Historical Building of the Week: Samuel Snow Square on Pleasant and Essex Street

The modern-day Chamber of Commerce Information Booth Photo by Ben Pierce

The Marblehead Chamber of Commerce Information Booth sits on the island between Pleasant and Essex streets. Samuel Snow Square is named after the longest-surviving Civil War veteran in Marblehead, who died in 1944. A framed photo of him can be found in the far corner of the booth’s service window.

The booth is an extension of the chamber’s headquarters, which are located further up the hill on 62 Pleasant St. The booth’s design can be likened to a miniature Cape Cod house. It has shutters that open like a garage door in the front and on the right side. Its interior contains seating arrangements for two and a built-in display storage for brochures that are given to Marblehead visitors.

The booth was originally painted Old Town House yellow with green accents, until it was given a fresh paint job of soft gray and navy blue.

The Information Booth is funded in part by the Essex National Heritage Commission, a nonprofit organization that has been federally authorized to manage and oversee the unique heritage resources of the region. Booth staff veteran Peter Phillips revealed where the booth once was, as well as some of the upgrades it’s received over the years thanks to a Marblehead icon.

“In the olden days, the booth was actually across the street where the stone is,” Phillips explained. “Lars Anderson, out of his own pocket, paid for electricity, water, and telephone.”

The booth relocated from Memorial Park to its current location in 1990.

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the booth averaged more than 5,000 patrons per year. There was a dramatic drop-off, but Phillips believes that the booth is gaining back the popularity it once had.