Irish History in Salem, MA

St. Patrick’s Day may be over, but there are still plenty of ways to learn about Irish history in Salem, Massachusetts. Take a tour of the Phillips House, where many Irish immigrants have been employed by the Phillips family, or visit The House of the Seven Gables this May for a new live performance based on the life of Irish Catholic indentured servant, Joan Sullivan.

The Phillips House
During the early 20th century, the Phillips family employed a number of Irish servants at their home on Chestnut Street. Like many servants at the time, most of the servants the Phillipses hired were young, white, single females who were either immigrants themselves or first generation Americans.

By 1919, the Phillips House servant quarters were home to three Irish women and a couple of Irish men. The women lived in the servants’ quarters, located on the third floor of the family’s home, while the men lived off the property often with their own wives and families.

The women often took on roles within the home, sometimes caring for children as was the case for Catherine Shaughnessy who was a nursemaid to Stephen Phillips. As Stephen eventually moved out of the home to attend boarding school, Catherine, or “Catty,” continued to work for the Phillips family for 52 years as an assistant and maid.

Men at the Phillips House performed roles outside the home, as was the case for Patrick O’Hara who served as the family’s chauffeur. Patrick was responsible for not only driving the Phillips’ family vehicle but also for its care and upkeep.

Guests may tour the Phillips House between 11:00 am and 4:00 pm on Saturdays and Sundays through May 27. June 1 through October 31 the Phillips House is open for tours Tuesday through Saturday. Tours begin every half hour with the last tour at 4:00 pm.

The House of the Seven Gables
The House of the Seven Gables will be introducing a theatrical tavern experience in May called: I Am Joan Sullivan. This experience will give visitors a chance to learn about Joan Sullivan, the Irish Catholic indentured servant of merchant John Turner, who built The House of the Seven Gables in 1668, and her new master, turbulent Quaker merchant Thomas Maule, as she sues for her freedom from his alleged abuse.

I am Joan Sullivan will explore the trials of a young immigrant woman with little to no agency in America where she was considered a second class citizen because of her ethnicity, gender, and faith, long before the immigrant struggle of the 19th and 20th centuries that inspired The Gables’ founder, Caroline Emmerton, in her original settlement mission. For tickets ($10-17) and information, visit www.7gables.org.

Pet Friendly Salem, MA

Belle and Tipper Salem 2011_Barb Swartz

Planning a visit to Salem, MA with your entire family (pets included)? There are plenty of ways to experience Salem with your pet, from pet-friendly hotel rooms to outdoor dining opportunities. Click here for a complete list of pet-friendly locations around Salem.

Accommodations
Many of Salem’s hotels and inns welcome guests traveling with pets. Please note that fees vary by each location, and pet friendly rooms are based on availability.

The Hawthorne Hotel offers pet friendly rooms on the building’s 6th floor. A stay includes complimentary toys for guests’ dogs, and a specially crafted Doggy Room Service menu designed by the Hawthorne Hotel’s executive chef.

Pets are also welcome in select rooms at the Salem Inn, and the Stepping Stone Inn where guests may take advantage of dog walking services for an additional fee.

Guests planning to camp in Salem can bring pets to Winter Island Park which is open from May 20 to November 1.

Attractions & Tours
Well-behaved pets are able to join their humans on some of Salem’s walking tours included Bewitched After Dark Walking Tours and Spellbound Tours. Dogs can also learn about Salem’s history and get around town aboard the Salem Trolley and Mahi Cruises.

Belle and Tipper Salem 2011_Barb Swartz

Belle and Tipper, Image: Barb Swartz.

Shopping
Coon’s Cards & Gifts is home to Penelope’s Pet Boutique, which stocks collars, toys, tags, and treats for their furry friends. Pets may also visit New England Dog Biscuit Company, which bakes natural dog biscuits right in the shop and carries other natural treats and food, toys, collars/leashes, and more for both cats and dogs.

Pets are also welcome in some shops around town, like RJ Coins and Jewelry where guests with friendly pets may browse products like the Dog Fever and Cat Fever hug rings. Other local businesses may place water bowls outside their entrances to keep pets hydrated while they enjoy Salem with their families.

Dining
Local restaurants with outdoor dining spaces may allow pets to join their guests on patios. Flying Saucer Pizza Company, Gulu-Gulu Café, Village Tavern, and Victoria Station and Vic’s Boathouse all welcome pets in their patio dining areas. Village Tavern can also provide a puppy friendly menu and beef infused water.

Walking Locations
Some favorite dog walking spots in Salem include: Derby Wharf, Forest River Park, Salem Common, Salem Willows, and Winter Island Park. Remember to obey local leash laws and pick up after your pet while going for walks. Be sure to bring your pet’s proper identification and proof of Rabies vaccination while traveling, and follow posted regulations when walking along beaches.

10th Annual Salem Film Fest

Salem Film Fest is one of the largest documentary film festivals in New England, and it has been featuring exceptional works of film for the past ten years. This year’s event will showcase over fifty documentaries and shorts between March 2-9.

Films are chosen to be a part of Salem Film Fest based on their technical and artistic grandeur and their abilities to incite new interests and responses from the audience. Additionally, two out of three filmmakers involved in producing the works shown during Salem Film Fest attend related events and speaking engagements throughout the week.

Salem Film Fest begins tomorrow evening with the event’s opening gala at the Hawthorne Hotel. The gala will celebrate the accomplishments of Salem Film Fest in New England, and honor David Fanning, Founder and Executive Producer at Large of FRONTLINE. David will be in attendance to receive the Salem Film Fest Storyteller Award.

Proceeds from the opening gala will be used to support Salem Film Fest, an organization which is maintained entirely by volunteers who have passions for documentary filmmaking.

This year’s Film Fest will present a variety of topics. From After Spring, which follows two families as they search for a permanent home from their temporary stay at a refugee camp in Jordan, to First Lady of the Revolution, which portrays the fascinating life of Henrietta Boggs, the Alabama native who eventually becomes First Lady of Costa Rica. The complete schedule of films and events may be viewed at SalemFilmFest.com/2017/Schedule.

Films will be shown at the Morse Auditorium at the Peabody Essex Museum, CinemaSalem, and the Salem Regional Visitors Center. Tickets are $11-13 per film, and may be purchased online in advance through the Salem Film Fest website.

In addition to the films, Salem Film Fest includes film after parties, lectures, five-minute student film contests, and live music. Complete event schedules for Salem Film Fest are available online at SalemFilmFest.com.

Celebrate National Margarita Day in Salem, MA

Looking to celebrate #NationalMargaritaDay in Salem, Massachusetts? Luckily there are plenty of spots around the city serving cool, refreshing margaritas all-year-round.

Classics
For classic margaritas by the waterfront, look no further than Pickering Wharf where The Regatta Pub at the Salem Waterfront Hotel and Suites serves up a Frozen Blue Margarita made with Jose Cuervo, Blue Curacao, fresh lime and blueberries. For another blueberry option, walk just around the corner from the hotel to Sea Level Oyster Bar & Kitchen to try the Blueberry Mistletoe Margarita, a mix of Agavales Tequila, Triple Sec, lime juice, blueberries, basil, simple syrup, and topped with a splash of 888 Blueberry Vodka.

In search of raspberry instead? Try Brodie’s Seaport’s Raspberry Margarita with Cuervo Silver Tequila, Combier Orange Liqueur, agave syrup, raspberry purée, a splash of cranberry, fresh lime juice & sour.

Wicked Margarita, from the Hawthorne Hotel

Prefer citrus to berries? Victoria Station & Vic’s Boathouse have you covered with the Blood Orange Margarita, a tasty mix of Olmeca Altos Tequila, Triple Sec, Blood Orange Juice and fresh lime juice. Howling Wolf Taqueria on the corner of Lafayette and Derby Streets can also help with your citrus craving. Their margarita menu includes La Chupacabra featuring 1800 Silver, Triple Sec, blood orange puree, and a house made fusion.

Also in Pickering Wharf enjoy a classic lime margarita at Longboards Restaurant and Bar, or at Victoria Station & Vic’s Boathouse with a tequila of your choice, Triple Sec, agave, lime juice, orange juice, topped with lemonade, or try Finz Seafood and Grill’s Defa Rita, made with Don Julio Silver Tequila, Cointreau, fresh watermelon, lemon, and lime juice.

Can’t decide on a flavor? Howling Wolf Taqueria has a variety of flavors to choose from including mango, strawberry, blood orange, passion fruit, peach, and pomegranate. Also on the menu is the Skinny Marg, a lower calorie take on a classic lime margarita made with Avion Silver, agave nectar, orange bitters, fresh squeezed lime juice, and topped with soda water.

For a classic margarita closer to Salem Common, try the Wicked Margarita at the Hawthorne Hotel served at both the Tavern on the Green and Nat’s restaurants. The Wicked Margarita is crafted with Pueblo Viejo Tequila 100% Agave, and other flavors of your choice, and can be served in a traditional version or a “beach ready” (light) version. For more margaritas in the downtown area, try Village Tavern in the Museum Place Mall, or Rockafellas on Washington Street.

The Ghost Eater and The Wild Gunman, from Bit Bar

Veggie-infused
For a twist on a classic margarita recipe, try a veggie infused margarita from Opus on Washington Street. Opus offers both the Spinario made with Carrot infused tequila, skinos, aperol, black pepper vodka, lemon, ginger, and the Star People with Carrot tequila, blood orange black tea aperol, grapefruit, toasted pecan bitters.

For a margarita with an extra kick, check out some of Salem’s best pepper-infused margaritas. Opus is also home to the Trance Manual which serves up the spice using Habanero Tequila, Ghost Chili Mezcal, pomegranate, Tempus Fugit Creme de Cacao, cinnamon simple, Aztec chocolate, and angostura bitters. While visiting the Hawthorne Hotel, upgrade your Wicked Margarita to a Wicked Hot Margarita with Tanteo Tequila 100% Agave Infused with Jalapeño.

For a peppery take on a margarita and some classic video games take a walk down Saint Peter Street to Bit Bar for the Ghost Eater. A spicy nod to PAC-MAN, this drink is made with Ghost Pepper-infused tequila, Triple Sec, lemon, lime, pineapple, and lemon/lime soda.

From Derby or Lafayette Street, Howling Wolf Taqueria brings the spice with the Jalepeño Margarita featuring El Jimador Reposado, Triple Sec, fresh lime, muddled jalapeno, agave, and orange bitters. Also on the menu is the Spice Mango Margarita with Don Julio Blanco, Triple Sec, mango juice, Tapatio hot sauce, and wolf fusion topped with lemon/lime soda.

Back on Pickering Wharf, Finz serves up a spicy jalepeño flavor in their Coral Reef, a mix of 1800 Silver tequila, blood orange puree, St. Elder liquer, lemon and lime juice, and muddled jalepeño.

Finished with cinnamon
If you prefer your margaritas come with a dash of cinnamon, downtown Salem has you covered. Bit Bar serves the Wild Gunman, made with Tequila, Short Path Triple Cec, cranberry juice, lemon, lime, and honey with cinnamon sugar rim. Rockafellas is home to the Spiced Cider Margarita featuring Milagro Silver Tequila, Grand Marnier, fresh lemon juice and apple cider, garnished with a cinnamon stick and a sprinkle of cinnamon

Another take on a classic margarita using cinnamon is found back at Howling Wolf Taqueria. The Apple Cinnamon Marg is made with Juarez Gold, Apple Pucker, Fireball, a splash of cranberry, and a cinnamon rim.

Alternating drinks between water and alcohol is always a good idea, as is snacking while tasting margaritas. Wherever you celebrate #NationalMargaritaDay in Salem, be sure to drink responsibly.

Singles Awareness Day in Salem, MA

How does one celebrate #SinglesAwarenessDay in Salem, Massachusetts? By remembering some of our most famous singles from Salem’s history of course. Whether by choice (or not), religious preference, or even sabotage, Salem has seen its share of notable singles over the years:

Reverend William Bentley (1759 – 1819) was someone who today we may refer to as a gossiper, or at the very least a nosy neighbor. Local historians have numerous accounts from his diary which include candid entries where he recorded very opinionated views of his neighbors and events around town. His diary makes note of everything from what the weather was like on any given day, to which of the townspeople had died and how, to his various opinions on the businesses of others around him. Aside from his famed diary, Reverend Bentley is most well-known for his work as the pastor of the East Church from 1783. He was a progressive theologian for the time, who also influential in leading the development of Unitarianism in New England, and in allowing the East Church to promote both political and religious liberalism in Salem.

Susanna Ingersoll, from the The House of the Seven Gables’ collection.

Susanna Ingersoll (1783 – 1858) was born and raised in the historical house we know as the House of the Seven Gables. Susanna inherited a good deal of money and property, including the house, upon the death of her mother in 1811. Susanna proved herself to be extraordinarily astute when it came to business matters. During the war of 1812 when British ships were patrolling off of the coast, ships that Susanna most likely could have spied from her upstairs windows, the new nation attempted to weather its first military conflict. During the years of the war, from 1812 – 1815, when people along the coast were fleeing the threatening British, Susanna purchased an unprecedented 17 properties. By the time of her death at the age of 72, Susanna had purchased, mortgaged, and sold well over 70 properties making her the wealthiest land-rich female in New England. In the 1840s Susanna was determined to be worth $250,000.00, an enormous sum at that time which would translate to several million dollars in today’s values. Wealthy, propertied, and secure in her social status, she was truly one of Salem’s notable women and as she was identified in all of her legal documents, she was Susanna Ingersoll, Singlewoman.

Mary Crowninshield Silbee (1809 – 1887), the daughter of Senator Nathaniel Silsbee grew up in Salem on Daniels Street. Mary was rumored to have been engaged to Nathaniel Hawthorne after she had a portrait painted depicting her with a mysterious hunter who resembled the author. Sophia Peabody, who later married Hawthorne, threatened to “put Miss Mary out of the window” in a letter to her sister, and Hawthorne’s involvement with Mary ended soon thereafter. Though Sophia suffered from crippling headaches, which at first prevented her from marrying, her relationship with Nathaniel Hawthorne moved along much quicker once Mary was no longer an issue.

Mary Crowninshield Silbee. Portrait by Francis Alexander, part of the Harvard Art Museums’ collection.

Frederick Townsend Ward (1831 – 1862) was a Salem-born sailor and military commander whose troops supported the Qing Dynasty during the Taiping Rebellion. He left Salem at the age of 15 when he travelled to Mexico hoping to participate in the war going on there. Shortly after this, he began taking up odd jobs on various ships and countries across the globe before ultimately settling in Shanghai where he was asked to lead a group in the Rebellion. During the Taiping Rebellion, Ward and his troops celebrated numerous victories in their battles overseas and they eventually became known as The Ever Victorious Army. Ward makes our list of Salem’s singles due to his unfortunate death in battle: After suffering (and overcoming) 14 previous injuries, a shot to the abdomen in 1862 ultimately caused the commander’s death.

Rose Hawthorne Lathrop (1851 – 1926), the daughter of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Sophia Peabody, was briefly married to George Parsons Lathrop. After their separation, Rose began to help terminally ill cancer patients who did not have the financial means to pay for treatment. Rose ensured her legacy when she became Mother Mary Alphonsa and founded an order of nuns based on the medical work she had started. Today the Dominican Sisters of Hawthorne, now based in Hawthorne, NY continue to help terminally ill patients who cannot afford their medical care.

Caroline Emmerton (1866 – 1942) was the founder of The House of the Seven Gables Settlement Association. In 1908, she purchased the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion and spent two years renovating the home into a museum. When the museum opened in 1910 she used proceeds from admissions to support settlement work and other programs for newly arriving immigrant families. Some of the settlement house programs she started included medical clinics, citizenship classes, English language classes, and sewing to assist new citizens. The Gables continues to offer educational programming today, and currently holds the distinction of being both a museum and a settlement house, the only organization of its kind in the United States. Miss Emmerton never married and dedicated her entire life to service and philanthropy in Salem.

Salem, MA, House of the Seven Gables

A Hot Chocolate Crawl in Salem, MA

Does the winter weather have you down? Why not warm up with a cup of hot chocolate? Thankfully Salem, Massachusetts is home to plenty of restaurants and shops that serve up traditional and unique varieties of this sweet yet soothing treat.

Classic Hot Chocolate
If you’re just looking to warm up with some chocolate on a cold winter day, and you don’t care for any extra toppings or flavors, there are plenty of restaurants around Salem that serve a plain and simple yet classic hot chocolate. Coming from the Bridge Street Area, stop in at Coffee Time Bake Shop for a warm cup of Hot Chocolate Milk, a smooth, rich, and creamy treat made fresh with Dunajski Dairy chocolate milk, and optional whipped cream.

Hot Chocolate, Tavern on the Green at the Hawthorne Hotel

Moving on to Essex Street, Gulu-Gulu Café offers hot chocolate to-go as well as table-side if you’d rather stay in and warm up. Rockafellas on Washington Street offers another comfortable, indoor setting for kicking back with hot chocolate, as does Red’s Sandwich Shop and Maria’s Sweet Somethings both located just around the corner, off of the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall. Continuing down Essex Street towards Salem Common, The Tavern on the Green inside the Hawthorne Hotel offers a cozy fireside setting in addition to hot chocolate that may be topped with whipped cream by request.

While visiting Pickering Wharf, may your way to the Salem Waterfront Hotel and Suites, where hot chocolate is served out of the Regatta Pub and occasionally in the lobby. Also in Pickering Wharf is Victoria Station and Vic’s Boathouse, which serves classic hot chocolate in a warm, waterfront restaurant.

Hot Chocolate with a Twist
For a twist on traditional hot chocolate, head back up Bridge Street to Coffee Time Bake Shop. Add some spice with Coffee Time’s Mexican Hot Chocolate, which combines traditional hot chocolate with cinnamon and cayenne pepper. While there, try the Peppermint Patty (hot chocolate with a swirl of mint syrup) or the Chocolate Covered Cherries (hot chocolate with a splash of cherry syrup).

Russell Stover Mocha Latte, Gulu-Gulu Cafe

Hot Chocolate with Coffee
For an extra dose of caffeine with your hot chocolate add some coffee to the mix at either Gulu-Gulu Café or Coffee Time Bake Shop. Gulu-Gulu Café’s extensive drink menu includes a number of chocolatey coffee treats like the Russell Stover Mocha Latte with chocolate and coconut, and the White Raspberry Latte with raspberry and white chocolate.

Back at Coffee Time, enjoy the Hot Mocha Delight, made with half House Blend Coffee and half hot chocolate with cream, sugar, whipped cream, and raspberry syrup added upon request. If a cappuccino is what you’re craving, try the Mocha Chino instead, where chocolate syrup is mixed right in with the espresso which is then topped with cocoa powder.

Chocolate Raspberry Tea, Jolie Tea Company

Hot Chocolate for Tea Lovers
If you prefer tea to coffee but are still in the mood for some hot chocolate, look no further than Jolie Tea Company on Essex Street. For a minty tea excursion try the Chocolate Mint tea: Sri Lankan black tea, mint chocolate essence. A take on classic citrus scented tea, the Nina’s Hepburn Blend mixes Sri Lankan black tea, orange peels, chocolate, cream and orange flavors. While in the shop be sure to try the Chocolate Raspberry tea, a decadent blend of black tea, dark chocolate curls, and raspberry pieces.

21+ Hot Chocolate
A stroll back down to Pickering Wharf can lead you back to Victoria Station for their specialty spiked hot chocolate, the Peppermint Pleasure, mixed with Peppermint Schnapps and topped with whipped cream. To add other liquors to the mix, order a classic hot chocolate at any of the bars and taverns (like Gulu-Gulu Café, Rockafellas, The Tavern on the Green, or the Regatta Pub) and mix in a shot of your choice.

Hot Chocolate Mix
One can never have too much hot chocolate on hand at home. To purchase hot chocolate mix to enjoy during your next staycation be sure to visit Milk and Honey Green Grocer on Church Street, which also sells farm fresh and locally produced groceries. If you’re shopping for even more chocolatey treats, head over to Front Street to Maria’s Sweet Somethings, where you can purchase hot chocolate mix along with other delicious treats like candies and cupcakes.

City of Salem Announces Plans for Memorial at Proctor’s Ledge

Proctor’s Ledge Memorial, Martha Lyon Landscape Architecture, LLC.

Last year a team of local scholars and researchers were able to confirm the location where the innocent victims of the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 were executed. Following this discovery, the City of Salem has worked with a number of individuals and organizations to come up with plans for a permanent memorial at this site. The memorial will come to fruition with the help of landscape architect Martha Lyon, local historians, Salem residents, descendants of the victims involved in the Witch Trials, and organizations like the Salem Award Foundation and the Gallows Hill Project Team.

The intended completion of the project is the spring or summer of this year, in order to line up with the 325th commemoration of the Salem Witch Trials. The City of Salem is also currently working towards securing funding efforts for the building and upkeep of the memorial. The clean-up efforts on both Pope Street and Proctor Street along with the memorial’s configuration and building specs have been funded by a Community Preservation Act grant of $174,000.

On the importance of the site as a memorial, Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll states, “Salem is constantly looking to the lessons of its past. Whether it was through the formation of our No Place for Hate Committee and our landmark non-discrimination ordinance, or through the good work of the Salem Award Foundation, the lessons we learn from our history directly inform the actions we take today. Having this site memorialized, especially as we prepared to mark the 325th anniversary of that tragic event, presents an opportunity for us to come together as a community, recognize the injustice perpetrated against those innocents in 1692, and recommit ourselves to the values of inclusivity and justice.”

The memorial’s design is set to feature a downward slope from the ledge where historians believe the executions took place. A stone wall will enclose a circular space towards Pope Street at the bottom of the hill, where the names of the victims will be engraved. Lights will also be projected up from the ground to illuminate each individual name, and an oak tree (symbolic of endurance and dignity) will mark the center of the memorial. Work has already begun on the Proctor Street side of the memorial’s site, where maintaining a safe traffic pattern for visitation has become a priority. Plans are also in development to continue the overall cleanup effort of the site, and devise a plan for the use of plants to create privacy while visiting the memorial.

5 Ways to Stay Fit in Salem, MA

Is staying fit part of your New Year’s resolution? A true walking city filled with fresh local food and a variety of ways to get moving, Salem is a great place to stay fit in the new year:

Cycling at any speed. You’ll find lycra-clad cyclists racing around Salem Common reaching speeds of 35-45 mph at the Witches Cup Criterium Race each August. During the rest of the year, however, we take a slightly slower pace. A bike-friendly community, “sharrows” are painted on many Salem streets to encourage the sharing of roads by automobile and cycle traffic.

Eat local. Pick up locally grown produce, local eggs, and fresh baked goods at the Salem Farmers’ Market, Thursday afternoons June through October and Salem’s Winter Market on select dates in November and December. During the warmer months you’ll find the Salem Farmers’ Market in Derby Square, and during the Winter Market events you’ll need to head indoors to the Museum Place Mall. Milk and Honey Green Grocer, located on Church Street, is another great place to shop for locally sourced foods to keep you healthy all year long. Looking for more local options? Consider visiting even more shops and restaurants (while also learning about Salem’s spice trade history) with Salem Food Tours.

Run it out. In 2012, the Road Runners Club of America, the oldest and largest distance running organization in the United States, designated Salem as a Runner-Friendly Community. This designation means that Salem is an environment in which organizations and businesses work together to promote running as healthy exercise and sport. Salem hosts a number of races annually. Check out the Wicked Frosty Four, a four mile race that takes place annually on New Year’s Day and benefits scholarship funds for local high school students. In October, Salem hosts the Devil’s Chase 6.66 Miler event which brings out thousands of pitchfork carrying runners each year.

Salem, MA, Ropes MansionS-T-R-E-T-C-H out your muscles doing yoga, which during the warmer months is offered outdoors in the garden by the Ropes Mansion, or get in a work out at the Salem YMCA. The YMCA is also close to opening an all-new yoga studio, perfect for getting in some exercise, stress relief, and relaxation after a busy day around town. Day passes and drop-in rates are available through the YMCA to keep you moving all year regardless of the weather.

Take a walk. Salem prides itself on being a walkable city. Not quite sure where to walk? Go for a stroll down Derby Wharf. This scenic walk winds past the Friendship of Salem, the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, and the Derby Wharf Light Station. For a shorter walk, wander through the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall and Artists’ Row, which offers free public workshops from Memorial Day Weekend to Halloween. You’ll also pass by Old Town Hall, which houses Cry Innocent and the Spirit of Salem Film, and Derby Square which is home to the seasonal Farmers’ Market. Whether you find yourself speed-walking around Salem Common, strolling Chestnut Street, or walking the trails of Salem Woods, we hope you will get out there and explore. (And if you need help getting started, check out this Salem guide from WalkBoston.org!)

Great Stories Begin Here

Bewitched Statue

Monopoly was made here

George, Edward, and Charles Parker built the Parker Brothers factory in the late nineteenth century, producing games including Monopoly, Clue, Risk, the Ouija Board, and Rook. Their games were based on current events and are recognized around the world. George Parker died in 1952, and his brothers kept the company going until it was purchased in 1968 by General Mills. George Parker’s home still stands on Essex Street today.

“Hocus Pocus” was filmed here

Scenes from “Hocus Pocus” were filmed on Essex Street and around Salem Common. The Sanderson Sisters are legendary around Salem, and the film is shown – for free – on Salem Common each year during Salem Haunted Happenings. You can get up close with Bette Midler’s Winifred Sanderson at Count Orlok’s Nightmare Gallery.

 

 

Bewitched StatueBewitched was filmed here

Often credited with Salem’s modern “Witch Tourism,” several episodes of the television show Bewitched were filmed in Salem in 1970. After the show’s Hollywood studio was damaged by a fire, the show came to Salem and Gloucester to film the “Salem Saga” episodes. The cast and crew stayed at the Hawthorne Hotel, where you can see articles from the show’s experience in the lobby. In 2005 the TV Land network installed a statue of Samantha Stevens in Lapin Park (corner of Essex and Washington Streets) which is one of the most photographed spots in Salem today.

 

 

The first long distance telephone call was made here

“Mr. Watson can you hear me?” In 1877 the first public demonstration of a long distance phone conversation was held in the Lyceum Hall on Church Street. Alexander Graham Bell called his assistant Thomas Watson, who was from Salem but received the call in Cambridge. The plaque at the Lyceum (or the building that houses Turner’s Seafood) explains that the first news dispatch sent by telephone originated at the Lyceum, was received by the Boston Globe, and published the following day. Watson, by the way, could hear Bell, and in response he sang a song for the audience in Salem.

House of the Seven GablesLiterary icons reside here

Nathaniel Hawthorne began Salem’s trend of literary greatness in 1850 with the publication of The Scarlett Letter, which although quite popular in Hawthorne’s time was generally disliked by the people of Salem. 19th century Salem residents may not have been fans of The Scarlett Letter, but today the story creates connections to Salem with readers from all over the world. Hawthorne’s The House of the Seven Gables (1851) helped the Turner-Ingersoll mansion become one of the most beloved historic homes in America. In more recent years, authors like Brunonia Barry, Kathleen Kent, Katherine Howe, and Adriana Mather all contribute to Salem’s thriving literary scene.

The National Guard was born here

In 2013, President Obama signed into law a bill that designated Salem as the birthplace of the National Guard. Though the specific date is unknown, historians have confirmed that the first muster of the North, South, and East Regiments of the Massachusetts Bay Colony took place on Salem Common in 1636. In recognition of this moment in history, a muster with the Massachusetts National Guard takes place on Salem Common each April.

Kick off 2017 at Launch! and Launch… Light It Up!

Celebrate the New Year with The City of Salem, Salem Main Streets, and Creative Salem, with two events on December 31st! Beginning at 4pm, bring the whole family down to Old Town Hall for Launch! featuring interactive activities and an early countdown just before 6pm. Later, return to Old Town Hall for Launch… Light it Up!, an all-new event just for the 21+ crowd.

jandrews-soc-palates-balloon-drop-768x512Returning for its 4th year, Launch allows families to ring in the New Year early while enjoying hat making, a photo booth, face painting, and an interactive art exhibit by Phil Wyman. Activities new for this year’s event will include a silent kids’ disco and arcade games courtesy of Bit Bar.

While not a ticketed event, a $5 donation to Salem Main Streets is suggested. Collected funds will go towards Holiday Happenings programming for events like the Holiday Tree and other decorations we enjoy downtown.

At 9pm Old Town Hall with the assist by lighting specialists Retonica, the historic room (upstairs) will be transformed into a 21+ Black Light dance party featuring local band Dandrew with professional sound engineer Seth Albaum from Upside Media LLC.

Downstairs guests can chill out in the Bit Bar lounge with classic arcade games, enjoy fire and ice inspired nibbles from Bambolina, make adult party hats with Grace & Diggs, capture the memories in a PhotoBooth and more. There will also be cash bars on both floors expertly manned by North Shore Bartenders and they will be bringing some glow-tastic special beverage creations!15327394_1453549711323608_1158971660898151082_n

At midnight the party heats up with a light and laser presentation by Retonica, champagne toast AND a special late night treat delivery by Goodnight Fatty! For people wandering by the stretch between Essex St and Old Town Hall there will be a lighting of the NYE ball and lighting presentation outside too!

Tickets ($20 per person) for Launch… Light it Up! are on sale now, and may be purchased through Creative Salem’s website. Event is 21+ and will go from 9pm to 1am.

For more information on these events, visit SalemMainStreets.org or CreativeSalem.com, or find the events on Facebook.

Literary Salem

Salem, MA, House of the Seven Gables

Salem is an inspiring town! Perhaps there is something in the water or maybe it’s Salem’s turbulent history. Whatever it is, Salem has inspired many to write and share their sense of this place with the world. Here is a short list of some of Salem’s most notable fiction.

The Scarlett Letter (1850) was Nathaniel Hawthorne’s first critical and popular success. The novel continues to be included in high school English and college literature curricula today. The romance of Hester Prynne and Arthur Dimmesdale has been interpreted in film multiple times, including the major motion picture starring Demi Moore as Hester in 1995. Today you can visit the Custom House, where Hawthorne worked as a surveyor for the port of Salem from 1846 to 1849 at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site at 160 Derby Street.

Salem, MA, House of the Seven GablesHawthorne’s second novel, The House of the Seven Gables (1851) tells the legend of a curse pronounced on the Pyncheon family during the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, and how the curse is manifested through the decay of the Pycheons’ seven-gabled mansion. You can explore the Turner-Ingersoll mansion that inspired the book at The House of the Seven Gables Historic Site at 115 Derby Street. In October, the characters from the novel come alive during dramatic performances of “Spirits at the Gables.”

Carry On Mr. Bowditch by Jen Lee Latham was published for younger readers (9-12 year olds) in 1955. Latham tells the story of Nathaniel Bowditch, who grew up to be one of the greatest navigators in history. The novel is a looking glass into Salem’s maritime heritage that is fascinating for all ages. The Salem Maritime National Historic Site has a walking tour of Nathaniel Bowditch’s Salem available at both the Visitor Center and the Orientation Center.

The Lace Reader (2008) by Brunonia Barry is a contemporary novel set in Salem that follows protagonist Towner Whitney on her journey home, through the streets of Salem and around the harbor islands. The novel is a journey through decades of Salem society, maritime history, and the modern witch community. A map of Towner’s Salem is available on Salem.org.

The Heretic’s Daughter (2008) was written by Kathleen Kent, a tenth generation descendant of Martha Carrier, who was accused and ultimately hanged as a witch during the Salem Witch Trials. The story is told from the point of view of Martha’s young daughter, Sarah, who survived the witchcraft hysteria that was overtaking her community and immediate family. Kent’s work of historical fiction not only describes how the witch trials took place, but also how powerful familial bonds can be even at the most destructive times in our history.

51hgv0gih5lThe Physic Book of Deliverance Dane (2009) by Katherine Howe is historical fiction with a new perspective on the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Deliverance Dane was an accused witch, and her descendant Connie Goodwin is sorting out the story of her life while living in Marblehead in the early 1900s. This novel asks the question – what if the accused were really practicing witchcraft?

Map of True Places (2011) by Brunonia Barry follows Zee Finch, a psychotherapist from Boston, on a journey to rediscover herself when the life of one her patients puts things into a different perspective, and brings back memories of her family’s tragic past. Her search for answers brings her back to Salem, where she finds her father’s health failing and the need to create a new map for the next chapter in her life.

The Traitor’s Wife (2011), also by Kathleen Kent is a prequel to her earlier book, The Heretic’s Daughter. This story takes place before the Salem Witch trials, and rather focuses on the relationship and courtship of Martha Allen and Thomas Carrier. According to Kent’s family tradition’s Thomas was believed to have fought in the English Civil War, and may have been one of the executioners of King Charles I.

51x77p2ltqlConversion (2015) by Katherine Howe modernizes the Salem Witch Hysteria through an all-girls school in Danvers, Massachusetts. Girls in Howe’s story are overtaken by conditions similar to those experienced in 1692, and the story is told simultaneously through the points of view of Coleen, a modern student, and Ann Putnam in 1706.

How to Hang a Witch (2016) was written by Adriana Mather, a 12th-generation descendant of Cotton Mather, infamous for his role in the Salem Witch Trials. How to Hang a Witch follows the story of Samantha Mather, a descendant of Cotton Mather who is forced to move to Salem when her father falls into a coma and is treated in a Boston area hospital. Samantha endures bullying and abandonment by her classmates, some of which being descendants of the victims of the witch trials, while finding herself wrapped up in a centuries old curse that surrounds living descendants in Salem.

The Fifth Petal  (2017) is the latest work by Brunonia Barry. Following The Lace Reader, The Fifth Petal focuses on the mystery surrounding a suspicious death taking place in Salem on Halloween night. The death appears oddly similar to a string of past murders, and the chief of police believes they may be connected, perhaps even by a curse that may be haunting Salem residents with familial ties to the Salem Witch Trials.

Small Business Saturday 2016 in Salem, MA

sbs15tkssblue_copySalem, MA will celebrate Small Business Saturday with the support of the Salem Chamber of Commerce, Salem Main Streets, and a number of local small businesses. On November 26, head downtown and get some of your holiday shopping done at local small businesses, where you’ll be able to support the community while stocking up on some freebies and using discounts that are exclusive to this shopping event.

Small Business Saturday was founded in 2010 as a way of helping small businesses receive support from their communities during the holiday shopping season, when many consumers are shopping at larger chain stores. In recent years, Small Business Saturday has also become part of a larger movement against Black Friday, the holiday shopping event that tends to run earlier into Thanksgiving each year. By shopping during Small Business Saturday instead of Black Friday, we are able to spend more time with our families on Thanksgiving while also supporting our community. For more information on the Shop Small movement, visit ShopSmall.com.

2015-12-05-16-21-16Many retail locations in Salem will be offering various discounts and promotions throughout Small Business Saturday. RJ Coins and Jewelry for instance is giving customers 20% off fine jewelry, and Salem Cycle is offering 10-50% off everything in the store. Other participating retailers include Bobbie Bush Photography, with a promotion for an additional 25% value to be added to gift certificates purchased on Saturday, Wicked Good Books, which is offering 20% off new and regularly priced items, and Witch City Consignment will be giving customers 10% off purchases of $10 or more. Be sure to check out the full list of retailers at Salem-Chamber.org/Small-Business-Saturday!

In addition to discounts and seasonal items, select retail locations are also providing samples of holiday treats for guests. Waite and Peirce, the House of the Seven Gables store, Kan.del, and Curtsy, will all host holiday treats, samples, or refreshments throughout Small Business Saturday.

Local fitness and beauty businesses will be joining in Small Business Saturday as well. Crossroads Strength and Conditioning will have three 1 hour personal training sessions for a 40% savings of $119, and small group training classes for 1 month 3 times a week for $99, a savings of $41. Laura Lanes Skin Care will give $10 off an 1 hour facial or massage, 15% off skin care products and $15 eyebrow waxing.

2015-12-05-15-53-57A number of restaurants in Salem have joined retailers in promoting Small Business Saturday. Caffe Graziani is offering 10% a single entrée person when patrons show a receipt from a participating small business. Caramel Patisserie is taking 10% off dessert purchases of four items or more (excluding macarons and bread). Gulu-Gulu Café, Flying Saucer Pizza Company, and the Village Tavern are each selling $25 gift cards for only $20, and Maria’s Sweet Somethings will be giving out samples of chocolate and offering 20% off select items. The Cheese Shop of Salem will be holding a beer tasting between 4:00 pm and 6:00 pm, and guests wishing to purchase any of the beers from the tasting may do so with an additional 10% off.

For more information on Small Business Saturday in Salem, including a complete list of participating businesses, please visit http://www.salem-chamber.org/small-business-saturday.

Salem.org