Salem, Massachusetts

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Photos by Hui-chen & MJ Klein

Part of the 2010 USA Trip Series

UPDATE: Hui-chen reminded me that I forgot to include a photo taken on the way into Salem.  It’s now at the very end of this article.

Hui-chen wanted to see more of Salem, as it certainly is a beautiful and remarkably clean city.  I used to live in Lynn, just to the south, and certainly I’d been to Salem many times, but I had never explored it in any detail.  This photo essay is not intended to be a review of the city of Salem, but rather an account of some of the things we saw and did.  As usual you can go here to learn more about Salem.   We have about 50 photos to show you in this account, and if you’d like to view them at our Flickr.com account, you may find them here.

All the photos are geotagged, with geographical information embedded in the file.  To view the GPS data of any photograph, click it to go to the Flickr.com photo page.  Then click “Actions” and then click “View Exif info.”  Scroll to the bottom to view the GPS coordinates and description.

Salem, Massachusetts

We took one of these sight-seeing trolley tours.  The tour was extremely informative, with much more information than we ever could remember, unfortunately!  We recommend one of these tours because you get to see the best of the city with a knowledgeable guide.

Salem, Massachusetts

We started off in this square, called Museum Place.

Salem, Massachusetts

Salem is a very old city and lots of international trade was conducted right here on this street.

Salem, Massachusetts

There are many very fine old buildings in Salem and you’re going to see quite a few of them in this photo essay.

Salem, Massachusetts

The city has done a good job of preserving the fascia of these old buildings, while the insides are all modernized.

Salem, Massachusetts

Notice how clean everything is.  This was very impressive to 2 people from Taiwan!

Salem, Massachusetts

Salem is famous of course, for the Salem Witch Trials.  Even though the events took place between 1692 and 1693, they have had a profound influence on the modern-day city of Salem.  There are many museums and re-enactments that take place in Salem.

Salem, Massachusetts

Salem, Massachusetts

Here we see a re-enactment in progress.  It’s not unusual to see someone walking around in period-era dress in Salem.

Salem, Massachusetts

This is not* the Peabody Essex Museum.  This is apparently a very old church.

*Correction by our friend and reader Mike01905.

Salem, Massachusetts

We took a drive down famous Chestnut Street* (where our article is geotagged).

*Some of these houses may actually be on Essex St, which runs parallel to Chestnut.

Salem, Massachusetts

These houses were built by rich sea captains and merchants.  The street was specified to be 80 feet wide (24 meters), so it would be a grand thoroughfare.

Salem, Massachusetts

The original houses are still standing, and they look fantastic.

Salem, Massachusetts

Salem, Massachusetts

This house just sold.  You do not want to know for how much!

Salem, Massachusetts

This is Hamilton Hall, a very famous meeting hall.

Salem, Massachusetts

Designed by Samuel McIntire, and built in 1805, it was named in honor of Alexander Hamilton.

Salem, Massachusetts

It’s a beautiful building – a must-see when you visit Salem.

Salem, Massachusetts

Salem, Massachusetts

Even outside of Chestnut Street, you will see some outstanding examples of colonial architecture.

Salem, Massachusetts

The trolley passed Museum Place again, on it’s way to another part of the city.

Salem, Massachusetts

A vintage photography store.

Salem, Massachusetts

Inside, you may find maps and brochures about local attractions, as well as a gift shop.

Salem, Massachusetts

This is Salem’s “Downtown District.”

Salem, Massachusetts

As I said, Salem is an old city.  This is one of the cemeteries.

Salem, Massachusetts

Called “The Burying Point” and is the oldest cemetery in Salem, dating to 1637.  On this sign you can see the names of some famous people who are interred here.

Salem, Massachusetts

This building is one of the curiosities you will see on the tour.

Salem, Massachusetts

In those days, nails were expensive, as they had to be individually hand-crafted by blacksmiths.  One of the ways that people displayed their wealth was to use many nails on the construction of their homes.  For some reason, doors in particular were very nail-intensive.

Personally, I’d prefer to buy a helicopter than put a bunch of nails in my house, but that’s just me.

Salem, Massachusetts

Now we’re headed to the waterfront area.

Salem, Massachusetts

This is our tour guide, who coincidently has spent considerable time in China.  He was able to say a few Chinese words to Hui-chen and I.

Salem, Massachusetts

We are approaching the dock area.

Salem, Massachusetts

This is Pickering Wharf.

Salem, Massachusetts

Salem, Massachusetts

And the restaurant where we ate before boarding Fred and Mary’s boat last night.

Salem, Massachusetts

Salem, Massachusetts

Salem, Massachusetts

As contributed by our friend and reader Mike01905, this is the Friendship.

Salem, Massachusetts

Salem, Massachusetts

Salem, Massachusetts

This is Salem’s Waikiki Beach, not to be confused with another beach by the same name.

Salem, Massachusetts

Salem, Massachusetts

Our tour guide told us that this small inlet has a very big tidal surge, and that during low tides, it empties almost entirely.

Salem, Massachusetts

We stopped for a minute so our guide could point out this house….

Salem, Massachusetts

…. and it’s lovely peacock stained glass window.

Salem, Massachusetts

Salem has another nice beach, called “Dead Horse Beach.”

Salem, Massachusetts

Riding past Salem Commons.  It was truly a gorgeous day.

Salem, Massachusetts

This is a likeness of Roger Conant, the founder of Salem.  This isn’t a witch costume.  He’s depicted wearing traditional clothing of the era.

Salem, Massachusetts

Tourists walking through the center of town.

Salem, Massachusetts

After an enjoyable tour, Hui-chen and I decided to walk around and sight-see on our own.  Here is some information on the East India Marine Hall.  The hall is the location of the Peabody Essex Museum, since 2003.

Salem, Massachusetts

Hui-chen didn’t know about the witch trials.  I was also interested in the history but neither of us were interested in the occult aspect of the subject.  We wanted to avoid some of the other witch “museums” and find one that told the story of the witch trials without so much emphasis on witchcraft itself.  So we settled on the Witch History Museum.

Salem, Massachusetts

The museum (which does allow photography) features depictions of the historical events of those times.

Salem, Massachusetts

This scene shows one of the witnesses testifying in court.  The Salem Witch Trials make for interesting reading.  Witchcraft was a capital felony crime at the time.

Salem, Massachusetts

I had to include this shot of Hui-chen trying on a Revolutionary War era tri-cornered hat.  Better view it now before she asks me to remove it from this article!

As I had said during the trolley tour, the weather was just perfect.  Suddenly though, it turned for the worse….

Salem, Massachusetts

The rain was so bad that we got into our rental car and headed to our next destination, having to give up on walking around Salem any more.

Salem, Massachusetts

Within minutes, some of the streets were starting to flood….

With that, we’ll leave you until our next installment!  Thank you for reading!  We welcome your comments, retweets and recommendations below.  Feel free to use either the Apture bar above, or the ShareThis service below the article for social media and email sharing.

Oh I forgot this photo, taken on the way into Salem:

Salem, Massachusetts

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19 comments

  1. Pingback: MJ Klein
  2. Hello MJ,

    How nice pictures!
    Especially, some buildings and house.
    If I had a money enough, I’d like to live such a house.
    I feel like that I traveled there when seeing your pictures.

    Have a nice weekend!
    Emi

  3. Well… a correction to a few things. The “Witch House” and I think some of the houses you took pictures of are on Essex Street… not Chestnut Street (which runs parallel with Essex Street).

    The picture you have listed as the Peabody Essex Museum… isn’t the Peabody Essex Museum. I believe that is just a very old church. The Peabody Essex Museum is on Essex Street but its located between the Market Place Mall and the statue of Roger Conant (which is in front of the Witch Museum). I believe your picture of the “East India Marine Hall” is either next to or part of the Peabody Essex Museum. Here is a picture I found on Flickr that is the outside of the Peabody Essex Museum…

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/justanotheridea/3777763525/

    I don’t know how accurate the info those tour guides give out actually is. There was a story a couple of years ago on the news about the various tour companies in Boston… and they said that maybe 50% of the info they give along the tour is accurate.

    Thats it for the corrections 🙂

    Nice pics of Salem. Snce I have the ability to see stuff like that any day of the year that I want… I never think about taking pics of various things. Sure I would think about taking pics of The Witch House, The Witch Museum, The Customs House (across the street from Derby Wharf/Friendship) and so on…. but old houses is something I wouldn’t think about taking pics of. Maybe someday I’ll go into the Peabody Essex Museum and take pics of things in there.

    I’m trying to remember… was the lighthouse and “Waikiki Beach” over at Winter Island??? I haven’t been over Winter Island for years… but it looks like that area.

    As for your “near perfect day” for that tour and then the downpour of rain… you know what they say about New England weather… if you don’t like it, just wait a minute… it will change. Looks like you were coming off of hte North Street bridge when that picture was taken.

    Oh… and I probably have an idea as to how much that house sold for 🙂
    mike01905´s last post ..2010 New England International Auto Show

    1. hi Mike. we always appreciate corrections.

      Essex St. and Chestnut St. mix-up: i’m sure you’re right but i don’t remember which houses are which, except for Hamilton Hall.

      Peabody Essex Museum: i’m confused, because the sign says it’s the Peabody Essex Museum right on it. I’m not sure what you say about this photo now! lol

      East India Marine Hall: i didn’t realize it at the time, but it seems that the Peabody Essex Museum is inside this building. the referenced link has more information.

      which house is the “Witch House”?

      i know what you mean about not taking pics of your own area. i lived there for years and never took a single photo of anything. but then again, we didn’t have these convenient digital cameras like we do these days.

      Waikiki Beach and the lighthouse are indeed on Winter Island.

      thanks Mike.

  4. I’ll have to go by there sometime and see what that sign says… but I’ve been to the Peabody Essex Museum many many years ago (grade school field trip I think)… and its over between the Market Place Mall (use to be East India Mall in the late 80’s/early 90’s) and the Roger Conant statue. I’ll have to look at the East India Mall link and see what it says.

    The Witch House was the building where you said there was some sort of re-enactment takng place. Thats at the corner of Essex Street and North Street (not sure if its Rt 114 there or not). I believe that is where the Witch Trials took place (it wsa the home of Judge Jonathan Corwin who presided over the trials). Its the only structure still standing in Salem with direct ties to the Witchcraft Trials of 1692.

    I’m not sure about “house names” other than Hamilton Hall. I believe some of the very old houses have small signs indicating who lived there years ago. Its something that I don’t really pay attention to when I go by places like that… cause I’ve seen them so many times.
    mike01905´s last post ..2010 New England International Auto Show

      1. Well… its like I said before… with blog articles about things that are pretty much in my backyard… I know a lot about these things and I can add info. When I read the blog articles from your part of the world… not too much I can add to your articles.

        its suppose to rain here tomorrow (Sunday). Maybe sometime next week… I’ll to go Salem and investigate that place where you said the sign said it was the Peabody Essex Museum… since I know the actual museum is in another location. I would be curious as to what the sign says and if it does say anything about the museum… see if I can investigate more into it.
        mike01905´s last post ..2010 New England International Auto Show

        1. Mike, i think that sign was put there by the museum to indicate a point of interest. it’s hard to read what it says on the bottom in the photograph, but it’s “[something] Mansion.”

          1. Ahhhh… then its probably for the Ropes Mansion…

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ropes_Mansion

            Its the white house that is located next to the old church. This site offers a picutre of the gardens in the back of the house…

            http://www.salemmass.com/houses/buildings2.html

            … and if you click on “home”… you’ll see different catagories for a “postcard tour” of Salem (some of the houses you took pics of I think are listed in it).

            Mystery probably solved 🙂
            mike01905´s last post ..2010 New England International Auto Show

  5. Loved your pictures. I have ancestors buried at The Burying Point that lived there in the 1600s and 1700s. Would have to dig out my genealogy records for their names. It is very clean there. When I was doing genealogy research I never traveled there and now wish I had.
    We have weather like that here in Western Washington, “wait a minute” and it changes.

    1. thanks Carolyn. you should travel there someday and continue your genealogical studies. it would be interesting to know the details of your ancestors who are buried in that famous cemetery. i think you would like that area very much. thanks and take care.

  6. Show your wealth off usuing nails, I am going out and driving a few hundred nails in my wall 🙂

    What a beautiful and interesting place, you have made me jealous with this series of places you visited. But it also has made me want to travel to the USA, something I never really cared for before.

    Merry Christmas MJ and thanks for sharing mate
    Brunty´s last post ..Raising a House in Isaan Thailand

    1. Brunty, i also thought that was kinda strange to use nails to show your wealth. kinda like hanging out a sign that says “Rob Me!” lol the US is a great place to visit but i wouldn’t want to live there anymore. but the land itself is quite beautiful. thanks Brunty.

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