August 29, 2020

What We've Lost - Salem, Massachusetts



25 Carlton Street (Built c. 1803)
MACRIS SAL.3296

In June 2015, my then soon-to-be husband and I made the move from my childhood home on Cape Cod to the “Witch City.” At that point, I had been visiting Salem for eight years and like many, had fallen in love with the city’s charm. The winding streets with ancient architecture and vast waterfront all beckoned to be explored. The energy of the seasonally crowded streets and magic of the brick lined promenades made moving to Salem irresistible. We settled in the Historic Derby Street Neighborhood, just steps away from The House of the Seven Gables, where we got engaged a few months earlier.  Prior to moving to our new neighborhood, I began researching the area to quell my excitement.

During my research, I stumbled upon a blog post about the demolition of 25 Carlton Street, one of the oldest structures on the street. The c. 1803 home was built for shipwright, Thomas Magoun during the area’s prosperous maritime age. The modest home met its end in 2014, when it was drowned by a developer who removed the roof prior to a rainstorm. Previously having received backlash from preservationists, this move by the developer seemed like a calculated way to justify the replacement of the historic home with a new build. The plan worked and the 19th century home was soon deemed unsalvageable and demolished. By the time my husband and I moved to the area, the finishing touches were being installed in the luxury condos of the new, towering building. Although I felt the loss of the previous historic home, I thought this incident was rare in such a historic city as Salem.

Unfortunately, over the next five years I would learn that demolition by neglect and the loss of historic architecture in favor of big development was more commonplace in Salem than I could have ever imagined.  This charming, city by the sea was in a constant battle of old and new. Despite the pleas of outspoken citizens, visitors, and historians, when it came to development, Salem’s leadership has seemed to favor new development over preservation and adaptive reuse for decades.

As Salem continues to expand at an alarming rate to cater to its growing residential and visiting population, seeking the same charm and magic that once attracted me, I take a moment of pause to ponder what we’ve lost.

This is just a select handful of buildings in Salem deemed significant by the Massachusetts Historical Commission and ultimately demolished between 2015 and 2020.

331 Lafayette Street (Built c. 1935)
MACRIS SAL.1933
(Salem State University Archives Photograph)




5-7 West Avenue (Built 1886)
MACRIS SAL.1934

65 Washington Street (Built 1976)
MACRIS SAL.2433


219 Washington Street (Built 1926)
MACRIS SAL.2209


231-235 Washington Street (Built c. 1930)
MACRIS SAL.2210


70-90 Boston Street (Built c. 1910)
MACRIS SAL.139


333 Lafayette Street (Built c. 1880)
MACRIS SAL.1933
(Salem State University Archives Photograph)


Carriage house belonging to 6 Federal Court/95 Federal Street (Built c. 1880)
MACRIS SAL.1525
(City of Salem Photograph)

July 7, 2020

7 Curtis Street - Salem, Massachusetts



7 Curtis Street, 1985 (MACRIS SAL.2569)



Historic Salem, Inc. House History - 7 Curtis Street

Horatio B. Perry Gunsmith
and his wife Sarah Ashton
Built c. 1856


The address of Seven Curtis Street is first listed in the city directory in 1857, when it was owned by Horatio B. Perry, a gunsmith. The current home’s exterior contains Georgian elements, a popular style between 1715-1780. However, the home faces North, which is uncharacteristic for a Georgian home. This may be evidence that the home was moved to this site. According to Vijay Joyce, a member of the Salem Historical Commission, the home does contain timber framing, which was still in use in the 1850s. Maps from 1851 and 1872 show a similarly shaped structure positioned flush with Curtis Street. It is possible the home was later turned to face North to create space for additional homes to be built. Based on available evidence, what is now Seven Curtis Street may have previously been referred to as Four Orange Street. Between 1850 and 1856 mariner, Joseph Karier lived at this adjacent address, which disappears from city directories the same year that Seven Curtis Street is first listed. Deeds for Seven Curtis Street cite an 1849 sale of land to Joseph Karier as the origin of ownership.  A connection between Karier and the Perry family is unknown but by September 1856 the ownership of this land was transferred between them and a home was present. By 1874, Seven Curtis Street was in its present, north-facing orientation. 

Read more: www.historicsalem.org



Request your own House History: www.historicsalem.org

June 15, 2020

Memoirs - Salem, Massachusetts


A collection of memoirs written by Salemites that have been digitized and made accessible online.



April 9, 2020

#SalemTogether




History by the Sea is excited to participate in Salem Together. A community based initiative highlighting how Salem's history can inspire during difficult times. Each week, we will be partnering with local institutions and historians to share stories of strength and resiliency from Salem's past.

"Salem has faced hard times in the past - fires, storms, epidemics, wars, economic crisis, etc. - but throughout these dark periods, residents displayed collective strength, resiliency and perseverance. As the city once again faces a time of fear and uncertainty during COVID-19, these stories from the past of the city coming together to overcome terrible times can help to inspire us as we seek to overcome our current circumstances. The Mayor has teamed with the Peabody Essex Museum, Salem State University, The Salem News and local historians to share these stories through on individual websites and blogs and collectively through #SalemTogether and on the Preserving Salem website. Every week a new theme will be explored beginning with stories from the Great Salem Fire of 1914." - Preserving Salem


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March 28, 2020

Candles




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
APPLE + SPICE
patchouli, clove, cinnamon bark, chamomile, and balsam fir needle

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

Salem Willows
SALT AIR + FLORAL
vetiver, lemon, myrrh, ylang ylang, lavender, and tea tree

Winter Island
SUN + SAND
sandalwood, cedar wood, vanilla, orange, and lime

Salem Common
FRESH CUT GRASS + CITRUS
patchouli, orange, cedarwood, lemon, and anise

Pioneer Village
ROSE + SMOKE
cinnamon leaf, rose, orange, and pine

The Witch House
PINE + SAGE
bay, sage, chamomile, and pine

Christmas in Salem
CITRUS + SPICE
clove, orange, and cinnamon