The first hotel in Salem was the Essex House, built about 1800 as a mansion for merchant William Gray. A fine hotel, it attracted notable guests. The Leavitt family, which owned and operated the hotel for 48 years, also ran a stagecoach service.
It was located at 176 1/2 Essex Street where Museum Place Mall now stands.
After remodeling in 1897, it opened with 72 rooms in addition to servants' quarters, parlors and an elegant dining room.
Vertical File in Salem Collection - Essex House
"Tales of Salem's lost - lost hotels, taverns and ordinaries" Essex County Chronicles, Salem News, Mon. Oct. 29, 2007, p. 7
Visitor's guide to Salem Essex Inst. 1953 ed., p. 164
Illustrated history of Salem and environs : issued as the souvenir edition of the Salem Evening News and describing and illustrating Salem, Massachusetts and immediate vicinity from first settlement to present day] compiled by C. B. Gillespie, p. 137-8