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Plummer Farm School Records

Identifier: M.13

Scope and Contents

The records of the Plummer Farm School date from 1855 to 1999, though the bulk of the material dates from 1855 to 1954. The most important records are those of the Board of Trustees, which date from 1855 to 1954. The Board records contain the Act of Incorporation for the school, the trustee bylaws, and meeting minutes. The collection also includes pamphlets, annual reports, audits, consultant reports, and administrative and legal documents. The collection highlights what transpired during a hundred years of Trustees minutes as well as how the school was run from both an educational and a functional standpoint.


  • 1855-1999
  • Majority of material found in 1855-1954

Biographical / Historical

The Plummer Farm School was incorporated in 1855 as the Plummer Farm School of Reform for Boys. Its benefactor was Caroline Plummer, who left over $25,000 in her will "to be appropriated to the founding of a Farm School of Reform for Boys, for the City of Salem, in the County of Essex, State of Massachusetts, on a plan similar to that of the State Reform School." On March 28, 1869, the city council conveyed 35 acres of land on Winter Island to the Trustees along with $8,000 for the construction of buildings for the school. The school was formally opened in September, 1870. The purpose of the school was to 'reform" delinquent or extremely disadvantaged and destitute boys through work and education. When the boys weren't in class, they were scheduled to work on the farm or take part in kitchen or house work. In the 1950s, the school became a group home for teenaged boys; it was renamed the Plummer Home for Boys in 1958. In 2017, it became Plummer Youth Promise with the mission of connecting young people in group or foster care with permanent families.


.58 Cubic Feet

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Repository Details

Part of the Salem State University Archives and Special Collections Repository

University Archivist
352 Lafayette St.
Salem MA 01970 United States