FAME’s Visit to Sail Boston Recalls Tumultuous War of 1812

by Capt. Michael Rutstein

Although the Salem-based schooner FAME is one of the smaller vessels attending next month’s Sail Boston event, she has a fascinating connection to Boston’s history.

FAME is a replica of a Salem privateer of the same name from the War of 1812. During the war, Salem — then a major seaport and a serious rival to Boston — sent out over 40 privateers to attack British merchant shipping. In Boston, however, many influential shipowners opposed the war. Instead of sending out privateers, they carried on illegal trade with the British.

After Congress acted in 1813 to criminalize this trading with the enemy, Salem privateers such as FAME took it on themselves to police Boston Harbor. They would chase down and search inbound ships for evidence that they had been smuggling. In August of 1813, FAME and another Salem privateer (tellingly named CASTIGATOR) stopped an incoming Boston brig called the DISPATCH and concluded that she had been trading in British ports. They put a prize crew on board and began to convey the vessel into Boston to be impounded.

However, members of the brig’s crew escaped and rowed themselves quickly up to town, where they located the brig’s owner, Boston merchant Cornelius Coolidge. Coolidge was incensed to hear that his brig had been seized by privateers. He gathered a score of men armed with muskets and set off in two large rowboats to free the DISPATCH. Soon, a firefight had broken out in the middle of Boston Harbor between the prize crew, the privateer schooners, and Coolidge’s armed boats. The battle was only ended by the intervention of the Federal garrison at Fort Independence.

After a sensational trial in which no less than three witnesses were charged with perjury, DISPATCH was awarded to the privateers as lawful prize.

It was a victory for Salem and her mariners, and the smugglers of Boston were suitably “castigated”. But the decades after the war saw a steady movement of talent and capital from Salem to Boston, which has ever since reigned as the chief port and economic center of Massachusetts.

A fleet of international Tall Ships is sailing into Boston this month in the largest gathering of its kind in 17 years. The festival-opening Parade of Sail happens on Saturday, June 17. Many of the ships will be open for boarding in Boston June 18-21. The fleet departs Boston on June 22, bound for a starting line off Gloucester. From that point, they will race to Nova Scotia.

FAME, which is based at Salem’s Pickering Wharf Marina, will participate in the Parade on the 17th and offers round trips from Salem to Boston each day of Sail Boston 2017. She’ll also be sailing out to watch the start of the race on the 22nd.

Tickets are available at SchoonerFame.com.

Haunted Movie Series: Casper

Magic 106.7 hosts weekly movie nights in October on Salem Common.

Casper starring Bill Pullman, Christina Ricci, and Cathy Moriarty, follows a paranormal investigator and his daughter on a trip to an abandoned house with a few frightful (but one friendly) ghosts. Film debuted in 1995 and is rated PG.

Movie starts at 6:00 PM, other entertainment will be available on Salem Common beginning at 2:00 PM.

Haunted Movie Series: ParaNorman

Magic 106.7 hosts weekly movie nights in October on Salem Common.

ParaNorman, starring Kodi Smit-McPhee, Anna Kendrick, and Christopher Mintz-Plasse follows a young boy who finds himself caught in a local curse upon realizing that he can speak to the dead. Film debuted in 2012 and is rated PG.

Movie starts at 6:00 PM, other entertainment will be available on Salem Common beginning at 2:00 PM.

Wild Edibles at Bakers Island Light

Come join naturalist and wild foods enthusiast, Russ Cohen on a special edible excursion out to Bakers Island Light Station, a historic property owned by Essex Heritage. This 3.5 hour special trip includes the boat ride aboard Naumkeag and a walking tour of the property with expert Russ Cohen pointing out special species along the trails including the kind you can snack on! Before departing for the main land, enjoy sumacade (a natural alternative to Kool-Aid) and a wild goodie or two made by Russ Cohen himself! The wild edibles tour includes over 3 dozen species of edible wild plants that have existed on the island for some time. Also expect to encounter at least six of the additional native wild edible species that were planted last summer.

Tickets ($40) and additional information available through Essex Heritage.

Regatta Witch Ride Patio Party

Visit the Regatta Pub at the Salem Waterfront Hotel and Suites for the Regatta Witch Ride Patio Party:

Throttle Down, during and after the MDA Halloween Witch Ride for Burgers, Beers, and Burning Pits.

9th Annual Salem Arts Festival

The Salem Arts Festival returns for its ninth year with a weekend full of family-friendly programming devoted to the arts in our community. The event kicks off at 6:00 pm on Friday June 2 with viewings of art in Old Town Hall and live music outside in Derby Square. The rest of the Festival will be located throughout Derby Square, Artists’ Row, Front Street, and within Old Town Hall and will feature live musical performances, belly dancing, public art projects, a vibrant street fair and more.


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

The Salem Arts Festival will also celebrate this year’s featured community art project: Tidal Shift. As part of Tidal Shift, the Salem Sound Watershed community created jellyfish made out of recycled plastic bags that have been installed over Front Street. Tidal Shift also serves to increase awareness of how single-use plastic bags can impact marine life, like sea turtles who often mistake floating plastic bags for jellyfish, which make up a significant part of their diets. The project comes with perfect timing as Salem is currently moving away from using single-use plastic bags in instances where reusable bags could be used instead.

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

S.C.E.N.E.’S Sunset Hang

Closing out Heritage Day’s for the seventh year we bring to you local dj’s, live electronic music artists and live visualists as they showcase their amazing talent and music that might otherwise be overlooked by the mainstream. Watch the Salem Shell be lit up with color as the sunsets on Salem Willows. For more information, see Facebook event.

7 Tall Ships to See in Salem Before Sail Boston 2017

Seven sailing ships will be in port in Salem before joining the 44 additional tall ships taking part in Sail Boston 2017. From June 13 to 16, visitors exploring Central Wharf and Derby Wharf will be able to view the fleet from land. The ships viewable from Salem include two from Germany (sloop Peter Von Danzig, and schooner Regina Germania), one from the United Kingdom (ketch Rona II), one from Latvia (sloop Spaniel), and one from Finland (ketch Vahine), along with the Pride of Baltimore and Jolie Prise.

The Regina Germania was launched in 1984. She was constructed in 1980 in Hamburg, and received an extensive renovation in 2009 where she was sandblasted and repainted with the white and blue color scheme. Her first tall ship race took place in 2002, and owners Bodo and Uwe Herrmann plan on continuing entering regattas with the Regina Germania.

The Peter Von Danzig is a 55-foot vessel that was constructed in 1992. She is part of Germany’s Academic Sailing Association, and following her launch she replaced a previous vessel by the same name which had sailed under the Association for 50 years.

The United Kingdom’s Rona II was built in 1991 and sails out of her home port of Hamble. At 77 feet, she is one of the larger vessels that will be in port in Salem before Sail Boston.

The Spaniel sails out of Riga, the capital of Latvia. She was constructed in 1979 in Szczecin, a city on the Oder River in Northwestern Poland. This sloop is one of the smaller vessels participating in Sail Boston at 56 feet.

The 65-foot Vahine sails out of Helsinki, Finland, and was built in 1972. The Vahine and the Rona II are two of only four total ketch rig ships participating in this year’s Sail Boston event.


For more information about Sail Boston, including a full list of participating ships at the event, please visit SailBoston.com.

See the Sights from Salem’s Heritage Trail

Salem Heritage Trail

Salem’s Red Line – or Heritage Trail – exists to guide visitors between historic sites and destinations. Intended to inspire self-guided exploration, there are a few stops along the way that you might not want to miss.

The National Park Service Salem Regional Visitor Center, 2 New Liberty Street, is a perfect place to start. Watch the free 27-minute film, Where Past is Present, which appeals to all ages and provides an overview of Salem’s and Essex County’s history. From here, cross the street…

The Peabody Essex Museum, 161 Essex Street, is the oldest continually operated museum in the country. The museum features exceptional collections of art and culture as from around the world including Asian art, Asian export art, Maritime art, Native American art, as well as changing exhibits and programming. Continue west on Essex Street…

East India Marine Hall faces the fountain at East India Square and contains the original display cases and some of the very first objects collected by the Salem captains who established the Peabody Essex Museum in 1799. Continue along Essex Street…

You will pass boutiques, shops, cafes, and the Witch History Museum. At the corner of Essex and Washington Streets, pause at the former Daniel Low Building to read the plaque that notes the building as the site of Salem’s first Town Hall, and the location where delegates for the first Continental Congress were chosen in 1774. Turn around and you will see…

The fountain in Town House Square marks the supposed location of Salem’s first fresh water source, which was immortalized by Nathaniel Hawthorne in his short story, A Rill from the Town Pump. The 1970s era fountain was restored in 2014, when a marble base with Hawthorne’s words was installed. Cross Washington Street to…


The statue of Samantha Stevens from Bewitched. The television series filmed several episodes in Salem in the early 1970s after fire damaged the studios in California. The statue was erected by TV Land in 2005, and today she is one of the most photographed landmarks. Continue along Essex Street, cross Summer Street and…

You will see the 17th-century Witch House. The only building still standing in Salem with direct ties to the Salem Witch Trials of 1692, this was the family home of Judge Jonathan Corwin. Across the street you will see…


A monument remembering Salem Captain William Driver, who named the American flag “Old Glory.” Today, that flag, which was given to Driver by his mother as he departed on a trip, is part of the Smithsonian collection.

Adjacent to the Driver plaque is the entrance to the Samuel McIntire Architectural District. Brochures for the self-guided walking tour of this remarkable neighborhood are available at the Visitor Center and online.

Salem, MA, Ropes Mansion

Adjacent to the Witch House is the First Church in Salem, which was the parish of many of the accused during the Salem Witch Trials. This church features stunning Gothic architecture and Tiffany windows.

The Heritage Trail finds its end on Essex Street at the Ropes Mansion, which is part of the Peabody Essex Museum collection. The Ropes Gardens are open and free to the public.

Reversing direction, turn left on North Street and continue to Lynde Street. Turn right on Lynde and walk to the Witch Dungeon Museum, which features a plaque that remembers “The With Gaol.” The original “gaol” (jail) was located on Federal Street, two blocks from the Witch Dungeon Museum (not on the Red Line). Continue along Lynde Street and turn right onto Washington Street…

Salem City Hall at 93 Washington Street was built in 1837-38 from funds dispersed to Salem from a US Treasury Surplus. The Mayor’s office and City Council chambers have remained unchanged since 1838. Continue to Front Street, so named because this was the original Salem Waterfront. Turn left, walking past…

Old Town Hall in Derby Square. The oldest surviving municipal structure in Salem, Old Town Hall dates back to 1816-17. The second floor of the building, Great Hall, has always been used as a public hall, and contained Town offices until 1837. The first floor functioned as a public market and today is home to the Salem Museum. Follow Front Street, which will turn into Charter Street…

The Old Burying Point Cemetery is the second oldest English graveyard in Massachusetts. This Cemetery has a few remarkable residents including one Mayflower passenger, architect Samuel McIntire, and Witch Trials Judge John Hathorne (great grandfather to Nathaniel Hawthorne).

Behind the cemetery on Liberty Street is the Salem Witch Trials Memorial. Dedicated in 1992 by Nobel laureate Eli Wiesel, pause to pay respects to the 20 innocent people executed during the Witch Trials of 1692.

From the Memorial, follow the Heritage Trail down Liberty Street past the Salem Wax Museum and Witch Village, turning left onto Derby Street. You will pass shops, restaurants, and the New England Pirate Museum on your way to the waterfront, where the Red Line turns right and loops through the shops and restaurants of Pickering Wharf.

On the eastern side Pickering Wharf, there is a plaque remembering the Frigate ESSEX, which was constructed on Winter Island. She sailed from Salem in 1799 to serve in the Barbary Wars and the War of 1812. Her story was “epic in Naval history.”

Back on Derby Street, turn right toward the Salem Maritime National Historical Site, where historic buildings, wharves, and the reconstructed tall ship FRIENDSHIP* tell the stories of the sailors, Revolutionary War privateers, and merchants who brought the riches of the world to America.



Continue down Derby Street to Ye Olde Pepper Companie, a candy store noted for its Gibralters and Blackjacks, two of the first commercially produced candies in America. Across Derby Street you will find…

New England’s oldest wooden mansion, the House of the Seven Gables, which was made famous by the novel by Nathaniel Hawthorne it inspired. Today it is part of its own National Historic District, comprised of the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion, Hooper-Hathaway House, Hawthorne’s birthplace, and the seaside gardens.

From here the Heritage Trail continues two blocks to Blaney Street and Salem Wharf, where the Salem Ferry to Boston docks. Reverse direction, and return from the waterfront via the path that cuts through the National Park between the brick Derby House and the yellow Hawkes House, passing the 17th-century Narbonne House onto Essex Street.

Turn left on Essex Street and walk to Hawthorne Boulevard, turning right at the corner by the Hawthorne HotelRecognized as a Historic Hotel of America, the Hawthorne was built by public subscription in 1925.

Adjacent to the Hawthorne Hotel is Salem Common, which was established as a public grazing land in the 17th-century. In the 18th-century it was used as a training ground for the militia, and was the location of the first muster of the American National Guard.

Across from the northwest corner of Salem Common is the statue of Roger Conant. Conant founded Salem in 1626 for the Dorchester Company from England. Behind the Conant statue in an 1845 stone building that was once the Second Church Unitarian, is the Salem Witch Museum.

Turning back toward Essex Street, the Red Line turns right and returns to the tour’s beginning at the Salem Regional Visitor Center. This last block is significant however, as it includes Crow Haven Corner, which is thought to be the first witch shop in America, on the left, and several significant buildings on the Peabody Essex Museum campus on the right.

However you choose to follow Salem’s Heritage Trail, the three loops of Red Line have four centuries of stories to tell and dozens of sites to visit along the way.

*The FRIENDSHIP is currently undergoing a refurbishment in drydock in Gloucester, Massachusetts. She will return to Salem later this year.

Containers: From Summer to Fall Gardening Demonstration

Learn how a little pruning, transplanting and even adding edibles can give your planters a fresh new look for the fall season. Led by Robin Pydynkowski, head gardener of the Ropes Mansion Garden. The Ropes Mansion Botanical Lecture Fund makes this workshop possible.

Reservations (free) by August 22. Meet at Ropes Mansion, 318 Essex St.

National Night Out Salem Heritage Days Kickoff!

Join the Salem Police Department and local organizations and businesses celebrate community. The night will be filled with free activities crafts, games, food, K-9 Demonstrations, and lots of public safety vehicles to explore.

Winter Island Pop-Up Drive-In: Jaws (1975)

Salem Park, Recreation & Community Services and Creative Salem
present the July edition of the Summer Winter Island Pop Up Drive-In series.

Tickets will go on sale July 20th at 11 AM and the ticket link will be announced and shared on the Facebook event page.

There will once again be two sets of tickets on sale:
Screen Parking Passes for parking vehicles in view of the screen and
Island Parking passes to have your car parked on Winter Island (Super convenient if you just plan on bringing your blankets, chairs and hanging out in the viewing area and you are okay with not having your car in view of the screen.) TICKETS ARE PER CAR, NOT PER PERSON! Anyone attending by bike, foot or any other non-motorized transportation.. no ticket is necessary and the event is free for you.

Confirmed vendors/ CASH ONLY
Goodnight Fatty
Snacks by Salem Park, Recreation & Community Services
Music and sound by Upsidemedia, LLC
Lighting and Lasers by Retonica
Tiki Bar (Must be 21+ with ID by North Shore Bartenders )(Sponsored by Deacon Giles Distillery and Notch Brewing)

Full details with instructions will be sent out to car buyers a few days before the event and will be shared on Facebook. This event is RAIN OR SHINE and tickets are NON-REFUNDABLE! Thanks again to Figsburry Creative Group for the poster!

Jaws is a 1975 American thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley’s 1974 novel of the same name. In the story, a giant man-eating great white shark attacks beachgoers on Amity Island, a fictional New England summer resort town, prompting the local police chief to hunt it with the help of a marine biologist and a professional shark hunter. The film stars Roy Scheider as police chief Martin Brody, Robert Shaw as shark hunter Quint, Richard Dreyfuss as oceanographer Matt Hooper, Murray Hamilton as Larry Vaughn, the mayor of Amity Island, and Lorraine Gary as Brody’s wife, Ellen. The screenplay is credited to both Benchley, who wrote the first drafts, and actor-writer Carl Gottlieb, who rewrote the script during principal photography.