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


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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Salem History Exchange

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

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

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