Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Sunday in Salem

In Salem in October, everything is about witches.
 Even the art at the visitors center is spooky. 
 People were flocking to the Salem Witch Museum.

 But not us. We passed right by all the nonsense. We were looking for real history.

Like this guy, Roger Conant, the first settler and founder of Salem. In 1626, he left Plymouth Colony because of the increasing fanaticism of the Pilgrims. Settlers to the Boston area were the Puritans, Protestants who wanted to simplify and regulate systems of worship. 
 This is the John Ward house, typical of a First Period house, c.1684.
 We walked down Essex Street, the main street of Old Salem, past the tourist shops, to get to the historic homes district. 

 This First Period house is in it's original location on Essex St. and is called the Witch House because it is the only dwelling still existing that has an association to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. At that time it was the home of Judge Johnathon Corwin, one of the panel of judges who sent 20 people to the gallows for witchcraft. 

 Down the street  a bit is the site of the first church in Salem. 
"Gathered" as a Congregationalist church in 1629, it is the oldest Protestant church in North America.  
 It's message today is very different from when two of its members were hanged as witches. 

 Some of the old houses are very grand. Where there is a garden we will find it.
 How do they get iris to bloom in October!

We walked for blocks, enjoying the architectural styles along these historic streets.

 We stopped for brunch at a popular place that Bride Laura recommended as her favorite place for breakfast, The Ugly Mug. It was certainly busy. We kept on touring while we waited to be seated. 
Near the old Salem Harbor we found the old Town Hall.
 And the original cemetery.

 Here we were seeking the Salem Witch Trials Memorial. 
 Created in 1972, the memorial names the 20 victims of zealotry gone a muck. 

 "Only if we remember will we be worthy of redemption."

 Old buildings on the site are reminiscent of the humble dwellings of that time. 

Nearby was the historic old Salem Harbor. 

 These earthen wharves are examples of over 50 all along the harbor that were created by hand, one shovelful and wheel barrow load at a time, beginning in 1767. Before then the shoreline was just natural and not adequate for larger vessels. 

 The Derby Wharf Light Station dates to 1871.

 That was the end of the line for this tour. It was time to walk back to where we parked the car, drive north out of the city to our Country Garden Inn in small town Rowley, and get ready to go to a wedding, the site of which was just a few miles from our lodging. 


  1. So very interesting. The houses look very different from any I've seen before. Thank you for the history lesson. :-)

  2. Such fun history! You're in my old neck of the woods! Hope you enjoyed the wedding and the whole trip!

  3. If there's a garden to tour or an historic town, you are sure to find it!!

  4. One of my favorite places!

  5. The witches and witch trials are fascinating as it shows the ignorance and bias at the time.

  6. fascinating history trip you are having...

  7. Wow, this is very interesting. Thanks for the tour.

  8. You took us on a an amazing tour, such an interesting place to visit.

  9. Nice to see your photos. It has been a long time since I visited that area...my pictures have my kids as preteens!

  10. No time for the House of Seven Gables? I grew up one town over in Peabody.

  11. What an interesting tour. You made me want to take the tour in person. Such a sad time in our history when fear and prejudice reigned.

  12. Interesting how the historic styles vary on the other side of the country. The answer to how they get iris to bloom in October is, obviously, witchcraft.


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