The man who lived in this house was not only an artist, he is responsible for jazzing up your salads, too.
While the rest of the country thought tomatoes to be deadly poison, Michele Felice Corne (1752-1845) was used to eating the red, juicy delights in his native land of Italy. He is responsible for introducing tomatoes to the United States.
However, his eating habits were just a small part of his contributions. Corne was known for his paintings of marine scenes, portraits and interior details as well.
Born on the Italian island of Elba, Corne grew up in Naples and came to America in 1800 after fleeing a draft. He came over on the Mount Vernon, which was commanded by Elias Hasket Derby Jr. He lived with Derby in his Salem, Mass., home.
Several of his historic paintings are located in the Peabody-Essex Museum in Salem.
Corne lived and worked in Boston from 1802 until 1822, when he moved to Newport in 1822. He lived in this house until his death at age 93.