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Destination Salem Blog

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