Then & Now: Riverbank
A historic Danvers mansion has provided for many over the years.
Riverbank, located on Water Street in Danvers, has a long history in the town. The land Riverbank stands on was originally purchased by John Waters in 1664. In 1845, Matthew Hooper purchased the land and built the mansion, where he and his wife entertained many. They held events, such as parties and balls, in large reception areas and ballrooms and had many dances for the people of Danvers. In 1883, William Penn Hussey began living in Riverbank, and a statue of him can also be seen across the street.
In the early 1900’s, John Frederick Hussey and his wife acquired the land and played a major role in turning the mansion into the New England Home for the Deaf. Hussey met with Helen Keller and Ann Sullivan, and wanted to help in the pursuit of providing more adequate care for the deaf. He sold them the land, and also provided them with additional funds and property to help them with their establishment.
Riverbank was the Home for the Deaf for many decades, until the chemical explosion of 2006. During the explosion the building suffered from multiple damages that would require costly repairs. The building was sold, and the residents were moved to a new facility. The old mansion is now being renovated into condominiums for the town.