November 25, 2020

Holiday Gift Guide - Salem History Lover

 




Shopping small this holiday season is a great way to support local businesses and find that perfect gift for the history lover in your life. Salem is filled with shops, museums, and restaurants that all add to the city's unique and magical character. Here are few picks to help you check off your list, while helping our community.

1. What do you get a history buff that loves to cook? A Salem cookbook of course! What Salem Dames Cooked was originally printed in 1911 to support Salem's Esther C. Mack Industrial School, run by the Woman's Friend Society. It features recipes submitted by local women, as well as classic dishes from cookbooks dating back to 1683. Higginson Book Company has a wonderful selection of rare and out of print local history books. 

2. The Witch House candle by Herbal Candle Co. and History by the Sea captures the essence of this famous first period home using an all-natural essential oil blend of bay, sage, chamomile, and pine. This scent was made in partnership with the museum and is inspired by plants that would have been familiar to colonial life. A portion of proceeds are donated to Historic Salem, Inc. to support historic preservation. 

3. Book lover? Historic Streets of Salem, Massachusetts is the latest book by local author and historian Jeanne Stella. Follow along as the author shares lesser-known tales and unique stories of Salem's well-worn paths. Need more books? Wicked Good Books has everything you need, from local authors to classics, and New York Times best sellers. Support Salem's very own independent book shop this holiday season!

4. The House of the Seven Gables is so much more than a historic house museum, it's a community center, a preservation advocate, and an education hub for immigrants seeking ESL and citizenship classes. Purchasing a membership to The Gables not only gets you access to their gorgeous seaside campus, it gets you invites to events such as their member's only 4th of July celebration, and free or reduced tickets to presentations on local history and social reform. A membership is the perfect gift for any Salem lover. 

5. Want to support Salem's oldest businesses, while eating some delicious snacks? Ye Old Pepper Candy Companie's Gilbralters and Black Jacks are a great way to indulge in 19th century Salem and they make great stocking stuffers. Love finding popcorn tins under the tree? Get a batch of E.W. Hobb's world-renowned popcorn. They've been making Salem's favorite treat since 1897.

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






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

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
    SAL.2591
    Unsubstantiated -This home has been greatly altered.
  • Retire Becket House, c. 1655
    54 Turner Street
    SAL.3427
    Moved to current location in 1924
  • Pickering House, 1660
    18 Broad Street
    SAL.1044

    Oldest house in original location
  • Pickman House, 1664
    43 Charter Street
    SAL.2506
  • Gedney House, 1665
    21 High Street
    SAL.1156
  • Stephen Daniels House, c. 1667
    1 Daniels Street
    SAL.2616
  • Turner-Ingersoll Mansion, 1668
    (The House of the Seven Gables)
    54 Turner Street
    SAL.3425
  • Ransom Boarding House, c. 1670
    14 Becket Street
    SAL.3277
    Unsubstantiated
  • Jonathan Corwin House, c. 1675
    (The Witch House)
    310 Essex Street
    SAL.1510
  • Narbonne House, 1675
    71 Essex Street
    SAL.2593
  • Hooper-Hathaway House, c. 1682
    54 Turner Street
    SAL.3426
  • John Ward House c. 1684
    Brown Street
    SAL.2454
  • William Murray House, c. 1688
    39 Essex Street
    SAL.3239