March 28, 2020


History by the Sea Candle Collection 

 A collaboration with 
Herbal Candle Co., the History by the Sea candle collection captures the essence of historic Salem, Massachusetts. Each candle is hand poured using soy wax and all-natural essential oils, inspired by the "witch city." A brief history of the inspiration behind each scent can be found on the label.

A portion of sales are donated to Historic Salem, Inc. to support historic preservation.

October in Salem
patchouli, clove, cinnamon bark, chamomile, and balsam fir needle

Old Burying Point
clove, cedarwood, frankincense, patchouli, line, tea tree, lavender, anise, and cinnamon bark

Salem Common
patchouli, orange, cedarwood, lemon, and anise

Salem Willows
vetiver, lemon, myrrh, ylang ylang, lavender, and tea tree

Pioneer Village
cinnamon leaf, rose, orange, and pine

The Witch House
bay, sage, chamomile, and pine

Christmas in Salem
clove, orange, and cinnamon

March 17, 2020

Salem's Oldest Businesses - Salem, Massachusetts

Essex Street, c. 1920
Salem State University Archives and Special Collections

Salem has long been a shopping and dinning destination. During the Great Age of Sail, Salem was a center of trade and access to foreign goods. In the 20th century, the city was home to the area's destination stores, attracting shoppers from Boston and throughout the North Shore to Salem's downtown. Although department stores have moved out of the city in favor of area shopping malls, multiple 19th century businesses and restaurants are still a mainstay in Salem. This list focuses on public facing businesses and restaurants that have provide goods or services for over 50 years.

  1. Ye Old Pepper Candy Companie, 1806
  2. Eastern Bank, 1818
  3. Salem Five Cents Savings Bank, 1855
  4. O'Rourke Brothers Memorials, 1890
  5. Waters & Brown, 1895
  6. E.W. Hobbs, 1897
  7. Soucy Insurance, 1907
  8. Thomas Mackey and Sons, 1907
  9. Salem Lowe, 1912
  10. Winer Brothers Hardware, 1919
  11. Hawthorne Hotel, 1925
  12. Puleo's Dairy, 1928
  13. John J. Walsh Insurance Agency, 1929
  14. Walyo's Variety Store, c. 1930
  15. Steve's Market, 1932
  16. Gardner Mattress, 1933
  17. Bunghole Liquors, 1933
  18. Bertini's Restaurant, 1943
  19. F.W. Webb, 1944 (Salem Location)
  20. Red's Sandwich Shop, 1945
  21. Gagnon Shoe Repair, c. 1945
  22. Dairy Witch Ice Cream, 1952
  23. Dotty & Ray's, 1958
  24. Eaton Apothecary, 1958
  25. Tri City Sales, 1959
  26. Dube's Seafood, 1961
  27. Mandee's Pizza, 1962
  28. The Daniels House Bed and Breakfast, 1962
  29. Ziggy & Sons' Donuts, 1964
  30. Bill & Bob's Roast Beef, 1969

February 3, 2020

17th Century Architecture - Salem, Massachusetts

17th Century Architecture in Salem, Massachusetts
17th Century Architecture in Salem, Massachusetts

First Period Architecture (approx. 1626-1725) is often characterized by a steeply pitched roof and a central chimney. This colonial style is strongly associated with New England, particularly North America's earliest European settlers which built homes along the coast of Massachusetts. Many of these homes have been greatly altered from their original 17th century construction or re-imagined as they once were. This list focuses on 17th century homes, additional First Period homes built in the early 18th century still exist in Salem.
  • Samuel Robinson-Michael Chapleman House, c. 1650
    69 Essex Street
    Unsubstantiated -This home has been greatly altered.
  • Retire Becket House, c. 1655
    54 Turner Street
    Moved to current location in 1924
  • Pickering House, 1660
    18 Broad Street

    Oldest house in original location
  • Pickman House, 1664
    43 Charter Street
  • Gedney House, 1665
    21 High Street
  • Stephen Daniels House, c. 1667
    1 Daniels Street
  • Turner-Ingersoll Mansion, 1668
    (The House of the Seven Gables)
    54 Turner Street
  • Ransom Boarding House, c. 1670
    14 Becket Street
  • Jonathan Corwin House, c. 1675
    (The Witch House)
    310 Essex Street
  • Narbonne House, 1675
    71 Essex Street
  • Hooper-Hathaway House, c. 1682
    54 Turner Street
  • John Ward House c. 1684
    Brown Street
  • William Murray House, c. 1688
    39 Essex Street

October 31, 2019

Almshouse and Hospital for Contagious Diseases Cemetery - Salem, Massachusetts

 Frank Cousins, Almshouse on Salem Neck, c. 1890. Digital Commonwealth, Phillips Library.

The last almshouse to be built in Salem, opened in 1816 on Collins Cove. It was large — five stories — and was designed by Charles Bulfinch of Boston. 

Excerpt from 1815 report requesting a new Almshouse
City of Salem Archives
Bulfinch’s almshouse was intended to house 100 residents, many of whom were expected to work the adjacent farm to offset the cost of their stay. In 1884, after years of overcrowding, an additional building, designed by W.D. Dennis, was built on the property to serve as a hospital for contagious diseases. In all, the site was active for over a century and burials are often referenced in city documents. This cemetery would have served as the only option for patients who were unable to afford a funeral or that had no family to claim their remains. 

Hospital for Contagious Diseases, c. 1980
Unknown source

The almshouse building was razed in 1954, and the adjacent hospital in the 1980s to make way for the Collins Cove Condominium Complex. Many locals recall playing among the headstones as children while the site sat unused. During construction of the condo complex, at least five headstones were reported to have been uncovered, yet their whereabouts are unknown. The burial site remains unmarked and is only identifiable by the remnant of a single slate headstone. The names of those who rest here have yet to be discovered, though with additional research their identities may be revealed.

Approximate location of cemetery, 2019

UPDATE: Jen Ratliff, with the assistance of Historic Salem, Inc. has reached out to the City of Salem and Collins Cove Condo Association to request the burial ground be properly marked and honored. This request received the support of the Historical Commission on 11/6/2019.
The City is working toward erecting a memorial and informational sign to honor this site.


*Please respect this site and do not trespass on private property.