Photo Contest Picks for September and October

We have two Photo Contest “Pick of the Month” winners to share today!

Congratulations to Carrie Dichter  for winning our “Pick of the Month” for September!

Pickering Light by Carrie Dichter

Pickering Light by Carrie Dichter

Congratulations to Stephanie Williams for winning our “Pick of the Month” for October!

Retire Beckett House Salem MA

“Path to the Red Door” by Stephanie Williams

Do you have an excellent picture of Salem? Submit it to our Photo Contest, and you could win a great prize!

 

Downrig or Die!

Celebrate the “last dying gasp of the sailing season,” with Downrig or Die!, an annual program presented by the Salem Maritime National Historic Site in partnership with Schooner Fame and Essex Heritage.

salemma_schooner-fameOn November 5, 2016, take to the water on a discounted sail aboard a traditional schooner. Both the Schooner Fame and the Schooner Ardelle are offering discounted public sails as part of the Downrig or Die! Each sail departs from Pickering Wharf or Central Wharf and lasts for 90 minutes. The Schooner Fame will be setting sail at 1:00 pm, and the Schooner Ardelle at 2:00 pm. Discounted rates for the sails are $15 for adults, and $10 for seniors, military, and children ages between the ages of 2 and 12. Visit Schooner Fame’s website to purchase tickets in advance, and say farewell to the season from an authentic replica schooner!

Following the sails, visit the Salem Maritime National Historic Site to learn about Salem’s maritime history and maritime archaeology. During Shipwrecks and Salem Maritime! Maritime Archaeologist, Calvin Mires, and Park Ranger, Tom Landers will share their knowledge of Salem’s maritime history along with marine archaeology through a family-friendly program. Shipwrecks and Salem Maritime! will be taking place from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm on Derby Wharf.

Salem, MA, Salem Maritime National Historic SiteFrom 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm, visit St. Joseph’s Hall for a series of educational talks about the Salem Maritime National Historic Site. During these sessions, receive updates on the FriendShip from Captain Jeremy Bumagin and First Mate/Rigger John Newman of the National Park Service. Additionally, Annie Harris, Executive Director of Essex Heritage will present information on the Bakers Island Light Station. After the Shipwrecks and Salem Maritime! program, Calvin Hires will be on hand to conclude the speaker series with a discussion of maritime archaeology.

In the evening, visit Victoria Station for a sail away party of sorts featuring raffles, local rum, appetizers, live music and more! The party lasts from 6:00 pm to 9:00 pm, and is sure to be filled with good times and “schooner wisdom,” as the 2016 sailing season comes to a close.

No Car, No Problem: Getting Around Salem, MA

No car, no problem, we’ve got you covered! Coming from North Station in Boston, the MBTA Commuter Rail will take you right in the heart of Downtown Salem. Take the train to also visit other great North of Boston destinations like Rockport on the line. Enjoy a ride on the water from Boston’s Long Wharf to Salem with the Salem Ferry. Salem is a walkable city, but for those who enjoy bike riding, Salem Spins offers a hub downtown by the Hawthorne Hotel where you can rent a bike for free!

Salem Ferry, Salem, MA, Kate Fox

MBTA Commuter Rail
Coming from Boston, Salem is a short ride away from North Station via the Commuter Rail. Additionally, the Commuter Rail connects Salem to excellent cities north of Boston, like Rockport and Gloucester. Fares and schedules vary according to the MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority), and the most up to date schedules may be found on the MBTA website, MBTA.com/Schedules. Once in Salem, the Commuter Rail Station is located right downtown, within walking distance to many shops, restaurants, accommodations, and attractions.

Salem Ferry
Another way to reach Salem from Boston is to hop aboard the Salem Ferry. In just under an hour, the ferry can take passengers between Salem and Boston, while offering scenic views of both cities. The ferry, Nathaniel Bowditch is equipped with enclosed and open air seating, tables, and restrooms, making the trip a quick and comfortable one. The ferry departs from Long Wharf in Boston, and docks in Salem at Blaney Street, both of which are within walking distance to many local attractions. The ferry runs seasonally and rates very so be sure to check out the Salem Ferry website, BostonHarborCruises.com/SalemFerry before planning a trip.

Walking Distances
Once in Salem, you’ll be pleased to find that most everything you’d want to do is within walking distance. Many Salem attractions are located within about a 20 minute walking distance from each other at the farthest points. A map of downtown Salem may be viewed at Salem.org/Plan/Map and may also be found in the Salem Visitor Guide.

Salem, MA Essex Street

Salem Spins
Another great way to see Salem is with Salem Spins, a free bike-sharing program provided by the City of Salem in partnership with Salem State University. To access a bike rental, visit the front desk of the Hawthorne Hotel or the Salem State Campus Police Station.

Driving to Salem?
If you are planning on driving into Salem, we recommend leaving the car parked for most of your visit. As such a walkable city, it will be easier to leave the car parked and walk or take the Salem Trolley to your destinations throughout your trip. For more information on parking and directions into Salem by car, please visit: Salem.org/Plan/Parking.

Lighthouses in Salem, MA

With Haunted Happenings right around the corner, it might be difficult to think of Salem for anything besides our favorite Halloween celebration. Even with the summer months behind us, Salem can be a great place to see lighthouses, which have served the town since the 17th century in helping ships safely access the harbor. The weather might be cooling down, but there is still time to see some of these amazing sites:

Derby Light, Salem, MA, Brittany DiCologero

Derby Wharf Light Station
The Derby Wharf Light Station, located at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, is rather unique with its square shape and short stature. This lighthouse measures only 12 x 12 feet, and the top of the cupola reaches about 20 feet off the ground. This station was built in 1871 to assist merchant ships entering Salem Harbor. Where most lighthouses traditionally have live-in caretakers, the Derby Wharf Light Station’s caretakers were able to live wherever they pleased in Salem due to its close proximity and easy access from the town. Astonishingly, there have only been six caretakers throughout the entire history of the station!

The National Park Service gained ownership of the lighthouse in 1977, and began a restoration project on the site that would not be completed until 1989. During the refurbishment, the lighthouse was painted white (a change from its original red coloring) and a solar powered light which flashes every 6 seconds was installed. While the interior of the station is not open to the public, the exterior is fully accessible and is a beautiful walk on a nice day right down Derby Wharf.

salemma_bakers-island_kate-fox

Bakers Island Light
The Bakers Island Station, which is Massachusetts’ largest residential island north of Boston, dates back to Salem’s early days. Bakers Island itself became a part of Salem in 1660, and about 10 years later the entire island became home to tenant John Turner who you may be familiar with as the builder of The House of the Seven Gables. The island is also said to have been named for a man who was struck and killed by a falling tree, who also went by the name of “Baker.” If that bit of history isn’t gruesome enough, there was also a series of shipwrecks that took place nearby during the late 18th century, which suggests that the lighthouse was not as effective at the time as residents would have hoped.

The light station was established in 1791, with the current lighthouse we see today being built in 1820. In contrast from the Derby Wharf Light Station, Bakers Island does have a resident caretaker, who is typically the only person on the island during the winter months. While not open to the public, the Essex National Heritage Area runs boat trips to the island during the summer months. Without access to the island, this lighthouse is best seen from boat, about 3 miles East of Salem Harbor.

salemma_pickering-light_winter-island_stacia-cooper

Winter Island Light (Fort Pickering Lighthouse)
Winter Island Light, or the Fort Pickering Lighthouse was established in 1871 as part of the joint effort with the Derby Wharf Light Station and Hospital Point Light Station in Beverly to safely direct ships into Salem harbor regardless of the times of day they were coming in. The lighthouse is adjacent to the Fort Pickering area, which was built as a defense fort in the mid-16th century, and had been used for this purpose until the Civil War. Now primarily used as a campsite and recreational area, guests are welcome to visit Winter Island Light, which is accessible at 50 Winter Island Road.

Hospital Point Lighthouse, Beverly
Hospital Point Lighthouse, named for a smallpox hospital once located on the site, was established in 1872 as the last lighthouse fulfilling the need for ships to have a clear sense of direction when coming into Salem Harbor. One of the most unique aspects of Hospital Point is that this lighthouse is one of only 5 total in Massachusetts that still uses its original Fresnel lens. Though the lighthouse itself is closed to the public, the best views may be seen from boat, the Salem Willows, or from Bayview Ave. in Beverly.

Marblehead Light, Marblehead
The station at Marblehead Light was first established in 1835, with the lighthouse we see today being constructed later in 1896. Marblehead Light is known for being one of only 14 pyramidal skeletal lighthouses in the United States, meaning that the structure itself is not enclosed, and is made entirely of metal. The lighthouse is located at Chandler Hovey Park, a 3.74 acre recreational area at the end of Follett Street that is open to the public. Without accessing the park, Marblehead Light is best seen by boat from the entrance to Marblehead Harbor.

Salem, MA to Host Its First Food Truck Festival

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New England Open Markets will bring a cornucopia of food trucks to Salem Common to kick off the city’s annual Halloween celebrations with the first Salem Food Truck Festival. On October 1st and 2nd, 2016 from 11 AM to 6 PM over 25 food trucks from across New England will converge on historic Salem Common just in time for the kick-off of the month long 2016 Haunted Happenings Festival.

The City of Salem has partnered with New England Open Markets to expand the offerings in downtown Salem during this busy month-long celebration. Open Markets founder Chris Masci brings his festival/market expertise to Salem for another fantastic event that adds to the already successful roster of events that include Salem Open Market and Salem Holiday Market in Salem and many in South Boston including the highly successful Ink Block Market.

From Grilled Cheese to Poutine, from whoopie pies to cookies there is something on tap for everyone at the first food truck festival. Fan favorites Bon Me food truck, The Cookie Monstah, Roxy’s Grilled Cheese and more will be bringing a food court like no other to the heart of the city. The two day festival will also include live music and local buskers.

For more information on Salem’s first food truck festival, visit New England Open Market’s website, or find the festival on Facebook.

“Hocus Pocus” Filming Locations in Salem, MA

hocus-pocusIt might be difficult to believe that Hocus Pocus, the famed cult classic starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimy debuted 23 years ago, on July 16, 1993. You are probably familiar with the film’s story, which focuses on the Sanderson Sisters, who are executed as witches after casting a spell on young Thackery Binx, dooming him to roam the streets of Salem as an immortal black cat. 300 years later, a teenager named Max finds himself in the home of the Sanderson Sisters, where his lighting of the infamous black flame candle brings the trio back to life on Halloween night. Max, along with his sister Dani, and crush Allison, and Binx the cat of course, must then work together to put an end to the Sanderson Sisters once and for all.

Pioneer Village
310 West Ave | PioneerVillageSalem.org
The opening scenes of the film, featuring Binx as a human prior to his cursing as a cat, were filmed in Pioneer Village, a living history museum located at Salem’s Forest River Park. Pioneer Village was built in 1930, and is America’s first living history museum. Tours of the village are offered seasonally through September, and today the park is home to different events and festivals throughout the year.

Phillips Elementary School on Salem Common
The Phillips Elementary School building conveniently ended its run as a functioning school in 1992, making it the perfect location for a movie filming in Salem that required some exterior high school footage. While the building is not open to the public today the exterior can still be viewed from the Common.

The Ropes Mansion
318 Essex Street | PEM.org
One of the most memorable scenes in the film was when Max attends the Halloween party at Allison’s house, the exterior of which was actually filmed using one of the most prominent 18th century homes in Salem. The gardens located behind the mansion are free to visit and open to the public.

Old Town Hall
161 Essex Street | Salem.com
The other classic party scene in the film was actually filmed just a few blocks away at Old Town Hall in Derby Square. Famous in the film for Bette Midler’s rendition of “Put a Spell on You,” the building today is open to the public, and hosts the Salem Museum and performances of “Cry Innocent.”

Salem Common
Many of the outdoor scenes in the movie were filmed at Salem Common, where ironically enough the film is shown each year during Haunted Happenings. This year’s showing of Hocus Pocus on the Common will take place at 6 pm on October 29.

4 Ocean Avenue
This house on the end of Ocean Avenue was home to Max and his sister Dani in the film. While Hocus Pocus fans may view the exterior of the home from the street, please be advised that this site is PRIVATE PROPERTY and should be treated with respect.

Old Burial Hill
Orne Street, Marblehead, MA | OldBurialHill.org
The day-time cemetery scenes showing Max interacting with his new, not-so-welcoming classmates actually were not filmed in Salem at all. This footage was shot in nearby Marblehead at Old Burial Hill, one of the oldest graveyards in New England.

Count Orlok’s Nightmare Gallery
285 Derby Street | NightmareGallery.com
While this museum was not featured in the filming for Hocus Pocus, it is home to an impressive figure of Winifred Sanderson, portrayed in the film by Bette Midler. Count Orlok’s is located at 285 Derby Street and is open as a museum and haunted house throughout October.

Do have a good time visiting some of the locations from this classic film, but please don’t “run amok!”

October at The House of the Seven Gables

Hanging judges, cursed colonels, haunted hallways:
Bring a friend and hang on!

Secret Staircase House of the Seven Gables Salem MA

The Secret Staircase

For those who like a little fact with their fright, a little history with their hi-jinx, head for The House of the Seven Gables in October where truth is always stranger than fiction. On select weekend nights, two original theatrical events are staged in The House of the Seven Gables and the Nathaniel Hawthorne Birthplace. Each performance lasts 35 minutes and they begin every 5 or 10 minutes between 8 and 10:30 p.m. (7 and 9 p.m. on October 31). Tickets for individual shows or combination tickets for both performances are available. During the day, tours tip gently toward the dark side as visitors brave the Secret Staircase and marvel at a way of life long since passed. Daytime hours at The Gables are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Theatrical performances

Legacy of the Hanging Judge
In 1692 the Salem Witch Trials wrought havoc on a small New England community. “Legacy of the Hanging Judge” replays the events in the words of those who lived through the harrowing times —and those who did not fare as well. The performances take place in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s birth house. Prepare to be interrogated by magistrate John Hathorne, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s great-great grandfather, infamous for his role in the condemnation and deaths of accused witches. Encounter the tormented, the accused and their accusers in this interactive theatrical experience. Beware. You may find yourself accused of “writing in the devil’s book!”

October 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, and 29 from 8 to 10:30 p.m.
October 31 from 7 to 9 p.m.
Performances begin every ten minutes in The Nathaniel Hawthorne birth house and last approximately 35 minutes. Last performance begins at closing. Advance ticket purchase highly recommended. Visit 7gables.org for information and tickets.

Spirits of the Gables
Guilt! Greed! Revenge! Step into the world of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “House of the Seven Gables.” Watch as his troubled characters haunt the mansion’s halls, entangled in a family curse. Matthew Maule condemns Colonel Pyncheon with words that become his fate — “God will give you blood to drink!” Creep through The Gables at your own risk, for as long as there is a Pyncheon descendant inside, legend has it, only darkness and death will fill its walls.

October 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, and 29 from 8 to 10:30 p.m.
October 31 from 7 to 9 p.m.
Performances begin every five minutes in The House of the Seven Gables and last approximately 35 minutes. Last performance begins at closing. Advance ticket purchase highly recommended. Visit 7gables.org for information and tickets

Rates
Tickets for each of the plays is $15 or $28 for a combination ticket. The combination ticket is available for any two performances on the same evening. Advance ticket purchase highly recommended. Visit 7gables.org for information and tickets.

Photo Contest Pick of August

Congratulations to Logan Goodwin for winning our “Pick of the Month” for August!

Bakers Island Lighthouse. Photo credit: Logan Goodwin

Bakers Island Lighthouse. Photo credit: Logan Goodwin

Logan’s picture of Bakers Island Light makes us sad the summer season has ended.  If you are looking for an adventure, check in with Essex Heritage and add a boat ride to Bakers Island to your summer list!

Do you have a memorable shot of Salem? Submit it to our Photo Contest and you could win a wonderful prize!

Salem Spice Festival Returns to Pioneer Village September 10 & 11

Salem MA Spice Festival. Photo credit: Creative Salem

Come celebrate nearly four centuries of Salem’s history with spices, herbs and tea in America’s first living history museum, Pioneer Village: Salem 1630. There will be exhibits, recipes, crafts, talks, demonstrations, music, food, storytelling and activities for children.

Admission is free but a suggested donation of $5.00 to Pioneer Village will happily be accepted. Salem Trolley is providing shuttle service to Pioneer Village for $5.00 round trip on Saturday, September 10th and Sunday, September 11th. For more information on the festival and for specific times and locations to catch the Salem Trolley please visit salemspicefest.com.

2016 Vendor List
Artemisia Botanicals, Atlantic Saltworks, Bambolina, Black Cat Tours, Comida, Copper Treez, Coven’s Cottage, Derby Square Tours, Desert Rose, Ed and Sons Popcorn Wagon, Green Witch School of Herbalism, Hervor Soaps, IFarm, Kristin Jay, K’s Kitchen, Mama Kyries Magickal Curiosities, Monarch Gardner, Perceptive Charm, Red Biddy Skincare, Remember Salem, Salem Canvas, Salem Food Tours, Salem Spice, Salem Trolley, Starbucks, Wynott’s Wands, Ye Olde Pepper Candy Company, and more.

Pioneer Village: Salem 1630 was built in 1930 to mark the tercentennial of Massachusetts, Pioneer Village is America’s first living history museum. The village sits on three acres of land and contains various examples of colonial architecture: dugouts, wigwams, thatched roof cottages, and the Governor’s Faire House. Culinary and medicinal gardens and a blacksmith shop further interpret early 17th-century colonial life. Nestled between the woods and the ocean, Pioneer Village is a five minute drive from downtown in Salem’s Forest River Park at 98 West Avenue, Salem.

Salem Spice Festival
Saturday, September 10, 10am – 4pm
Sunday, September 11, 10am – 4pm
Pioneer Village: Salem in 1630, 98 West Avenue, Salem, MA
Admission: Free, with a suggested donation of $5

Salem MA Spice Festival 2016

Salem Haunted Happenings will hit a new note in 2016

 

Salem MA Haunted Happenings 2016

The 36th Annual Salem Haunted Happenings will feature a month of programs and events to suit Halloween enthusiasts of all ages.  The October program, which always includes a scary dose of theatrics, will be enhanced this year by live music, great food, and costumed pets.

Headlining the new events for 2016 is the Haunted Harmonies a cappella festival on October 8. High school and collegiate a cappella groups will converge in Salem for a day of performance and learning that will culminate with a professional showcase and performance by Vox One.  Also new this year is a Food Truck Festival on October 1st and 2nd on Salem Common, the Howl-o-Ween Parade for pets on October 2, and a Chowder Fest to benefit Breast Cancer Research on October 15.

The 2016 Haunted Happenings Grand Parade will step off on October 6 with a celebration of the National Park Centennial.  The theme this year is, “100 Years of Parks & Play.” Salem students from preschool through Salem State University will be led by Grand Marshall Paul DePrey, Superintendent of the Salem Maritime and Saugus National Historic Sites.

The Guide to Salem Haunted Happenings is now available from Destination Salem. Featuring a zombie theme, the publication includes a robust calendar of events, and articles about Halloween Night Safety & Sense, Salem’s Historic Burying Grounds, and Haunted Happenings “Do’s and Don’ts.”  The Guide also includes information on Salem’s attractions, tours, entertainment, shopping, parking and transportation. New this year is a section on “Grab and Go Eats,” which flushes out a robust list of dining options.

October weekends in Salem are always busy and visitors are encouraged to use public transportation. The Salem Ferry, operated by Boston Harbor Cruises, provides daily service between Salem’s Blaney Street and Boston’s Long Wharf North.  Salem is located five stops from Boston’s North Station on the Newburyport/Rockport lines of the Commuter Rail.  The MBTA runs expanded service to and from Salem on the final weekend of October and on Halloween, and sells a Special Event Ticket on Halloween Night.

For more information, visit HauntedHappenings.org.

 

Happy Birthday to the National Park Service!

Salem Maritime National Historic Site, Salem MA

As part of the 100th birthday celebration for the National Parks, Salem Maritime National Historic Site is having a number of special events!

Schedule of Special Events for August 25, 2016:

9:00 – 5:00: Photo Exhibition: Your Parks Through History. On view at the Salem Visitor Center, 2 New Liberty Street, and various locations around Salem Maritime National Historic Site, 160 Derby Street.

10:15 – 11:30: Ranger-Led Sail on Schooner Fame sponsored by Eastern National
Please call (978) 740-1650 or stop by the Salem Visitor Center to reserve your spot (25 spots – first-come, first-serve. Tickets available beginning at 9am on August 25).

11:00 – 11:30: Cake Cutting at the Visitor Center. Stop by to hear a few words from our Superintendent Paul DePrey and grab a slice of our birthday cake!

11:30 –4:30: Family Crafts at the Visitor Center. Learn how to write your name in Signal Flags!

12:45 – 2:00: Ranger-Led Sail on Schooner Fame. Please call (978) 740-1650 or stop by the Salem Visitor Center at to reserve your spot (25 spots – first-come, first-serve. Tickets available beginning at 9am on August 25). Sponsored by Eastern National.

2:30 – 3:45: Ranger-Led Sail on Schooner Fame. Please call (978) 740-1650 or stop by the Salem Visitor Center at to reserve your spot (25 spots – first-come, first-serve. Tickets available beginning at 9am on August 25). Sponsored by Eastern National.

Regularly Scheduled NPS Programming Includes:

  • Custom House Open for Visitation: 10am-4pm
  • Narbonne House Open for Visitation: 2pm-4pm
  • Derby House Tours: 11am, 12pm, 2pm, 3pm
  • Where Past is Present, Free Film at the Visitor Center: 9:25am, 10:15am, 12:00pm, 4:00pm
  • To the Farthest Port of the Rich East, Free Film at the Visitor Center: 2:00pm

All events are free.

Join the celebration on Facebook!

High Fashion in Salem

Add “fashion photo shoot location” to the long, eclectic list of credits to Salem’s name. W Magazine and renowned photographers Inez and Vinoodh chose Salem as the setting for their “Season of the Witch” feature in the September issue.

Photography locations included The Witch House, Salem 1630, Forest River Park, Salem Maritime National Historic Site, and Stickworks by Patrick Dougherty at the Peabody Essex Museum.

Here are a few of our favorite photographs from W Magazine.  You can see the entire gallery here. Which images are your favorite?

Photo from W Magazine taken at Pioneer Village in Salem MA

Photographed in Pioneer Village. The inspiration: “Season of the Witch,” photographed by Inez Van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin, styled by Edward Enninful; W magazine September 2016.

 

Photographed for W Magazine at Salem Maritime National Historic Site by Inez and Vinoodh, Styled by Edward Enninful

Photographed at Salem Maritime National Historic Site by Inez and Vinoodh, Styled by Edward Enninful

 

Photographed at Pioneer Village for W Magazine Salem MA by Inez and Vinoodh, Styled by Edward Enninful

Photographed at Pioneer Village for W Magazine by Inez and Vinoodh, Styled by Edward Enninful.

 

Photographed at The Witch House, Salem MA for W Magazine by Inez and Vinoodh, Styled by Edward Enninful

Photographed at Pioneer Village for W Magazine by Inez and Vinoodh, Styled by Edward Enninful

 

Photographed at Stickworks by Patrick Dougherty at the PEM Salem MA for W Magazine by Inez and Vinoodh, Styled by Edward Enninful

Photographed at Stickworks by Patrick Dougherty at the PEM for W Magazine by Inez and Vinoodh, Styled by Edward Enninful

Salem.org