Salem’s Whaling History

Information for this post was provided by the National Park Service’s publication, “Pickled Fish and Salted Provisions, Oil and Bone: Salem’s Whaling Industry.”

Did you know that whaling was once a major industry in Salem? While we often think of Salem’s merchant past in terms of the spice trade, whaling also contributed to Salem’s wealth for a short time during the 18th and 19th centuries.

The first whaling ventures in Salem began shortly after its founding in 1626. These early attempts at whaling used only a couple of small ships that were not large enough for the whales to be processed onboard. As a result, the whales needed to be pulled ashore where their blubber could be processed into oil.

During this time period, whales were considered valuable due to their oil which was often shipped back to Europe to fuel lamps, and whalebone and baleen were used to create the structures of corsets and eyeglass frames. As the popularity of these products and other consumer goods increased, Salem’s whaling ships grew to meet demand.

Salem’s presence in international trade was steadily increasing until President Jefferson issued the unpopular Embargo Act of 1807. The act came at the expense of Salem’s trading industries, and while it was repealed just two years later it was too late for Salem’s merchants to make a comeback on the international trade front. As a result, overseas consumers began to purchase goods elsewhere, which startled Salem residents who relied on international trade for income and inspired them to shift their focus back to whaling.

Their efforts paid off, and in 1830 an article in the Salem Gazette proclaimed Salem as the best location for the whaling industry in Massachusetts. Through the 1830s, Salem had three active whale oil refineries in town to help keep up with the demand for whale-based products like candles along with scrimshaw, corsets, and parasols. At the height of Salem’s whaling industry in the 1830s, whaling vessels produced $165,306 worth of oil and $7,535 worth of whalebone.

By 1837 the whaling industry began to rapidly decline primarily due to an economic recession (the result of land speculation) which made wealthy businessmen less likely to invest in whaling. Within the following decade, many of Salem’s whaling ships were destroyed at sea and funds were not available to repair or replace them.

Only about two whaling ships were active by 1842, and while they were able to make sizable profits, investors began to turn their support towards other industries like the railroad and manufacturing. Salem’s last whaling vessel was sold to a company in Boston in 1871 thereby ending Salem’s role in the industry. By this point whale oil had largely been replaced by petroleum and the steelspring had proved more efficient than whalebone.

You can learn about Salem’s whaling industry today with information from the National Park Service, and you can see whales yourself with 7 Seas Whale Watch and Capt. Bill & Sons Whale Watch a few towns away in Gloucester. For more on whaling throughout the state, be sure to check out the sites along the Massachusetts Whale Trail. The trail includes museums, attractions, historic sites, whale watching trips, and tours all related to whales and their connections to Massachusetts. Learn more about the Whale Trail at and share you adventures with #whaletrailMA and #SalemMA.

10th Annual Salem Arts Festival

The Salem Arts Festival returns for its 10th year with a weekend full of family-friendly programming devoted to the arts in our community. The event kicks off at 6:00 pm on Friday June 1 with viewings of art in Old Town Hall and live music outside in Derby Square. The rest of the Festival will be located throughout Derby Square, Artists’ Row, Front Street, and within Old Town Hall and will feature live musical performances, belly dancing, public art projects, a vibrant street fair and more.



The festival celebrates various art forms and gives attendees of all ages creative ways to create art. Featured art styles will include but are not limited to painting, photography, sculpture, installation, dance, music, writing, film, new media, performance, theater, poetry, culinary, and visual art. Also planned for the event are local food pop-ups, a mural slam, and vendors specializing in handmade, locally sourced, and ethically crafted goods.



The Salem Arts Festival will also celebrate this year’s featured community art project: “Bee to Brick.”This installation features playful swarms of several hundred “bees” around the festival area, created entirely out of recycled plastic bottles and other reusable plastic pollution. Over the past few months, community groups and locals of all ages have created hundreds of bees in an effort to increase awareness of the critical role pollinators play in sustaining our ecosystem. After the project, the bees will be transformed to “bricks” that will be used be students from the Phoenix School for their “Bottle Brick Project.” Bottle bricks are recycled plastic bottles stuffed with trash until they are compact enough for use in building projects, such as benches or walls.



The Salem Arts Festival is organized by Salem Main Streets, and would not be possible without the generous support of sponsors and volunteers. The Salem Arts Festival is just one part of Salem Main Street’s effort to promote Salem’s downtown neighborhood as a destination for attractions, community projects, dining, shopping, and cultural events throughout the year. For more information about the Salem Arts Festival visit or follow the event on Facebook.

Salem in Two Days

There is so much to see and do in Salem you can easily make a day-trip into an overnight stay. And with so much to do, we’ve broken each day of a two-day trip into two separate posts—you can get all the details for spending your first day in Salem here.

For a first day in Salem, we recommend starting at the Salem Regional Visitor Center to pick up a Salem Guide and Map and to hop aboard the Salem Trolley. Following a trolley tour you can learn the history of the Salem Witch Trials with connections to contemporary society at the Salem Witch Museum and have lunch in Pickering Wharf. End the day with a tour of The House of the Seven Gables with some time saved for shopping downtown or a walking tour and you’ll have spent one day exploring Salem!

T.C. Cannon: At the Edge of America. On view through June 10, 2018.

On your second day in Salem, grab breakfast at one of Salem’s most popular restaurants, Red’s. Located on Central Street in the historic 1698 London Coffee House Red’s serves up classic breakfast and lunch entrees with specials starting at just $6.95 (and breakfast is served all day!)

After breakfast, take the short walk around the corner to Essex Street and continue to the Peabody Essex Museum. One of the fastest-growing art museums in the country, the Peabody Essex Museum exhibits art and culture from New England and around the world. Visit to view current exhibitions or to learn more about events and programming taking place during your visit. Depending on how much you wish to see at the museum, your visit may take anywhere from one hour to three or four hours.

Sea Shuttle

When you’re finished with the museum, walk towards the waterfront passing by the Witch Trials Memorial. Here you can pause for reflection and view the memorial that commemorates the victims of the Witch Trials. Continue on towards Pickering Wharf, and you can see Salem on the water aboard one of our harbor cruises.

Mahi Cruises features a variety of cruises including sunset cruises, lighthouse and photography cruises, and a summer live music series. Sail aboard Schooner Fame to experience Salem from the decks of a replica of the 1812 privateer, or go for an excursion with Sunset Sail Salem aboard the traditional Friendship sloop Wenonah or General Patton’s historic schooner, When and If. For a hands-on learning experience with live sea creatures, continue walking past Pickering Wharf to Sea Shuttle on Blaney Street which has an on-board aquarium.

Schooner Fame

Following your harbor cruise, walk back down Derby Street towards the downtown area, passing the Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites. After the hotel, take a left onto Congress Street and continue on Congress Street until Shetland Park is on your left, then take a right on Ward Street. During this walk, you’ll come across many of the murals that make up the Punto Urban Art Museum, an open air museum in Salem’s Point Neighborhood featuring murals created by artists from around the world.

When you reach the end of Ward Street, turn right onto Lafayette Street (you may want to cross to the other side of Lafayette Street to get a better view of some of the murals). To learn more about the murals, visit where you can view upcoming events and sign up for walking tours.

For a late lunch (or early dinner), take a left when you reach New Derby Street and visit Howling Wolf Taqueria. This popular restaurant serves fresh and authentic Mexican cuisine alongside award-winning margaritas.

Punto Urban Art Museum

Next, cross the street and walk through Artists’ Row towards Old Town Hall and the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall, and stop at some of the shops along the way. The makers on Artists’ Row regularly host demonstrations and events, and with all of these items made right here in these shops you’ll be able to find gifts to bring home that are uniquely “Salem.”

After 5:00 pm, check our events calendar to see which special events are happening during your visit. On the calendar you can often find live music events, special pop-ups, craft nights, trivia, and more. Many shops around town continue to offer psychic readings after 5:00 pm, so if you are planning on booking a reading during your visit to Salem you may opt to do so later in the day.

Staying in Salem for another day? You can view accommodations here, or get ahead on your planning by requesting a FREE visitor guide

10 Things to Know About Salem, Massachusetts

With a festival or celebration every month of the year, a robust local theater scene, active nightlife, and ever-changing museum programming, you will always find something to do and explore in Salem. To start your adventure, here are 10 things to know about Salem, Massachusetts:

10. Salem is a small city

Chestnut Street Car Meet, Heritage Days

With a population of about 42,000 people, Salem is a small city located just 16 miles north of Boston. In Salem, you’ll find a bustling downtown area full of museums and attractions, shops, and restaurants, along with historic districts, a neighborhood that features murals painted by local artists, and 18.5 miles of tidal shoreline that include 7 public beaches.

9. Our busiest season is October during the Haunted Happenings Festival

Things to Know About Salem

Salem Haunted Happenings, photo by John Andrews

Salem Haunted Happenings is a month-long celebration, encompassing everything from family-friendly magic shows, to costume balls, psychic readings, haunted harbor cruises, ghost tours, and more. Whether you come to Salem seeking history, spooks, shopping, or even a vibrant food and “spirits” scene, you are sure to find your own adventure each October.

8. Salem hosts dozens of festivals throughout the year

Salem’s So Sweet, photo by John Andrews

Haunted Happenings may be the biggest, but it’s just one of dozens of festivals during the year in Salem. Salem’s So Sweet in February, Salem Film Fest in March, Salem Arts Festival in June, Heritage Days in August, and Holiday Happenings in December are just a few others! We’re also home to regional events that take place annually including ArtWeek in April/May, the Massachusetts Poetry Festival in May, the North Shore Pride Parade & Festival in June!

7. Salem is a walkable city

Wear comfortable shoes because Salem is a very walkable city and we encourage you to park your car for the day to explore our historic streets and waterfront on foot. Downtown Salem is only about a mile wide (from the Phillips House on Chestnut Street to the Salem Ferry on Blaney Street). You can learn about Salem’s history by walking the Salem Heritage Trail, or by taking a guided tour on any topic ranging from food tours with tastings, to ghost tours, and modern witch walks.

6. The National Park Service offers self-guided walking tours

There are several self-guided walking tours available through the National Park Service. Grab a brochure and explore The McIntire Historic District, Architecture in Salem, African American Heritage Sites in Salem, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Salem, or Bowditch’s Salem. Prefer an audio tour? You can download the (free) Salem Black Heritage Audio Tour right to your smartphone by searching for “UniGuide” in your app store and selecting the tour.

5. Parking costs between $.75/hour and $20/day

The cost of parking in Salem varies depending on the space, garage, lot, or season. During October weekends, City garages and lots along with most private lots cost $20 (cash on entry) to park for the day. You can find long-term parking in one of the City garages, or by downloading the Passport Parking App to feed your meter from your phone.

4. ”Pop-ups” and special events happen all the time!

Finz Seafood & Grill, Photo by Jared Charney

Be sure to allow time for the unexpected since there is always something happening in Salem! You may find a cookie “speakeasy” down an alley, an artisan market at a brewery, or the Farmers’ Market in Derby Square! You can always check out events happening during your visit on our events calendar.

3. Salem is a dog-friendly destination

We have lots of dog-friendly restaurants that allow you to dine on their outdoor patios for you and your pet, with some locations even offering special ‘doggy menus.’ Salem is even home to a number of pet-friendly accommodations, walking tours, and shopping experiences. We even celebrate Halloween with furry friends during the annual Howl-o-ween Pet Parade each October!

2. Combination tickets are available for select attractions

Witch Dungeon Museum, Photo by Jared Charney

Visit The Land of Witches & Pirates with a combo ticket to the Witch Dungeon Museum, Witch History Museum, and New England Pirate Museum. The Salem Hysteria Pass includes the Salem Wax Museum and Salem Witch Village. The Visit 1692 Pass includes the Salem Witch Museum, Witch House and the Rebecca Nurse House in Danvers, and includes discounts at The Tavern at the Hawthorne Hotel, Ye Olde Pepper Candy Companie and Goodies Ice Cream (Danvers).

1. You can start planning your Salem adventure today!

Request your FREE Visitor Guide or join our list to start planning your visit to Salem today! Love the cover of the 2018 Salem Guide as much as we do? You can enter to win your very own signed limited edition print of the cover art featuring an original design of The House of the Seven Gables by local artist, Elissa Von Letkemann of Windows of Salem. We’ll be randomly selecting one winner each month during 2018!

Where to next?

Spend Mother’s Day Weekend in Salem, Massachusetts

Celebrate mom this week in Salem with thoughtful gift ideas, Mother’s Day events and dining options, and special offers to make your visit an overnight stay.


Mother's Day Salem, MA

Salem is the perfect place to shop for Mother’s Day! Find gourmet food, gifts, and wine and of course specialty cheese at the Cheese Shop of Salem. For more local gourmet items, visit Pamplemousse and pick up some rosé to complete your Mother’s Day gifts.

Shop for home décor gifts at Moody Interiors, or seek out locally made candles at Witch City Wicks. For Mother’s Day jewelry, stop at RJ Coins & Jewelry, and find clothing and accessories at Curtsy, J. Mode, or Ocean Chic Boutique & Waterbar along with vintage-inspired finds from Modern Millie.


Mother's Day Salem, MA

Enjoy a Mother’s Day Brunch with the family at the Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites or the Mother’s Day Grand Buffet at the Hawthorne Hotel. The Salem Waterfront Hotel is serving their spread of appetizers, entrees, and desserts from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. The Hawthorne Hotel’s Grand Buffet runs until 4:00 pm, and includes brunch or dinner entrees along with a carving station and desserts. Learn more about dining on Mother’s Day on our calendar, or call either hotel to make reservations.

Prefer to spend the day at sea? Mahi Cruises opens for the season Mother’s Day Weekend and hosts a brunch on Sunday. Mahi’s two-hour brunch cruise includes baked goods like bagels and muffins, along with fresh fruits, finger sandwiches, caprese kabobs and more (including a full bar with Bloody Mary’s and tropical mimosas). Learn more and purchase tickets at


Mother's Day Salem, MA

Spend Mother’s Day on land at Bit Bar where moms can enjoy $5 worth of free game tokens. Bit Bar is not 21+ until 8:00 pm, so bring the kids along for games and lunch in honor of mom. Take a more relaxing turn and make a reservation for a patisserie tea at Jolie Tea Company (by reservation only, see details at

For a mother-daughter outing with little ones, visit Salem on Saturday and craft a fairy house together at Artemisia Botanicals. HausWitch Home + Healing hosts a workshop perfect for mothers and adult children that features guided meditations all about the divine feminine archetypes, Maiden, Mother, and Crone.


Mother's Day Salem, MA

Make a weekend out of it and stay in downtown Salem at The Hotel Salem. Use the “Step into Spring” special to take 10% off stays of two consecutive nights or more. Can’t make it to Salem this weekend? The offer runs through the end of June, and a stay in Salem can make for a memorable Mother’s Day gift! See all the details at

Rainy Day Itinerary for Salem, MA

Don’t let the gray skies get you down! There is so much to see and do in Salem, Massachusetts even when the weather isn’t quite sunny and dry.

If you forget your rain gear, or if the unpredictable New England weather decides to rain unexpectedly, you may want to purchase an umbrella or poncho. Pop into a local shop like Coon’s Card & Gift Shop to pick up a last-minute umbrella or poncho, or Avalanche Company Store for a sturdier jacket. Hoodies and sweatshirts are also available around town. Should the rain come with chills, sweatshirts are available at Salemdipity, Trolley Depot, and Witch Tees. You may also want to bring along an extra bag to store your wet umbrella, poncho, or jacket in, so if the rain lets up during your visit you’ll be able to comfortably carry your rain gear without wetting the rest of your belongings.

With any visit to Salem, starting at the Salem Regional Visitor Center will help you get your bearings, and learn a quick overview of what the community has to offer. While at the visitor center, you may opt to see a film screening of Salem Witch Hunt: Examine the Evidence, a 35-minute film on the history of the Salem Witch Trials.

The majority of Salem’s museums and attractions, including walking tours, are open for business rain or shine. If you are looking to minimize the time spent out in the rain, you’ll want to visit the Peabody Essex Museum. One of the nation’s fastest growing art museums, a visit here can easily last for a couple of hours or the entire day.

To learn about the Salem Witch Trials, the Salem Witch Museum, Witch Dungeon Museum, Witch History Museum, and Salem Wax Museum are all within walking distance, and all presentations and exhibits take place indoors. Also a short walk away from the visitor center is Witch Pix. Located in the Museum Place Mall, this costume studio allows you to take on the role of a witch or wizard for a memorable photo shoot experience.

You may feel like avoiding attractions that require a further walk in the rain, but luckily the Salem Trolley continues service, and can help you minimize your walk time while providing an overview of Salem’s history. Hope aboard the Trolley and take it down to the House of the Seven Gables, Ye Olde Pepper Companie, and the Salem Maritime National Historic Site.


The tour of the House of the Seven Gables takes place inside, though if you are up for some time outside the homes’ gardens are also a sight to see. Ye Olde Pepper Companie, and the shops on Pickering Wharf are all fully enclosed, with just short walks in between each one. Much of the Salem Maritime National Historic Site is outside however within the site’s shop, Waite and Peirce, you can learn more about site’s history while shopping for unique and authentic goods.

We may not want to believe that that the calendar is calling for soup, but warm comfort food may be on your mind for a rainy day. You may relax with a cup of clam chowder at Finz Seafood and Grill or Sea Level Oyster Bar and Kitchen, or lobster bisque from Turner’s Seafood. If you’re looking for lunch in hopes that by the time you’re finished eating the rain will have stopped, plan for a meal at Bit Bar. Before or after your meal you’ll be able to spend some time playing classic pinball and arcade games indoors. If you really want to warm up on a rainy day, the Tavern in the Hawthorne Hotel offers cozy fireside dining, or you may choose to unwind with a cup of tea at Jolie Tea Company.

However you choose to spend a rainy day in Salem, don’t let the rain ruin your plans. Even outdoor attractions like walking tours and harbor tours can usually run in the rain. By dressing for the weather and bringing along an umbrella you should be all set to enjoy a day touring downtown Salem.

Salem in One Day

Salem is a town for all seasons. Planning your visit between November and April? Read this post as attractions run seasonally.

Getting to Salem

Arrive in Salem via the MBTA Commuter Rail or the Salem Ferry or drive into downtown Salem an park the car for the day.  Click here for detailed directions and parking information.

Where to start

To see Salem in one day, we recommend arriving downtown by 10:00 am. Start your visit to Salem at the Salem Regional Visitor Center. Here you can pick up a Salem visitor guide and map.

From the Visitor Center, you can pick up the Salem Trolley, which includes an hour-long tour around Salem and the ability to hop on and off throughout the day. If you arrive in Salem in the morning you can catch the first tour at 10:00 am.

Salem Witch Museum

Disembark the trolley at the Salem Witch Museum (the museum is the stop before the Visitor Center where your tour began). Presentations at the Salem Witch Museum begin every half hour, so you should be able to catch either the 11:00 am or 11:30 am showing.

The Salem Witch Museum tells the history of the Salem Witch Trials through life-size sets, and dramatic lighting and narration based on actual trial documents. The experience continues with a tour of the museum’s second exhibit, Witches: Evolving Perceptions. This exhibit introduces you to the different ways that witches have been interpreted over time, including the truth behind common stereotypes, modern witchcraft, and historical connections to the present.

Pickering Wharf

Longboards Restaurant & Bar

Exit the Salem Witch Museum and cross the street onto Salem Common. Turn right and continue down Washington Square West which becomes Hawthorne Boulevard (with the Hawthorne Hotel to your left). Pass by the statue of Nathaniel Hawthorne (and stop for a photo!) and continue walking until you reach Derby Street, then take a left.

Spend some time wandering the shops at Pickering Wharf, with uniquely Salem stores like Joe’s Fresh Fish Prints and Salem Spice. When you’re ready for lunch, visit Sea Level Oyster Bar & Kitchen or Finz Seafood & Grill to enjoy fresh seafood by the waterfront or head to Longboards or Brodie’s Seaport for more casual American fare.

The House of the Seven Gables

After lunch, explore the Salem Maritime National Historic Site while on your way down Derby Street towards The House of the Seven Gables. Take the hour-long tour of the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion that served as the inspiration for Nathaniel Hawthorne’s work and spend some time wandering through the home’s seaside gardens. While there, be sure to view the 2018 exhibit, These Walls Do Talk, which focuses on the science and history behind the 350-year-old-mansion.

Shopping & Walking Tours

Pick up the Salem Trolley once more, or walk back towards the Salem Regional Visitor Center. From here you’ll be able to browse the shops that line Essex Street and find everything from Salem t-shirts to tarot cards. Don’t miss the shops on Central Street (located right off of Essex) to find retro clothing designs at Modern Millie’s and gifts for pets at New England Dog Biscuit Company.

If time allows, you can learn more about Salem’s history after the museums and attractions have closed for the day by taking a walking tour. Some tours begin as late as 8:00 pm, so you can always find one to take if you arrive in Salem later in the day or if you are looking to learn more before you head home. You can view a full list of available walking tours here.

Stay in Salem

Want to spend more than one day in Salem? Turn your spring day trip into a weekend getaway with the Family Fun Package from the Salem Inn. The package includes a two-night stay in a family suite along with passes to the Salem Witch Museum and The House of the Seven Gables, a $20 gift card to Flying Saucer Pizza Company and complimentary breakfast at the inn. Learn more here.

Spending two days in Salem? Continue reading here.

April Vacation is a Perfect Time to Visit Salem!

Come for the Witch Trials of 1692, maritime trade, and The Scarlet Letter. Stay for the culture, art, restaurants, shopping, and New England experience!  Here are a few ideas for how to spend a day or an overnight in Salem this month.

These Walls Do Talk at The House of the Seven Gables
The House of the Seven Gables | 978-744-0991
On view through 2018
Learn the science and history about how we know what we know about the 350-year-old Turner-Ingersoll Mansion including analysis of paint, wallpaper, and architecture and primary source documents such as deeds and drawings. Learn more

Living History Labs
The House of the Seven Gables | 978-744-0991
April 14-22, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Try your hand at history! The Living History Lab hands-on history program at The House of the Seven Gables allows the young and young-at-heart to learn about history through a unique set of experiments. Learn more

April Vacation Poetry Workshop for Kids
The House of the Seven Gables | 978-744-0991
April 14-22, 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
Join the Witch City Writers to dissect Hawthorne’s poem “The Ocean” and learn a bit about how to write a poem. Get inspired by the view of Salem Harbor from the House of the Seven Gables and then try your best to come up with a tongue-twisting, ocean-themed poem of your own. Learn more

Old School Cool: April School Vacation Week at the PEM
Peabody Essex Museum | 866-745-1876
April 17-19, 10:00 am-4:00 pm
Power down your digital devices and join us for hands-on art making, demonstrations, and storytelling that explore “old-school” techniques. From analog film photography to handwritten letters, discover time-honored ways to express your creativity. Learn more

LEGO Lighthouse “Make & Take”
Salem Regional Visitor Center | 978-740-1650
April 18, 10:00 am-12:00 pm
Build a lighthouse at the Salem Regional Visitor Center! Only those who wish to “make & take” are required to register. We will also be providing instructions on how to build other beloved Salem lighthouses, including Bakers Island Lighthouse and Fort Pickering Lighthouse. Come celebrate the maritime heritage of Salem through the art of LEGO building! Learn more

Brain Building in Progress Family Event
St. Joseph Hall | 978-740-1650
April 19, 9:30 am-11:30 am
A morning of movement, music, crafts, story time, and Junior Ranger activities lead by variety of community partners. Take part in our free activities that are creative and educational to celebrate Brain Building in Progress Week (BBIP). The family event ends with the swearing in of all our new Junior Rangers! This event is free and open to families with children through age 8. Learn more

Make it an overnight:

Family suites at the Salem Inn.

The Salem Inn Family Fun Package | Learn more

  • Two-night stay in a Family Suite
  • Family passes to the Salem Witch Museum
  • Family passes to the House of the Seven Gables
  • $20 gift card to Flying Saucer Pizza
  • Complimentary breakfast buffet
  • Package price is $490 plus tax. 2 adults, 2 children

Museums Celebrate Women’s History Day

The House of the Seven Gables joins the City of Salem in celebrating the notable roles women have played in the region’s history. Salem Mayor Kimberly Driscoll proclaimed March 25, 2018, Salem Women’s History Day. Special programs will be held at The House of the Seven Gables, the Phillips House Museum and the Witch House.


Women's History Day

The House of the Seven Gables, the Phillips House Museum, and the Witch House celebrate Women’s History Month on March 25. This portrait was taken in Salem in 1904 in the North End.

The House of the Seven Gables

Events at The Gables include two special house tours and two lectures, each taking up aspects of women’s roles in historic preservation. The Gables’ events are scheduled for Sunday, March 25, from 12 to 3 p.m. Programs are free for members and Salem residents. A fee of $15 grants nonmembers access to one of the special house tours and admission to both lectures. Space is limited for all events.

12 to 12:45 P.M. — HOUSE TOUR
A special tour of The Gables focuses on some of the more significant ways women have influenced the history of the region and this National Historic Landmark property.

1 to 1:45 P.M. — LECTURE
My Patriotic Duty — Women and the Preservation of Old South Meeting House, Boston
The public reacted with outrage when Boston’s iconic Old South Meeting House was threatened with demolition in 1876. A group of Boston-area women, led by philanthropist Mary Hemenway, became the driving force behind the building’s successful preservation. The “20 women of Boston,” as this group came to be known, organized fundraisers to secure a mortgage and ensure the building’s preservation and security. Among the women involved with preservation in the 1870s to the 1880s were author Louisa May Alcott and Mary Tyler, who wrote “Mary Had a Little Lamb.” Erica Lindamood, director of education at Old South Meeting House, will share highlights from this colorful historic preservation success story. She will address Hemenway’s claim that advocacy for the building was her patriotic duty in light of 19th-century politics and social history.

2 to 2:45 P.M. — LECTURE
The Tireless Traditionalist: Mary Harrod Northend and Old Salem, 1904 – 1926.
Donna Seger, Ph.D., chair of the History Department at Salem State University and author of the Streets of Salem blog, presents a fascinating lecture about one of Salem’s most entrepreneurial representatives of the Colonial Revival movement. Salem-born author Mary Harrod Northend (1850 – 1926) wrote 11 books and scores of magazine articles between 1904 and her untimely death in 1926. She advanced an earnest, idealistic vision of New England and “Old Salem” that still serves as a reference point for style and historic depictions of the region’s culture.

3 to 3:45 P.M. — HOUSE TOUR
A special tour of The Gables focuses on some of the more significant ways women have influenced the history of the region and this National Historic Landmark property.

Phillips House Museum

The Phillips House staff will lead special guided tours that explore the role of women through the years at the 34 Chestnut St. museum. Tours begin on the half-hour and run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The last tour begins at 3 p.m. Admission is $5 for the public; free for Salem residents and Historic New England members.

Witch House

The Witch House presents an exhibition on Anne Bradstreet, America’s first published poet. Bradstreet sailed into Salem with the Winthrop Fleet in 1630. The public is invited to view the exhibition and tour the Witch House at 310½ Essex St., from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Guided tours are $10.25 and self-guided tours are $8.25. The exhibition and tours are free for Salem residents.

About The House of the Seven Gables Settlement Association

The mission of The House of the Seven Gables Settlement Association is to preserve The Gables’ National Historic Landmark and leverage its power as an icon of American culture to engage diverse audiences and provide educational opportunities for the local immigrant community. For more information visit

In 2018, The House of the Seven Gables celebrates a singular milestone. Built 350 years ago, it is still a place where stories are made. Ever the provider of shelter and support, The House of the Seven Gables inspires us as it once inspired Nathaniel Hawthorne. Where sea captains once found their footing, immigrants become citizens, visitors explore period rooms, historians pore over archives, children frolic in the gardens, and authors find inspiration. Celebrate this milestone with us and make your own stories at The House of the Seven Gables.

Event on Facebook:

Event on Gables’ website:

2018 Salem Spring Restaurant Week

Salem’s Spring Restaurant Week runs Sunday, March 18-Thursday, March 22, and Sunday, March 25-Thursday, March 29. Dine at participating restaurants and order off specially priced pre-fixe menus with either two courses for $20 or three courses for $30. (Menu prices are per person and exclude beverages, tax, and gratuity.)

2018 is the 12th year for Salem Restaurant Week, and the Salem Chamber of Commerce is thrilled to feature 20 restaurants including Adriatic Restaurant & Bar, Beerworks No. 2 Salem, Bella Verona, BonChon, Finz Seafood & Grill, Firenze Trattoria, Jami’s Kitchen, Ledger Restaurant & Bar, Life Alive, Longboards Restaurant & Bar, Nat’s Restaurant at the Hawthorne Hotel, Opus, Regatta Pub at the Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites, Rockafellas, Sea Level Oyster Bar & Kitchen, Thai Place, and Turner’s Seafood at Lyceum Hall.

“I enjoy restaurant week and so does my team,” states Serie Keezer, Executive Chef/Culinary Director of Finz Seafood & Grill and Sea Level Oyster Bar & Kitchen. “We use it as a great way to try out new, exciting dishes for our upcoming spring menu. We appreciate learning what dishes our guests enjoy and love getting their feedback. Restaurant Week is one of my favorite times of the year.”

For more information and to view individual restaurant pricing and menus visit Reservations are strongly encouraged, mention “Restaurant Week” when making reservations.

Irish History in Salem, MA

To learn about Irish history in Salem, Massachusetts, visit the Phillips House for The Irish Experience on March 17.

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.

In addition to special events like The Irish Experience, guests may tour the Phillips House between 11:00 am and 4:00 pm Tuesday through Saturday beginning May 1 and running through October 31. Tours begin every half hour with the last tour at 4:00 pm.

Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with live music, traditional corned beef dinners, and more throughout downtown Salem this Saturday, March 17. Click here to view a complete list of this year’s St. Patrick’s Day events.


“T.C. Cannon: At the Edge of America” at the Peabody Essex Museum

T.C. Cannon: At the Edge of America at the Peabody Essex Museum celebrates the life and work of one of the most influential Native American artists with 90 works including paintings, music, and poetry. Cannon’s work ties his heritage and personal experiences with the ongoing questions of ethnic identity, social justice, land rights, and cultural appropriation which continue to be relevant in today’s society.

Viewers can understand Cannon’s personal life as a Vietnam War veteran who created the majority of his work in the late 1960s-early 1970s through his inclusion of both Native and non-Native design elements. The exhibit features paintings that draw inspiration from artists like Van Gogh and Matisse, while still including traditional Native designs giving another layer to Cannon’s artistic identity.

Cannon’s written and musical works are displayed alongside his paintings to enhance our understanding of his art. The exhibition also features music by Samantha Crain, a Choctaw alt-folk musician who was commissioned by the Peabody Essex Museum to write and perform a song based on one of Cannon’s most influential pieces. While encountering Epochs in Plains History: Mother Earth, Father Sun, The Children Themselves (1976-77) viewers can take in Crain’s admiration of Cannon with audio tracks and a video display of her work.

T.C. Cannon (1946-1978, Caddo/Kiowa), Abbi of Bacabi, 1978. Oil on canvas. Fred Jones Jr. Museum of Art, University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma. © 2017 Estate of T.C. Cannon.

Cannon provided a voice for Native people during a time when land removals and a turbulent political climate threatened their identities. With influences ranging from his experiences as a paratrooper during the Tet Offensive to his determination to change the way Native culture was viewed by non-Native people, Cannon ultimately succeeds in creating a foundation for other artists and marginalized groups during his time and through the present.

His contributions to the art community during his lifetime led to a feature exhibition at The Natural Collection of Fine Arts (now the Smithsonian American Art Museum). Following this exhibition’s success, the collection began a worldwide tour with stops in Berlin, Belgrade, Istanbul, Madrid, and London. In addition to the 50 paintings he completed, he sketched regularly and wrote music and poetry before his tragic death in a car accident in 1978.

T.C. Cannon (1946-1978, Caddo/Kiowa), Epochs in Plains History: Mother Earth, Father Sun, the Children Themselves, 1976-77. Oil on canvas, Seattle Office of Arts and Culture, Seatle, Washington. © 2017 Estate of T.C. Cannon. Photo by Gary Hawkey/iocolor.

Cannon’s artwork is becoming increasingly important for museums and galleries in today’s society as we are moving towards a more expansive and inclusive view of American art. Following its run at the Peabody Essex Museum, T.C. Cannon: At the Edge of America will begin the first national tour of Cannon’s work since 1990.

T.C. Cannon: At the Edge of America is on view March 3 through June 10, 2018.