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 on 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.
"Tales of Salem's lost - lost hotels, taverns and ordinaries" Essex County Chronicles, Salem News, Mon. Oct. 29, 2007, p. 7