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witch house pamphlet and House of Seven Gables Pamphlet
We went to the city of Salem in September of 2010. We had gone on a family related mission, but this time, we just wanted to do some sight-seeing. We started with the location near the Old Witch House and it was closed for another hour (photos below), so we decided to get out of the car and explore the street as we saw a church next door. Turns out it was the First Church in Salem, a Unitarian church that was founded by the Puritans in 1624 and is one of the oldest churches is North America and is the oldest in Salem. We did not go inside but took photos (below) of the outside.
From left to right: 1) Church Sign telling date of Church 2) tower of the church; it's a small church; this is the larges part of it! 3) Historic plaques telling about the church. First plaque says: 1629-1929 The First Church of Salem founded August 6th, 1629 O. S. The first Congregational Church in North America. On a day of fasting and prayer appointed by Governor John Endicon for the purpose after a Covenant and Confession of faith had been rec'd and Consent thereto solemnly professed by the church members the Rev Francis Higginson chosen teacher and the reverend Samuel Skelton chosen Pastor were Ordained and to them Governor Bradford and others, deputed from Plymouth, gave the Right Hand of Fellowship. This tablet erected by the First Congregational Society in Salem on the 300th Anniversary.
We continued walking up the street and noticed that there were plaques on most if not all the homes. Dates went from the mid 1600's to the 1800's and names on the plaques of the original owners/builders. There was Hamilton Hall ( Ropes Mansion, which is available to tour (we did not) and the Salem Athenaeum which houses the original Salem Witch Trial documents. You can visit here but we did not go in. We took photos of the homes and I've selected a few below (there were a lot of them all total).
From left to right: 1) Hamilton Hall/sign 2) Hamilton Hall plaque which reads: In Memory of Major General Marquis de Lafayette, Soldier, Statesman, Citizen of France and of the United States. On August 31, 1824 Lafayette was the guest of honor at a banquet held in the building. Presented to Hamilton Hall by the American Friends of Lafayette, May 22, 1965. 3) Hamilton Hall 4) The Ropes Mansion (next to the First Church of Salem which is next to the Witch House).
From left to right: 1) A nice Ivy covered Colonial home 2) 1816 Captain George Nichols home 3) 1735 Captain William Pickering House 4) A very large house.
From left to right: 1) 1845 Rev James Thompson house 2) a stone archway in one home's back yard 3) an old original carraige house 4) 1795 Daniel Wright House
From left to right: 1) 1740 Nathaniel Bowditch House 3) 1823 the William Pickman House 4) another photo of the William Pickman House 5) Salem Athenaeum which houses the original Witch Trial documents. 6) Another photo of the Athenaeum
The last home we went by was the best known home: Pickering home... and across the street was a small cemetery called the Broad Street Cemetery. We looked there for "witches" but discovered they did not bury any of the accused on sacred ground and almost all went to unmarked graves. But I took some photos in the cemetery as it was interesting none-the-less:
From left to right: 1) The Pickering House (Colonel Timothy Pickering 1651) is the oldest home in the United States continuously occupied by one family. It's seen 10 generations. 2) The Pickering House carraige house 3) Pickering House plaque 4) Grave of the Colonel Timothy Pickering (once Secretary of State under George Washington and John Adams).
From left to right: 1) Some markers propped against a tree 2) random graves 3) a view of some of the area of the cemetery 4) a family plot apparently; odd thing here is all the graves are blank. Time must of wiped them clean. Not a hint of who they were remains.
From left to right: 1) a very small crude marker. It's all by itself in a vacant area and it about the size of a softball. It's strange. It's crude with no writing. Perhaps it was a pauper or a baby. Or perhaps a pet? Perhaps it's just a rock someone put here for art or something that just wore away with time. It's a puzzle for sure. 2) The Pickman grave. Benjamin Pickman Sr and Jr were both political figures in Massachusetts and many of the Pickman family is buried here.
After rounding a few block area, we were across the street from the witch house, which was now open but were at a flagpole with a little stone monument below. This little plaques stone gave tribute to the man who coined the phrase "old Glory" for the US flag. This is where his house once stood I believe. The original flag he owned, which was his favorite possession, was the inspiration for the phrase. The original is on display at the Smithsonian (we saw it) in Washington DC.
From left to right: 1) Captain William Driver Memorial/Flag/Pole (not shown but in back of the stone). Captain Driver is the man who names the flag "Old Glory" and he was born in Salem so they made this little memorial.
After we took a photo of the pole, we did get to go inside the Witch House. Actually this home is not where one of the witches is, but the only "original" house of that period and was the home of one of the judges.
From left to right: 1) The Witch House 2) The back side of the Witch House 3) Inside: a Loom and trunk 4) Inside the home: a Hearth
From left to right: 1) Dining Table and Chairs 2) A gown that would have been typical of the time it's original and not a reproduction 3) a small table or desk 4) a bed which has another "pull out bed" under it. Since homes were small during that time, they sometimes shared rooms when sleeping
From left to right: 1) Bed and painting 2) a closer view of the bed 3) original beams 4) Outside the Witch House
After photos there, we were hungry and went to Dunkin' Donuts for a donut and a coffee (New England has a thing about their Dunkin' Donuts as you can find them every few blocks!). We then headed to Essex Street to go shopping. We saw the Peabody Essex Museum but did not go in (regret not doing so). Other "touristy" witch museums (like the Lizzie Borden museum) were on the street along with some a street fair )on the weekends). We went into the mall, found one neat shop in there where I bought a pyramid crystal and saw a few interesting things like a taxidermy bat and some witch spices. We then ate lunch (French fries) that were hand cut and so plentiful I could eat nothing else. We saw some specialty shops and some touristy gift shops and I bought Jeremy a "Bite Me" (picture of a bat and Salem, MA on it). We saw that there was some more shops down one of the side streets so we started walking and I got tired. So I wanted to explore more by car. On the way back to the car, we went the wrong way and were lost so stopped by the "visitors center":. We also saw a Paul Revere Bell outside and people were sitting around it, so we took a photo of that... then we finally found our car and went down the side and found some neat old buildings and some ocean.
From left to right: 1) Inside the Salem Visitor's Center: Model of the building (so I didn't take a photo outside!) 2) A ship model inside the Salem Visitor's center 3) Another Paul Revere made bell 4) The Lizzie Borden Museum (now closed forever I believe)
We parked on a nearby residential street and then walked. We came upon Derby Wharf where the ship "Friendship" docks (you can pay to go on it but I've been on enough ships in my life like that, and needed do more). I stopped to pick up a few souvenir shells from the beach and then started to walk back to the car. Across from the wharf was the old Customs House. We'd of gone in but we didn't know if you could. I thought it may have been converted to a regular home. In retrospect we should have gone in because you can! Same with the house next to it. We then saw the "East India Goods", which is the original building that they used to buy/sell/barter goods in the 1600's and 1700's. We did not go in and I regret that. I heard it's a cute little shop with some interesting items in it, including spices and homemade candles and such items. We walked back to the car and drove a little further down the same road and saw "The House of the Seven Gables". So we parked further down, got out and walked back down the street. I went in a gift shop and then saw the House of the Seven Gables was temporarily off limits due to a wedding (which was JUST ending). So we did not go in (wish we'd of stayed and done that). But we walked around the house and took photos outside and of the harbor, sine there was a lovely view from the back yard. We saw a few more historical homes and went into a shop.
From Left to Right: 1) The Old Customs House (this one 1819 but remnants from 1600s) 2) another view of the Old Customs House 3) The Derby House 1762 4) West India Goods Company
From Left to Right: 1) The "Friendship"
From Left to Right: 1) We took a photo of this "crooked" house. It's so old and settled, it's actually bowed out 2) Some cool looking boat near Derby Wharf 3) East India Silk Co
From Left to Right: 1) Penn Townsend House 1771 2) House of Seven Gables (Side view) 3) House of the Seven Gables Back View 4) House of the Seven Gables Side and Back view. I guess I never took a photo of the front! LOL
Then we decided it was time to find the "real" cemetery where the judge from the Salem Witch Trials was buried. We found it, took photos of the famous graves and interesting graves, and then decided it was a long drive back to Foxboro, so we left, found a place to eat dinner on the way home and then went back to our hotel for an early evening.
From Left to Right: 1) Old Burying Point Cemetery Plaque 2) Richard Moore Grave (Mayflower passenger) 3) Overview of part of the cemetery 4) Graves of William Bowditch and
From Left to Right: 1) Cotton Mather's brother Nathaniel died at age 19 2) One of the saddest graves, two small children 3) Captain William Hathorne's grave (great uncle to Nathaniel Hawthorne) 4) Captain William Bowditch's grave
From Left to Right: 1) Boarder of the cemetery commemorates the innocent accused of witchcraft. It has statements from the trials and the accused names. It's in sad shape considering it's not that old 2) Fancy grave of Simon Bradstreet (Born 1603 and was Governor of Mass Bay Colony/) 3) The most famous grave in the cemetery is Judge Hathorne who was part of the Salem Witch Trials (great grandfather of Nathaniel Hawthorne). 4) A closer view of Judge Hathornes grave.
One thing I did not mention was the best part of the whole trip for me. While wandering the neighborhood where the accused witches and people during that time lived, a pure black cat crossed my path. He came right up to me and I petted him and picked him up. He was purring and loving it and all of a sudden he got this wicked evil look and bit me! He drew blood and I put him down. He then mosied on his way. I so wanted to take him home with me. However, we were flying and that wasn't an option and a lady came and told me he's a neighborhood cat that belongs to someone. ;( But what are the odds of a pure black cat crossing my path in Salem? WOW!!!! I love it!
From left to right: 1) While walking the streets of Salem, near the Witch House, a black cat crossed my path 2) So I picked him up and and he was purring. His eyes look mean but he was happy... till he BIT me!
If you do go to Salem, go to the Peabody Essex museum, go into the East India Goods store and the house of Seven Gables. I wish I'd of done those things. There were other museums and such, but they are "touristy". I heard that in Jan of 2011, they closed the Lizzie Borden museum. So that's not longer available. But I had heard it was like 10.00 admission or more and that it was nothing but photos in there and very gruesome. I am glad I skipped it. I'd of also have liked to have gone in the costume shop and the one gift shop that carried "more authentic" items. I could not find the store though and forget the name. I do recommend the trip. Just walking in the area was enjoyable. We walked the streets (outside the Essex Street area) virtually alone. That made it more fun.
Links of cool places I have visited in Massachusetts: