Is that true? Was Pine Knoll one of the first homes to have electric lights? When and how did electricity come to private homes in Danvers?
Neither of us knew that history. I sent an inquiry to Mr. Richard Trask at the Danvers Archival Center, and he looked into the records of the Danvers Electric Light Department and reported these facts:
Pine Knoll may well have been the first private house in that section of Danvers (then called Asylum Station, later called Hathorne) to be wired for electric lights. In any case, it was an early installation, soon after December 1896 when such service began in Danvers.
*Arc light systems were high voltage direct-current (D.C.) systems, and could not supply household electricity.
If you are curious about the politics and arguments involved in obtaining state approval for Danvers electric light service, here's a document I found on the internet: 33 pages of testimony by Daniel Crowley, a lawyer representing Danvers:
Argument ... in favor of municipal lighting, before the Committee on manufactures of the Massachusetts legislature, March 24 and 25, 1891.
It is long-winded and full of exaggerations, but does give you a flavor of those times.