris, Rector 1791-1802 and later President of Columbia University (1811-1829), and one from the Victorian era.

Altar Missals Red leather service missals used by Anglican missionaries to St. Michael’s in the mid eighteenth century.

Archives Primary source records, artifacts, architectural and decorative art treasures professionally restored, indexed, and housed in environmentally controlled, fire resistant safes. Open by appointment to the interested visitor.

Bell Cast by Paul Revere and Son, Boston, which has hung in the bell tower since 1818 and is used regularly. The belfry deck and bell are accessible via a stairway from the choir loft to the interested visitor by appointment.

Chandelier Twelve-branched brass chandelier and wrought iron suspension grill, made in England in 1732. Gift of John Elbridge, Esq., Collector of the Port of Bristol, England. Considered by The Boston Globe in 1976 to be one of the greatest artistic and historical treasures of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Charter Act of Incorporation officially establishing the “Episcopal Parish in Marblehead” in 1799, professionally restored and on permanent display in the Archives.

Christmas Celebration Sermon In 1728 St. Michael’s rector, the Rev. George Pigot, preached the first defense of Christmas as a religious occasion to celebrate in the Colonies; sparked great controversy and a pamphlet war; a copy of the rare, original 1732 published pamphlet is in the Archives.

Churchyard Colonial grave site adjacent to the east side of the church in which the remains of some seventy-five parishioners and former rectors are buried. The headstones have been restored. In recent years several cremains have also been added, and a hand-made wrought iron fence was installed in 2005.

Crypt In use for only a few years beginning in 1715, St. Michael’s has the oldest church crypt in New England. It contains the remains of nearly twenty-five people. Reconstructed in 1983.

Initials “Signature” Georgian-style scroll “H H” initials for Henry Humphries, surveyor of the works during the church’s construction in 1714. Discovered on a wood panel wall beneath the choir staircase in 1978. On permanent display in the vestibule gallery.

Organ Built by C.B. Fisk of Gloucester, 1974, opus 69. The organ is a two manual, twenty-stop tracker pipe organ and is housed in a restored case from 1833. It can be heard weekly at the 10:00 am Holy Eucharist and at scheduled Sunday evening concerts featuring guest organists.

Organ Bench Wood with original horsehair seat, made in 1811, donated back to St. Michael’s by the Marblehead Historical Society, who had originally received the donation from someone at the church.

Paintings Various oil portraits of colonial and later rectors, many of which have been fully restored. On display in the parish hall and in the Archives.

Reredos Decalogue, Creed, and Lord’s Prayer painted on wood, from 1714, under a carved Georgian pediment and above the altar. A singular treasure of the parish and once thought to have been brought from England, the painting has now been attributed to John Gibbs of Boston.

Roof Beneath the present 1728 roof can be seen the original 1714 roof and tower, intact with original shingles and clapboarding. Available to the interested visitor by appointment.

Silver Queen Anne-style flagon dated 1745, given to the church by David LeGallais in 1745 and wrought by Jonathan Swift of London. Plus a chalice, paten, cross, vases, offering plates and many other pieces of silver from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

Stenciled Victorian Plaster Decorative wall designs from 1888 and later, segments of which have been preserved and placed on permanent display in the vestibule gallery.

Wall Sconce Tin sconce from the eighteenth century, discovered in 1978 with its glass globe largely intact, professionally restored by a conservator from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

These and many other treasures are available for viewing, some by appointment, for the interested visitor.

View to altar and painted wood reredos from 1714

Brass chandelier, made in 1732

Learn more about St. Michael’s history:

Surrounding Buildings
A Revere Bell
St. Michael’s Church Architecture and Chronology
Stained Glass Windows
Archives and Preservation
St. Michael’s Crypt & Churchyard
Women at St. Michael’s
Partial List of Treasures
St. Michael’s Rectors
Histories of St. Michael’s Available Online

back to Our History page

last update 02/15/2014