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Overview

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.

Salem History

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.

Salem Attractions

  • 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.

Salem Activities

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.

Salem Transportation

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.

Demographics

People

Total Population42,804
Male Share of the Population46.3%
Female Share of the Population53.7%
Senior Citizens13.4%
Employed Population 16+22,588
Age of the Population36

Families

% of people married38.1%
Average household size2

Education and Earnings

Population % with Bachelor Degree or Higher38.9%
Median Earnings25+$42,675
Median Earnings Without High School Qualification$22,417
Median Earnings With High School Degree$31,850

Wealth

Median Family Income$78,728
% Above Poverty Level84.8%
% Below Poverty Level15.2%

Commute & Sprawl

Average Commute Time29 minutes
% Working from Home6.6%
% Walking and Biking to Work7.8%
% Using Public Transportation10.6%

Housing

People Living Alone37.3%
Median Gross Rent$1,106
Median House Value$317,400

Ancestry

Other(often includes Hispanic and African American)25.7%
Irish24.6%
Italian14.6%
English8.9%
French Except Basque6.8%
German5.5%
Polish5.4%
Canadian5.2%
Portuguese2.7%
Greek2.7%
Scottish2.1%
Russian1.6%
Swedish1.3%
Albanian1.1%
West Indian1%
African1%
Welsh0.9%
Brazilian0.8%
Dutch0.7%
Arab0.6%
Jamaican0.6%
Lithuanian0.5%
Hungarian0.5%
US/American0.4%
Lebanese0.4%
Ukrainian0.4%
Haitian0.4%
Somali0.3%
Czech0.3%
Norwegian0.3%
Finnish0.3%
Danishn0.3%
Austrian0.2%
Egyptian0.1%
Swiss0.1%
Ghanaian0.1%
Croatian0.1%
Romanian0.1%
Slovak0.1%
Belgian0.1%
Latvian0.1%
Nigerian0.1%
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Salem Almanac

CategoryValue
County Essex County
Standard Zip Codes1970
P.O. Box Zip Codes1971
Phone Area Codes508,978, 351
Time ZoneAmerica/New_York
Approximate Latitude42.51
Approximate Longitude-70.9

Salem Climate

Nearest Weather Stations

Notes:

  • Temp ranges are avg daily min and max for the month
  • Precipitation is rainfall (and rainfall equiv of snowfall)

StationMARBLEHEAD
Distance2.1 miles
Jan Temp20 to 37 F
Apr Temp38 to 57 F
Jul Temp63 to 82 F
Oct Temp45 to 62 F
Annual Precip45.5 inches
StationMIDDLETON
Distance8.3 miles
Jan Temp17 to 38 F
Apr Temp37 to 58 F
Jul Temp62 to 83 F
Oct Temp42 to 64 F
Annual Precip45.3 inches
StationREADING
Distance12 miles
Jan Temp16 to 35 F
Apr Temp35 to 58 F
Jul Temp60 to 83 F
Oct Temp39 to 62 F
Annual Precip48.3 inches

Nearby Cities and Towns

LocationPopulationMedian Family Income
Beverly40,967$98,151
Danvers27,558$100,552
Lynn92,074$60,421
Marblehead20,363$135,991
Peabody52,235$85,000
Swampscott14,250$126,392

Salem Public Libraries

Salem Public Library
370 ESSEX ST.
Salem, Massachusetts
(978) 744-0860

library logo

More Information for Librarians

Salem Hospitals

North Shore Medical Center - Salem Campus
(Non-profit)
81 Highland Avenue
Click the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab.
Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school.

Salem Public Schools

Salem Prep High School
114 Derby St
(978) 740-1171
High
Total Enrollment 19
Salem Community Charter School
1 Museum Place Mall
(978) 825-3470
High
Total Enrollment 46
Salem High
77 Willson St
(978) 740-1123
High
Total Enrollment 1232
Saltonstall School
160 Federal St
(978) 740-1297
Primary
Total Enrollment 358
Bates
53 Liberty Hill Ave
(978) 740-1250
Primary
Total Enrollment 345
Bentley
25 Memorial Dr
(978) 740-1260
Primary
Total Enrollment 345
Carlton
10 Skerry St
(978) 740-1280
Primary
Total Enrollment 232
Witchcraft Heights
1 Frederick St
(978) 740-1271
Primary
Total Enrollment 469
Collins Middle
29 Highland Ave
(978) 740-1191
Middle
Total Enrollment 645
Salem Academy Charter School
45 Congress St
(978) 744-2105
Other
Total Enrollment 308
Salem Early Childhood
25 Memorial Dr
(978) 740-1221
Primary
Total Enrollment 109
Horace Mann Laboratory
33 Loring Ave
(978) 542-6220
Primary
Total Enrollment 322
Nathaniel Bowditch
79 Willson St
(978) 740-1290
Primary
Total Enrollment 502

Salem Private Schools

The Phoenix School
89 Margin St
Elementary
Total Enrollment 29
The Greenhouse School
145 Loring Ave
Combined Elementary And Secondary
Total Enrollment 20
Sources :
Study Online in Salem
Historic Salem

photo

Doorway of old Custom House c1906

Select a photo to view (Source):

Doorway of old Custom House c1906

Old Witch House c1906.

Assembly House between 1910 and 1920

Additional Resources
Info for Salem Government Officials


Are you an official in the Salem government or quasi-government agency such as the chamber of commerce, visitors bureau or economic development council? If so, visit our information page for government officials to see how CityTownInfo can support you.

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