Salem Willows Firemen’s Muster

This is a free event at the Salem Willows featuring hand pumped fire engines built in the 1800s competing to see which crew can play the longest stream. If you’re brave enough you can try pumping!

An antique hand pumped fire engine muster where crews pump their machines to see who can shoot the longest stream of water. This is the oldest organized sport in the United States.

The first firemen’s muster was held on July 4th, 1849 in Bath, Maine. It was a competition among crews with hand pumped fire engines to see who could shoot the longest stream of water. The tradition has been kept alive into the 21st century; every year on a Saturday close to July 4th, another muster is held in Bath.

On November 20th, 1890, the New England States Veteran Firemen’s League was founded in Boston. Musters were held all over New England, often attracting 50 or 60 entrants.

There are two classes of machine: A and B. The class is determined by the size of the cylinders. Each machine is allowed 15 minutes on the pumping platform to shoot as many streams as their crew can manage.

A suction hose goes into the water tank, which is kept full from a hydrant or a tanker truck. The foreman stands on top and keeps an eye on optimal wind conditions. The pipe crew handles the nozzle and aims the powerful spray down the line of red resin paper that is the playing field.

The judges measure the farthest flung dime sized drop of water to determine who wins each class.

At the end of the day, the foremen of the winning machines are ceremoniously dunked in the water tank.

Salem Heritage Days 2017

Celebrate the past and the present during the annual Salem Heritage Days. Featuring food, fun, and activities for all ages, highlights include the Essex Street Fair, Tour-A-Truck at the Salem Willows, the Ice Scream Bowl on the Common, and the Car Show on Chestnut Street.

Complete schedule of events coming soon.

Leslie’s Retreat Reenactment

Mark the Occasion! Join the Ranks! A fun and informal reenactment of Colonel Leslie’s march to the North River, the taunting by the townspeople, and the compromise crossing of the North River. Then we will all retreat together to the First Church for some warm refreshment.

You can be part of the British Army:
11:00 am – Meet at Hamilton Hall – bring your recorders and slide whistles – leave the muskets and bayonets at home. Be ready to walk up to a mile (weather dependent).

Or you can join the townspeople to hurl colonial insult:
11:30 am – Meet at First Church in Salem UU – All are welcome to attend the service that begins at 10:30 and will be dismissed by the warning that the Redcoats are coming. Or you can mingle in the church yard and greet the congregants who will join the crowd in opposition of the British march.

Or stand your ground with the militia:
11:45 am – Location TBD (near Federal and North Streets). The scripted confrontation between Colonel Leslie and Captain Felt will need an angry crowd in the background. All surly colonists invited.

Colonists and British soldiers are then invited back to First Church for warm drinks and refreshement (12-1pm).

Hosted by the First Church in Salem UU and Historic Salem Inc., with help from Hamilton Hall.

Providence Grays Baseball Game

Come see baseball the way it was played during the time of the Civil War. See the Providence Grays take on the Brooklyn Atlantics in two 1864 style vintage base ball games. See how much the game has changed from the time of no gloves, wool uniforms, and heavy wooden bats. Event is free for all to attend.

28th Annual Salem Maritime Festival

The 28th Salem Maritime Festival will host an exciting array of FREE family fun festivities, including free harbor cruises, traditional craft demonstrations, and children’s activities. Explore visiting vessels. Come cruise, sail, paddle, and row through four centuries of Salem maritime history.

28th Annual Salem Maritime Festival

The 28th Salem Maritime Festival will host an exciting array of FREE family fun festivities, including free harbor cruises, traditional craft demonstrations, and children’s activities. Explore visiting vessels. Come cruise, sail, paddle, and row through four centuries of Salem maritime history.

1774! Rumblings of War!

Travel back in time and participate in a Salem town meeting to discuss the recent troubling events in the colony. Take on the role of a Loyalist, Patriot or someone who might be swayed either way. Listen to what your friends, neighbors, and government officials have to say…and let your voice be heard! This free program has limited spots available. Call (978) 740-1650 or stop by the Salem Visitor Center between 9:00am-5:00pm at 2 New Liberty Street on the day of the meeting to sign up.

5th Annual Gala Day: Throwback to the 1910’s

Join us and party like it's the 1910s again! In the early 20th century when the Rebecca Nurse Homestead became a Museum they hosted a Gala Day & Garden Party Bazaar, and we are taking you back in time to experience that event.

Listen to Edwardian music, play period-style games, meet soldiers from WWI and others dressed in period fashion.  See the sites and exhibits for the original admission price of only .25 cents and more! 

We will also be re-introducing our famous Strawberry Shortcakes (supplies will be limited) we used to serve at our Strawberry Festival years ago!

Revolutionary War Reenactment at the Rebecca Nurse Homestead

The Danvers Alarm List Company who owns/operates the Rebecca Nurse Homestead invites the public to a Revolutionary War Reenactment Weekend. This event is sponsored by the Brigade of the American Revolution. http://www.brigade.org/ 

This event is truly a unique experience. See reenactors portray soldiers of the Revolutionary War time period and experience what camp life was like.  This is a great chance to learn about 17th and 18th century life in New England, the Salem Witch Trials, and our quest for independence – that’s a lot of history in one event!

Please note that ALL reenactors MUST be pre-registered BAR Members, no walk-ons.

Salem Maritime Festival 2015

The 27th Salem Maritime Festival will host an exciting array of FREE family fun festivities, including free harbor cruises, traditional craft demonstrations, and children's activities. Come cruise, sail, paddle, and row through four centuries of Salem maritime history. Explore the Friendship of Salem and visiting vessels.  For more information click link below.

Salem Heritage Days 2015

Celebrate the past and the present during the annual Salem Heritage Days. Featuring food, fun, and activities for all ages, highlights include the Essex Street Fair, Tour-A-Truck at the Salem Willows, the Ice Cream Bowl on the Common, and the Car Show on Chestnut Street.

Click here for the schedule of events.

Walking Tour: Hawthorne in Salem

Join Nathaniel Hawthorne himself on a short walk in his native town of Salem, Massachusetts. Hawthorne, portrayed by literary historian Rob Velella, will stop at several of his "haunts" about town (including a place he called "Castle Dismal"). FREE, but recommended donation of $5 per person. Meet outside The House of the Seven Gables — look for the distinguished author wearing his top hat.

Salem.org