Destination Salem Blog

Historic New England in Salem

The Phillips House

The Phillips House has been a "hidden gem" in Salem for years, where it sits - not hidden at all - on Chestnut Street, the only one of the Federal era mansions that is open to the public, beneath the Hawaiian flag.  Tours of the Phillips House have great scope and range, and include, depending on season, general overview tours, kitchen tours, "Upstairs/Downstairs" style tours, and tours of Chestnut Street that include the Phillips House.  For the culinary-minded, one might even find themselves discussing turtle soup and grocery lists at the Phillips House on a Salem Food Tour.

The Phillips House is  a property of Historic New England, and it is not the only Historic New England property in Salem.  A few blocks away is the 17th-century Gedney House, which will be open this weekend for Seventeenth Century Saturdays.  Not your typical historic house, the Gedney House is a structure where you can see original post-and-beam timbers, brick nogging, and early decorative finishes.  The Gedney House is Salem's second oldest historic home. 

The Gedney House

The next Seventeenth Century Saturdays will take place on Saturday, August 2. Tours of the Gedney House, which is located at 21 High Street in Salem, are $5.00 for adults and  free for Historic New England members and Salem residents. In conjunction with Salem Maritime Festival, 2-for-1 coupons to visit the Phillips and Gedney Houses will be available at both sites and the Historic New England booth at the festival. The museum will be open from 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. with tours available on the hour. Space on tours is limited due to the structure of the house

Phillips House Car Meet on Chestnut Street

On August 10, the Thirteenth Annual Phillips House Car Meet wil return to Chestnut Street. Members of the North Shore Old Car Club will display their vintage and antique vehicles; there will be special tours of the Phillips House and Carriage House, including a close-up look at the two Pierce-Arrows, Model A Ford, and five carriages on display. Special family activities and games will be set up in the backyard. Jazz music will be provided by the Trent Austin Duo. Light refreshments will be provided as well.  There will be awards in two categories, People's Choice and Sponsor's Choice, and the ceremony will take place at 2:30 PM.  The meet takes place on Sunday, August 11 from noon – 3:00 p.m. Admission is free. The car meet is open to all participants, though members of the North Shore Old Car Club will receive priority parking near the Phillips House.

For more information on the Phillips House, Gedney House, and all of their events and tours, please call 978-744-0440 or visit

Posted by Kate on 08/01 at 11:12 AM Permalink

Come Celebrate Four Centuries of Salem’s Maritime Heritage!

Salem Maritime Festival Logo The Salem Maritime Festival
Saturday, August 2nd, 2014
10am - 4:00pm | FREE!

Visit Salem Maritime National Historic Site on Saturday, August 2, and you will discover a day of activity and fun for the whole family!  Music, Demonstrations, Exhibits, and Children's Activities will be available throughout the park and on Derby Wharf.  The festival will include live music, free 90-minute harbor cruises, Friendship of Salem Ship Tours, numerous kids activities including the Junior Ranger Program, boat tours & demonstrations, opportunities to cruise, sail, paddle, and row in Salem Harbor, and traditional craft demonstrations.

Harbor Cruises

Probably the most popular feature of the Salem Maritime Festival are the free, 90-minute boat rides around Salem Harbor aboard one of three vessels. All Salem Maritime Festival visitors are invited to enter a drawling for one free boat ride on the vessel of their choice. Tickets may be secured via an onsite lottery on the day of the Festival. Random drawings at the Harbor Cruise Tent on Central Wharf will be held 30 minutes prior to each cruise departure.Ticketed passengers (only) should be prepared for immediate departure down the Central Wharf gangway, and will come aboard, meet the crew and join in the hands-on activities. NOTE: All children under the age of 16 years must be accompanied by an adult.

Participating vessels are:

  • Schooner Fame, a full-scale replica of a War of 1812 Privateer
  • Ardelle, a Gloucester Schooner
  • Sea Shuttle's Endeavour, come aboard and learn about the marine science of Salem Sound!

In addition, the Lewis H. Story, an authentic replica Chebacco Boat, will be visiting during the Festival. 

Children's Activities

Children's activities will take place on the historic wharves. There will be an entire tent of fun crafts to do. Kids can also tour the tall ship Friendship of Salem, and earn Junior Ranger badges by participating in scavenger hunts and other fun activities.

Salem Sound Coastwatch will sponsor a muck walk on Derby Wharf Beach. Learn about life at low tide in Salem Harbor. Boots will be provided. Demonstrators and Exhibitors Hands-on demonstrations and other activities will be scattered around the park.

Traditional crafts like spinning, coopering, traditional small craft building, and model shipbuilding will be exhibited in working demonstrations.

Friendship of Salem

The tall ship, Friendship of Salem, will be open from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, with hands-on cargo loading and sail setting activities, Junior Ranger booklets, and National Park Service Rangers and volunteers will be on hand to introduce visitors to the lives of sailors, captains, and merchants in the Great Age of Sail.


The 2014 Salem Maritime Festival is hosted by Salem Maritime, your national park in Salem in cooperation with the Essex National Heritage Commission.

Posted by Kate on 07/31 at 10:31 AM Permalink

Salem on a budget

This itinerary is part of our Tuesday series of suggested ways to explore Salem. These itineraries are not available as a package, and are only suggested ways to explore Salem. Please contact listed sites for hours, rates, and schedules.  Previous itineraries include: Two-Night Itinerary for a Family, Food, Fish, and History, a Salem Day-trip from Boston, An All-American Trip to Salem, and the Land of Witches and Pirates.

We are in the height of summer, which means we are at our busiest season for family travel. Not every family is looking to spend a king's ransom on their vacation, and it is certainly possible to see Salem on a budget.  Start out by checking out our list of Ten Free Things to Do, and then consider these attractions, restaurants, and accommodations options. Bring comfortable shoes and get ready to have fun exploring Salem! 

Salem Museum at Old Town Hall


Salem Maritime National Historic Site
160 Derby Street, Salem
(978) 741-1650 |
Tours of the wharves, buildings, and tall ship Friendship are free at your National Park! You can opt for a self-guided experience, or make a reservation for a timed, guided tour. Stop at the Visitor Center at 2 New Liberty Street to see the free film, Where Past is Present, and learn about the history of Salem and the region.

Salem Museum
Old Town Hall, 32 Derby Square
(978) 744-0007 |
Learn the hidden stories about the amazing lives that have contributed to the establishment and growth of Salem, Massachusetts.  From Roger Conant's arrival in 1626 through the Witch Trials, the Maritime Era, Nathaniel Hawthorne, the Great Salem Fire, Parker Brothers, and more. You are sure to be surprised by the history here in Salem.

Salem Witch Trials Memorial
Liberty Street between Derby and Charter Streets
Symbolically located behind the Old Burying Point, the Salem Witch Trials Memorial serves as a somber place of remembrance for visitors and descendants of those condemned in 1692.  



Boston Hot Dog
60 Washington Street
(978) 744-4168 |
This locally owned gourmet hot dog stand has new ownership in 2014. We like the California Dog and the Slaw Dog, and the kids can't go wrong with the Kid's Dog Meal, which includes a small drink and chips.

Essex NY Pizza & Deli
One Museum Place Mall
(978) 741-1383 |
Serving New York style hand-tossed pizza, Essex's also has salads, sandwiches, and dinners.  

Winter Island Maritime Park


Winter Island Maritime Park
50 Winter Island Road
(978) 745-9430 |
RV and tent camping May 20-November 1. Walking paths of Winter Island, camp and gift store, public beach, historic fort, and Pickedring Lighthouse.

Clipper Ship Inn
40 Bridge Street
(978) 745-8022 |
Rooms and suites at budget-friendly rates, ample parking, located just outside the historic downtown district.  


Be social! Share your Salem with us by tagging #SalemMA or #DestSalem on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. We may share your favorite shots!

Posted by Kate on 07/29 at 08:00 AM Permalink

Salem and The China Trade Trail

China Trade Trail image

Salem, among other sites, is featured in the China Trade Trail brochure, a publication of the Forbes House Museum in Milton, Massachusetts.

The China Trade Trail beckons you to ten Massachusetts destinations in pursuit of the American China Trade, a phenomenon in our nation’s history. The Revolutionary war was won! No longer would citizens be tethered to economic constraints dictated by England. In the 19th century, entrepreneurial merchants, based in Boston, seized the opportunity to trade with the East. At first, departures to China took place from the exotic port at Salem. As trade accelerated, operations moved to Boston to accommodate larger ships, due to its deeper waters, and provide more docks to meet the demand of growing fleets.

The China Trade Trail features eleven locations in eastern Massachusetts, including the Salem Maritime National Histoirc Site and the Phillips House Museum.  The featured  sites will share with you the stories of sea captains and their families, treasures brought back from afar, and their adventures establishing trade with ports along the Afircan, South American, and American Pacific Northwest coasts. 

We feature the China Trade, and Salem's Sea Trade in the 2014 Salem Guide. You can view the 2014 guide, and request a free copy of the Guide, at

Posted by Kate on 07/26 at 08:00 AM Permalink

Great Stories begin with live music, pirates, and native art

New England Pirate Faire at Pioneer Village

We have another weekend chock-full of events, including the New England Pirate Faire at Pioneer Village, The Tempest on Misery Island, and Native American Art of the Pacific Northwest at the Peabody Essex Museum.  If you are less in the mood for doing and more in the mood for relaxing, live acoustic music at The Landing at Salem Wharf is just one of the offerings listed in our Night Life calendar.

New England Pirate Faire is celebrating its tenth season.  A a weekend-long celebration of all things pirate, the festival takes place at Pioneer Village in Forest River Park and features fun and games with some of history’s most infamous buccaneers. Whether it’s a chance to throw a battle ax at a target, find the perfect hand-made present, or solve an interactive treasure hunt mystery, or even join the crew of the dreaded Blackbeard, everyone in your family will find fun and excitement at the New England Pirate Faire. Tickets: General Admission $14, Children $10. Learn more

The Tempest Trials will be a Shakespearean festival on Salem's beautiful Misery Island. The festival will feature actors of all ages participating in a dramatic reading competition before a panel of judges. Misery Island is accessible only by boat, and SeaShuttle's Endeavour, a 45-foot catamaran, has been contracted to ferry the audience to the island. Proceeds for the Trials will benefit the nonprofit organization Sea Station Inc., which works to safeguard the living ocean through hands-on education and the involvement of our community. Learn More

Ravens Many Gifts Gallery

Raven's Many Gifts: Native Art of the Northwest Coast, on view at the Peabody Essex Museum, provides the opportunity to explore the living relationships among humans, animals, ancestors and supernatural beings through works of Native art from the Pacific Northwest Coast created during the past 200 years. Ceremonial regalia, trade goods and art sold in galleries today reveal creative expressions of family, heritage, politics and commerce in a changing world. Learn more

There always seems to be a musician or a band performing in Salem. One of our favorite spots for live music, a chilled refreshment, and a great view is the Landing at Salem Wharf.  Feeling like you are sitting in Salem harbor, this is a perfect place to enjoy live music and watch the boats pass by.  Learn more.

The Landing at Salem Ferry

Find more events in Salem on our calendar at, and visit our Facebook and Twitter feeds to find our "Weekend at a Glance," a printable, digested list of what is happening in Salem this weekend. 

Let us know what you do in Salem this weekend! Tag your posts with #SalemMA or #DestSalem. You'll find us on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter at @destsalem.

Posted by Kate on 07/24 at 08:00 AM Permalink

About the 4th… and the 19th and the 22nd

My favorite part of our July 4th celebrations is always the reading of the Declaration of Independence on Salem Common or, as on this past rainy Fourth, in the ballroom of the Hawthorne Hotel. It’s not the flashiest, or the most fun, or the tastiest of all of our celebratory events, but it’s the one that makes me truly proud and grateful to be an American.

Declaration of Independence graphic Yes, the Declaration is a little long. And I don’t personally relate to every offense Mr. Jefferson cited, but it does makes me stop and think. Dann Anthony Maurno brings it to life…and brings home just how frighteningly radical that Declaration was for the Colonists. They considered themselves English after all.  

I kept thinking back to the reading of Declaration all weekend, the words and the pure defiance of the act resonating across picnics and parades and fireworks. Thank you, Hannah Diozzi for orchestrating this each year, to the Hawthorne Hotel, and all who participated. If you missed the reading this year, do put it on your calendar for 2015.

Now, about those other dates…

Does July 19th mean anything to you? How about August 19th or September 22nd? Those are the dates on which most of the victims of the Salem Witch Trials were executed. Again, not merry-go-round moments, but important ones. If you stop by the Salem Witch Trials Memorial behind the PEM at noon on those dates, the staff of the Corwin House (The Witch House) will be holding a brief ceremony to honor those who died, the victims of fear, feuds and a failed judicial system. (Thank you, Elizabeth Peterson and team.)  

Salem Witch Trials MemorialThe Trials are not just a part of our history, but of how we define ourselves today as a city of acceptance and tolerance. In fact, the purpose of the Salem Award Foundation is to bring forward the lessons from 1692 and apply them to contemporary issues of human rights abuses and social injustice.

Why not take a few minutes at noon this Saturday, July 19th. Or mark your calendar for August 19th or September 22nd.  Stop by the Memorial for a moment of remembrance and a reminder of the injustices that are part of our world today.

- Posted by guest blogger Shelby Hypes for the Salem Award Foundation

Salem Award Foundation graphic

Posted by Guest on 07/18 at 04:43 PM Permalink

Congratulations to Salem’s many BONS Winners

2014 BONS

Each year around this time, Northshore Magazine releases its Best of the Northshore (BONS, if you're on a first-name basis) list.  Salem is incredibly well represented this year, and we thank Northshore Magazine and its readers for the laud and honor.  Thanks, also, to Salem Main Streets for digesting the list and giving us our own local winners.

We cheer each of you as  you take your victory lap.

62 Restaurant

A&J King – Best Bakery (BONS & Readers’ Choice)
Scratch Kitchen – Best BBQ
The Ugly Mug – Best Breakfast
Red’s Sandwich Shop – Best Breakfast (Readers’ Choice)
A&B Burgers – Best Burger
Passage To India – Best Indian (Readers’ Choice)
62 Restaurant – Best Italian
Brodie’s Seaport – Best Lobster Roll (Taster’s Choice)
Longboards - Best Lobster Roll (Taster’s Choice)
Grapevine – Best Mediterranean
King’s Roast Beef – Best Roast Beef
Turner’s Seafood – Best Seafood, Prepared
Opus – Best Sushi
Life Alive – Vegetarian (BONS & Readers’ Choice)

Tavern in the Square – Best Sports Bar (Readers’ Choice)

Harbor Sweets

A&J King – Bake Shop, Pastry (Readers’ Choice)
Ye Olde Pepper Companie – Best Confectionery
Harbor Sweets – Best Confectionery (Readers’ Choice)
The Cookie Monstah (featured at Salem Farmers’ Market) – Best Cookies
62 Restaurant – Best Dessert
Coffee Time Bake Shop – Best Dessert (Readers’ Choice)

Hawthorne Hotel

Paxton – Barber Shop, New School
North Shore Boot Camp Company – Best Boot Camp
Hawthorne Hotel – Best Hotel (Readers’ Choice)
Rouge Cosmetics – Best Makeup Application (BONS & Readers’ Choice)
Yoga Sakti – Best Yoga Studio (Readers’ Choice)

Salem Haunted Happenings

Witch City 5K – Best Community Walk/Run (Readers’ Choice)
Kernwood Country Club – Best Country Club (Honorable Mention)
Salem Willows Park – Best Family Hangout, Indoor (Readers’ Choice)
Haunted Happenings – Best Festival, Fall (Readers’ Choice)
Salem Film Fest – Best Festival, Spring
Salem’s So Sweet – Best Festival, Winter (BONS & Readers’ Choice)
CinemaSalem – Best Movie Theater (BONS & Readers’ Choice)
Peabody Essex Museum – Best Museum (BONS & Readers’ Choice), Best Tourist Attraction (Readers’ Choice)

Roost and Company

Petite Etoile – Best Baby Clothing
Modern Millie – Best Consignment (Readers’ Choice)
Roost & Company - Best Gifts
Rouge Cosmetics – Best Makeup Selection
Mighty Aphrodite – Best Maternity Clothing (BONS & Readers’ Choice)
The Barking Cat – Best Pet Boutique (Readers’ Choice)
Mud Puddle Toys – Best Toy Shop (BONS & Readers’ Choice)

Tri-City Sales – Best Kitchen Appliances (Readers’ Choice)
Landry & Arcari – Best Rugs (BONS & Readers’ Choice)

Admiral Concierge – Best Concierge (Readers’ Choice)
Green Clean – Best Cleaning Service (BONS & Readers’ Choice)

Posted by Kate on 07/12 at 07:59 AM Permalink

Seafood, Football, Moments of Play, Treasures over Time, and one singing mermaid

If you don't have a great story to tell after this weekend, you probably didn't come to Salem.  

Salem Seafood Festival

Salem Willows Seafood Festival takes over Salem Willows on Friday, July 11 and will be dishing out the freshest fish through Saturday and Sunday. The festival will feature live music, kids' entertainment, a lobster roll-eating competition, fireworks, and - oh, did we mention? - SEAFOOD.  Admission costs $5 each day, with children under 10 years old getting in free. Bring your appetite! Make sure to tag your social media pictures and posts this weekend with #salemseafest so we can like and share your stories!

Sean Stellato with New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichik

The No Backing Down book release gala is happening at the Hawthorne Hotel on Friday night, July 11. Salem football star Sean Stellato has chronicled the dramatic story of the 1994 Salem High School football team - The Witches, of course - and their struggle to stay together during a tumultuous season that was charged with political strife and a teachers' strike.  Mean Sean and a full compliment of sports VIPs on Friday night, and again on Saturday at the Seafood Festival.

Salem Theatre presents Moments of Play

Moments of Play, a festival of 10-minute plays, is on stage at Salem Theatre through July 13. Theatre enthusiasts won't want to miss the discussion with the playwrights at 7:30 PM on Saturday, July 12.

Treasures over Time

Shopping at Treasures Over Time in July has its rewards! When you shop at Treasures Over Time between July 14 - 31, you will earn $1.00 for every $10.00 you spend, which you can spend at the store in August. Shop jewelry, gifts, watches, scarves, and find your own treasures to keep or to give.

Adrienne Eller as Ariel in North Shore Music Theatre's Production of Disney's THE LITTLE MERMAID running July 8 - 27, 2014. Photo © Paul Lyden

Up on the land, they work all day. Under the sea, it's play-play-play, so why wouldn't you want to check out The Little Mermaid at North Shore Music Theatre (just up the road in Beverly). On stage through July 27, this musical is already a hit!

Posted by Kate on 07/10 at 03:04 PM Permalink

Visiting the Land of Witches and Pirates

This is the fifth in a series of suggested ways to explore Salem. Destination Salem will feature a new itinerary each Tuesday. These itineraries are not available as a package, and are only suggested ways to explore Salem. Please contact listed sites for hours, rates, and schedules.

Previous itineraries include: Two-Night Itinerary for a Family, Food, Fish, and History, a Salem Day-trip from Boston, and An All-American Trip to Salem.

The Witch Dungeon Museum

If Salem was a musical act, its platinum album would be the Witchcraft Trials of 1692 (not all hits are happy ones, right?), when 20 innocent people were put to death, accused of witchcraft.  The second spot on Salem's greatest hits album is the Great Age of Sail, during which Salem sea captains opened trade with ports around the world.  On the B-Side of that successful maritime era would be Salem's pirate history when the likes of Captain Kidd and Blackbeard sailed the coast of New England, plundering vessels as they returned with their holds full of treasures from around the globe.

Spend a day exploring the Witch Dungeon Museum, Witch History Museum, and New England Pirate Museum, and you will be immersed in the stories of the 17th-Century witch trials as well as the pirate adventures of the 17th and 18th century.  Buy the combination ticket for all three sites, and you will save $8 off the separate admission price. Exploration and adventure is hard work, so leave time for a bite to eat and to shop for treasures before heading home from this family-friendly journey. On your way home, you can explain what a B-side is to the kids, and - we hope - that Salem's pirate lore is a great addition to any compilation of Salem's historical hits.


Witch Dungeon Museum
16 Lynde Street, Salem
(978) 741-3570 |
Experience the award-winning re-enactment of the trial of Sara Good from the original 1692 transcript! A guided tour of the dungeon highlights the poor conditions and cramped cells that the accused were confined to while awaiting their trials.

Witch History Museum
197-201 Essex Street, Salem
(978) 741- 7770 |
The stories of the Witch Trials are told through a live presentation and interactive tour featuring 15 life size scenes depicting these tragic untold stories of Salem and the Witch Hysteria that ravaged Essex County in 1692.

New England Pirate Museum
274 Derby Street, Salem
(978) 741-2800 |
Experience the adventures of New England’s 17th century sea-robbers with a guided tour of a re-created dock side village, an eighty foot cave, and pirate ship! Mingle with buccaneers of old and examine artifacts from sunken ships and pirate treasures.

Naumkeag Ordinary


The Naumkeag Ordinary
118 Washington Street, Salem
(978) 744-4968 |
Opened in 2013, The Naumkeag Ordinary is making a name for itself with elevated “comfort food” offerings and a wide selection of craft beer and cocktails.   

Victoria Station
Pickering Wharf, 86 Wharf Street, Salem
(978) 745-3400 |
Harbor-side patio dining, market fresh seafood, Angus prime rib, and an "all you can eat" salad bar make Victoria's Station a great stop for lunch or dinner. 

Scarlet Letter Press Gallery


Pickering Wharf, 86 Wharf Street, Salem
(978) 745-5556
Find unexpected treasures at Salemdipity, including Salem tees, souvenirs, Halloween collectibles, blown glass witch balls, books on Salem and witchcraft, Salem charms, and pentacles.

Scarlet Letter Press & Gallery
Pickering Wharf, 102 Wharf Street
(978) 741-1850 |
An eclectic gallery of local art, including printed cards, original paintings, jewelry, photography, collage, sculpture, and macabre silhouettes. 


If you are visiting Pickering Wharf, there is free 2-hour parking on Pickering Wharf.  While you explore the museums, we recommend finding a parking space in one of the garages. South Harbor Garage, located between the New England Pirate Museum and Pickering Wharf, charges $.50 per hour (yes, 50 cents!).  The Museum Place Garage, located across the street from the Visitor Center and a short walk from the Witch History Museum, charges $.75 per hour.  For more information about directions and parking, visit


Coming from Boston (or Newburyport, Gloucester, or Rockport)?  The MBTA Commuter Rail is a hassle-free option. Salem is on the Newburyport/Rockport lines, and the trip from Boston's North Station is 30 minutes and 5 stops. Salem Depot is located at the top of Washington Street, and is a 5-minute walk from the Witch Dungeon Museum. 

Posted by Kate on 07/08 at 01:33 PM Permalink

How much lobster could you eat?

Salem Willows Seafood Festival. Image by FestEvents

For many New Englanders, the opportunity to eat an unlimited number of lobster rolls would be a dream come true. Throw in a $100 cash prize and a chance to compete alongside Patriots lineman Joe Vellano and it sounds more like a fantasy.

The First Annual Lobster Roll Eating Competition will take place on Saturday, July 12 at 2 p.m., the  at the Salem Willows Seafood Festival, a new event featuring three days of live music, entertainment and more than 20 food vendors.

Salem Willows Seafood Festival Facebook “fans” were asked in May to submit a comment explaining why they should be one of competitors. Comments with the most “likes” earned a seat at one of the most sought-after tables on the North Shore.

Competition rules are simple: Contestants will eat as many lobster rolls as they can in 10 minutes. The first place winner will receive a $100 cash prize, automatic entry into next year’s competition and a lifetime’s worth of bragging rights. The competition is sponsored by the Clam Shack, Salem Willows’ newest seafood establishment, and US Foods.

The Salem Willows Seafood Festival will also include a Lobster PLUNGE at 2 p.m. on Sunday, July 13 at Salem Willows Beach. Participants will receive a free lobster hat, claws and all. The plunge costs $5 and participants receive a free lobster hat souvenir. Proceeds from the Lobster Plunge go to the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Salem. Sign up online at

Salem Willows Seafood Festival
187 Fort Avenue, Salem
Friday, July 11, 12 Noon - 10:00 PM
Saturday, July 12, 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM
Sunday, July 13, 11:00 AM - 10:00 PM

$5 per Adult
Children under 10 FREE
Senior Discount: Friday from 12:00 PM - 4:00 PM, $2 admission for anyone over the age of 60

Posted by Kate on 07/05 at 08:00 AM Permalink

Happy Independence Day!

Happy Birthday, America! Happy Independence Day!
We may not have clear blue skies forecasted for the Fourth, but the forecast for Sunday's rain-date performance of the Hillyer Festival Orchestra and fireworks over Salem Harbor looks great. We love this time-lapse video of last year's July 4th Celebration on Derby Wharf.  Think sunny thoughts, and we'll see you on Sunday. 
For more information on the July 4th events that have been moved or rescheduled, click here.
Posted by Kate on 07/03 at 02:27 PM Permalink

An All-American Trip to Salem

This is the fourth in a series of suggested ways to explore Salem. Destination Salem will feature a new itinerary each Tuesday (#traveltuesday!). These itineraries are not available as a package, and are only suggested ways to explore Salem. Please contact listed sites for hours, rates, and schedules.

Previous itineraries include: Two-Night Itinerary for a Family, Food, Fish, and History, and a Salem Daytrip from Boston.   

Salem Maritime National HIstoric Site

In honor of Independence Day on July 4th, this week we are featuring an all-American itinerary to inspire your exploration of Salem. Native son Nathaniel Hawthorne was born on the Fourth of July, and to celebrate his birth, we recommend a visit to The House of the Seven Gables and a stop at the National Park in Salem, where you can see where Hawthorne worked as a port surveyor in the Custom House.

You may want to start your visit to the Salem Maritime National Historic Site at the visitor center, where you can see the free film; Where Past is Present.  The film presents the history of Salem and all of Essex County, which is designated the Essex National Heritage Area.  The film is shown at 9:45 AM, 10:15 AM, 12:00 PM, 2:00 PM, and 4:00 PM.  

Sold around the world, Harbor Sweets chocolates call Salem home. Celebrating their 40th anniversary this year, we think a tour of the Harbor Sweets factory is an all-American experience. Nothing here is out-sourced, in fact, the chocolate is still made with wooden paddles in a non-automated factory in a brick building on Leavitt Street.  

Make an overnight of your stay at the Hawthorne Hotel, a Historic Hotel of America, on Salem Common.  Dine in Nathaniel’s in the hotel – named for our favorite author – and grab breakfast or lunch at Red’s Sandwich Shop, in the location of the London Coffee House, where Revolutionaries met in the 18th century.

House of the Seven Gables, Harbor Sweets, Hawthorne Hotel


The House of the Seven Gables, 115 Derby Street, Salem
(978) 745-0991 |
Discover the secrets of the House of the Seven Gables, which inspired Nathaniel Hawthorne’s famous novel. Admission also includes access to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s birthplace, spectacular seaside gardens, and a unique Museum Store.

Salem Maritime National Historic Site, 160 Derby Street, Salem
(978) 740-1650 |
Wander this National Park which preserves one of America’s most influential ports and discover the history behind the buildings, wharves, and the reconstructed vessel Friendship, all of which played a large role in establishing trade between the young American nation and the Far East.

Salem Regional Visitor Center, 2 New Liberty Street, Salem
(978) 740-1650 |
This National Park preserves one of America’s most influential ports. Salem Maritime National Historic Site is a National Park in an urban setting, and its historic buildings, wharves, and the vessel Friendship describe the traders and sailors who brought the riches of the Far East to America.  While the visitor center is located on Liberty Street, most of the park is on the Salem Waterfront at Derby Street.

Harbor Sweets Factory Tour, 85 Leavitt Street, Salem
(978) 745-7648 |
Harbor Sweets has been making handmade, distinctive New England gift chocolates since 1973. The shop offers a glorious array of gifts and treats, including their signature “Sweet Sloops.”  Tours are given most Tuesdays and Thursdays at 11:00 AM. Please call ahead to confirm availability.


Hawthorne Hotel, 18 Washington Square West, Salem
(978) 744-4080 |
The Hawthorne has been an icon on the North Shore since 1925. The historic and elegant Hotel is located in the heart of Salem and has hosted well-known personalities such as President George Bush and First Lady Barbara Bush, Walter Cronkite, and Bette Davis. It boasts 93 rooms including a four-room antique house as well as two dining areas: the cozy, fireplaced Tavern and award-winning Nathaniel’s.


Red’s Sandwich Shop, 15 Central Street, Salem
(978) 745-3257 |
If you’re looking for the real Salem, try Red’s Sandwich Shop for breakfast or lunch. John and Lisa and the friendly staff of Red’s welcome you to Salem’s most popular landmark for over 50 years. The hearty food has won many awards over the years-most notably for the North Shore’s best breakfast, best luncheon, best coffee and best bagels. Red’s also won the Heritage Days’ Chowderfest and has been praised on the Boston Globe’s “Cheap Eats” and on the Phantom Gourmet’s “Hidden Jewel”.   

Nathaniel’s in the Hawthorne Hotel, 18 Washington Square, Salem
(978) 825-4311 |
Located in the iconic Hawthorne Hotel, Nathaniel's menu offers dishes ranging from historic items of a bygone era to contemporary, eclectic fare. Nathaniel's also offers demi-portions of its most popular items including their signature dish, Scallops Sophia.

Posted by Kate on 07/01 at 01:41 PM Permalink

Spotlight on the Fourth of July

Salem Celebrates the Fourth

Mayor Kimberley Driscoll is pleased to announce that Salem will hold its Independence Day celebration at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site on Derby Wharf on Friday, July 4th.

“There is no better place to be than Salem on the 4th,” Mayor Driscoll stated. “We have consistently put together one of the most spectacular live concerts and fireworks extravaganzas anywhere in Massachusetts.” American Profile magazine has ranked Salem as one of the ten best places in America to celebrate July 4th.

Free children's activities begin at 4:00 p.m. with the opening of the Kids' Space, where young ones can play games and get their faces painted, all thanks to the generosity of the Gathering, the MeetingHouse Church and the First Universalist Society of Salem. Food tents on site also open at 4:00 p.m. with hot dogs, French fries, fried dough, kettle corn, and other fair favorites.

Live entertainment on the Main Stage begins at 5:00 p.m. with the Pocket Money Orchestra. Come down early to hear this amazing young funk group from Salem, featuring energetic original music by Brian Cogger (trumpet), Seth Bailin (tenor and baritone sax), Aidan Scrimgeour (piano), Ben Siwak (bass), Derek Hayden (drums), and Danny Dugan (percussion). The band's repertoire includes a wide range of musical styles, influenced by groups like Booker T and the MG's, Charles Mingus, and early Santana. The Pocket Money Orchestra has a growing presence on the North Shore music scene and plays regularly at local venues. They are also slated to play at this year's Salem Jazz and Soul Festival. 

Opening Ceremonies begin at 7:15 p.m. when Mayor Driscoll and other local dignitaries will lead a parade down the wharf accompanied by the Salem Veterans Honor Guard and Salem Boy Scout troops. The National Anthem will be sung by Grace Bigus, Sam Bigus, Danielle Lovasco, Chloe Panico, Jacob Pini, Mariella Robinson, Delaney Sprague, and Aly Yanishevsky from the YMCA of the North Shore Glee Club. The YMCA of the North Shore Glee Club is an a cappella group for children ages 12-18 directed by YMCA Music Director Samantha Gambaccini. These students work as a team to create and sing a wide variety of repertoire from classic to contemporary. The popularity of this ensemble has grown exponentially since its creation in the fall of 2013.

Immediately following opening ceremonies Maestro Dirk Hillyer and his orchestra will offer a Pops experience you will never forget. This year soloist Jean Danton joins the orchestra with musical selections from Sondheim. Her singing has been described as “stunning,” ”outstanding,” “wonderfully controlled and full-voiced,” and “stylishly stellar.” Her artistry has led to acclaimed performances throughout the United States in oratorio, opera, recitals, and as a soloist with symphony orchestras. She is a favorite soloist with Pops orchestras including the Boston Pops Orchestra with Keith Lockhart and Bruce Hangen, North Shore Music Theatre, North Shore Philharmonic Orchestra, and New England Light Opera.

At 9:15 p.m., Salem ends its Independence Day celebration with a fireworks extravaganza, accompanied by the Hillyer Festival Orchestra playing the 1812 Overture and other patriotic music throughout the entire fireworks display.

Part of the allure of this celebration is its setting. The first National Historic Site in the National Park System, Salem Maritime National Historic Site consists of nine acres of waterfront land and houses a dozen historic structures. These include the Custom House, where famed author Nathaniel Hawthorne worked, and Derby Wharf, which was used by America's first millionaire, Salem merchant Elias Hasket Derby. With historic Salem Harbor, including hundreds of boats moored and the replica of a 1700's sailing vessel, the Friendship, as a backdrop, Independence Day in Salem is filled with the history that helped make American the free nation it is today.

For information visit For information regarding our mobility impaired/wheelchair seating section, please call 978-745-9595, ext. 5676.

Salem Celebratest the Fourth. Photo Stanley Slysz

Other Independence Day Events in Salem

Friday, July 4 . . . Join Mayor Driscoll on Salem Common at 9:00 a.m. for the reading of the Declaration of Independence. The special program begins with the Star Spangled Banner, sung by members of the YMCA of the North Shore Glee Club. The Declaration of Independence will be read by Dann Anthony Maurno, a Salem resident and actor who has appeared onstage in a variety of area venues, including the Salem Theatre Company. An author, his short story "Something Real Fine" won a Salem Literary Festival award for best fiction. Musical selections will be performed by Robert Kendall on keyboard and Salem resident John Howard will lead the audience in singing America the Beautiful. Coffee will be provided by the Salem Common Neighborhood Association through the generosity of Starbucks.

Saturday, July 5 . . . At noon on Saturday the United States Air Force Heritage Band, the Blue Aces, will perform a free concert at the Salem Willows Shell. The Blue Aces take great pride in their specialized, high-energy performances that feature a wide variety of American popular music styles. The group performs annually for thousands of military and civilian audience members, in settings ranging from small official dinners to large festival events. Drawing from broad musical and cultural backgrounds, the members of the Blue Aces combine their tremendous musical talent with their passion for the finest in entertainment. They effectively share the Air Force story with audiences throughout the Northeastern, Mid-Atlantic, and Carolina regions of the U.S. This exciting ensemble has performed for our nation’s highest military and civilian dignitaries, including local and state officials, U.S. Congressmen, Foreign Air Force Chiefs and Foreign government officials, the Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, the Secretary of the Air Force, and the President of the United States. The Blue Aces take great pride in their ongoing musical support for the morale and welfare of our airmen and our joint-combined forces deployed across the globe. This is a special event for our residents and we are honored to have them perform as part of Salem’s 4th of July holiday weekend.

Posted by Kate on 06/28 at 08:37 AM Permalink

A Salem Daytrip from Boston

This is the third in a series of suggested ways to explore Salem. Destination Salem will feature a new itinerary each Tuesday (#traveltuesday!). These itineraries are not available as a package, and are only suggested ways to explore Salem. Please contact listed sites for hours, rates, and schedules.

Previous itineraries include: Two-Night Itinerary for a Family, and Food, Fish, and History.   

Salem Trolley, Salem Ferry Landing


Salem Ferry   
High-speed ferry service between Long Wharf, Boston and Blaney Street, Salem
(877) SEE WHALE |
Hop aboard the Salem Ferry and in less and one hour you will be sightseeing, museum hopping, sampling the specialties of local chefs, and shopping in Salem’s many quaint boutiques and quirky shops!

The cast of Cry Innocent on Essex Street in Salem


Salem Trolley
8 Central Street, Salem
(978) 744-5469 |
Hop aboard the shuttle from the Salem Ferry landing to the Visitor Center and then take the one-hour narrated tour of Salem.  The tour spans nearly 400 years of history, passes through Salem’s historic neighborhoods, stops at all major area attractions, and serves as a shuttle service between sites. (Note: the shuttle is based on availability and ticket-holding customers have priority, so you may want to purchase your ticket online in advance from, or consider the Ferry-Trolley combo ticket from  

Salem Witch Museum
19 ½ Washington Square, Salem
(978) 744-1692 |
The Salem Witch Museum will immerse you in the story of the Witch Trials of 1692 in their first exhibit, and then you will learn about the evolving roll of witches through history in the second exhibit, Witches: Evolving Perceptions. This evocative second exhibit will answer the questions, "What is a witch?" and "What is a witch hunt?" 

Peabody Essex Museum
(978) 745-1876 |
Journey through a world of art and culture at the Peabody Essex Museum, where the wealth and power of historic Salem are showcased in an unrivaled collection of art and culture from New England and around the globe. Explore the city’s international connections through extraordinary works of art from China, India, Japan and beyond, including a 200-year-old Chinese house. Don’t miss Turner & the Sea, the only North American stop for the first In the first full-scale examination of Joseph Mallord William Turner's lifelong preoccupation with the sea, and California Design, the first major study of California mid-century modern design, which closes July 6.

Cry Innocent
Old Town Hall, 32 Derby Square, Salem
(978) 867-4767 |
This dramatic presentation of the examination of Bridget Bishop during the Salem Witch Trials will plunge you and your fellow audience members into the history of the Salem Witch Trials. You are the jury. Cross-examine the witnesses and the accused, and determine if she was guilty, or if she was innocent.  

Omen Psychic Parlor and Witchcraft Emporium
184 Essex Street, Salem
(978) 666-0763 |
With dozens of locations to have your fortune told in Salem, a visit to the Bewitching Seaport is hardly complete without a glimpse into the future. Stop by Omen, an old-style psychic parlor and Witch shop for a reading with one of Omen's psychics, who specialize in Tarot, mediumship, palmistry and more.   

Opus and Turners Seafood


87 Washington Street, Salem
(978) 744-9600 |
Dine on unrepressed cuisine, including brunch every day, vegetarian-friendly specialties, innovative sushi, and sharing plates.  They smoke their own meats, making the Opus pulled pork and bacon dishes savory treats.

Turner’s Seafood at Lyceum Hall
43 Church Street, Salem
(978) 745-7665 |
The new stewards of historic Lyceum Hall, the Turner family is serving authentic New England seafood from the fresh catch of the day.  Oyster bar, seafood market, and some of the freshest seafood around.

The Landing at the Salem Ferry
10 Blaney Street, Salem
(877) 733-9425 |
If time allows, before you get back on the Ferry to return to Boston, grab a seat at the Landing at Salem Ferry for a quick refreshment with the best view in town.  Open 11am - 11pm, 7 days a week, the Landing serves sandwiches, snacks, and cold beverages, including their famous “fishbowl drinks,” which are perfect for sharing!  

Posted by Kate on 06/25 at 09:23 AM Permalink

A rare opportunity to see inside the Power Plant

Across the Bridge Art Exhibit at the Salem Harbor Power Plant

There is a new exhibit in Salem that is completely unique, utterly compelling, and here for only a brief period of time.  "Across the Bridge," is a public exhibition of experience-based art projects created by Montserrat College of Art students, inspired by and produced in collaboration wiht workers at the Salem Harbor Station power plant.  The exhibit has been installed in the turbine room of the power plant, which is now closed and slated for destruction to make way for a new gas-fired power plant.

Across the Bridge exhibition at the Salem Harbor Power Plant.

The power plant has been part of the Salem story since it was built in the 1950s. Etched into the skyline it is a navigational beacon for drivers and sailors alike. It has provided power, jobs, and tax revenue to the city of Salem and the surrounding communities, and it has been the center of controversy for its billowing smoke and environmental impact.  This post does not have a political position on the plant, it is much more sociological.  Visiting the exhibition is an opportunity to bare witness to the plant, the jobs it sustained, and the lives it affected.  "Across the Bridge" also provides the opportunity to stand in an amazing space that was built in the mid-twentieth century and represents a structural style that is now an architectural dinosaur.  It is huge and stark and industrial, an amazing counterpoint to the Federal houses, gabled mansions, and brick-lined streets that we usually think of as Salem's historic landscape. 

Control Room at Salem  Harbor Power Plant

We may soon have cruise ships where the coal ships once docked, and green space and parks where the transformers now loom.  Thanks to the talented Monsterrat College of Art students and to Footprint Power for providing this opportunity for the public to get a glimpse inside the walls, the lives,  and the work of the Salem Harbor Power Plant. 

The view from the Salem Harbor Power Plant


Art Students Document Life of Power Plant and its Workers in “Across the Bridge” Project
June 16-July 2
Footprint Power’s Salem Harbor Station in Salem, MA will open from June 16 - July 2 for a public exhibition of experience-based art projects created by Montserrat College of Art students, inspired by and produced in collaboration with workers at the Salem Harbor Station power plant, located at 24 Fort Ave. Salem, MA. This first-of-its-kind project, “Across the Bridge,” is the result of a unique partnership between Montserrat College of Art and Footprint Power, whose primary goal was to honor and document the lives and work of the power plant employees, most of whom will lose their jobs and move on to other opportunities when the coal plant closes this summer.  The documentary project was conducted by 29 Montserrat students and four faculty (Ethan Berry, Rebecca Bourgault, Dawn Paul, and project coordinator Elizabeth Cohen) in collaboration with the plant employees.  The project and exhibition are funded by Footprint Power. 

The exhibition will be on display June 16-July 2; Tuesday and Wednesday, 1-5 pm; Thursdays, 3-7 pm, and Saturdays and Sundays 2-6 pm at 24 Fort Ave. Salem, MA. The exhibit is free and open to the public but pre-registration is required. Please email  and include the name(s) of those attending and the date you would like to attend.  Please note that you will be required to produce a valid photo ID to enter the site.  Learn more at

Salem Harbor Power Plant

Posted by Kate on 06/21 at 10:53 AM Permalink

Pride and Commemoration in Salem this weekend

The North Shore Pride Parade is one of the happiest days of the year in Salem, and it returns on Saturday, June 21 with a parade and festival.  This is part of a weekend of Pride events, and Go Out Loud has created a handy resource list of events and programs that begin on Friday night.

Boston Fire Department’s Engine 39 Company’s steamer and hose wagon being loaded into rail cars at Boston’s North Station on the afternoon of June 25, 1914, to be sent to Salem to fight the great fire that devastated the city. (Photo courtesy of Boston Public Library)

One hundred years ago, on June 25, 1914, a great fire swept through Salem. Over the course of two days, the conflagration destroyed 1,600 buildings and left 18,000 people homeless, and many without jobs.  The commemoration of the Great Salem Fire features a Symposium at Salem State University on Saturday and an exhibit of antique fire apparatus on Derby Wharf on Sunday.   On June 25 there will be two ceremonies marking the time of the fire, and thanking the communities that responded to the tragedy a century ago. Learn more at

Click here for a printable “Weekend at a Glance” list of events this weekend, and visit the calendar for complete information on all of the festivals, events, exhibits, live music, tours, and tastings happening in Salem.  With so much to do, don't forget to grab a seat at one of our restaurants and kick back with a delicious glass of iced tea. Or sangria. Or a local brew. 

Have a great weekend!

Posted by Kate on 06/20 at 09:59 AM Permalink

Food, Fish, and History: An itinerary.

This is the second in a series of suggested ways to explore Salem. Destination Salem will feature a new itinerary each Tuesday (#traveltuesday!). These itineraries are not available as a package, and are only suggested ways to explore Salem. Please contact listed sites for hours, rates, and schedules. Click here to read our Two-Night Itinerary for a Family. 

Phillips House, Salem Food Tours

This week we are celebrating food, fish, and history, all three of which can be found in a Salem Food Tour.  Some of the businesses listed are tour partners of the Salem Food Tour, so we recommend flexibility if you are interested in following this itinerary.  While we originally crafted this itinerary as a day trip, everything is better when you spend the night, so we have paired the food, fish, and history with the historic Morning Glory B&B.

Historic New England’s Phillips House
34 Chestnut Street, Salem
(978) 744-0440 |
Included in this itinerary for the kitchen, dining room, and pantry, Phillips House is the only home on historic Chestnut Street open to the public, and it provides a glimpse into the private world of the Phillips family and their domestic staff during the early decades of the twentieth century. The kitchen, pantry, and a domestic staff bedroom, present a rarely seen picture of how the great houses functioned as new technologies were being introduced.

Salem Food Tours
(978) 594-8811 |
Salem Food Tours are guided food and cultural walking tours of historic Salem. They feature tastings at some of Salem’s best food shops and restaurants, and participants will enjoy talking with chefs and fellow food lovers. Learn about early colonial dinners, local history and culture, Salem’s illustrious maritime spice trades and more.  

Salem Spice, Joes Fish Prints, Ye Olde Pepper Companie


Salem Spice at the Picklepot  
978-744-6678 |
75 Wharf St., Pickering Wharf, Salem, MA  01970
Salem Spice is located on Pickering Wharf in Salem, where the spice trade in North America began.  In 1797, Captain Jonathan Carnes arrived in Salem Harbor with his ship loaded in pepper from Sumatra which provided him with a 700% profit and started the spice trade which remained centered in Salem for over 50 years. Today Salem Spice is Salem’s source for culinary spices, sauces, marinades, rubs, teas and cooking supplies. 

Joe’s Fish Prints / Fished Impressions
104 Wharf Street, Salem, MA
(978) 944-1709 |
Fished Impressions is the parent company of Joe's Fish Prints, and features  quality reproductions of the best fish prints Joe Higgins has made. Lucky shoppers may find making new prints from his most recent catch.

Ye Olde Pepper Companie
122 Derby Street, Salem
(978) 745-2744 |
America’s oldest candy company, Ye Olde Pepper Companie has been dishing out the best treats since 1806. Local famous favorites, Gibralters and Black Jacks, are offered alongside traditional New England sweets like saltwater taffy, delicious fudge, and turtles that were one of Oprah Winfrey's Favorite Things (2009).

Finz Seafood, Scratch Kitchen, Morning Glory BB


Finz Seafood and Grill
76 Wharf Street, Pickering Wharf, Salem
(978) 744-0000 |
Finz features innovative and inspired menus, a raw bar serving fresh seasonal oysters, and a carefully chosen wine list. The menu at FINZ emphasizes seasonal, fresh seafood and creative preparations

Scratch Kitchen
245 Derby Street, Salem
(978) 741-2442 |
Scratch Kitchen features a menu focused on regional and local farm fresh ingredients including house smoked meats and homemade bacon, breads, condiments, and pickles. Scratch Kitchen also has Sunday Brunch and a selection of craft beers and wines. Don't miss the chowder, which is made from a recipe that dates back to the 1800s. 


Morning Glory Bed & Breakfast
22 Hardy Street, Salem
(978-741-1703 |
This charming Georgian Federal, circa 1808, is owned and operated by Bob Shea, a native of Salem. Graced with New England elegance, the comfortable guestrooms, each with its own private bathroom, provide a refuge for guests to unwind.

Posted by Kate on 06/17 at 08:00 AM Permalink

Spotlight on the Salem Witch Trials

The Trial of George Jacobs, painting by Tompkins Harrison Matteson, 1855, Oil on Canvas. Collection of the Peabody Essex Museum

We commemorated the anniversary of the hanging of Bridget Bishop, the first victim of the Salem Witch Trials, on June 10.  The Witch House hosted an excellent lecture by historian Margo Burns as well as a brief ceremony at the Witch Trials Memorial.  Bridget Bishop was the first of twenty to be condemned and executed during the Salem witchcraft hysteria of 1692.

The Salem Witch Trials are a fascinating time in American history, and the stories of the victims and their accusers have withstood the test of time, holding the fascination of people from around the world.  Any great story changes and evolves as it is told and retold, and from time to time it is good to check back in with the facts.  There are many misconceptions of the Trials and the hysteria, as well as frequently asked questions, and the Salem Witchcraft Trials has inspired retellings in literature and film for centuries.  

Here is our “top-ten” list of misconceptions, frequently asked questions, and favorite retellings.

It all happened in Danvers, not Salem.  The Witchcraft Hysteria of 1692 happened throughout the region, with accused and accusers coming from Salem, Ipswich, Gloucester, Andover, Methuen, and other communities.  Salem Village is now the town of Danvers, and some of the sites associated with the trials and hysteria are in Danvers.  Salem Town, modern day Salem, is where the trials actually took place, as well as the hangings and the pressing of Giles Corey.  The Salem Award Foundation has produced a Visitor’s Guide to 1692, which is available through Destination Salem, the Salem Regional Visitor Center, and several participating sites. 

Gallows Hill is a soccer field today.  Maybe, but maybe not. There is definitely a soccer field up on a hill in a neighborhood that is called, "Gallows Hill." That much is true. That said, the location of the gallows or hanging tree (we are not sure which was used) is not on any modern map.  We recommend people go to the Witch Trials Memorial, adjacent to the Old Burying Point, to remember the victims and consider the past.  Please treat the Memorial with respect when you visit, and note that the Witch Trials Memorial is closed between dusk and dawn.  

The House of the Seven Gables was part of the Salem Witch Trials. The mansion does date back to 1668, so it was here during the trials, but the house itself does not have direct ties to the Witch Trials. The Turner family lived in the house in the 17th-century, and they made their fortune at sea.  Nathaniel Hawthorne’s great-great-grandfather was Judge John Hathorne, one of the “hanging judges” during the trials, and his involvement with the Witchcraft Hysteria drove Hawthorne to add the w to his name and write The House of the Seven Gables, which is fiction.

The victims really were witches. Doubtful.  It is equally doubtful that the accusers were witches.  The Salem Witchcraft Trials were a social hysteria that spun out of control. 

The accused were “swum” to determine if they were a witch.  Not in Salem. The practice of swimming a witch was widespread in Europe, and it was used in Connecticut, but not in Salem.

Victims were burned at the stake.  Not in Salem.  Burning at the stake was punishment for heresy, a crime against the church, in Europe.  Witchcraft was a felony in the colonies, a crime against the government.

The Hysteria ended in October.  The Court of Oyer and Terminer was dissolved by Governor Phips in October, and a new Superior Court was convened to try the remaining witchcraft cases. The Superior Court condemned three additional people in January 1693, but Governor Phips pardoned them and all who were still imprisoned on the charge of witchcraft.  Not everyone was freed, however, as prisoners had to pay for their imprisonment before being released.  

On stageThe Crucible, by Arthur Miller, is a remarkable play that is set in Salem in 1692. Miller wrote the story as allegory for the House on Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC) that was having its own social witch hunt for communism in the 1950s.  The play is fiction, inspired by actual events and actual people.  Historian Margo Burns writes more in her essay, “Picky, Picky, Picky.”

On the big screen: Hocus Pocus is definitely fiction, but it sure is fun.  A bigger hit in DVD and on network television each October than it was in theatres when it was released in 1983, the story of the Sanderson sisters, starring Bette Midler, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Kathy Najimi is one of our favorites, and many of the locations where they filmed in Salem are still here, and were featured in the 2013 Guide to Salem Haunted Happenings

In literature: The Heretic’s Daughter, by Kathleen Kent, is about Martha Carrier’s family. Told from the perspective of Martha’s daughter, Sarah, it is a wonderful work of fiction inspired by actual events.  Katherine Howe’s novel, The Physick Book of Deliverance Dane, is also an engaging work of historical fiction inspired by the events of 1692.


Resources and References 

The Salem Award Foundation gives the Salem Award for Human Rights and Social Justice annually and maintains the Witch Trials Memorial.

The Salem Witch Museum FAQ Page, Witch Trials Weekly, and Miscellany  

Salem Witch Trials Documents Archive and Transcription Project, University of Virginia, Historian Margo Burns


Witch-Hunting in Seventeenth Century New England, David D. Hall

In the Devil’s Snare: The Salem Witchcraft Crisis of 1692, Mary Beth Norton

The Salem Witch Trials: A Day-By-Day Chronicle of a Community under Siege, Marilynne K. Roach

Records of the Salem Witch-Hunt, Bernard Rosenthal  

Posted by Kate on 06/14 at 08:00 AM Permalink

Great stories begin at the Salem Farmer’s Market

Salem Farmers Market

When the opening bell rings in Derby Square at 3 p.m. on Thursday, June 12, the sixth season of the Salem Farmers Market will officially open with its biggest market ever. More than 30 vendors will take over Derby Square on Front Street, selling farm-fresh produce, seafood, baked goods, cheese, meat, and other goods. The market, which is made possible by Salem Main Streets, will feature demonstrations and live music weekly.  June 12th through October 23rd, Thursdays, 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. Learn more about the Salem Farmers Market

Fathers Day in Salem

Give dad the day off on Fathers Day with brunch at Victoria Station or lunch or dinner at Capt’s Waterfront Bar and Grill, where dads will eat for half-price on Sunday.  Or head out to sea with the Father’s Day Jazz Brunch Cruise aboard Mahi Mahi Cruises.  We’ll be shopping for our favorite father figures at Avalanche Company Store, Joe’s Fresh Fish Prints, and Roost & Co.  

Turner and the Sea

PEM/PM, the monthly evening party series at the Peabody Essex Museum, invites visitors to drink up the atmosphere of a 19th-century English pub during the time of J.M.W. Turner on Thursday, June 19.  Celebrating the new exhibition, Turner & the Sea, British Pub Night will feature gallery talks, The Jovial Crew singing folk songs of the sea and shore, a British beer tasting in the Asian Garden, the opportunity to play darts and other pub games, and an art-making activity to decorate your own coaster.  Learn more about British Pub Night.

Anything Goes at NSMT

Anything Goes… for four more days. The North Shore Music Theatre’s saucy and splendid production of Cole Porter’s first-class musical comedy, Anything Goes runs through Sunday, June 15. Don’t miss the laughs and hijinks on the high seas in this show, which is packed with spectacular dance numbers and unforgettable songs. North Shore Music Theatre in Beverly is a 15 minute drive from downtown Salem. Learn more about Anything Goes


This is just the tip of the iceberg! Visit for the complete calendar of events and information about Salem, Massachusetts.

Posted by Kate on 06/12 at 08:00 AM Permalink

A two night Salem itinerary for a family

This is the first in a series of suggested ways to explore Salem. Destination Salem will feature a new itinerary each Tuesday (#traveltuesday!). These itineraries are not available as a package, and are a suggested way to explore Salem. Please contact listed sites for hours, rates, and schedules.

This is a suggested itinerary for a family that is coming to Salem for the first time. The kids are 8+, and the family as a whole is somewhat aware of the Salem Witch Trials history, and does not know about Salem's rich maritime history.  They are taking advantage of Salem's proximity to Boston - just 14 miles north - and spending a couple of days in Salem before flying home from Logan International Airport.

Witch House, Salem Trolley, House of the Seven Gables


The  Salem Trolley, 8 Central Street, Salem (tours begin at the Visitor Center)
Venture aboard the Red Trolley! Salem’s original Trolley tour. This one-hour narrated tour spans nearly 400 years of history, stops at all major area attractions, and serves as a shuttle service between sites. (978) 744-5469 |

The Witch House, 310 ½ Essex Street, Salem
Home of 17th century witch trial Judge Jonathan Corwin, the Witch House is the only building in Salem with direct ties to the 1692 trials. Architecture, furnishings, and information regarding the day to day life of the Corwin family provide a deeper understanding of this period in colonial history. (978) 744-8815 |

The House of the Seven Gables, 115 Derby Street, Salem
Discover the secrets of the House of the Seven Gables, which inspired Nathaniel Hawthorne’s famous novel. Admission also includes access to Nathaniel Hawthorne’s birthplace, spectacular seaside gardens, and a unique Museum Store. (978) 745-0991 |

Art and Nature Center at PEM, Custom House at Salem Maritime, Schooner FAME


Peabody Essex Museum, 161 Essex Street, Salem
Journey through a world of art and culture at the Peabody Essex Museum, where the wealth and power of historic Salem are showcased in an unrivaled collection of art and culture from New England and around the globe. Explore the city’s international connections through extraordinary works of art from China, India, Japan and beyond, including a 200-year-old Chinese house.
PEM for families: At PEM, there are plenty of ways for you to discover new adventures in art with your family and friends. Pick up a family-friendly Gallery Discovery Kit and search for animals or explore life at sea.  (978) 745-1876 |

Salem Maritime National Historic Site, 160 Derby Street, Salem
Wander this National Park which preserves one of America’s most influential ports and discover the history behind the buildings, wharves, and the replica vessel Friendship, all of which played a large role in establishing trade between the young American nation and the Far East. Ranger-guided tours of the site are scheduled daily, and reservations can be made through the visitor center at 2 New Liberty Street.  (978) 740-1650 |

Schooner Fame of Salem, Pickering Wharf Marina, Salem
Fame is an authentic and active replica of a War of 1812 privateer. The schooner sails daily from Pickering Wharf and provides a unique setting for a tour of the islands, lighthouses, and forts surrounding Salem. (978) 729-7600 |

Salem Inn, Capts Waterfront Restaurant, Reds Sandwich Shop


Red’s Sandwich Shop
15 Central Street, Salem
If you’re looking for the real Salem, try Red’s Sandwich Shop for breakfast or lunch. John and Lisa and the friendly staff of Red’s welcome you to Salem’s most popular landmark for over 50 years. The hearty food has won many awards over the years-most notably for the North Shore’s best breakfast, best luncheon, best coffee and best bagels. Red’s also won the Heritage Days’ Chowderfest and has been praised on the Boston Globe’s “Cheap Eats” and on the Phantom Gourmet’s “Hidden Jewel”.   (978) 745-3257 |

Capt’s Waterfront Premium Steak and Seafood, Pickering Wharf, 94 Wharf Street, Salem
Serving charcoal grilled premium steak and seafood for lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch with Salem’s best harbor views. Dine either downstairs in Capt’s Pub’s relaxed atmosphere or upstairs on Capt’s Topside & Deck for a more intimate dining room experience with full-sized menu portions. (978) 741-0555 |


The Salem Inn, 7 Summer Street, Salem
The Salem Inn is comprised of three historical homes: the Captain West House, the Curwen House, and the Peabody House, blending the warmth and charm of yesterday with the comfort and convenience of today. Located in downtown Salem, the Inn is easy walking distance from historic attractions, museums, shopping and restaurants. Be sure to ask about the family suite! (978) 741-0680 |

Posted by Kate on 06/10 at 08:00 AM Permalink

A fresh look for the Stepping Stone Inn

Stepping Stone Inn Parlor

The end of the 2013 Haunted Happenings season brought more than just quiet to the streets of Salem, it brought new owners to the centrally-located Stepping Stone Inn. Kelly and Matt have spent the better part of the winter months fluffing, freshening, repainting, and unpacking.  The Stepping Stone Inn is open  for the season, and will be a great addition to our year-round accommodations options.

Stepping Stone Inn Dining Room Detail

The Inn has six rooms, each named for a destination that has impacted Kelly and Matt, that are decorated with carefully selected furniture and artwork, as well as fresh flowers. All of the rooms are en-suite except one, which has a great view of Salem Common, and two of the rooms can be booked together as a suite.

Stepping Stone Inn Bedroom

Kelly and Matt offer a continental breakfast, a fantastic location, and warm hospitality.

Stepping Stone Inn Salem Room Key

Stepping Stone Inn Bed & Breakfast
19 Washington Square North, Salem, MA
(978) 741-8900

Posted by Kate on 06/07 at 09:00 AM Permalink

Great stories begin…

Here in Salem the weather is finally looking like spring and summer, just in time for the Salem Arts Festival to take center stage at Old Town Hall and Derby Square this weekend. The Hula Art installation went up on Tuesday above Artists’ Row, and I, for one, wish it could stay forever. But it can’t, so make sure you swing by to see it, and all of the arts happening inside and outdoors, this weekend!  Learn more about the Salem Arts Festival

Hula Art

The Phillips House, which is certainly one of Salem’s hidden gems, tucked in amongst its neighboring Federal mansions on Chestnut Street is having an Ice Cream Social on Saturday, June 7 with music by the Ukulele Union of Boston. There will be games, and the carriage house will be open, making it a fun afternoon beneath the Beachwood Tree.  (The house is not really tucked in or hidden, it is there at 34 Chestnut Street behind the Hawaiian Flag – you’ll have to take the tour to learn why the Hawaiian Flag is flying proud above the front door.) Learn more about the Ice Cream Social at the Phillips House.

Phillips House Ice Cream Social

17th Century Saturdays return for 2014 this weekend. Discover what it was like to live in Essex County during America’s first-century as you explore many of the historical homes and buildings of America's First Period (1625-1725) on the first Saturday of the month (June through October).  In Salem, the Gedney House (1692), House of the Seven Gables (1668), Narbonne House (1675), John Ward House (ca. 1684), Pioneer Village (1930, replica of 1630), and the Witch House (before 1675) will all be participating on June 7.  Learn More about 17th Century Saturdays.

17th century saturdays

Going to the Dogs. The Salem Dog Festival will take to Salem Common on Sunday, June 8. Lace up your sneakers, leash up your dog(s) and join the Salem Lions Club as they Bark and Roar for the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem. There will be dog demonstrations, exhibitors, restaurant groups, and dogs in need of forever homes.  Learn more about the Salem Dog Festival

Salem Dog Festival

We’ve got the beat!  The Salem, Massachusetts YMCA will host a one-of-a-kind performance and student clinic with three top professional drummers: Dave DiCenso (Josh Groban), Rich Redmond (Jason Aldean), and James Murphy (Blue Man Group). The Drums for Funds concert will take place on June 10 from 7 pm until 9:30 pm in the Ames Hall inside the Salem YMCA at 290 Essex Street. Proceeds will benefit the Salem YMCA Music Program.  Learn More about Drums for Funds

Drums for Funds

There are so many stories to tell in Salem! Visit for the complete calendar of events, and look for next week's stories, which are sure to include Pride Month activities, Turner & The Sea, and more.

Posted by Kate on 06/05 at 10:36 AM Permalink

The Capital Crime of Witchcraft: What the Primary Sources Tell Us

Witch Trial Transcript

3rd Annual Lessons of 1692 Series Lecture
The Capital Crime of Witchcraft: What the Primary Sources Tell Us

The City of Salem continues its tradition of holding a lecture to honor the memory of the first victim to be executed in 1692, Bridget Bishop.  This year we are pleased to present Margo Burns,  Historian and Associate Editor and Project Manager of the Records of the Salem Witch Hunt.  The title of the event is, The Capital Crime of Witchcraft: What the Primary Sources Tell Us.

"On first impression, the witchcraft trials of the Colonial era may seem to have been nothing but a free-for-all, fraught with hysterics. Margo Burns explores an array of prosecutions in seventeenth century New England, using facsimiles of primary source manuscripts, from first formal complaints to arrest warrants, indictments of formal charges to death warrants, and the reversals of attainder and rescinding of excommunications years after the fact; demonstrating how methodically and logically the Salem Court worked. This program focuses on the Salem witchcraft trials of 1692 and 1693, when nineteen people were hanged and one crushed to death, but also examines a variety of other cases against women in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Connecticut. "

Tuesday, June 10, 7:00 PM
Witch House
310 ½ Essex Street, Salem, MA

Tickets cost $10. Proceeds to benefit the Salem Award Foundation for Human Rights and Social Justice. 
Seating is very limited and advance purchase is enthusiastically recommended
Visit for ticket purchasing and additional information

Posted by Kate on 06/02 at 08:00 AM Permalink

Discover Britain’s Greatest Painter at the PEM

 The Battle of Trafalgar, 21 October 1805  1822-1824, Joseph Mallord William Turner. © National Maritime Museum, Greenwich, London. Greenwich Hospital Collection.

The Peabody Essex Museum continues to impress with each special exhibition seeming to be grander than the last. Similarly, each gallery of the new Turner & the Sea exhibition is seemingly grander than the previous.  This glorious collection - the first large-scale exhibit of Turner's work since 2008 - features 110 works in six galleries. And it is magnificent.

The PEM is the only US stop for this incredible exhibition, which comes to Salem from the National Maritime Museum, part of the Royal Museums, in Greenwich, England.

The PEM has planned an Opening Day Celebration for Saturday, May 31. Turner & the Sea will be on view May 31, 2014 - September 1, 2014.

Visit to learn more about Turner & the Sea and everything happening at the PEM. 

 Sheerness as Seen from the Nore (1808)  Joseph Mallord William Turner. Courtesy of The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Museum purchase with funds provided by the Alice Pratt Brown Museum Fund and the Brown Foundation Accessions Endowment Fund, with additional gifts from Isabel B. and Wallace S. Wilson, The Brown Foundation, Inc., and Ann Trammell


There is no way too convey the scope of this exhibit through a couple of digital images. You must stand in the galleries, agape at the imagery and the exhibit, to fully comprehend these marvelous works. To look at Turner's watercolors alongside his oil paintings, and to understand Turner as a master of water and light is an experience that deepens my appreciation for art. I truly hope you can visit Salem and the Peabody Essex Museum this summer, and that you have time to truly enjoy and absorb this grand exhibit.

Posted by Kate on 05/30 at 01:06 PM Permalink

Remembering those who served

Salem, Massachusetts Memorial Day Parade. Credit: John Andrews / Social Palates

We remember those who served our Country from Salem and across the United States on this Memorial Day. 

Posted by Kate on 05/26 at 09:55 AM Permalink

Fox Daytrippers go on a “Sandwich Hunt” in Salem

Jim Altman from Fox-CT in Hartford recently visited Salem to experience a Salem Food Tour.  Salem's culinary inspiration, complete with appearances at Scratch Kitchen, Finz Seafood, and Salem Spice, aired this week.  We think it is a great way to start the long weekend!

If the video is not appearing, click here

Posted by Kate on 05/23 at 08:42 AM Permalink

Salem Memorial Day Weekend Observances

Salem's First Muster Commemoration

Memorial Day Weekend brings talk of picnics and weekend getaways and the kick-off to summer, and these are all good things. In the true spirit of Memorial Day, we offer a few places to pay tribute to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.  Today, on Memorial Day, and every day, we extend our gratitude to all of those who have served and those who continue to serve, especially to those who made the ultimate sacrifice for our country.

Sunday, May 25

10:30 AM - Wreath laying ceremony at the Veterans Section of St. Mary's cemetery off of North Street.

11:30 AM - Mass at St. John's on St. Peter Street.

12:30 PM - Mass at Winter Island, there will be a Naval cannon salute to those lost at sea.

1:00 PM - Collation at the Polish League of American Veterans (PLAV) club on Daniels Street. All are welcome to attend.

Monday, May 26

11:00 AM - Memorial Day Parade down North Street from Commercial Street to Green Lawn cemetery. Guest speaker is Captain Timothy Ready USMC/USNR.

12:30 PM - Collation at the VFW, 95 Derby Street. All are welcome to attend.

Posted by Kate on 05/22 at 01:36 PM Permalink

“Salem Witch Hunt” Named Best of New England

Salem Witch Hunt: Examine the Evidence, a film produced by the Essex National Heritage Commission (Essex Heritage), has been recognized as a 2014 “Editors’ Choice” winner in Yankee Magazine’s Travel Guide to New England, on newsstands now. This designation is awarded by Yankee’s editors and contributors who name select restaurants, lodgings, and attractions in New England to the exclusive list. For 38 years, Yankee Magazine’s Travel Guide to New England has been the most widely distributed and best-selling guide to the six-state region, providing readers with a comprehensive vacation-planning tool and daily reference.

Presented by Essex Heritage and the National Park Service, Salem Witch Hunt: Examine the Evidence features authentic dialog and the latest research by renowned Salem Witch Trial scholars. Scenes depicted in the film were shot at actual locations associated with the Witch Trials of 1692.  "If buildings could talk, many in Salem would tell a fascinating tale of the infamous Witch Trials of 1692.  Next-best thing is this film," say the editors.  The film is available for viewing at the National Park Service Regional Visitor Center in Salem (located at 2 New Liberty Street, Salem, MA 01970).

The Yankee Magazine Travel Guide (May/June issue) also features Essex Heritage's premier partnership event, Trails & Sails: Two Weekends of Walks and Water as a "favorite maritime festival" and highlights the regular Trails & Sails tours of the Salem Marine Society's "Ship's Cabin" atop the Hawthorne Hotel.

If you cannot see the film trailor in this post, click here to watch it on YouTube.

Posted by Kate on 05/21 at 08:00 AM Permalink

Tattoo Night at Opus

And now for something completely different...

Opus, a restaurant with a fresh take on dining, is hosting a Tattoo Night event, which is sure to be a fresh take on Sunday night out. The event on Sunday, May 25 at 6:30 PM is being hosted by Opus and Witch City Ink, and will feature special guest Sarah Maillet (Miss Ink 2012).

Tickets are $20 presale, $25 at the door and include a signature Sailor Jerry cocktail, food, live music from Ned & the Big Babies. There will be a photo booth, live photo streaming of tattoos, Best/Worst tattoo contests, pinup girls, a VIP Sailor Jerry room and tons of prizes. 

Opus Tattoo Night

Posted by Kate on 05/20 at 11:31 AM Permalink

Official Commemoration Events for the Great Salem Fire

City of Salem Announces Official Commemoration Events for the Centennial of the Salem Fire of 1914

Antique fire apparatus display, public ceremonies to mark fire’s start, recognition of responding fire departments, and rededication of 1915 memorial

Salem Mayor Kim Driscoll today announced the official schedule of events that the City will hold to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Great Salem Fire of 1914, which destroyed thousands of buildings and left one-third of the City’s population homeless. All events are free and open to the public. For more information about these events and others being planned throughout Salem, visit

Antique Fire Apparatus Display
A free display of antique fire apparatus will take place on Derby Wharf throughout the afternoon. In addition to equipment from the period of the Great Fire, the City will also welcome the return of “Seaside 2,” an Amoskeag Steamer built in 1902 that was last in Salem in 1914 to fight the fire. Other antique fire trucks and equipment from the Massachusetts Antique Fire Apparatus Association and a number of private collectors will also be on display.  Sunday, June 22, Noon – 4:00 p.m, Derby Wharf, Free

Moment of Silence
Mayor Driscoll will offer a welcome from the City before a moment of silence will be observed at 1:37 p.m. to mark the time the conflagration began exactly one hundred years prior in the same location.Wednesday, June 25, 1:15 p.m. – 1:45 p.m., Boston & Bridge Street

Official Centennial Ceremony
The official centennial ceremony will commence with a Fire Department Honor Guard. A speaking program will follow including Mayor Driscoll, Salem Fire Department Chief David Cody, Sara Peller – CEO of the American Red Cross of Massachusetts, Steve Coan – Massachusetts State Fire Marshal, and Lt. Colonel Tom Stewart of the Massachusetts National Guard. During the ceremony recognitions will be presented to the Boston Fire Commissioner and the Chiefs of the Fire Departments of Beverly, Everett, Gloucester, Lawrence, Lynn, Manchester, Marblehead, Newburyport, Peabody, Reading, Somerville, Swampscott, and Wakefield, all of which responded to the call to come to Salem’s aid during the fire. The ceremony will also include an unveiling and rededication of a memorial plaque first gifted to the City in 1915 on the one-year anniversary of the fire. Wednesday, June 25, 4:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., Lafayette Park

Salem Fire Commemoration Plaque before and after refurbishment

Posted by Kate on 05/19 at 08:00 AM Permalink

Summer Travel

Did you see the Salem ad in The Boston Globe Magazine Summer Travel issue today? 

Boston Globe Summer Travel Salem Ad

There are so many great things to do in Salem this summer, including (pictured), the Witch Dungeon Museum, Mahi Mahi Cruises, the House of the Seven Gables, Schooner FAME, and the Peabody Essex Museum.  These five sites represent the Witch Trials history, architectural and maritime heritage, activities on the water, and the art and culture you will find in Salem.  

Join us in Salem this summer, and begin a great story of your own.  

Posted by Kate on 05/18 at 10:30 AM Permalink


Photo postcard of the ruins of St. Joseph's Church after the Great Salem Fire. The photographer was Leland Tilford.

Centennial Symposium Planned to mark Salem Fire of 1914
Salem State and Historic Salem co-sponsor “Conflagration!”

To mark the 100th anniversary of the Great Salem Fire of 1914, Salem State University and Historic Salem, Inc. will hold a two-day symposium “Conflagration!” on June 20 and 21. The symposium, which will be held on campus, will include presentations and walking tours recounting the cataclysmic events that destroyed more than 250 acres and 1,376 buildings.

Local Salem residents and scholars affiliated with Salem institutions – Salem State University, the National Park Service, the Peabody Essex Museum, the Salem Athenaeum and Historic New England – have collaborated to develop this symposium to commemorate this historic Salem event.  Featured will be keynote speaker, Bruce Hensler, author of Crucible of Fire: Nineteenth-century Urban Fires and the Making of the Modern Fire Service, and five scholars in the community who have done extensive research on the subject.

Over two days participants will learn of the relief effort that provided shelter, food and clothing to 18,000 who were left homeless and 10,000 without jobs, as well as the massive reconstruction process that actually enhanced the city and resulted in accolades from around the country.  Designed to foster awareness among attendees of Salem’s rich social, cultural and architectural history.  It will commemorate an event that revealed the courage of Salem’s citizenry and greatly influenced the 20th-century development of our local community.

For more information and to register, visit or call 978.542.7757.

This conference is co-sponsored by Historic Salem, Inc. and Salem State University with generous additional support from Beverly Bank and Salem Five.

Posted by Kate on 05/12 at 02:58 PM Permalink

An after-hours celebration of the cycle

Bring your own Bike to the PEM/PM

On Thursday, May 15, the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) is open late for its monthly evening party series, PEM/PM. Celebrate the art, design and style of the bicycle with music, art making, food, cocktails and conversation. PEM/PM is free to members and Salem residents and we encourage you to B.Y.O.B. -- bring your own bike, that is!
Now that the weather’s warming, learn how you can hit the road with a bike club or on your own. See decked-out art bikes, meet folks from the area’s bike scene, help create an interactive biking map of Salem and add a little bling to your own two wheels.
Featured PEM/PM guests include:

  • Bikes Not Bombs -- Based in Jamaica Plain, this organization shares how to use the bicycle as a vehicle for social change.
  • SCUL -- A bike chopper gang based out of Somerville brings sculpted cycle masterpieces and tall bikes to Salem. The group has appeared on the PBS show Design Squad.
  • Salem Bike Path Committee -- Members share their favorite bike routes and information about Salem Spins, a bike share program.
  • Local bike shops demonstrate how to fix a flat and provide safety tips.

Members and Salem residents FREE | Nonmembers $10 at the door
Cash bar | Special small plates menu from the Hawthorne Hotel

Posted by Kate on 05/08 at 09:15 AM Permalink

A special candy

Salem Gibralter Box

Ye Olde Pepper Companie is celebrating the founder of the Salem Gibralter, Mary Spencer, during the month of May.  To commemorate this inspiring and strong woman, a limited edition, pink-striped Gibralter is available only during the month of May.  They are packaged in a pink box with a vintage label and satin ribbon, making them a perfect Mother's Day gift!

We say great stories begin here, and Mary Spencer has a great story.  Born in Notthinghamshire, England, Mary immigrated to the United States on March 1, 1805 aboard the Ship Jupiter. The Jupiter hit an iceberg off the coast of Newfoundland and sank on March 6, 1805.  Mary Spencer and the other survivors were rescued by Marblehead fishermen, and brought ashore in Marblehead on May 23, 1805. 

Mary Spencer's Gibralters became world-famous in the 1800s, when she would sell her candies from a bark cart, which was painted green and pulled by her horse named Peggy. The cart is still in  the possession (but not on display) of the Peabody Essex Museum.  Mrs. Spencer would sell the candies on the stoop of the First Church in Town House Square (where Rockafellas is today). The candy's popularity grew until, it is said, "no Salem ship would dare leave port without a supply."

After Mary's death, the confection business was sold to John Pepper, who was Mary Spencer's great-nephew.  Today, Ye Olde Pepper Companie is operated by the Burkinshaw family, descendants of George Burkinshaw, who worked for John Pepper in the 19th Century.

The Burkinshaws will be donating 10% of all sales of the limited edition Gibralter to Camp Sunshine during the month of May.  To learn more of the Pepper Companie story, visit


Details of this story were provided by Ye Olde Pepper Companie and excerpted from "Salem: From Naumkeag to Witch City," by Jim McAllister.

Posted by Kate on 05/03 at 08:00 AM Permalink

Visualizing Verse in Salem

Massachusetts Poetry Festival

Salem will once again welcome poets from across the Commonwealth and the United States for a weekend of poetry, lectures, discussions, slams, and music.  This is always a wonderful weekend that sets Salem a'buzz. 

The Festival will take over downtown, with programs happening at the Peabody Essex Museum, Hawthorne Hotel, Old Town Hall, Museum Place Mall, First Universalist Church, Howling Wolf, Derby Square, the Village Tavern, Capt's Waterfront Bar and Grill, Opus, and the Salem Five Community Room.  (Visit for venue information and addresses.)

If you have young poets to impress, check out the poetry-themed family programming at the Peabody Essex Museum, including a poetry quest, art making demonstrations, and drop-in activities.

There is a wonderful line-up of poets scheduled to read, speak, and interact during the festival, including Kim Addonizio, Lucie Brock-Broido, Rafael Campo, Oliver de la Paz, Carol Ann Duffy, Cornelius Eady, Rhina Espaillat, Forrest Gander, David Ferry, Li-Young Lee, Philip Levine, Marge Piercy, Susan Rich, Vivian Shipley, and C. D. Wright.  

The cost of admission is $15 ($7 for seniors and students); workshops are an additional $5 each. You will find complete information, including registration, at  Buttons are available in Salem at Roost, 40 Front Street, and the Trolley Depot, 191 Essex Street (Pedestrian Mall).

The Poetry Festival HQ will be at 121 Museum Place Mall (access from the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall or Church Street), and their hours will be:

  • Friday, May 2: 12:00 Noon - 7:00 PM
  • Saturday, May 3: 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM
  • Sunday, May 4: 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM

If you are still wondering whether or not you should come to the Massachusetts Poetry Festival, check out the Top Ten Reasons to Attend

Posted by Kate on 05/01 at 08:00 AM Permalink

Cruise into Summer aboard Mahi Mahi

Mahi Mahi Cruises

It's nearly time to get out on the water! Mahi Mahi Cruises will open for the 2014 season this weekend, May 3 and 4.  Join them for their Afternoon Sightseeing Cruise at 3:30 PM or the Sunset Cruise at 6:00 PM.

This spring schedule will run weekends (Friday through Sunday) until Memorial Day, and Mahi Mahi also has a special Mother's Day Jazz Brunch Cruise and a Sip'n'Paint Cruise scheduled for May.

Call ahead to make your reservation 978-825-0001, and make sure to tag your photos and comments on social media #GetYourCruiseOn!

Posted by Kate on 04/30 at 08:05 AM Permalink

Go Out Loud paints the town Boston at Finz

Paint the town Boston with Go Out Loud!

Go Out Loud is partnering with Wicked Art Bar for a special Out Night of painting, sipping and recreating the Boston skyline! Your #35 registration fee includes all supplies: paints, apron, brushes and a 16×20 canvas. This is an instructor-led painting class – part technique, part fun – no experience required!

Doors open at 6:30 PM, painting instruction starts promptly at 7:00 PM. There will be music, door prizes and fabulous company! Finz is a full-service restaurant and bar. Spaces are limited, so make sure you reserve your seats early.
Thursday, May 15 at 6:30 PM
Finz Restaurant 76 Wharf Street Salem MA

Click here to register.

Posted by Kate on 04/29 at 08:22 AM Permalink

Start your day off right

Last fall Salem Food Tours added a new option to their already delicious schedule of tours: the Saturday Morning Coffee Walk.  The walks are so popular, they are now a regular feature in the Salem Food Tour schedule.

This special walk around downtown Salem and along the waterfront gives guests an overview of Salem's local history, as well as the scoop on restaurants, food shops, and boutique shopping.  The tour is great for locals and visitors alike, and includes complimentary organic coffee or tea (this tour does not include food tastings, for those you need the full Salem Food Tour!).  The 80-minute tour is a great way to start your day in Salem.

Email or call (978) 594-8811 to make a reservation.  Coffee Walks are open to all ages, children under 6 are free, all others are $20.

Fresh donuts from Ziggy's in Salem. YES, those are donuts!!! and they are fantastic!

Posted by Kate on 04/24 at 03:58 PM Permalink

“No Backing Down” Book Release Event

No Backing Down Book Release Party

Salem is about to start a new chapter in its literary history, and you're invited to the page-turning celebration.  Written by player agent and Salem High School Hall of Fame member Sean Stellato, No Backing Down is the story of the 1994 Salem teachers' strike that resulted in head football coach Ken Perrone's decision to defy an order to cease and desist coaching his team. Not only did Perrone defy the order, he took the team to the Division 3A Superbowl. 

Sports fans won't want to miss this great event at the Hawthorne Hotel, so mark your calendar for July 11!

Posted by Kate on 04/22 at 02:49 PM Permalink

Easter Bunnies, Easter Witches, Vacation Week, Oh My!

School vacation week in Massachusetts is just around the corner, and there will be plenty to do in Salem from April 18 through April 27.

Easter bunnies at the Hawthorne Hotel

The week begins with Easter, and there is a full list of Easter events, including the Easter Egg Hunt on Pickering Wharf on Saturday, and Easter brunches and dinners for all on Sunday.

Throughout the week, you will find special programs at The House of the Seven Gables and the Salem Wax Museum.

Check out the exhibit about the Swedish Easter Witch (we thought we knew all the witches in Salem, but this is a new one), which is running throughout the month at the Witch House.

Sweedish Easter Witch

Visit the calendar on for a list of all of the programs planned during School Vacation Week in Salem, and while you are on, be sure to explore the attraction and museum pages as well as our tours, shopping, and restaurants. 

And don't miss the Ten Free Things page. It's a perfect addition to any vacation week planning.


Posted by Kate on 04/17 at 02:41 PM Permalink

The Servant of Two Masters at Salem State

The Servant of Two Masters

Take a young couple about to be wed, add two manipulating fathers, a saucy maid, a gourmet innkeeper, a misjudged killer, a woman dressed as a man, awkward porters and rude waiters with a dash of a mischievous servant and you have Carlo Goldoni’s commedia dell’arte masterpiece, The Servant of Two Masters.

At its center is the scheming (and perpetually hungry) servant, Truffaldino, who concocts a zany scheme to double his wages (and his meals) by serving two masters at once. While Goldoni’s Venetian romps was written in the eighteenth century, audience members will recognize timeless comic devices reminiscent of the Marx Brothers, the Three Stooges and Charlie Chaplin’s “The Little Tramp.”

Directed and choreographed by David Allen George with scenic Venice designed by James Fallon and the elaborate costumes and traditional masks of the Venice Carnival designed by Jane Hillier-Walkowiak, this wildly funny and totally enjoyable classic is a guaranteed delight.

  • The Servant of Two Masters
  • Directed by David Allen George
  • April 17-19, April 24-26, 7:30 pm and April 27, 2 pm.
  • Salem State University. Mainstage Theatre, 352 Lafayette St.
  • Tickets are $15 general/$10 students and seniors
  • Purchase online at: or 978.542.6365.

Pre-show talk: What’s So Funny? Universal Humor on April 24 at 6:30 pm.

Posted by Kate on 04/14 at 10:42 AM Permalink

Come enjoy Spring at The Gables

The House of the Seven Gables

During Massachsetts' April Vacation Week, April 19 – 27, The House of the Seven Gables will offer family-themed programming on its historic grounds.  Families are invited to participate in a wealth of hands-on experiences. 

Events include:
•    demonstrations of colonial toys and games
•    yarn-spinning and lace-making demonstrations
•    knot-tying sessions
•    bilingual (English/Spanish) telling of Caribbean Tales
•    arts and crafts projects
•    historic food ways discussions

These events are scheduled throughout the week on the museum grounds and in the Hooper-Hathaway House.  

On Sunday, 4/27, The Gables will also offer health-and-wellness presentations and healthy cooking demonstrations of traditional Latino dishes.

Special Events Admission: “Pay What You Wish” to help support the mission of the Gables.

Regular Admission for House tours:            
Adults: $12.50
Seniors and AAA Members: $11.50
Children ages 5–12: $7.50
Children under 5 years: Free

See spring unfold in their seaside gardens, and let Hawthorne speak to you in the place he called home.

Posted by Kate on 04/11 at 07:00 AM Permalink

Salem State is building an opera. You know you want to know what that means!


Bring your phone to this interactive concert event where the audience determines the storyline for the opera to be performed that evening! #SSUBuildsAnOpera features the University Chamber Orchestra and music department voice students in this end of semester opera mash-up.

Will the heroine find true love with the hero?  Will they live happily ever after? Will the villain destroy their love? Will the hero save the day? Or, maybe the heroine and the villain will decide they have more in common than they thought? Or???? The plot twists are endless as members of the audience text, tweet and QR scan their suggestions for the storyline throughout the concert. The conductor will see the vote totals and select the music to be performed from the top vote-getters.

This free concert features familiar music from operas by Mozart, Verdi, Puccini, Mascagni, Offenbach, Handel, Gounod, and Gilbert and Sullivan. The heroes, heroines and villains from the Salem State Music Department include vocalists: Elizabeth Anderson, Michael Benjamin, Amanda Cooper, Chelsea Flordeliza, Tyler Gioacchini, Bradford Robinson, and Matthew Trainor. The University Chamber Orchestra, made up of SSU students, faculty and staff as well as members of the surrounding communities, is under the direction of Dr. Mary-Jo Grenfell.

The concert takes place at 7:30 pm in the Recital Hall, located on Salem State’s Central Campus, 71 Loring Ave. It is presented in association with the Center for Creative and Performing Arts.


What:  #SSUBuildsAnOpera  with the University Chamber Orchestra and Student Vocalists:
When:  Thursday, April 17 at 7:30 pm
Where: Salem State University, Recital Hall, 71Loring Avenue
Ticket prices: Free

Posted by Kate on 04/10 at 08:00 AM Permalink

Jim McAllister Lecture Series

Jim McAllister’s Spring 2014 Salem Lecture Series has been announced. A wonderful historian and story teller, Jim's lectures are always informative and entertaining.


Wednesday, April 16: Baker’s Island Reverie. A “visit” to Salem’s most inaccessible, mysterious, quirky, historic, and naturally beautiful neighborhood, featuring plenty of photographs, fascinating facts and stories

Wednesday, April 23: When the Going Gets Weird… North Shore tales that just beg to be told, including UFO's, sea serpents, haunted ships and invisible foes, seers and psychics , clever criminals, and even a mysterious moving meal chest.

Wednesday, April  30: The Great Salem Fire: Stories Within the Story. A look at the human side of the great conflagration - tales of  victims, heroes and even a few villains - drawn from personal letters, diaries, newspaper accounts, and official reports.

Wednesday  May 7: The Salem - San Francisco Connections. A tale of two cities, separated by a continent but bound together by a "shared" mayor, a pair of very famous booksellers, the Shreve family, devastating fires, and gold hunters.

Wednesday May 14: Magnificent Men (and Women!) of the McIntire District. Quick sketches of famous opera singers and music men, authors, artists, politicians, and inventors who once lived in this historic district named for an equally famous architect-carver.

The one-hour lectures will begin at 7 p.m. and will be held in the Cleveland Room at the First Church in Salem,  316 Essex Street.  Please use the new entrance to the right and rear of the church. Doors open at 6:30. Admission is $12, cash or checks only please. Series tickets are available at a reduced rate of $48. For more information contact Jim at or 978.979.5907.

Posted by Kate on 04/09 at 08:00 AM Permalink

Salem Chef Takes Second Place in International Pizza Competition

Flying Saucer

Michael Rappa of Flying Saucer Pizza Company Places Top Pizza in Vegas Competition

Flying all the way across the country, two chefs from Salem MA took Vegas by storm in hopes of winning fame and pizza glory.  Hosting “best pizza competitions” every year, the International Pizza Expo, held on March 24-27, 2014, attracts pizza artists from every region and country imaginable. 

Flying Saucer Pizza Company was looking to bring their small-town pizza to the big-leagues, and brought their A-game to do it: a pizza pie entitled Mars Attacks! which includes a secret blend of artisanal cheeses, homemade meatballs, Saucer’s signature red sauce done “Saucer-style” and creamy pats of burratta cheese.

Flying Saucer chose the best of their best, Michael Rappa, 23, Salem resident, to re-create this special pie at the event.  Rappa has been with Flying Saucer since they opened in 2012.  He had to adhere to strict guidelines and procedures to make 2 pizzas to compete against the over 60 contestants in the category of Traditional Pizza.

“Choosing the Traditional category was a strategic choice,” said Nicole Spirito, General Manager of Flying Saucer Pizza Company.  “Being creative with pizza toppings is easy – knowing how to execute the perfect cheese pizza, no fancy footwork, takes some real pizza chops.”

They also brought along Tyler Griffin, a powerhouse staple in the Saucer kitchen for over a year.  Griffin was competing in an event of the World Pizza Games, an Olympic-style competition showcasing various pizza-making skills.  Griffin, known for his fast hands in Salem, competed in the World’s Fastest Dough Stretch event, where competitors have to stretch out 5 dough balls to 12” pizzas in as little time as possible.

“It was pretty overwhelming seeing the people that were there and the level of expertise that each person had,” stated Griffin, who missed making the top 5 finalists by mere seconds.  “It was my first time doing anything like this, and dealing with people of such high caliber was a little intimidating.”

Through the judging categories of taste, creativity, and appearance, Rappa won 2nd place on the Northeast division, besting chefs, from all over the northeastern United States, including New York.

“I was pretty nervous going into this, not really knowing what to expect.  The Northeast division is definitely the toughest category, dealing with all the chefs from New York” said Rappa, shaking his head.  But to him, it was pretty simple.  “I knew what had to be done.  I just had to make my pizza.”

Flying Saucer Pizza Company strives daily to abduct traditional pizza and give it a healthy gourmet spin. Our eclectic pizza menu showcases a variety of fresh and local ingredients. With our designer pizzas inspired by available seasonal ingredients, we are described by the Boston Globe as “funky hipster chic by the way of the USS Enterprise”.  Find out more at

Posted by Kate on 04/07 at 09:27 PM Permalink

Historic Burying Grounds

Charter Street Cemetery. Photo: Jasmine Gordon

Salem has three cemeteries that are significant to the Witch Trials of 1692. The Howard Street Cemetery is said to be where Giles Corey was taken to be pressed to death, a torture chosen because he refused to stand trial. George Corwin, who served as the high sheriff of Essex County in 1692, and his brother Jonathon Corwin, the Salem merchant who lived in the “Witch House” when he served as magistrate during the trials, are both buried in the Broad Street Cemetery. A white obelisk marks their grave.

The Charter Street Cemetery is the final resting place for at least two members of the Court of Oyer and Terminer, including physician Bartholomew Gedney and magistrate John Hathorne, who was the great-great grandfather of writer Nathaniel Hawthorne. Also buried here is Mary Corey, the first wife of Giles Corey, who died in 1684. Giles’ third wife, Martha Corey, was hanged for Witchcraft during the trials.

These three cemeteries, and the Witch Trial Memorial, which is behind the Charter Street Cemetery, are open to the public from dawn to dusk. We ask that visitors treat the graves with respect, and appreciation for their age and solemnity.

Posted by Kate on 04/06 at 11:08 PM Permalink

East meets west at the PEM this weekend

Sensational India!

Sensational India returns to the PEM this weekend with drop-in art activities, lectures, and the incomparable Bollywood Dance Party!  Visit for complete details and the schedule of events, and take a look at their Connected (blog) post about the weekend.

Bollywood Dance Party

Bollywood Dance Party at PEM


Posted by Kate on 04/04 at 10:27 AM Permalink

Turner’s Seafood on Phantom Gourmet

"I want you to feel that you are someplace that's real, that's local, that's authentic..." - Kathy Turner

We are happy to share this segment about Turner's Seafood at Lyceum Hall, which ran on Phantom Gourmet on March 29, 2014. (If you cannot see the video, please click here to go directly to YouTube.)

After watching this, we've developed quite an appetite. Perhaps we'll see you at Turner's!

  • Turner's Seafood at Lyceum Hall
  • 43 Church Street, Salem
  • 978-745-7665 (Reservations are recommended)
Posted by Kate on 04/02 at 02:54 PM Permalink

Salem State University hosts renowned Indian classical vocalist Ashwini Bhide Deshpande

Renowned vocalist Ashwini Bhide Deshpande The Salem State music department presents an evening of vocal music from North India, Monday, April 7 at 7:30 pm in the university’s Recital Hall. Guest artist Ashwini Bhide Deshpande, a remarkable vocalist of the famed Jaipur-Atraul Khayal Gayaki tradition, is one of the top Indian musical artists performing today.

Deshpande enchants audiences all over the world with her voice which is characterized by a blend of tonal sweetness coupled with vitality and emotion. She is known for her unerring grasp of the grammar of the raga and her fluency in Sanskrit. Dr. Deshpande enriches her repertoire by composing her own melodies to sacred texts as she continues to expand the horizon of Hindustani classical music.  

She is also a noted teacher and is considered a master teacher in the guru-disciple relationship that is central to assuring the continuity of the rich traditions of Indian music. Deshpande will be assisted by one of her most distinguished disciples Saili Oak Kalyanpur.

Music professor Dr. Peter Kvetko will present a pre-concert talk, The Guru-Disciple Relationship in Indian Music at 6:30 pm in the Recital Hall.

This unique concert event is presented in association with the New England School of Music and Salem State University’s Center for Creative and Performing Arts.

Guest Artist Ashwini Bhide Deshpande with Saili Oak Kalyanpur: Two Generations of North Indian Vocal Music
Pre-concert talk: The Guru-Disciple Relationship in Indian Music with Dr. Peter Kvetko, Salem State music faculty
Monday, April 7 at 7:30 pm
Salem State University, Recital Hall
, 71Loring Avenue
Ticket prices: $15 general and $10 non-Salem State students and seniors.

Posted by Kate on 03/31 at 07:30 AM Permalink

Congratulations to Laura Lanes Skin Care

Laura Lanes Skin Care Named Bioelements World Class

Bioelements Professional Skin Care, a system of take home and pro-use products used in professional facials for over 20 years, has announced that Laura Lanes Skin Care in Salem has been named a Bioelements World Class Spa for 2014.

Bioelements World Class spas are chosen to represent the country’s best in spa amenities, from products to services, and a dedication to excellence in the spa industry. Laura Lanes Skin Care provides an inviting environment unlike any other where guests can receive custom blended Bioelements treatments and products.

Laura Lanes Skin Care always carries the latest innovative skin care launches from Bioelements – the same products that receive 5-star rave reviews, Readers Choice Awards and wide spread praise from the experts and everyday fans who love what they see in the mirror. Laura Lanes Skin Care’s World Class status is also due to its belief in continual Bioelements education for its entire esthetic staff, to ensure they learn the latest treatments, techniques and product advancements. The spa’s use of Bioelements means that they have access to renowned educators and courses created specifically for the spa professional. Clients can be assured that the estheticians at Laura Lanes Skin Care are among the most knowledgeable in skin care.

LAURA LANES, Owner said, “We are thrilled to be in the prestigious Bioelements World Class category. It shows both us and our valued clients that Laura Lanes Skin Care is truly an elite spa.”

Laura Lanes Skin Care
242 Essex Street, Salem, MA

Laura Lanes Bioelements Spa

Posted by Kate on 03/29 at 08:00 AM Permalink

Sensational India! Festival Returns to the PEM

Sensational India at the PEM



The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) celebrates an unparalleled 200-year legacy of cultural exchange with India with its Sensational India! festival, April 5 and 6. Join us for a vibrant array of dance and music performances, art-making activities and the popular Bollywood Dance Party with DJs from Boston Sound and Light Company.





 Sensational India! Dancers at the PEM


See original works inspired by the Indian art collection at PEM created by fiber art students from Massachusetts College of Art. Engage with these works and explore the range of fiber materials used as different media.
10:30 – 11 AM  | STORYTIME: Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth  | MEET AT INFORMATION DESK
One of the most well-known Indian deities, Ganesha, is taken on a journey led by his love of sweets. Join us for this fun and beautifully illustrated book by Sanjay Patel and Emily Haynes.

Meet textile artist Suruchi Kabra as she demonstrates some weaving techniques and talks about her work. Her practice focuses on designing fabrics for interiors.

Awarded the title of “Jewel of India” by the Government of Sri Lanka, Rama Vaidyanathan is one of the leading exponents of Bharatanatyam, a popular classical dance. At PEM, she presents a specifically commissioned repertory to highlight the theme of design in Indian classical dance, accompanied by live music.

PEM’s Curator of Indian and South Asian Art Sona Datta discusses the inception of modernism in Indian art, focusing on PEM’s collection and the work of artist Jamini Roy, the subject of her 2010 book Urban Patua.
Join Suruchi Kabra to try your hand at developing your own concepts and turning them into textile designs.

Carnatic musicians present an interactive demonstration to highlight the design, the form and structure of Indian classical music including the use of notes and the genesis of Ragas.

DJ Yogz and DJ D-Xtreme of Boston Sound and Light Company transform PEM’s soaring Atrium into a nightclub by spinning the latest Bollywood, Bhangra and Western remixed music. Cash bar, 21+.  Members $15, nonmembers $20. Advance tickets preferred; limited tickets at door.
Reservations by April 2.

Sensational India at the PEM


See original works inspired by the Indian art collection at PEM created by fiber art students from Massachusetts College of Art. Engage with these works and explore the range of fiber materials used as different media.
10:30 – 11 AM  | STORYTIME: Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth  | MEET AT INFORMATION DESK
One of the most well-known Indian deities, Ganesha, is taken on a journey led by his love of sweets. Join us for this fun and beautifully illustrated book by Sanjay Patel and Emily Haynes.
Meet textile artist Suruchi Kabra as she demonstrates some weaving techniques and talks about her work. Her practice focuses on designing fabrics for interiors.

Awarded the title of “Jewel of India” by the Government of Sri Lanka, Rama Vaidyanathan is one of the leading exponents of Bharatanatyam, a popular classical dance. At PEM, she presents a specifically commissioned repertory to highlight the theme of design in Indian classical dance, accompanied by live music.

Join Suruchi Kabra to try your hand at developing your own concepts and turning them into textile designs.

Piotr Adamczyk of Google’s Art Project will discuss the extraordinary program that puts the best art collections of the world on the Web. Thanks to this effort, people can now view 30,000 works of art from more than 150 museums, without leaving their house. Adamczyk will specifically focus on work in India, including the recently launched Archaeological Survey of India, which seeks to protect the cultural heritage of the nation. This lecture made possible in part by the George Swinnerton Parker Memorial Lecture Fund.
Carnatic musicians present an interactive demonstration to highlight the design, the form and structure of Indian classical music including the use of notes and the genesis of Ragas.


Sensational India! is made possible in part by Samir and Nilima Desai; The Desai Family Foundation.

Posted by Kate on 03/29 at 08:00 AM Permalink

There’s an Avanti in the Atrium!

Seriously. How often do we get to say THAT?  And we were curious.  The PEM has released some advanced images and  promotional materials for their new exhibition, California Design 1630-1965: Living in a Modern Way, with cars. Which leads a person to wonder, Are they going to have cars in the museum? Because that would be pretty cool.

And, you know what? They DO. They have a CAR in the Museum.  And it is pretty cool. 

Studebaker Avanti, 1964. From the private collection of Richard Vaux.

And that's just the beginning of California Design.  This is a very fun exhibition of furniture, textiles, fashion, classic vehicles, and more.  It comes to Salem from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) via museums in Tokyo, Aukland, and Brisbane. Salem is the exhibition's final stop, and only stop on the East Coast. 

The modern California design featured in this exhibition changed perceptions and ushered in a new era of innovation in architecture, furniture, fashion, and the way people saw the world. And it is fun. The bathing suits, the teapots, the toys - it is fun to be reminded that Barbie and Spandex were once new, that molded plywood was experimental and game-changing for middle class furniture, and that the Studebaker Avanti was futuristic. 

Charles Eames, Ray Eames. Molded Plywood Division, Evans Products Company (Venice, 1943-47). Elephant, 1945. Eams Collection, LLC. © The Eames Foundation. Courtesy Eames Office LLC (

Women’s Bathing Suit, late 1950s. United States, California. Gift of Esther Ginsberg and Linda Davis in honor of Jennifer Blake Margit Fellegi Estate; Reproduced with permission of the Warnaco Group, Inc. All rights reserved. For Authentic Fitness Corp. Cole of California. Photo © Musuem Associates/LACMA

California Design, 1930-1965: Living in a Modern Way is on view at the Peabody Essex Museum March 29 - July 6, 2014.  And it is pretty cool.

Posted by Kate on 03/28 at 09:00 AM Permalink

Throwback Thursday

Okay, we're falling victim to Throwback Thursday, AKA #TBT, with the rest of our friends, fans, and foes on Social Media. Coincidentally, History of Massachusetts (on Facebook and Twitter) has posted a few great, historic, pictures of Salem this month.  We're grabbing them to share here, because we love looking at old pictures of Salem and wondering what it was like to ride a trolley car down Essex Street, visit The House of the Seven Gables, or step into the East Church, which is now the Salem Witch Museum.

Oh, wait. You can still do all of those things today! And in color.  That is the magic of living, working, and playing in a historic community that is still making history. 

Essex Street in Salem, MA, Circa 1910

If you are having trouble getting your bearings in 1910, that is the Daniel Low Building on the right (today it is Rockafellas' restaurant), and we are looking east.

East Church, Salem, MA

The House of the Seven Gables, Circa 1891-1901

Thanks, History of Massachusetts.  This was a fun trip down memory lane (and Essex Street, and Turner Street, and around Salem Common).

Posted by Kate on 03/27 at 09:45 AM Permalink

Life and Labor in the Aftermath of the Great Salem Fire

Salem Maritime National Historic Site and the History Department at Salem State University will co-host a free evening lecture by Dr. Jacob Remes on Thursday, March 27, at the Salem Visitor Center (2 New Liberty Street) from 7:30 PM-9:00 PM. The lecture is free and open to the public. Doors open at 7:00 PM.

Dr. Remes is an assistant professor of public affairs and history at SUNY Empire State College, in the Brooklyn Unit of the Metropolitan Center. His history talk, “Life and Labor in the Aftermath of the Great Salem Fire,” draws from his dissertation examining the overlapping responses to the Salem, Mass., Fire of 1914 and the Halifax, N.S., Explosion of 1917. Currently, Professor Remes is the William Lyon Mackenzie King Research Fellow at Harvard University. Professor Remes studies working-class and labor history with a focus on urban disasters, working-class organizations, and migration.

“We are delighted to host this lecture in recognition of the upcoming 100th Anniversary of the Great Salem Fire,” said Superintendent Michael Quijano-West. “Our collaboration with the History Department at Salem State University provides an opportunity for the community to learn more about their heritage and to enrich our understanding of the past.”

"Dr. Remes's lecture will provide a unique perspective on the social impacts of the Great Salem Fire," said Donna Seger, History Department Chair at Salem State University. "Rather than focusing on the industrial causes or physical destruction of the Great Salem Fire, Dr. Remes’ presentation will examine the human toll, with a particular emphasis on the dislocation of Salem’s immigrant communities. We are also very eager for the public to know that many of Dr. Remes’ sources and images can be found in the SSU Archives at the new Berry Library."

Jacob Remes upcoming book, Disaster Citizenship, based on his dissertation, will be published in 2015.

For more information on this lecture and Salem's commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Great Salem Fire, visit: 

Posted by Kate on 03/24 at 12:05 PM Permalink

Art is Everywhere

In 2011, a group of local art enthusiasts and community leaders came together to spearhead ArtBox, a program to transform the city's utilitarian utility boxes into original works of art. Beyond adding to Salem’s spirit of creativity, sense of place and cultural identity, these boxes are meant to beautify and inspire.  

The City has issued a call for artists to add to the Artbox program in 2014, which was a great reminder to take a stroll around Salem (now that the weather is improving) to see the current collection of Artboxes. 

We'd love to know what you think of the Artboxes. Which is your favorite?  Share your thoughts and photos on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Be sure to tag #SalemMA and #ArtboxSalem so we find your posts! 

City of Salem Artbox Map

Here is the list of the 2013 Artbox Artists: 

ArtBox 7 on Bridge Street at Bypass Road
Campbell Seamans of Salem, MA
Lighting and Signal control Box abstract. The geometric abstraction is meant to enhance the “visual” of these lighting and signal boxes while acknowledging the engineering that takes place inside of these necessary structures.

ArtBox 8 on Bridge Street at St. Peter Street
Amanda Dunham of Salem, MA

Police Box. Salem is a City bridging old and new, so I thought, “these boxes need a painting and I know what to do!  To inspire passerby to see a different point of view, past and present both combined, as in Doctor Who.”

ArtBox 9 on Bridge Street at ramp to North Street
Adam Harmon of Salem, MA

But at Night it’s a Different World. This piece presents a modern look at Salem’s tourist culture.  Bright modernist style captures the excitement and wonder of an abstracted downtown scene.  

ArtBox 10 on Brown Street at New Liberty (behind the Visitor Center)
Craig Nelson of Salem, MA

The design is my take on Japanese patterns.  Salem has a sister city in Japan – Otaku, Tokyo.  This is my tribute to our history.  “Public art is always awesome! Why wouldn't you want to see something beautiful, thought provoking or just plain silly somewhere that's normally trashy looking and boring?”

ArtBox 11 on Lafayette Street and Harbor Street (Lafayette Park)
Clare AuBuchon of Salem, MA

Doves of DiverCITY. I’m celebrating the diverse population of Salem.  My design presents the diversity in an uplifting and rooted expression.  The doves are colored toward the skin tones of Salem’s citizens.  The rainbow-dove is giving attention to how Salem not only gives acceptance to all races, but to all genders as well.

ArtBox 12 on Lafayette Street and Harbor Street (Lafayette Park)
Carly Menasco of Salem, MA

Song. The artwork features hand holding singing birds, symbolizing Salem’s diverse and lush community.

Click here for a printable PDF of the artist information. 

Posted by Kate on 03/22 at 08:00 AM Permalink

Witch Trials Weekly

If you are interested in the Salem Witch Trials, you  should check out - and subscribe to - the Salem Witch Museum's Witch Trials Weekly.  This weekly video blog uses current scholarship to share chronological updates from 1692 that correlate with where we are in the 2014 calendar. 

Here is Episode 10: March 18th -- March 24th 1692: Martha, Rebecca, and the Little Girl

To see the other episodes of Witch Trials Weekly, visit the Salem Witch Museum channel on YouTube.
For more information on the Salem Witch Museum and/or the Witch Trials, and to purchase your own copy of Marilynne K. Roach's The Salem Witch Trials a Day-by-Day Chronicle of a Community Under Siege please visit
Posted by Kate on 03/21 at 11:30 AM Permalink

GrubStreet “North” coming to Salem


“GrubStreet North” partnership brings North Shore residents high-quality fiction and memoir classes


The Salem Grub Street Athenaeum, one of Massachusettsʼ oldest libraries, and GrubStreet, a non-profit literary arts center based in Boston, have joined forces to expand GrubStreetʼs creative writing classes to the North Shore. “The dynamic partnership of two great organizations dedicated to the literary arts will provide a rich learning experience for North Shore writers,” says Brunonia Barry, Salem Athenaeum Trustee and author of New York Times Bestseller, The Lace Reader.

The first two cSalem Athenaeum ourses begin in late March, and are taught by writing instructors from GrubStreet:

•  Memoir in Progress: Taught by Debbie Hagen, this course is designed for writers who are working on the first draft of their memoirs, and tackles big picture issues in a supportive group setting with peers who are facing similar challenges. The focus of the course is on generating work and getting quick feedback from the group. This class
begins March 25th and runs for ten Tuesdays from 10:30-1:30pm at the Salem Athenaeum.
•  Fiction I: An introductory course in the craft of writing fiction. In this class, taught by Salem native K.L. Pereira, writers learn and practice the tried-and-true elements of fiction—character, plot, dialogue, setting, point of view, and revision—with an emphasis on the short story form. This class begins on Thursday, April 3rd, 6:00-9:00pm at the Salem Athenaeum.

Both classes are ten weeks in length and cost $455 for GrubStreet members, $480 for non-members. Scholarships are available. Learn more and register online at

Located in downtown Boston, GrubStreet is one of the leading nonprofit literary arts centers in the country. GrubStreetʼs mission is to transform lives and build community through the creation, production, and elevation of creative writing.  We accomplish this by offering the highest quality classes and services for writers at all stages of development; by educating writers through the entire writing process from inspiration to publication and promotion; by opening our arms to as many writers as possible through generous scholarships and free outreach programming; by
creating fulfilling work for writers; by connecting people and ideas through writing; and by empowering writers to fully embrace the new opportunities ushered in by the digital age.

The Salem Athenaeum is a contemporary and historic library, dedicated to enriching the lives of its members and its North Shore community by lending, preserving, and adding to its
collection of books and documents, by maintaining and enhancing its historic buildings and grounds, and by offering cultural and educational programs that provide a forum for the exchange of ideas and life-long learning.

Posted by Kate on 03/20 at 08:37 AM Permalink

See them all on Sunday at the 22nd Annual Salem Award Ceremony

2014 Salem Award Ceremony

This Sunday, March 23rd, Brian Concannon and Mario Joseph, founders of the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) and the Institute for Justice and Democracy in HaitI (IJDH), will receive the 2014 Salem Award in recognition of their work for justice, democracy and human rights in Haiti. The ceremony takes place at 4 pm in the Hawthorne Hotel ballroom.

These are two very special men, and, accordingly, the ceremony honoring them will be special as well.

  • SSU students Kinnflo Michel and Naomie Pacoulette will speak to the importance of the BAI’s work in Haiti.
  • Mayor Kimberley Driscoll and SSU President, Patricia Maguire Meservey will talk about human rights in Salem and the importance of education in preventing and correcting human rights abuses
  • Jenny Oliver of Jean Appolon Expressions (JAE), will perform “Batey.” JAE is dedicated to advancing Haitian folkloric dance and culture.
  • Brian Concannon and Mario Joseph will tell us about their work.

Join us!. There will be a free cookies and lemonade reception following the ceremony, which is open to the public and free to Salem residents.  Reservations for the 6 pm dinner that follow ($60, includes event and dinner), must be made by Wednesday, March 19th.  Learn more or register at

The mission of the Salem Award Foundation (SAF) is to keep alive the lessons of the Salem Witch Trials of 1692 and to make known and honor the heroic work of those who speak out and take action to alleviate discrimination, promote tolerance, and achieve justice for contemporary victims of social injustice.

Salem Award Foundation Logo

- Posted by guest blogger Shelby Hypes for the Salem Award Foundation

Posted by Guest on 03/18 at 08:00 AM Permalink

What’s happening in the Arts at Salem State this week


Student Art Awards: March 24- April 2. Salem State University. Winfisky Gallery, Ellison Campus Center. 352 Lafayette St. This annual exhibition showcases the work of select students in Salem State’s art + design program who have distinguished themselves in their work and have been given awards of excellence.The work on display includes commercially-oriented media, such as graphic design, multimedia design and photography to fine arts media such as sculpture, printmaking, drawing and painting. The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 10 am to 2 pm or by appointment. Information: 978.542.7890 or


Annual Graduate Student Reading, March 27, 7:30 pm. This event will feature readers from courses in travel writing and poetry, as well as students completing their graduate theses. Come hear some of the North Shore’s up-and-coming writers and connect with the North Shore’s literary community. Free.
 Information: 978.542.7890 or


Peter DiMuro and Public Displays of Motion. Salem State University. Multipurpose Gym. O’Keefe Sports Complex.  Canal Street. Choreogrpaher Peter DiMuro and his company, Public Displays of Motion, present excerpts from a new project in development 1000 Rites, 1000 Roses. Free. Information: 978.542.7890 or


MUSIC, April 3, 7:30 pm. Salem State Univeristy. Recital Hall. 71 Loring Ave.
Featuring Salem State faculty members Abe Finch, Nick Giarratani and Mike Testa, presents an evening of original, experimental, multimedia programming meant to amuse, challenge and inspire. Salem State University. Recital Hall. Central Campus. 71 Loring Ave. Suggested donation of $10 at the door to benefit scholarships for music majors. Information: 978.542.7890 or

Two Generations of Vocal Music from North India: Ashwini Bhide Deshpande, April 7, 7:30 pm. Salem State Univeristy. Recital Hall. 71 Loring Ave. Renowned vocalist Ashwini Bhide Deshpande presents a concert of Hindustani classical music. She will be assisted by vocalist Saili Oak Kalyanpur. Pre-concert lecture by Dr. Peter Kvetko: The Guru-Disciple Relationship in Indian Music at 6:30 pm. Tickets: $15 general/$10 students and seniors/Free with Salem State student ID. Purchase tickets at: or 978.542.6365.

Posted by Kate on 03/17 at 07:30 AM Permalink

The wreck of the FAME

Schooner FAME of Salem

Today is the 200th anniversary of the wreck of FAME off Nova Scotia. FAME was a successful privateer during the War of 1812, capturing 21 vessels, but her luck ran out in the spring of 1814. Her crew survived the wreck only to be captured and imprisoned.

A 'Chebacco boat,' the original FAME was commissioned as a privateer when war broke out in the summer of 1812. She was the first American privateer to bring home a prize.

The new FAME is a full-scale replica of this famous schooner. Framed and planked of white oak and trunnel-fastened in the traditional manner, FAME is based at Salem's Pickering Wharf Marina, where she takes the paying public for cruises on historic Salem Sound. Aboard the new FAME, passengers learn about the fishermen, privateers, merchants and men of war who shaped our North Shore.

For more info on FAME, visit  Her 2014 season will begin Memorial Day weekend.

Posted by Kate on 03/15 at 08:42 AM Permalink

PEM/PM: An evening of music, cocktails and conversation

PEM/PM Artopia

On Thursday, March 20, the Peabody Essex Museum is open late for PEM/PM, the monthly evening party series free for members and Salem residents.

This month, in collaboration with Salem Arts Festival and Social Palates, PEM showcases Salem's creative scene as local arts groups "take over" the museum. Inspiring activities include creative art making with hula hoops and a spice painting demonstration with the Salem Arts Festival and crafting zines with PEM’s ArtLink participants. Social Palates will offer a social photography “safari” throughout the museum. On view will be highlights from We_Are_Salem, a community collaborative art project, and the work of students in Beverly High School’s  AP Art Program.

The Atrium will also be filled with the sounds of Big Ol’ Dirty Bucket, a dynamic 10-piece funk band, based in Boston, and fronted by powerhouse vocalist Sarah Seminski and Quill, the musical vehicle of Boston-based singer-songwriter and producer Jesse Ciarmataro, who electronically mixes R&B, soul, rap and melodic vocals.

Members and Salem residents FREE | Nonmembers $10 at the door
Cash bar |Special menu from the Hawthorne Hotel

Posted by Kate on 03/14 at 08:00 AM Permalink

Enjoy the Flavors of Salem – Spring Restaurant Week is Back!

Fried Oysters at Finz Seafood

The Salem Chamber of Commerce is set to celebrate the thriving culinary scene in Salem with Salem Spring Restaurant Week. Spring Restaurant Week gives customers a chance to reconnect with their favorite restaurant or try some place new.  Restaurant Week features 20 of Salem’s best restaurants and draws guests from all over the North Shore. "I think the coolest thing about Restaurant Week is that it stimulates the city and creates exposure for all restaurants, perhaps even to clientele who wouldn't normally give that particular restaurant a try," said Daniel Giddings, General Manager, Opus. "We are really looking forward to being a part of it."

Now in its 8th year, the ten day event will begin on Sunday, March 16th and run through Thursday, March 20th. The event will start again on Sunday, March 23rd and finish on Thursday, March 27th. Participating Salem restaurants will offer either a prix-fixe two-course dinner menu for $18 or a prix-fixe three-course dinner menu for $28. Some restaurants will offer both course options. Prices are per person and exclude beverages, tax, and gratuity.

This year’s participating restaurants include:

62 Restaurant and Wine Bar,

Adriatic Restaurant and Bar,

Bella Verona,

Capt.’s Waterfront Grill & Club,

Finz Seafood Restaurant & Grill,

Flying Saucer Pizza Company,

Grapevine Restaurant,

Longboards Café & Bar,

Nathaniel’s at the Hawthorne Hotel,

Naumkeag Ordinary,

O’Neill’s Pub & Restaurant,


Regatta Pub at the Salem Waterfront Hotel


Salem Beer Works

Tavern in the Square

Thai Place

Turner’s Seafood at Lyceum Hall

Victoria Station

Village Tavern.

For more information and to view individual restaurant menus visit Reservations are strongly encouraged.

Posted by Kate on 03/13 at 11:53 AM Permalink

Winter update from Pioneer Village

Pioneer Village in Winter

We are thrilled to share that we had a most encouraging first season with Salem in 1630: Pioneer Village. The summer moved forward with a schedule of very successful tours which included a daily trip to the village generously provided by Salem Trolley.   An engaging foundation tour was created and tested that shared Salem's very origins.  From it's years as a bustling port teeming with fisherman, fur trappers and pirates to the establishment of the colony that greeted John Winthrop upon his arrival in 1630.  A great deal of time and effort will be put towards understanding and honoring the Massachusett tribe that originally occupied this land.

We have carefully recorded the condition of each structure and prioritized the necessary repairs.  We have tried to make heads or tails out of the clamor and profusion of herbs springing out of the garden beds.  This involved, more often than not, eyeing them with great curiosity, almost complete befuddlement and a sound promise to expand our understanding of colonial botanicals while they are fresh, green and alive and not merely a woodcut in a 17th century book.  By the end of the season many of these reached waist or shoulder height and have now been photographed and well on their way to being identified.

We have witnessed a charming October storytelling season with candlelight pathways leading visitors to darkened cottages where costumed storytellers shared chilling folklore from our past. A tradition we are happy to carry on and even now are beginning to create new stories for.

Gaggles of children and school groups have been hosted.  Guides who have been a part of the village in years past came forward expressing a desire to remain an active part of Pioneer Village.  We are very appreciative of their enthusiasm and talents and thrilled to welcome and keep them in the fold.

And now we find ourselves in the quiet of winter planning the next season.  Hoping to explore a bit more of the potential we all see here.  Making a list of individuals and institutions we hope will help us enhance this amazing place.  Membership drives, events, fundraisers all designed to help people see how important saving this site is.  Really casting a wide net on opportunities we will consider, bake sales, t shirts printed with the slogan " I helped save America's First Living History Museum and all I got was this naffing t-shirt." Or something equally as catchy utilizing 17th century slang for tacky.

Our largest bit of planning energy will be put towards...brace exciting new festival for the fall titled Salem Spice Festival! How amazing is that!?  We will focus on spices, herbs and teas in American history and in the modern period.  Lectures, walks, demonstrations and other entertainment will be offered.

- Submitted by Elizabeth Peterson, Director, The Witch House and Pioneer Village

Posted by Guest on 03/10 at 08:00 AM Permalink

Spring Festivals and Exhibits in Salem

Mark your calendars for Salem's special events, programs, festivals, and exhibits this spring. This is just the tip of the iceberg -  explore the calendar on for more events!

Salem Film Fest

Salem Film Fest
March 6 – 13
Come to Salem, see the world during the largest all-documentary festival in New England.  Film screenings and talk-backs with the directors are the highlights of the weeklong film fest.

 Salem Restaurant Week

Salem Restaurant Week
March 16 - 20, 23 - 27
Salem Restaurant Week is the perfect time to dine out at the dozens of excellent eateries.  There will be a wide variety of delicious foods, including steak, seafood, Italian classics, contemporary cuisine, American favorites and exotic ethnic treats.  Restaurants will offer multiple choices for appetizers, entrees, and desserts.  

Tom Stoppard's Heroes

Tom Stoppard's Heroes
Adapted from Gérald Sibleyras’ Le Vent des Peupliers
March 20 – April 12
Salem Theatre Company presents Heroes. Set in August 1959 in a home somewhere in France for retired military men. The play takes place outside on a terrace in the garden of a convent hospital where Philippe and Henri are hatching a plan to escape.

California Design

California Design


March 29 – July 6
More than 200 examples of mid-century modern design reveal the distinctive role California had in shaping material culture from 1930-1965. Featuring a diverse array of furniture, textiles, fashion, industrial and graphic design, ceramics, jewelry, metalwork, film and architecture, this exhibition celebrates the innovation and pervasiveness of mid-century modern design. The work of legendary designers such as Charles and Ray Eames, Richard Neutra, and Greta Magnusson Grossman are explored, as is the sociological and geographical context which gave rise to this unprecedented design movement. Organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), this exhibition is the first major study of California mid-century modern design.

Mass Poetry Festival

Massachusetts Poetry Festival
May 2-4
The sixth Massachusetts Poetry Festival will bring an extraordinary group of poets to Salem, including Kim Addonizio, Lucie Brock-Broido, Rafael Campo, Carol Ann Duffy, Oliver de la Paz, Cornelius Eady, Rhina Espaillat, Forrest Gander, David Ferry, Ilya Kaminsky, Li-Young Lee, Philip Levine, Susan Rich, Marge Piercy, Vivian Shipley, and C.D. Wright.

Venice: The Dogana and San Giorgio Maggiore, 1834

Turner and the Sea
May 31 – September 1
In the first full-scale examination of Joseph Mallord William Turner's lifelong preoccupation with the sea, this exhibition features iconic works spanning the artist's career from his transformative Academy paintings of the late 1790s and early 1800s, to the unfinished, experimental seascapes produced towards the end of his life. At turns dramatic, contemplative, beautiful and sublime, the sea's mercurial properties captivated Turner and his contemporaries who repeatedly returned to the subject. Iconic Turner masterpieces are exhibited alongside works by other major European and American artists, providing a rich artistic context for Turner's groundbreaking maritime vision.

Posted by Kate on 03/07 at 04:11 PM Permalink


They're pronounced "poonch-key!"


It is, once again, my favorite time of year. It is Fat Tuesday. The beginning of Lent, when people around the world are giving things up. Not here, though. We're adding to our diet. We are adding delicious, double-rolled, freshly filled, some with fresh whipped cream, Paczkis. Just delicious.

Paczkis at Coffee Time Bake Shop are only here until Easter, so I recommend stopping by the bakery on Bridge Street for your fresh, hand-rolled treats. Raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, cherry, prune, and glazed pazckis are available without whipped cream, and if you want to really indulge, grab a raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, or cherry real cream paczki.  They're only here for six more weeks!

Real Cream paczkis

Posted by Kate on 03/04 at 12:43 PM Permalink

Do you recognize these guys?

2014 Salem Award Winners Brian Concannon and Marion Joseph

Probably not. The news may frequently focus on the negative, but a lot of people do a lot of good things to make our world a better place. Often, such good deeds go unnoticed. The Salem Award Foundation would like to tell you about two men who have surely earned a crown in heaven. Meet Brian Concannon and Mario Joseph of the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux in Haiti (Mario) and its sister organization here in the US, the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (Brian).

Both attorneys, they have spent the last 20 years fighting poverty and instability in Haiti by working with grassroots organizations, challenging the legal system to live up to its obligation to hold wrongdoers accountable and provide justice for all Haitians. They use their knowledge of the law in combination with support and advocacy for disenfranchised individuals and groups like these:

  • Victims of rape and women’s groups; 
  • LGBT groups;
  • Wrongfully convicted or detained prisoners; 
  • Those illegally evicted from internal displacement camps following the 2010 earthquake; and
  • Victims of political persecution by past dictatorships and the current government


They challenge

  • The US to implement more just aid, trade and immigration policies towards Haiti;
  • The UN to compensate victims of the 2010 cholera outbreak linked to a sewage leak at a U.N. base housing Nepalese peacekeepers; and
  • Haiti’s law enforcement and judicial systems to eliminate corruption.

Mario, born into poverty in a town with no secondary school and where most people are illiterate is, today, Haiti’s most prominent human rights lawyer. Brian, Boston born, eschewed a lucrative corporate law career to work in Haiti, where he saw the failures own country’s aid, trade and immigration policies and the instability and poverty to which they contributed. Following the overthrow of Haiti’s elected government in 2004, he returned to the US and established the IJDH as a supporting organization for the BAI.

They pay a price. They’re not rich, and the work is endless. Mario faces death threats daily.  But at 4 pm on March 23rd, they will receive the 2014 Salem Award at the Hawthorne Hotel.  Come celebrate and meet these unsung heroes in person—the ceremony is free to Salem residents and SSU students.   

Learn more and register at

Salem Award Logo

Posted by guest blogger Shelby Hypes for the Salem Award Foundation.

Posted by Guest on 03/03 at 11:05 AM Permalink

A sure sign of Spring

The Salem Trolley will begin running Saturdays and Sundays in March starting this Saturday, March 1.  Tours will depart the Salem Visitor Center (corner of Essex and New Liberty Street) on the hour and :40 past the hour beginning at 10:00 AM. The last tour will depart the Visitor Center at 4:00 PM. 

The Salem Trolley

The Salem Trolley is an excellent way to experience Salem - whether it's your first visit or you consider yourself a local. The live, narrated, one-hour tours provide a glimpse into Salem's rich history as well as fun anecdotes as they tour the various neighborhoods and historic districts of Salem.  The tour includes Winter Island, Salem Willows, Chestnut Street, Salem Common, and all spots in between. Tickets are good for on-and-off transportation between sites including the House of the Seven Gables and the Salem Witch Museum. ("In-season," the trolley makes up to 14 stops for on-and-off travel.) 

We're hoping the ringing of the trolley bells will encourage Mother Nature to shift gears and give us a bit of spring weather!  

Posted by Kate on 02/27 at 07:45 AM Permalink

Another Great Documentary Line-up on Tap for Salem Film Fest

BRASSLANDS will make its New England premiere at Salem Film Fest

The 7th annual all-documentary Salem Film Fest will be held March 6 – March 13, 2014, in Salem, MA, with a strong line-up of 37 films from 14 different countries. Twenty-eight of these films will be making their World, North American, US, East Coast, New England or Massachusetts premiere – the most “first looks” ever in the festival’s seven year history – including the World premiere of KASHEER, directed by Salem filmmaker Elayne McCabe who will be at the festival to present.

Spread out over eight days with film screenings at three different venues in downtown Salem, the festival will kick off at CinemaSalem with the New England premiere of A FRAGILE TRUST, which tells the shocking story of Jayson Blair, the most infamous serial plagiarist of our time, and how he unleashed the massive scandal that rocked The New York Times and the entire world of journalism. A Q&A with filmmaker Samantha Grant will follow. Other festival premieres include ELEKTRO MOSKVA, an “electromagnetic fairytale” showcasing Russia’s electronic music history; WEB, a thought-provoking film that explores the human and societal impact of global connectivity; POWERLESS, which examines the class battle over electricity in India; EVERYBODY STREET, about the lives and work of New York’s iconic street photographers; and RICH HILL, which recently won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Documentary at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. Filmmakers will be present for over half of this year’s screenings, providing audiences with a unique opportunity to learn more about the documentary filmmaking process. 

All film screenings will be preceded by our homegrown and wildly popular shorts Salem Sketches. Shot, edited and produced by festival organizers Joe Cultrera and Perry Hallinan and a mix of Salem Film Fest alumni filmmakers and filmmakers-in-residence, these short vignettes capture the heart and soul of Salem and bring to light some of the city’s hidden gems. 

“It seems we have discovered a way to add a touch of Salem to our lineup while also creating original content for the festival that was about the city. It's something I don't think any other film festival is doing,” says Cultrera. “I think it's something that will organically grow each year as other filmmakers come here to show their work, enjoy the city and see these Salem Sketches. It's becoming Salem Film Fest's unofficial filmmaker-in-residence program.”

An exciting addition to the festival awards this year will be the presentation of The Michael Sullivan FRONTLINE Award for Journalism in a Documentary Film, a $1,000 cash prize that will be awarded to the filmmaker judged to have presented a tough, controversial story through engaging and fair minded investigative reportage. The award is in honor of the late Michael Sullivan, a guiding figure behind PBS’ FRONTLINE as well as a Salem Film Fest participant and supporter. FRONTLINE Executive Producer David Fanning will be on hand to present. 

"We have a diverse group of films from all over the world screening at this year’s festival, yet there is something in each and every one of these films that anyone can relate to,” says program director Jeff Schmidt. “As one of America’s oldest port cities, there is something special about that notion of the stories from far off lands that were shared in the old trading days that we've been able to recapture with this festival that's a lot of fun in today's instant gratification via the Internet world."

For more information about Salem Film Fest visit, follow Salem Film Fest on Facebook and Twitter.

Posted by Kate on 02/26 at 07:42 AM Permalink

2014 Salem Guide now available!

The 2014 Salem Guide is now available! Guide requests submitted up to this point are being fulfilled this week. If you would like to request a free copy of the Guide, please visit

2014 Salem Guide

Posted by Kate on 02/25 at 10:55 AM Permalink

School Vacation Week

William Wegman. Platform Shoes, 2008

Wondering what to do with the kids while on School Vacation Week? The Salem Maritime National Historic Site and Peabody Essex Museum both have a number of special activities, tours, and programs planned to not only help fill up their days, but educate and excite as well.

At the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, park rangers and staff will be presenting a variety of special tours, access to Friendship of Salem, youth programs and free films throughout the week. The Peabody Essex Museum is offering special Vacation Week children's programs Monday thru Friday centered around the new Art & Nature Center.

Learn more here.

Posted by Kate on 02/19 at 01:42 PM Permalink

Love and Laugh: Valentine’s Improv at the Griffen Theatre

Sweet Lovin Comedy at the Griffen Theatre

For one night only on Valentine's Day, Friday, February 14th at 8pm, the Griffen Theatre will present a hilarious and romantic night of live improv comedy.  

Bring your sweetheart, or the person sitting to your left, or come alone, and fall in love with the comedy improv of Erik Rodenhiser, Bruce Whear, Meghan Donoghue Holtz, Liz Hartford and Dr. Brett Bovio. Complete with champagne and strawberries. Tickets are $18.00 per person.  

Click here to purchase tickets or call 978-317-1169

The Griffen Theater is located at 7 Lynde Street Salem, MA

Find Griffen Theatre on Facebook and keep up with the latest happenings, including shows for all ages! 

Posted by Kate on 02/06 at 10:44 AM Permalink

Salem’s So Sweet… Again!

Salem So Sweet

12th Annual Salem’s So Sweet Chocolate & Ice Sculpture Festival

The Chocolate & Wine Tasting Event is Feb. 7, tickets are for sale NOW!

Salem Main Streets and the Salem Chamber of Commerce, along with local retailers, restaurants and businesses invite you to attend the 12th annual Salem’s So Sweet, Chocolate & Ice Sculpture Festival.  A decadent tradition of delectable chocolate, sparkling ice sculptures and Valentine’s Day shopping…don't miss Salem's sweetest event of the year! 

The festival officially kicks off with a Chocolate and Wine Tasting, on Friday, February 7th from 6:30 - 8:30 pm, at Colonial Hall at Rockafellas, 227 Essex Street.  This luscious tasting event features wine and chocolate samplings from premier Salem restaurants, stores and sweet shops.  Tickets are $25 and can be purchased in advance starting January 16th.  Tickets can be purchased over the phone by calling 978-744-0004, online at, or in person at the Salem Chamber of Commerce, 265 Essex Street, Suite 101.  This event is the highlight of the season and sells out quickly! 

This year there will be more than 14 large ice sculptures, chocolate samplings and great discounts around downtown Salem the weekend of February 8-9, with some continuing until February 16th in celebration of Valentine’s Day!  The beautiful ice sculptures will grace downtown Salem starting February 8, with themes including a seahorse, a rubber ducky, a sailboat, a film projector, and more!
The Salem Trolley will be offering trolley rides around the festival route weather permitting on February 8 & 9 for a minimal fee.  More information about trolley routes, times, and price will be available closer to the festival.

Many downtown businesses will offer discounts and special offerings during the festival.  With over 60 places to eat downtown Salem is the perfect place to have a romantic dinner or casual lunch.  In celebration of the chocolate festival, many of Salem’s finest restaurants will feature special chocolate offerings on their menus, including desserts, cocktails, and inventive sauces.  Participating Salem retailers will offer in-store promotions, innovative displays and items geared toward chocolate and Valentine’s Day, ranging from a chocolate fondue fountain to discounts on diamond jewelry.  Specific store and restaurant offerings will be available on brochures distributed throughout the downtown or online at 

Once again, Golden Tickets will be available in downtown Salem for a chance to win the Salem’s So Sweet Gift Basket.  Pick up your Golden Ticket at a participating location and have it validated at participating businesses (no purchase necessary) to enter to win a Salem's So Sweet gift basket which features many fine items from area retailers.

Learn More...

Posted by Kate on 01/29 at 07:57 AM Permalink

History Talks at Salem Maritime National Historic Site

History Lecture Series at Salem Maritime National Historic Site

Salem Maritime National Historic Site and the History Department at Salem State University will co-host two separate history talks on Thursday, February 6 and Thursday, March 27, at the Salem Visitor Center (2 New Liberty Street) from 7:30pm-9:00pm. Both talks are free and open to the public. Doors open at 7:00pm.

The first speaker, on Thursday, February 6, is Lincoln Paine, author of five books and more than fifty articles, reviews, and lectures on maritime history. His most recent work published in 2013, The Sea and Civilization: A Maritime History of the World, is a retelling of world history through the lens of maritime enterprise.  The area of today’s Salem has always been connected to the larger maritime world, from early Native American travel and trade, to European settlement, shipbuilding, international trade and even present-day pleasure boating.  Mr. Paine offers a look at how goods, languages, religions, and entire cultures spread across and along the world’s waterways.  A limited number of copies of The Sea and Civilization will be available for sale at the event and may be signed by the author.

The second speaker on Thursday, March 27 is Jacob Remes, assistant professor of public affairs and history at SUNY Empire State College, in the Brooklyn Unit of the Metropolitan Center. Currently, he is the William Lyon Mackenzie King Research Fellow at Harvard University.  Professor Remes studies working-class and labor history with a focus on urban disasters, working-class organizations, and migration.  His history talk, “Life and Labor in the Aftermath of the Great Salem Fire,” draws from his dissertation examining the overlapping responses to the Salem, Mass., Fire of 1914 and the Halifax, N.S., Explosion of 1917. Jacob Remes upcoming book, Disaster Citizenship, based on his dissertation, will be published in 2015.  

Posted by Kate on 01/28 at 09:57 AM Permalink

Celebrate the Lunar New Year at the PEM

Join the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) on Saturday, February 1 to celebrate the Lunar New Year and mark the beginning of the Year of the Horse. Enjoy a full day of festivities including  traditional lion dances, a film set in Boston's Chinatown, sword play, traditional crafts and more!

Click here for the complete schedule. 

All programs FREE with museum admission. For reservations, please call: 978-745-9500 x3011

Posted by Kate on 01/25 at 08:00 AM Permalink

The Arts at Salem State


Turning Process Into Profundity: Printed works by Robert Townsend. January 16-February 12.  Free. Salem State University. Winfisky Gallery, Ellison Campus Center. 352 Lafayette St. Master printer Robert Townsend’s ingenuity and craftsmanship is demonstrated in this unique exhibition which includes works by Jim Dine, Aaron Fink, Don Gorvett, Charles Grigg, and Michael Mazur among others. Robert Townsend gallery talk: Wed. January 29, 10 am. Artist reception: Wed. January 29, 2 pm.  The gallery is open Monday through Friday from 10 am to 2 pm or by appointment. Information: 978.542.7890 or


Sydney Lea – poet, novelist and essayist. January 30, 7:30 pm. Free. Salem State University. Ellison Campus Center. Martin Luther King Jr. Room. While he is Poet Laureate of Vermont, Lea is widely known for his work in several genres. He founded the literary magazine New England Review in 1977. His poetry collection Pursuit of a Wound was one of three finalists for the Pulitzer Prize and his most recent publication is a novel, A North Country Life: Tales of Woodsmen, Waters and Wildlife. Information: 978.542.7890 or


Kafka in Tel Aviv – A new play written and directed by Peter Sampieri. January 25, 7:30 pm. Salem State University. Callan Studio Theatre. 352 Lafayette St. The Salem State theatre department presents a one night benefit performance of this new work which will be presented at the Kennedy Center’s regional College Theatre Festival at the end of the month. Franz Kafka’s papers land in the hands of a Tel Aviva cat-lady who won’t let anyone in to see them. Meanwhile Israel and Germany are locked in a political battle over who owns these priceless lost works. The story leaps back-and-forth in time from Kafka’s Prague to contemporary Tel Aviv, building to the final question: Who owns a work of art, the creator or the viewer? Suggested donation of $15 at the door. All proceeds will support the production’s participation in the regional festival. Reserve seats in advance by calling: 978.542.7890. Seating is limited.

Kafka in Tel Aviv. Photo credit: Mary Shea

Posted by Kate on 01/24 at 08:00 AM Permalink

The Beverly Seamans’ Sculpture Collection

The Fox by Beverly Seamans

The House of the Seven Gables is pleased to present "Sculpture" by Beverly Benson Seamans, and exhibit open to the public through January 31 during the regular hours at the Gables. 

Enjoy the largest collection of Beverly Seamans' sculpture ever shown. This exhibit includes bronze, clay and travertine pieces.  Also displayed are some of her watercolors, a glimpse of the studio with Seamans' last, unfinished piece, and a childhood portrait of the artist with a black clay horse on her work table. That actual horse sculpture, completed at age 10,  is also on display.  Fascinated with nature and children, the late Mrs. Seamans, always created magical renderings of form and shape.  Whether her subject was poodles or penguins, she had a magical way of capturing the subject and preserving the moment.  The Gables is honored to present this important American artist's work.  

The exhibit is free to members of the House of the Seven Gables and Essex National Heritage Commission. Admission for non-members is included in your tour of the Gables, or can be purchased separately for $7, adults, and $3, children. The House of the Seven Gables is located at 115 Derby Street, Salem, MA.  See for more details.    

Posted by Kate on 01/23 at 08:30 AM Permalink

Treasures from the Pacific at the Phillips House Museum

Treasures from the Pacific: The Oceanic and Polynesian Collections of the Phillips House Museum

The annual winter lecture partnership with the Salem Athenaeum and Historic Salem, Inc. will be taking place on January 29, 2014 from 7:00-8:30 p.m. at the Salem Athenaeum. Each year, the topic highlights a particular aspect of Salem’s rich history. This year, Historic New England will be loaning objects from the Phillips House Museum’s Oceanic and Polynesian collections for a small exhibition. Susan Leavitt, a graduate student with Harvard University's Museum Studies program, will discuss these treasures and others found in the collections as well as share the stories and histories of Pacific islanders. A reception is planned for attendees as well.

The exhibition will remain open at the Salem Athenaeum during regular hours for the month of February. Historic New England will be hosting a special behind the scenes tour focusing on their Oceanic collections on June 28-29, 2014. Many items are also on view during regular tours on Saturdays and Sundays from 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Advance tickets are strongly suggested and can be purchased at The cost is $10.00 for members of Historic New England, Historic Salem, Inc., and Salem Athenaeum members and $15 nonmembers. This lecture is free for students with valid identification. Please call 978-744-2540 for more information.

The Salem Athenaeum is located at 337 Essex Street in Salem, Mass.

Posted by Kate on 01/22 at 12:48 PM Permalink

Human Rights Activists in Haiti to Receive Prestigious Salem Award

Brian Concannon and Mario Joseph

The Salem Award Foundation is honored to announce that Brian Concannon and Mario Joseph will receive the 2014 Salem Award at a ceremony on Sunday, March 23, 2014 at 4:00 pm at the Hawthorne Hotel. The public is welcome.

Concannon and Joseph epitomize the ideal of a human rights champion. Since founding the Bureau des Avocats Internationaux (BAI) in 1995, they have helped victims prosecute human rights cases, trained Haitian lawyers and spoken out on justice issues.  In 2004, the Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti (IJDH) was established in America to support the work of the BAI.  Working at a grass roots level, these sister organizations combine traditional legal strategies with the empowerment of victims’ organizations and political advocacy. There is almost no area in which they are not actively working with the people of Haiti in their non-violent struggle for the consolidation of constitutional democracy, justice and human rights. 

Meet them in person at the award ceremony, which is free to Salem residents and Salem State University students.  Learn more about their work and register for the event at

- Posted by guest blogger Shelby Hypes for the Salem Award Foundation.

Posted by Guest on 01/14 at 08:00 AM Permalink

Salem Loves Groups!

A group aboard Schooner FAME of Salem

Destination Salem (specifically me, Kate Fox) is in Nashville, Tennessee this week representing Salem at the American Bus Association Marketplace. This annual Marketplace brings group tour operators and tourism professionals from the US and Canada together in a flurry of networking, meetings, educational sessions, and special events. We are here with dozens of delegates from Massachusetts, as well as delegates from the Hawthorne Hotel, Salem Witch Museum, North of Boston Convention & Visitor's Bureau, Discover Gloucester, Wolfe Tours, and Hawthorne Tours.  

A group dines at Finz Seafood

Suffice to say, we love to host groups of all sizes in Salem.  If you are a group planner, be sure to visit for information about our group-friendly attractions, tours, restaurants, and accommodations.  And give us a call at 978-741-3252, or drop me an email, if you have any specific questions about bringing your group to Salem. 

A group visiting the Salem Witch Museum

Posted by Kate on 01/13 at 09:07 AM Permalink

70 finches, 14 guitars, infinite sonic potential

From Here to Ear at the PEM

The Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) explores soundscapes and nontraditional forms of music in its newest contemporary art exhibition, FreePort [No. 007]: Céleste Boursier-Mougenot. Created by internationally acclaimed French artist Céleste Boursier-Mougenot, this installation transforms PEM’s Barton Gallery into a spacious aviary in which a flock of 70 zebra finches interface with an array of tuned and amplified guitars. As the birds explore their habitat and respond to museum-goers, they alight on guitar strings to create a constantly changing harmonic environment. From here to ear is the artist’s largest finch installation to date and is on view at PEM from January 18 through April 13, 2014.

Formerly a musician and composer, Céleste Boursier-Mougenot is known for creating installations that translate the visual into the auditory as well as for activating environmental systems that take on a life of their own. Boursier-Mougenot is interested in liberating the rhythms and vibrations of everyday life and believes “music is waiting to be revealed everywhere.” Extending the 20th-century tradition of experimental music in which chance plays a critical role, from here to ear fosters close listening and attunes us to the present moment.

“Boursier-Mougenot invites us into a three-dimensional score where the randomized activities of finches creates a sonic experience that is at turns melodic and ambient,” says exhibition curator and PEM’s Curator of the Present Tense, Trevor Smith. “This boundary breaking installation embraces the element of surprise, while asking us to consider the way we perceive, create and interact with music.


Where do the birds come from? The zebra finches are sourced from a specialty animal casting company whose professional animal handlers and trainers facilitate the installation and removal of the birds as well as certify their health. The birds were raised in captivity by professional breeders and will return to their owners at the exhibition's close.

What is the care and feeding of the finches? Twice daily, the aviary is cleaned and the birds are given fresh food and water. The finches’ health will be checked on a weekly basis by exotic bird specialist Dr. Elizabeth Bradt of All Creatures Veterinary Hospital. Additional “house calls” will be arranged as need be.

How are the birds monitored? Only 20 people are allowed in the exhibition at any one time and a gallery interpreter is on hand at all times to answer questions and ensure animal safety.

Where do the birds sleep? The birds rest in the hanging nest “condos” and special UV lights gradually come up in the morning and down again in the evening, so the birds maintain a healthy circadian rhythm. 

Do the birds ever escape? The aviary has been specially designed to prevent birds from getting loose and everything the birds need is provided in the installation. 


Find more interspecies art on view in the Art & Nature Center’s newest exhibition, Beyond Human: Artist–Animal Collaborations. From bowerbirds that create elaborate displays to Asian elephants that have learned to paint and Weimaraners that patiently pose for photographs, Beyond Human explores the varied ways in which contemporary artists interface with animals to create original and surprising works of art.


Each FreePort exhibition is an invitation to a contemporary artist to establish a unique dialogue with the museum and its audiences. These artists explore the dynamics of cultural change; their creative expressions open conversations across disciplines critical to the evolution of a 21st-century museum.

Learn more about From Here to Ear. 

Posted by Kate on 01/11 at 09:43 AM Permalink

PEM/PM celebrates La Vie Bohème, featuring acclaimed writer Adam Gopnik

Adam Gopnik. Photo by Brigitte Lacombe.On Thursday, January 16, the Peabody Essex Museum is open late for PEM/PM, the monthly evening party series free for members and Salem residents. 
As part of La Vie Bohème, an evening celebrating the café culture of the French Impressionists, PEM and The Tannery Series present Adam Gopnik, beloved voice of The New Yorker and author of Paris to the Moon and The Table Comes First: Family, France, and the Meaning of Food. Gopnik’s pen has translated the glamour, beauty and profound achievement of French artistic life for a new generation, fueling the American imagination.  On this evening, he will discuss his years living in Paris, as well as leisure, bohemia and art. 
The smooth sounds of Brooklyn-based French singer-songwriter Marine Futin will fill the Atrium, fusing jazz and blues with folk influences. An absinthe demonstration and brasserie-inspired tastings will round out the evening, along with the opportunity to sketch models dressed for the bohemian life from local vintage shop Modern Millie. 
The night will be complete by taking a French-language tour of Impressionists on the Water. With more than 90 paintings, prints, models and photographs, the exhibition tells the story of how living near France’s waterways and oceans influenced one of the world’s most enduring artistic movements. The sparkle and play of light on water proved irresistible to key Impressionists. Rippling seas, dancing reflections and sailboats propelled by strong winds animate the art of Manet, Monet, Renoir, Caillebotte, Pissarro, Sisley, Seurat, Signac and many others on view at PEM through February 17, 2014. 
Members and Salem residents FREE | Nonmembers $10 at the door | Cash bar
Tickets for the Adam Gopnik lecture in East India Marine Hall are included with PEM/PM admission and available by calling PEM’s reservation line at 978-745-9500, ext. 3011. There will be a limited number of tickets available at the door. 

Posted by Kate on 01/10 at 02:06 PM Permalink

So… How did you meet?

Lightshed Photography Studio is running a very fun social media contest for newly-engaged couples, and one lucky couple will win a free wedding photography package!  Check out the details below.  

Old town Hall. © Lightshed Photography Studio 2013.

When sparks fly, hearts bind, and stories begin.  Was it in line? At work? Were you both reaching for the last package of hot pockets in the frozen food section? Love works in mysterious ways, and in the spirit of Valentines Day, you are encouraged to share that story. 

Between January 10th and February 21st, Lightshed Photography has arranged a social media based contest allowing engaged couples to submit their surprising, unlikely, or simply fantastic stories of romance. Several of the most striking stories will be selected and posted to Facebook. Our happy couple with the most Facebook Likes will be awarded a free wedding photography package valued at $3,000 (contest limited to Essex County). Let the liking begin! 

What makes the cut? Anything ridiculous, moving, chance, and yes, true. Simply type up your story and email to Voting on Facebook will begin February 14th at and continue through February 21st, at which point a winner will be announced via Facebook. So… how did you meet? 

© Lightshed Photography Studio 2013.

Posted by Kate on 01/07 at 02:28 PM Permalink

Gadgets and Gizmos at the Phillips House

Phillips House kitchen

What are those odd-looking gadgets in the kitchen? Who made them? How do you use them? Learn how these tools made kitchen work easier for the domestic staff at Phillips House. This special tour is part of Historic New England’s “Everybody’s History” programming which looks at daily life, work, and heritage around New England.

Gadgets and Gizmos will be taking place on Saturday, January 11, 2014 from 10:00-11:30 a.m. at the Phillips House, located at 34 Chestnut Street. The cost is $15.00 for the public and $10.00 for Historic New England members. Advance registration is suggested due to limited space. Please call 978-744-0440 or visit for more information.

Posted by Kate on 01/04 at 08:00 AM Permalink

Phillips Favorites: Rediscover the stories of 34 Chestnut Street this winter

Stephen Phillips of Phillips House in Salem, Massachusetts, c. 1940

The Phillips House Museum invites visitors to rediscover the stories of the Phillips House during the winter season with the Phillips Favorites series. The tours, programs, and movies are staff picks that highlight what life was like on Chestnut Street in the early twentieth century and go beyond the regular house tour to share an even better story. The programs will take place on Saturdays from 2:00 - 3:00 PM beginning January 18 and concluding on February 22, 2014. 

January 18 . . . The series kicks off with the popular Winter Weekends program, featuring hot cocoa, cookies, and home movies showing the family enjoying ice skating, skiing, tobogganing, and other favorite winter fun. 

January 25 . . . The second Saturday will feature a Winter Wonderland walking tour of historic Chestnut Street. 

February 1 . . . Take a weekend getaway for the first weekend in February with the Travel and the Phillips Family program which tells the story of family travel through photos, journals, and home movies. 

February 8 . . . The Salem-So-Sweet weekend will feature a talk based on Love Letters of the Phillips Family and will look at romance and courtship through the generations. 

February 15 . . . The Phillips’ were lovers of games and February 15 will feature an afternoon of parlor games. 

February 22 . . . The series will end with Celebrations in Salem and spring will be welcomed with home movies that feature local parades, parties, and the famed Chestnut Street Days. 

Interested visitors can come for one or two programs or purchase a series that will allow them admission each weekend for the events. The general public is invited to join the series for $50 or come to individual events for $10 each. Historic New England members will be offered a steep discount for $20 for the series or $5 for individual events. 

For more information about the series, please call 978-744-0440 or visit

Posted by Kate on 01/03 at 08:15 AM Permalink

A year of art at the Peabody Essex Museum

The Peabody Essex Museum has released its schedule of exhibitions for 2014. Mark your calendars! 

2010 Céleste Boursier-Mougenot.

FreePort [No. 007]: Céleste Boursier-Mougenot
January 18, 2014 to April 13, 2014
Céleste Boursier-Mougenot produces music in surprising and unexpected ways through large-scale acoustic environments. Boursier-Mougenot's immersive sonic installation, from here to ear, introduces a flock of 70 brightly plumed Zebra Finches to a gallery-turned-aviary to live among iconic Gibson Les Paul and Thunderbird bass guitars. At turns ambient and melodic, a constantly changing soundscape emerges as the finches explore their environment, eating, nesting and perching on the amplified instruments. This boundary-breaking exhibition asks us to consider the way we perceive, create and interact with music while challenging traditional notions of artistic collaboration. 

Desk and chair, c. 1938

California Design
March 29, 2014 to July 6, 2014
Over 200 examples of mid-century modern design reveal the distinctive role California had in shaping material culture from 1930-1965.  Featuring a diverse array of furniture, textiles, fashion, industrial and graphic design, ceramics, jewelry, metalwork, film and architecture, this exhibition celebrates the innovation and pervasiveness of mid-century modern design. The work of legendary designers such as Charles and Ray Eames, Richard Neutra, and Greta Magnusson Grossman are explored, as is the sociological and geographical context which gave rise to this unprecedented design movement. Organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), this exhibition is the first major study of California mid-century modern design.

Venice: The Dogana and San Giorgio Maggiore, 1834. Joseph Mallord William Turner, National Gallery of Art, Washington, Widener Collection, 1942.9.85.

Turner and the Sea
May 31, 2014 to September 1, 2014
In the first full-scale examination of Joseph Mallord William Turner’s lifelong preoccupation with the sea, this exhibition features iconic works spanning the artist’s career from his transformative Academy paintings of the late 1790s and early 1800s, to the unfinished, experimental seascapes produced towards the end of his life. At turns dramatic, contemplative, beautiful and sublime, the sea’s mercurial properties captivated Turner and his contemporaries who repeatedly returned to the subject. Iconic Turner masterpieces are exhibited alongside works by other major European and American artists, providing a rich artistic context for Turner’s groundbreaking maritime vision.  This exhibition is organized by the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, U.K.

Blue Feather, c. 1948

Calder and Abstraction: From Avant-Garde to Iconic Exhibition
September 6, 2014 to January 4, 2015
Alexander Calder’s abstract works revolutionized modern sculpture and made him one of the most celebrated artists of the 20th-century. In collaboration with the Calder Foundation, this exhibition brings together nearly 55 of the artist’s mobiles (kinetic metal works propelled by air) and stabiles (dynamic monumental sculptures) to explore how Alexander Calder introduced the visual vocabulary of the French Surrealists into the American vernacular. This exhibition is organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA).

 Candice Breitz, Stills from The Interview, 2012

FreePort [No. 008]: Candice Breitz
October 11, 2014 to February 8, 2015
Internationally renowned video artist Candice Breitz explores how we create, define and perform identities in a world of mass media saturation. In her newest work, a trilogy called The Woods, Breitz delves into the cinematic culture of three epicenters of global filmmaking -- Hollywood, Bollywood and Nollywood -- to reflect the experiences of child actors and actors who perform childhood. With each section, shot in Los Angeles (The Audition), Mumbai (The Rehearsal) and Lagos (The Interview), The Woods cleverly splices together actor interviews to examine the movie industry's nuanced culture of aspiration and emulation. 

 Jo Ractliffe, Deminer near Cuvelai, Angola, 2009

Jo Ractliffe, Borderlands
Fall 2014 –  Spring  2015
Pre-eminent South African photographer Jo Ractliffe (b. 1961) is drawn to borderlands, frontiers and communities living on the fringe. Selected from Ractliffe’s “Border Trilogy,” this exhibition features nearly 30 black-and-white photographs taken in the most remote reaches of Angola and South Africa. The artist underwent extensive survival skills training, including landmine detection classes, before traveling to settlements so off grid as to not be found on a map. Ractliffe’s resulting images – of barren landscapes, abandoned military posts and asbestos factories – simultaneously document and find stark beauty in these war torn, dispossessed and forget regions.

Nathaniel Gould


Hidden in Plain Sight: Revealing the Masterworks of Nathaniel Gould
November 8, 2014 - February 16, 2015
Once an obscure figure in American furniture history, Nathaniel Gould is now recognized as Salem’s premier 18th-century cabinetmaker due to the recent discovery of his detailed account ledgers and day books. New scholarship has led the identification and re-attribution of many pieces of furniture, including monumental desks and bookcases, bombé chests and pie-crust tea tables carved from the finest imported mahogany. Gould’s work is distinguished by its careful attention to graining, distinctive carved ball-and-claw feet, extended knee returns, and superbly carved pinwheels and scallop seashells. Hidden in Plain Sight presents 20 exemplary works of Gould furniture alongside paintings, archival materials, decorative arts and digital media elements which provide insight into the makers and consumers of 18th-century American design and culture.

About the Peabody Essex Museum

Founded in 1799, the Peabody Essex Museum (PEM) presents outstanding works of artistic and cultural creativity in ways that transform people's lives. The museum's collection is among the finest of its kind, showcasing an unrivaled spectrum of American art and architecture as well as outstanding Asian, Asian export, Native American, African, Oceanic, maritime and photography collections. In addition to its vast holding, the museum offers a vibrant schedule of changing exhibitions and an interactive education center. The museum campus features numerous parks, period gardens and 22 historic properties, including Yin Yu Tang, a 200‐year‐old house that is the only example of Chinese domestic architecture on display in the United States. Currently, a comprehensive $650 million Campaign is underway to advance PEM's mission, fortify its endowment, improve infrastructures and build a 175,000-square-foot expansion.

HOURS: Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 am-5 pm, and the third Thursday of every month, 10 am-9:30 pm. Closed Mondays (except holidays), Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.

ADMISSION: Adults $18; seniors $15; students $10. Additional admission to Yin Yu Tang: $5. Members, youth 16 and under and residents of Salem enjoy free general admission and free admission to Yin Yu Tang.   

INFO: Call 866-745-1876 or visit our Web site at

Posted by Kate on 01/02 at 08:58 AM Permalink

January in Salem

Friendship in Winter by Linda Orlomoski

Brrrrr!  As I'm writing this, it is a not-so-balmy 16 degrees outside, and we are looking at a potential snow-packed nor'easter for the end of the week.  Nothing like winter in New England, right?  But this is what we signed up for when we chose New England as our residence or destination, so we hang on the mantra of, "there is no bad weather, only bad clothing."  

Here are four ways to love winter in Salem this January.  

1. Find a fireplace.  Cozy up with a good meal and your favorite companion(s) at one of the many restaurants in Salem that boast a fireplace. Capt's, Finz, The Tavern at the Hawthorne Hotel, and Turner's Seafood all have cozy corners that boast fire-warming goodness.  Coincidentally, they each have an excellent chowder on the menu, so this could be your own personal chowder-fest month. 

2. Book a room. If you have kids, you may want to book that room at the Salem Waterfront Hotel & Marina. With a restaurant on site and an indoor pool, drop your parkas on the bed (or hang them if they are snow-covered) and drop the kids in the pool for a mid-winter break.  

3. Get lost in the galleries of the Peabody Essex Museum (coat check is complimentary, so you won't be lugging your jackets with you). With Impressionists on the Water and Future Beauty: Avant-Garde Japanese Fashion on display, chances are there is something you haven't seen before.  And don't miss the new installment of Dutch paintings from the Van Otterloo collection. They are stunning.

4. Bundle up. Stop by Pia's (formerly Two Girls), J. Mode, or Avalanche for a cozy sweater, something fleecy, or new hats and mittens. If, when confronted with bad weather, there is only bad clothing, these shops should be on your list for all of the winter warmth they offer. 

Whatever you do, don't hibernate for too long. Salem is awfully pretty in the winter! 

Happy New Year! 

Posted by Kate on 01/01 at 08:06 AM Permalink

The Top 13 of in 2013

It's New Year's Eve, which means it is time for my glance back at the past twelve months of Here are the top 13 of 2013 in the land of Destination Salem.

13.  What's Closed? What's Open? Proving the blog on is as useful as it is inviting, the pre-blizzard post of February 7 got top-clicks, as well.  As the blizzard named Nemo closed in on Salem, and the annual Salem So Sweet festival, postponements were made and hours shifted to ensure public safety for visitors, employees, and residents.  

12..  Holiday Shopping List.  We're pretty sure this list is good for year-round reference, so don't dismiss it now that December is nearly complete. Salem offers unique shopping for everyone in your family, especially fashionistas in need of accessories, clothes, and beauty. With outerwear, children's clothing, gifts, and housewares, shopping Salem is a one-stop experience in a unique, beautiful and historic environment.  

Holiday Shopping list - Rouge Cosmetics

11.  Elephant on Board.  The Crowninshield elephant is the stuff of legend in these parts, and it is one of our favorite stories.  On July 29 we shared the story on the blog, and our readers enjoyed it, as well! 

Crowninshield Elephant


10. Blizzard Photos. Who doesn't love a great snow storm?  The blizzard that came into Salem on February 9 inspired some beautiful photography, and those of us snuggled safe in our living rooms - just beyond walking distance to downtown Salem - were a bit envious of the people who could bundle up and stroll around the beautiful, snow-covered streets of Salem.  Thanks to those brave explorers for sharing their pictures so that we could share them with you! 

9.  Faberge at the PEM. Faberge is a big name, and the Faberge Revealed exhibition at the PEM drew many clicks to and scores more to see the exhibition, which transported visitors to the House of Faberge during the summer of 2013.  Every special exhibit at the PEM seems to outdo the last, and we are looking forward to a splendid, artistic, 2014. 

8.  Salem Ferry Service Resumes... We love our cars, we love the train, but the Salem Ferry is, has been, and will continue to be the best way to travel between Salem and Boston.  We look forward to its return on May 24, 2014 for the new summer season! 

Salem Ferry operated by Boston Harbor Cruises

7.  Celebrate Mother's Day in Salem!  The fact that this post made the top ten made me go, "awww." We love our mom's! And this was a list of ways to celebrate mom in Salem. From shopping to brunches, mothers were well cared for in Salem last year, and every year. 

6.  October.  This was interesting, and this was a first.  2013 was the first year in several that we did not write a Haunted Happenings blog as well as the Salem blog, so October-specific posts were featured on  The result of this change was many readers would click through to read everything posted in October.  From shopping to dining to things to do for families, the posts in October helped visitors and locals to navigate the busy schedule that is Salem Haunted Happenings.  

Salem Haunted Happenings

5. Five things to do in Salem during Labor Day Weekend.  Labor Day weekend is a great time to explore Salem. The weather in September is gorgeous, everything is open, and there is plenty to do. You took note on our blog post of August 29.  What did you do for Labor Day weekend? 

Salem Trolley on Essex Street

4. Madison Avenue. Actually five posts, Madison Avenue was a popular series of posts by our summer intern, Madison Sheffer, on shopping and dining in Salem. Madison took us to Derby Street, Front Street, Washington Street, Essex Street, and Pickering Wharf on excursion after excursion of fashion finds and delicious eats.  

Madison Avenue on Wharf Street

3. Public Lecture to Examine Salem Witch Trials.  This public lecture held at the Salem Regional Visitor Center received the most hits of any of our Salem Witch Trial themed posts, and it is symbolic of the learning that still happens in Salem today.  Being known as the Witch City because of the tragic trials of 1692 has a heavy obligation to teach and inform guests and academics from near and far about what happened in 1692, and what lessons there are to take from 17th century Salem into our lives today.  

2. Welcome A&B Burgers!  Salem welcomed several new restaurants during 2013, including the creative, delicious, energetic A&B Burgers, which moved into the the Old Salem Jail in November. With vegetarian and gluten-free options, this burger joint with adult milk shakes and delicious sweet potato fries is already carving its spot out of the Salem restaurant scene.  (And we're willing to wager the hangover burger will  be most popular on New Year's Day.) 

Welcome A and B Burgers

1.  The most popular post of 2013?  It was the one announcing that the government can't keep Salem down with an ill-timed shutdown that started October 1, the first day of Salem's busiest month of the year.  Volunteers fill in where the Government Shut Down was not only the most popular blog post of the year, but it was also a story that carried Salem across the US, because - to our knowledge - no other community stepped up to fill the gap of services provided at a federally run visitor center. We are forever grateful for the more than 60 Salem residents who donated their time and knowledge, and we had a truly great time visiting with and helping the more than 13,000 visitors who stopped by our temporary information booth between October 1-16.  

Mayor Kim Driscoll volunteering at the temporary information booth during the Government Shutdown.

It's been a great 2013 in Salem, and we look forward to 2014! If you don't already, you can subscribe to our blog on, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Let us know what you think. We'd love to hear from you! 

Posted by Kate on 12/31 at 09:04 AM Permalink

New Year’s Eve: Launch!

Salem Main Streets New Years Eve Launch

Come ring in the New Year at Old Town Hall!  The City of Salem and Salem Main Streets are teaming up to throw a New Year’s Eve party on Tuesday, Dec. 31 from 4 pm to 7 pm at Old Town Hall and Derby Square. 

“This will be the first time in recent memory that the City has held a New Year’s Eve event,” states Kylie Sullivan, Salem Main Streets Manager. “We’re calling this year’s event LAUNCH because we hope it will be the start of an annual tradition.”

Attendees can rock the night away with local favorites, including The Dejas, Qwill, the OnPoint Ensemble, and more.  There will be New Year’s Eve related activities and crafts for kids of all ages. This event is free to all and family-friendly. 

There will be an early countdown and balloon drop promptly at 7 pm.

Visit for more information, or join the event on Facebook.

Posted by Kate on 12/27 at 10:37 AM Permalink

Holiday Shopping List for Salem

Time may be running short for Christmas shopping, but it's not over yet!  There are great gifts to be found in Salem for every budget, and a celebratory meal or cocktail is always right around the corner when you shop in Salem!

Here is a holiday shopping list for Salem. It's a long list, but the walk between stores is usually short!


Rouge Cosmetics

For her...

A Beautiful Corset on Derby Square (off Front Street) has corsets, accessories, gifts and the fragrance bar of J'Adore.

Every Occassion Boutique on Pickering Wharf for accessories and apparel (perfect for the woman who has a yen for unique jewelry!)

Flirt on Pickering Wharf for flirty and fabulous clothing and handbags.

J. Mode on Front Street for chic contemporary clothing and accessories.

Pia on Derby Street (formerly Two Girls Shop) for clothing, accessories, and stocking stuffers


Rouge on Derby Street for everything to make her glow! 

Sophia's on Essex Street (near the Hawthorne Hotel) for romantic gifts that have the allure of Paris right here in Salem.

Treasures over Time on Washington Street (around the corner from Front Street) for jewelry, ornaments, scarves.


For him...

Rouge for shaving kits.

Avalanche on Front Street for outdoor apparel, hats, and gloves.

Treasures over Time for Skagen watches, accessories.


For the hostess and the home...

Harbor Sweets on Leavitt Street (also available at the Peabody Essex Museum shop, but they don't offer free samples!) for locally made chocolates.

The House of the Seven Gables Museum Shop on Derby Street has unique gifts from books to jewelry to Salem specialties.

Maria's Sweet Somethings on Front Street to satisfy the sweet tooth on your shopping list.

Peabody Essex Museum Shop on Derby Street has apparel, gifts, books, jewelry, and gifts for everyone on your list.

Roost & Co. on Front Street for home accessories, jewelry, accessories, cards, and comic relief.

Scarlet Letter Press on Pickering Wharf for local art, jewelry, photography, and more.

Milk and Honey Green Grocer

For the Foodie

Milk & Honey Green Grocer on Church Street for cheese, crackers, and prepared foods.

Pamplemousse on Essex Street for wine, housewares, and specialty foods

Salem Spice at the Picklepot on Pickering Wharf for spices, kitchen gadgets, and fine teas.

PEM Shop

For the kids...

Avalanche for outdoor apparel.

Mud Puddle Toys on Essex Street, where you can knock out that list you've already checked twice.

PEM Shop for toys, books, and games.

Penelope's Pet Boutique

For your furry friends...

Penelope's Pet Boutique for bakery treats, collars, pet clothing, and whimsical gifts.


For the person who has everything... Gift Certificates!  Not only can you buy gift certificates to our restaurants and shops, the Salem Chamber of Commerce sells Salem gift certificates that are good for just about everything in Salem!

Happy Holiday Shopping to you and everyone on your list!

Posted by Kate on 12/20 at 11:49 AM Permalink

Holiday Happenings continue through the month

Salem MA Holiday Happenings

Holiday Happenings in Salem continue this week with A Tuna Christmas at Salem Theatre Company, the Winter Artisan's Market at Artist's Row, and the Winter Farmer's Market at Old Town Hall. Don't miss the Christmas Tours at The House of the Seven Gables (six rooms of, "I didn't know that!"), Winter Walk on the Wharf, and A Classic Christmas at The House of the Seven Gables.  

Santa has arrived, and will make several appearances between now and Christmas, the stores have decked their halls, and our restaurants have gift cards for the hard-to-shop-for, and wonderful meals to reward yourself for a hard day of holiday preparation.

Click here to find our complete list of Holiday Happenings in Salem. 

Posted by Kate on 12/09 at 12:50 PM Permalink

Santa arrives in Salem this Friday!

Santa at the Hawthorne Hotel in 2012. Photo Destination Salem.

That most magical of elves dressed in red will arrive in Salem on Friday, December 6 at 6:00 PM.  He will arrive via reindeer, of course, atop the Hawthorne Hotel where the Salem Fire Department will assist his decent by providing a ladder Truck.

After his decent, Santa will stop for cocoa and caroling at the Gazebo on Salem Common before continuing on the Museum Place Mall where he will sit for photographs. 

The Hawthorne Hotel is located at 18 Washington Square, Salem, MA 01970.  Santa will arrive promptly at 6:00 PM.  Santa's visit was coordinated by his elves, Mrs. Claus, and Salem Main Streets.

Posted by Kate on 12/05 at 08:00 AM Permalink

Roost & Company Holiday Rebate Program Returns

Roost & Co. Holiday Image

Roost & Company has launched their 2013-2014 Holiday Rebate Program (shop in December 2013, save in January 2014). I already have my rebate envelope going, do you?

The Rebate Program works in three easy steps:

Step 1

Save your store receipts from all your HOLIDAY 2013 purchases at Roost (November 29 - December 31, 2013) In our handy little envelope.

Step 2

Bring full envelope back in JANUARY to receive STORE CREDIT valued at 10% of your total pre-tax purchases for the entire holiday season.

Step 3

Spend your store credit on anything you like during the month of JANUARY 2014. (Must have receipts to redeem reward.)


Visit Roost on Facebook for holiday shopping inspiration through images. From home goods to jewelry to the perfect silly Yankee Swap gift, Roost & Co. has you covered. (If you are not on their email list, click the image of the buck above to read the Roost Thanksgiving poem. But only if you want to smile.)

Posted by Kate on 12/04 at 08:13 AM Permalink

Second Annual Give Out Loud

Give Out Loud

The holidays need special events that are happy occasions to get together with friends, give back to the community, and celebrate the holiday cheer.  Give Out Loud is setting the stage to be that annual event for scores of people. 

The second annual Give Out Loud event will happen at Victoria Station on Thursday, December 5.  Admission is free when you bring a non-perishable food item to be donated to the Salem Food Pantry, or a $10 donation at the door.  With music by DJ Andrea, special guest Gay Jim from Kiss 108, and the second annual Ugly Sweater Contest, Give Out Loud promises a great night of holiday fun for all. 

As if that's not enough, Go Out Loud is donating 50% of all Go Out Loud Discount (GOLD) Card purchases to HAWC (Healing Abuse Working for Change) in Salem. The GOLD Card is that gift for that person who has just about everything. 

RSVP on Facebook, and learn more at

Posted by Kate on 12/03 at 08:59 AM Permalink

Welcome A & B Burgers to the neighborhood!

A&B Burgers opens for business on Monday, December 2 at 5:30 PM, and this is a burger joint worth putting on your restaurant list.

When I wear my "Mom" hat, I'm always looking for restaurants that serve good food quickly, and that can get my family of four in and out for $50.  A&B Burgers fits that bill, which gives it family appeal.  They are awaiting their liquor license, and once that arrives (hopefully on December 2), they will offer adult milk shakes and draft beer, which will give it adult appeal.  They serve good food fast in an historic (and possibly haunted?!) location, which gives it visitor-appeal.  A&B Burgers is poised to be a great addition to the Salem restaurant scene.

A&B Burger Menu Board

We got to stop by for their soft opening, and my family of four indulged and overindulged in the new menu.  The A Burger, B Burger, Hangover Burger, DG Burger, and Hot Dog all met with enthusiastic approval.  The vegetarian Chickpea and Crab Cake Burgers were delicious.  We especially liked the use of Arugula instead of lettuce on the burgers.  The fries and shakes were great, especially the fry sauce that arrived with the sweet potato fries.  

The meat is locally sourced through Northeast Family Farms and the produce is fresh, making this a bit more than your average quick-burger restaurant.  In addition to the burgers we sampled, there is a Tuna Burger, a Wagyu (like Kobe Beef) Burger, Truffle Fries, and more. 

A&B Burgers, the Chickpea, A, and DG Burgers

A&B Burgers is located in the Old Salem Jail, and while they have a few parking spaces adjacent to the restaurant entrance, your best bet is to park at the Church Street lot and take the 2 minute walk to the restaurant (that's the same distance as the South Harbor Garage to Pickering Wharf).  Follow their Facebook page for daily specials and changing information.

The Hangover Burger, Shake and Fries, Welcome Sign

Welcome to the neighborhood, A&B  Burgers! 

Posted by Kate on 12/02 at 10:05 AM Permalink

Holiday Shopping Day and Free Admission at the Phillips House Museum

Historic New England Phillips House on Chestnut Street in Salem MA

Historic New England’s Phillips House Museum will be offering free tour admission to anyone who spends $10.00 in their gift shop on Saturday, December 7, 2013, from 11:00-4:00 p.m. The museum shop has a great selection of ornaments, stocking stuffers, books about Salem history, and other gifts perfect for the history lover on your list.

Free admission will only be good on Saturday, December 7 and the purchases must be made before the tour. Guided tours are 45 minutes in length and depart on the half-hour. Please call 978-744-0440 for more details.

Posted by Kate on 11/30 at 01:18 PM Permalink

Celebrate Holiday Happenings in Salem

Salem Holiday Happenings

Salem, Massachusetts celebrates Holiday Happenings with events for all ages throughout the month of December.  Opening with the traditional tree lighting in Lappin Park on the day after Thanksgiving, the Menorah Lighting on November 30, and the arrival of Santa atop the Hawthorne Hotel on December 6, the schedule of events throughout the month offers events and celebrations both new and old.

Learn the origins and history of New England holiday traditions during the Christmas at the Gables tours, which replace regular house tours in December, and then visit the Gables on weekends to see the theatrical presentation, A Classic Christmas.  Find levity in the holidays with Salem Theatre Company’s hysterical holiday trip to Tuna, Texas in A Tuna Christmas, and travel between Christmases past, present and future with Scrooge aboard the improv-rich performances of The Trolley Christmas Carol.   Don’t miss the beloved annual Christmas in Salem House Tours – the one opportunity each year for the public to tour beautifully decorated homes in Salem’s distinctive neighborhoods.

There are shopping nights, dining specials, Santa appearances, and open houses throughout the month.  Salem also has ample opportunity to relax and unwind from the holiday bustle over a delicious meal prepared for you, not by you, and served fireside, seaside, or to go. 

In addition, all parking in Salem will be free starting Thursday November 28th through and including Sunday December 1st.  Shop local, shop Salem!  

A complete list of Holiday Happenings in Salem can be found at

Posted by Kate on 11/29 at 07:00 AM Permalink

What’s on your Thanksgiving table?

Phillips Family Thanksgiving menu from 1942

We hope your Thanksgiving is as delicious as the Phillips family Thanksgiving was in 1942! 

The menu hasn't changed much since the Phillips celebrated on Chestnut Street.  Today our turkeys may still come from Topsfield and the surrounding farms, and our pies come from Coffee Time Bake Shop, our Champagne (or Prosecco) is from Salem Wine Imports, the potatoes and squash came from the Salem Winter Market, salad, fruit, and ice cream is from Milk & Honey Green Grocer, and the spice and seasonings came from Salem Spice at the Picklepot.

Posted by Kate on 11/27 at 08:00 AM Permalink

The Salem Award Foundation: Thankful… and Mindful

Salem Witch Trials Memorial

On a local level, The Salem Award Foundation is thankful for:

  • The estimated 600,000 visitors who came to Salem and visited the Salem Witch Trials Memorial
  • Those who came to the Salem Award ceremony on March and to other events we sponsored or co-sponsored: Poetry of Resilience (Salem Film Festival), The House I Live In film and discussion, Got Empathy? and the Taking Action Symposium
  • Thomas Doyle and Horace Seldon, our 2013 Salem Award winners, Doyle for speaking out against sex abuse in the Catholic Church, and Seldon for his work in combatting racism. They walk their talk.
  • The City of Salem and the Peabody Essex Museum for their partnership and contributions to maintenance of Salem Witch Trials Memorial
  • Cinema Salem, Gordon College, the House of the Seven Gables, the National Park Service, the  Rebecca Nurse Homestead, the Salem Witch Museum, and the Witch House—our cohorts in telling the story of the Salem Witch Trials
  • The growing number of people learning about the Salem Award Foundation. (Want to join us? Click here!)
  • Last but not least, the many individuals, organizations and corporations that have contributed financially to the all-volunteer SAF

Beyond our own work, we are thankful for 2013’s victories large and small, in the fight for human rights and social justice like:

  • Salem’s new No Place for Hate Committee and the plaque at the corner of Washington and Front Streets
  • The legalization of same-sex marriage in nine more states
  • Recognition and celebration of the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation
  • Legislation in Virginia banning the shackling of pregnant prisoners
  • Malala Yousafzai’s courage in advocating for girls’ education in Pakistan
  • The signing of the Arms Trade Treaty
  • Legal validation in Botswana of women’s right to inherit property

And we are mindful of the many violations of rights and miscarriages of justice that continue unchecked, such as:

  • Hundreds of thousands of refugees in such places as Palestine, Syria, Sudan, and the Republic of Congo
  • The many victims of domestic and sexual abuse
  • The treatment of immigrants—legal and illegal—in many nations and efforts to stall immigration reform here in the United States
  • The subjugation of women and girls in fundamentalist Islamic cultures
  • The suppression of voter rights in many countries, including our own

There is much work to be done! Please join with the SAF in 2014 in keeping alive the lessons of the Salem Witch Trials and fulfilling our mission.


- Posted by guest blogger Shelby Hypes for the Salem Award Foundation

Posted by Guest on 11/26 at 01:58 PM Permalink

Holiday Tree Lighting

Samantha and Salem Holiday Tree. Photo John Andrews, Social PalatesJoin Mayor Kimberley Driscoll in lighting Salem’s Holiday Tree on Friday, November 29 at 6:30 p.m. in Lappin Park (next to the Bewitched Statue at the intersection of Essex Street and Washington Street).  Bring the whole family out for carols with the Paul Madore Singers, cocoa, and snacks!

The event is organized by Salem Main Streets and the City of Salem.  This year’s tree comes from Benjamin Nutter Architects in Topsfield, thanks in part to a donation from the Meetinghouse Church.  Decorations and lights are made possible by individual contributions and donations from a number of local businesses.  Salem Main Streets would like to thank North Shore Marine and Bill’s Auto Clinic for their services in delivering the tree.

The tree lighting kicks off more than a month of Holiday Happenings in Salem. Featuring private home tours, theatrical presentations, shopping events, and even a road race or two (to help burn those holiday calories), the holiday season is a wonderful time to explore historic Salem!

Posted by Kate on 11/25 at 02:06 PM Permalink

The 34th Annual Christmas in Salem House Tour

There are few annual events in Salem as beloved, consistent, and wonderful as Christmas in Salem's historic home tours.  It is the one weekend of the year when you can go inside private homes that have been beautifully decorated for the holidays.  You will find interior design inspiration, you may leave with kitchen-envy, and you will certainly encounter a surprise or two ("Did you see the Picasso in that house?" and "Is that a suit of armor in the dining room?" were comments overheard on recent tours.), and your ticket investment will support Salem's historical society, Historic Salem, Inc. 

This is a perfect seasonal celebration of historic, architectural heritage, and Salem.  

Christmas in Salem
Ports of Call in the Historic Derby Waterfront District

 December 6-8, 2013*
Featuring nine historic homes decorated for the holidays, lectures, music, restaurants, wine tastings, and shopping specials.

Candlelight Tour of 4 Homes: (advance ticket holders only)

  • Friday, December 6, 5:30 to 8:30 PM

All houses open:

  • Saturday, December 7, 10:30 AM to 4:30 PM
  • Sunday, December 8, 11:30 AM to 4:30 PM  

Free Trolley service available to tour sites and downtown Salem. Advance tickets on sale now until December 4th! $25 for HSI members, $30 for non-members.  Tickets are available online, by calling 978-745-0799, or at Dave Eng Flowers, J. Mode, Laura Lanes Skin Care, the Trolley Depot, or Waters and Brown. Day of Tour tickets can be purchased at the Salem Boys and Girls Club, 13 Hawthorne Blvd., Salem for $35.

*Snow date: Saturday, December 14, 10:30 AM to 4:30 PM  

Posted by Kate on 11/21 at 08:00 AM Permalink