History in Salem

Trip Start Jun 19, 2010
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Trip End Jul 02, 2010


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Flag of United States  , Massachusetts
Wednesday, June 23, 2010

We were both looking forward to visiting Salem and seeing some of the historical sights there.  I won't got into what all went into the witch trials in 1692 because the story is well documented and can be read about on the Internet if desired.  Suffice it to say that the whole affair was very tragic.  Those poor people who were accused of witchcraft and hanged or pressed to death didn't have a chance. 

Only about 8 miles down the road, it was easy to get to from Peabody.  Salem was not the easiest to get around in by car though.  The streets in the old town were narrow and not easy to navigate.  It was somewhat easy to walk around though.  And we walked all day.

The first place we visited in Salem was the "Burying Point Cemetery"... which is supposedly the 2nd oldest cemetery in the US.  It was a fascinating place...  and it was very humbling to walk amongst the gravestones reading the very old dates. Many of the inscriptions were written in old English .  That and the unique ornateness of the stones was something to see.  Such history in that place.  It constantly surprised me to see dates in the 1600's, and 1700's. 

Alongside the cemetery is the "Witch Trial Memorial".  There is a beautiful stone wall with slabs of stone jutting out, appearing as seats.  There is one for each of the accused of witchcraft who were put to death between June and September of 1692.  A name and date of death is carved on each slab stone.  We found this very moving.  How desperate they must have felt - and how hopeless the situation was for them.  

After spending quite a bit of time in the cemetery and at the memorial, we walked to "The Witch House", called that because it was the Judge's home, and the accused was brought to that very same house to be questioned by him.  The structure is so old, and it is in beautiful condition.  I couldn't help but think about the stories those walls could tell!   We paid to take a self guided tour through the rooms and we really enjoyed that. 

We were so glad we went to Salem.  We enjoyed the wonderful old architecture, the store fronts, the homes and the narrow brick streets.   And we enjoyed some wonderful food at "The Witch's Brew".  The restaurant had nothing to do with the trials... we were just keeping with the  theme of the day when we chose that restaurant.  Besides, it came highly recommended!.  We both ordered baked scallops and they were fantastic.  We  shared a cup of New England Chowder and it was delicious. also.  We were so hungry since we hadn't stopped to eat until 2:30.  After eating, we made one more stop...

The "House of Seven Gables" was breathtaking.  I'm inspired to read that book again now.  I haven't read it for years and years anyway so it's time again.  Especially after seeing this home today.  Apparently the house actually belonged to Nathanial Hawthorne's cousin.  Hawthorne never lived there, but it was the house that the book was based on.  Hawthorne himself lived in a home some blocks away.  That home was ultimately moved to sit next to the "House of Seven Gables", so we were able to see that home too. 

By this time, iwe were tired and we were very  warm.  It had gotten to 85 degrees and we were ready to get out of the heat.  So we decided to drive north for a ways.
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footloosets
footloosets on

Love old cemeteries. 1600s are old!

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