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

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.

Happy Holidays from Destination Salem

Salem MA Holiday Card

We extend our gratitude to the people, places, and events that make Salem a unique and wonderful place to visit  throughout the year, and to everyone who chose Salem as their destination in 2016.  We hope you have a magical holiday season and safe travels in 2017, wherever your adventure takes you.

Thanks to @bellabellesworld for the beautiful image of the Christmas tree in Juniper Cove!

 

Literary Salem

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.

“Shoes: Pleasure and Pain” at the Peabody Essex Museum

The Peabody Essex Museum’s latest exhibition, Shoes: Pleasure and Pain, is an exploration into over 300 pairs of shoes through their varied histories, cultural significance, and even the personal experiences of those who collect or wear them. The exhibition, which is making its U.S. debut at the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM), is organized by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

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Salvatore Ferragamo, Rainbow sandal, 1938 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London. Image courtesy of the Peabody Essex Museum.

Lynda Roscoe Hartigan, PEM’s James B. and Mary Lou Hawkes Deputy Director, has enjoyed sharing her own passions for shoes while working as the coordinating curator for the exhibition. Hartigan’s personal stories which are displayed throughout the exhibit, begin with the moment when she first acknowledged the importance of shoes in her life, during a forest fire that threatened her childhood home: “My mother told my brother and me to grab two things to take in the car. What did I choose? My pink teddy bear and brand new pair of black patent leather Mary Janes.”

The exhibit is divided into different themes: Transformation, Status, Seduction, Creation, and Obsession. Each section features shoes that fit the theme, from a variety of time periods and owners, like David Beckham, Elton John, and Naomi Campbell. In addition many of the shoes were designed by such well-known names in the fashion industry such as Christian Louboutin and Jimmy Choo, and some of the shoes were even crafted locally in the towns of Lynn and Haverhill. Other local connections in the exhibit are the 110 pairs shoes added to the display from the PEM’s fashion collection, and the shoes in the Obsession gallery that belong to local collectors, Jimmy Raye, and Lillian Montalto Bohlen.

The opening day festival for Shoes: Pleasure and Pain takes place on Saturday, November 19th, and will feature a variety of shoe-themed events that are included with museum admission. Among the events are a sneaker museum pop-up exhibition, showcasing the contemporary culture surrounding sneakers, and a shoemaking demonstration where guests can see how shoes are made with artist Malika Green. The opening day festival is made possible by the Lowell Foundation, and the full schedule of events may be found on the PEM’s website.

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Sebastian Errazuriz, “The Golddigger,” “The Heartbreaker,” and “The Boss,” from the “12 Shoes for 12 Lovers” collection, 2013, 3D-printed acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene polymer, resin, and acrylic. Museum purchase, 2015, Peabody Essex Museum. © 2016 Peabody Essex Museum. Photography by Kathy Tarantola.

During the first two weeks of the exhibition, PEM is partnering with Dress for Success Boston through a shoe drive held at the museum to assist disadvantaged women with dressing professionally while attending job interviews. The organization allows women to work with volunteer stylists in selection the best outfits for interviews at no cost to them. Dress for Success asks that all donated shoes be appropriate for job interviews, with solid colors preferred and no open-toe, slingback, mule, or stiletto platform shoes may be accepted. Guests looking to donate shoes may bring them to the entrance of the museum where a volunteer will assist them.

The recent initiative in expanding the museum’s fashion collection is evident through Shoes: Pleasure and Pain. With an exhibit design that contrasts from the typical retail environment, guests are able to take away a greater knowledge and understanding about shoes, and fashion in general, serve not only as art but as creative forms of personal expression. Hartigan summarizes the theme of the exhibit in stating, “Shoes are about the personal creativity of the designer and the person who wears that shoe. It’s a partnership between two people who likely never meet. You can make something wonderful, but if someone doesn’t respond to it, there is something incomplete about the act. Creation is about communication.”

Shoes: Pleasure and Pain is on view from November 19, 2016 – March 12, 2017, and is included in museum admission. For complete information on the opening day festival and the Dress for Success donation program, please visit PEM.org.

The Salem City Seal

The Salem City Seal’s design is based on a very important aspect of Salem history, and it doesn’t have anything to do with the Salem Witch Trials of 1692.

With a merchant dressed in colorful robes standing next to palm trees on an island, and a ship in the background under full sail, the seal is actually representative of Salem’s spice trade history. The merchant featured on the seal is not meant to portray a Salem merchant, but rather a local Sumatran, where the spice trade with Salem was first established. Below the imagery are the words “Divitis Indiae usque sinum,” which translates to “To the farthest port of the rich east.” Above sits a dove holding an olive branch, symbolizing Salem’s designation as the “City of Peace.” The seal also features two specific years: 1626 when the town of Salem was incorporated, and 1836 when the city was incorporated.

Salem’s spice trade began when Captain Jonathan Carnes became the first person to return to the United States with a bulk of cargo pepper from Sumatra. In 1793, Carnes learned that wild pepper may be available along the coast of Sumatra. In order to ensure that he would be the first to reach the spice, he kept this knowledge secret from most people in Salem with the exception of his uncle, Salem merchant Jonathan Peele, who helped him acquire a schooner quickly and would later help with selling the spices.

salemma_city-seal-proclamationCarnes returned from Sumatra with the pepper aboard his Schooner Rajah in 1797, following a series of unsuccessful attempts and shipwrecks in the years prior. The pepper was not only important to the people of Salem for the same reasons we use pepper today, but it was also highly sought after for its preservative qualities. Prior to modern preservatives, spices like pepper were especially helpful as meat preservative. It is estimated that the cargo of pepper that came to Salem aboard the Rajah was valued at about $125,000 (in 1797), meaning in today’s value the shipment would be worth about $1.5 million.

For approximately the next 50 years, the majority of the pepper used in many countries came through the port of Salem. By the early 19th century, Salem’s trade had helped the city become the wealthiest per capita in the United States. Though Salem’s trade with China and East Indian nations eventually came to include more than just pepper, with items like tea, silk, and porcelain, the Sumatran pepper voyages served as some of Salem’s first and most important ventures into international trade relations.

The seal was commissioned by the city to be designed by George Peabody in 1839. Peabody was a descendent of some of Salem’s greatest pepper merchants, and was himself a ship owner. Rather than depicting a scene of Salem, Peabody thought it fitting to draw a figure representative of a Sumatran merchant as a reference to where the pepper trade first began.

Since 1839, the seal has been used on official city documents and records. In addition, using the seal on anything other than documents pertaining to official City of Salem business is a violation of State law and Local Ordinances.  A solid bronze plaque of the seal is currently on display in the reception area by the mayor’s office at City Hall, and the City hopes to eventually display it on the exterior of the new City Hall Annex Building at 90 Washington Street.

Salem, MA Military History

“Salem has a rich military history that stretches all the way back to the Seventeenth Century, and continues on today. Salem’s designation in 2013 as the birthplace of the National Guard, and Salem’s privateer connections get most of the military heritage attention, but there is much more to this story.

Salem Common was “Ye Olde Training Field” when Captain John Endicott organized the first training day to drill settlers in 1630. In 1637 the first militia muster was organized by the Massachusetts Bay Colony Court.

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Cadet Band, ca: 1910, led by Jean Missud.

Today we know Winter Island for its beach, boat ramp, and beautiful lighthouse. Originally named for King William, the original fort dates back to 1643-1667. It was renamed for Salem’s Colonel Timothy Pickering in 1799, and became a Coast Guard Air Station in 1935.

Six weeks prior to the “shot heard around the world on Lexington Green,” British Colonel Alexander Leslie retreated from a gathering of angry citizens on Salem’s North Bridge. Leslie and the 64th regiment had been sent by the British governor general of Massachusetts, Thomas Gage, to seize Colonial cannons and gunpowder in Salem. Leslie’s Retreat is considered by many to have been the first armed resistance of the American Revolution.

Salem Privateers made a name for themselves during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Privateers were privately owned vessels that had government permission to capture enemy vessels during wartime, and during the Revolutionary War alone Salem sent out 158 privateers that captured 444 prizes (enemy ships), more than half the number taken by all the Colonies during the war. Today you can sail aboard a replica Salem Privateer, Schooner FAME, out of Pickering Wharf.

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Salem Coast Guard matchbook (front).

Include the Pickering House on Broad Street in your visit to       Salem, and you will be exploring the birthplace of Colonel Timothy Pickering, who was an officer in the Continental Army and   Quartermaster during the Revolutionary War. Pickering’s career went on to include Adjutant General of the Army, Secretary of State, and   Secretary of War. Pickering, who was known for his unwavering integrity, lack of prejudice, devotion to justice, and commitment to   service, is buried in the Broad Street Cemetery.

Glover’s Regiment claims Marblehead as its home, but Colonel John Glover was born on St. Peter’s Street in Salem. A good friend of General George Washington’s, Glover’s Regiment ferried Washington across the Delaware River, and Glover’s Schooner HANNAH was the first commissioned ship in the US Navy.

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Salem Coast Guard matchbook (back).

Salem mathematician and navigator Nathaniel Bowditch wrote “The New American Practical Navigator.” Known as “The Bowditch,” a copy of this book was been onboard Naval and Coast Guard vessels since the War of 1812.

Residents and visitors still remember when two US Naval Submarines were docked at Derby Wharf, used as training vessels during World War II.

Salem’s military connections continue today, most notably in newly-elected Congressman Seth Moulton, who served in the Marine Corps in the Iraq War.

Armory Park, adjacent to the Salem Regional Visitor Center, pays tribute to more than 365 years of military heritage in Essex County, and includes a timeline tracing the history of the citizen soldier and the Second Corps of Cadets.

Material for this feature was provided by Bonnie Hurd Smith, Nelson Dionne, Schooner FAME, and SethMoulton.com.

Salem.org