Introduction to Salem, Massachusetts
Salem, Massachusetts, in Essex county, is 4 miles NE of Lynn, Massachusetts (center to center) and 13 miles NE of Boston, Massachusetts. It's a residential area and a popular tourist destination. The city is well known for the Salem Witch Trials of 1692. Salem has numerous impressive mansions and homes from the colonial era. It has an excellent collection of Federal, Victorian, Post-Medieval, Greek Revival and Georgian architecture.
The town was established in 1626 along the mouth of the Naumkeag River by a group of fisherman. The majority of people accused during the well known Salem Witch Trials lived in the close by Salem Village. The witchcraft accusations began with Abigail Williams, Betty Parris and some of their friends. By 1790 Salem was one of the largest cities in the nation. It had a renowned seaport and was very active in the China trade.
Due to the prosperity of the city, a large number of mansions were constructed during the colonial era. Nathaniel Hawthorne worked in the customs house located close to Pickering Wharf; which was the setting for his famous book The Scarlet Letter. The Great Salem Fire of 1914 destroyed over 400 homes.
- The Salem Maritime National Historic Site was the first National Historic Site designated by congress
- Corwin House/Witch House is the only structure leftover from the 1692 Salem Witch Trials
- House of the Seven Gables is a wooden mansion from the 17th century and is well known due to the Nathaniel Hawthorne story
- The Pickman House is one of the oldest houses in Salem
- McIntire Historic District is a popular tourist destination
- Peabody Essex Museum features art, including an excellent collection of maritime art and features architecture and culture regarding New England and the world
- The Philips Library has the original court documents of the famous Salem Witch Trials
- Burying Point is the oldest cemetery in the city
- Chestnut Street is regarded as one of the most architecturally attractive streets in the country. It features impressive historic homes
- Trolley tours of the city are available
- The New England Pirate Museum includes numerous relics
- Phillips House is a Federal Style mansion and includes a variety of artifacts
- Pickering House showcases a variety of antiques
- Pickering Wharf is a recreation of the past and includes numerous shops with items from all over the world
- The Friendship is a notable tall ship reconstruction
- Pioneer Village is a recreation of an old English community
The city features other noteworthy attractions including the Nathaniel Bowditch House, Salem Witch Village, Salem Wax Museum, Witch Dungeon Museum, Hamilton Hall, Old Town Hall and the Ropes Mansion Garden.
Salem Common offers concerts and a variety of community activities. Salem Marketplace includes shops, restaurants, art galleries and nighttime entertainment. North Shore Music Theatre is a popular venue.
The Forest River Park is popular with families and includes beach areas. Cruises are available for touring the historic lighthouses and islands. The Salem Willows Amusement Park offer children's rides and games and provides scenic views of the harbor. Salem Woods, also known as Highland Park is popular with bird watchers and with nature enthusiasts. The city attracts a large crowd during Halloween and provides a vast number of Halloween related events during October.
Salem Higher Education
The city is home to Salem State College which offers undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education programs. The university also licenses programs where you can learn how to become an elementary school teacher.
Air Travel is provided at the Logan International Airport, located in Boston. A commuter rail and the Salem High Speed Ferry provide transportation to Boston.