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flag  History of Salem, Massachusetts, USA

Journey back in time to Salem, Massachusetts, USA

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Salem, Massachusetts, USA - The First Meeting-House, 1634-39  Historic Towns of New England. (1898). United Kingdom: G. P. Putnams sons.

Salem, Essex, Massachusetts, USA

Salem was named by early settlers in the hope of peaceful security. It is a Hebrew word meaning "peace."
How New England Towns Received Their Names
The Day
New London, Connecticut
October 21, 1914

552 original documents pertaining to the Salem witch trials of 1692 have been preserved and are still stored by the Peabody Essex Museum.

Salem includes: Atlantic, Bakers Island, Blubber Hollow, Buffum's Corner, Carltonville Station, Castle Hill Station, Forest River Station, Loring Avenue Station, and North Street Station.

There is MUCH more to discover about Salem, Massachusetts, USA. Read on!

Salem Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

Salem, Massachusetts, USA

The First Meeting-House, 1634-39

Historic Towns of New England. (1898). United Kingdom: G. P. Putnam's sons.

Salem, Massachusetts, USA

Roger Williams House or Witch House. Ye Oldest House in Salem. Erected before 1635.
Read more about Roger WILLIAMS photo of ancestor

Salem, Massachusetts, USA

Geo. Jacob's House
Occupant was hanged as a witch, 1692
Read more about George JACOBS

Salem, Massachusetts, USA

Salem, from the Lookout on Witches' Hill
Picturesque America... Oliver Bell Bunce, William Cullen Bryant
New York: D. Appleton & Co., 1872-1874.

Salem, Massachusetts, USA

Wm. Leonard
Dealer in
Fine Boots & Shoes
196 Essex Street, Salem

Salem, Massachusetts, USA

The Parker Games
For Merry Winter Evenings
Parker-Brothers, Salem, Mass, USA

The Ladies' Home Journal
November 1898
Read more about George Swinnerton PARKER photo of ancestor

Salem, Massachusetts, USA

House of Seven Gables, Salem, Mass.
Read more about John TURNER

Salem, Massachusetts, USA


Salem, Massachusetts, USA

Municipal Buildings, Salem, Mass.

Salem, Massachusetts, USA

Bakers Island Lights, 1905

Salem, Massachusetts, USA

Custom House, 1905

Salem, Massachusetts, USA

View of Bay and Grounds at Salem Willows, 1905

Salem, Massachusetts, USA

2nd Unitarian Church, 1909

Salem, Massachusetts, USA

Salem Hospital

Salem, Massachusetts, USA

Lafayette Street

Salem, Massachusetts, USA

Naumkeag Cotton Mill

In 1839, investors chose the waterfront area known as "Stage Point" for a new mill complex owned by Naumkeag Steam Cotton Company,

whose founders appropriated the original indigenous name of the area now known as Salem.

Construction workers finished the massive brick mill building, popularly known as Pequot Mills, in 1848 and production of fine cotton

textiles began on the steam-powered machinery inside. The company mainly wove and sewed sheeting, which was sold internationally

and shipped as far as East Africa.

As Salem's largest employer, the company attracted Irish, French-Canadian and Polish immigrants to settle in the city. While the mill provided

jobs, it periodically faced labor issues and strikes erupted. In 1914, the Great Salem Fire destroyed the complex. The owners rebuilt and the building

is now occupied by Shetland Park. Although the company moved their operations south in 1953, it left a significant imprint on the industrial,... Read MORE...

Salem, Massachusetts, USA

A.B. Cross
Photographic Studio
256 1/ 2 Essex St.
Salem, Mass.

Salem, Massachusetts, USA

Masonic Temple

Salem, Massachusetts, USA

First Baptist Church

Discover Salem: History, News, Travel, and Stories

Add informationAdd History/News/Story
  • 1626 - John Endecott (1588-1665) Puritan colonial leader known for his intolerance of religious dissenters founds the Puritan colony at Naumkeag (later Salem) with Roger Conant (1592-1679) american-timelines/ 21-massachusetts- history-timeline.htm

    Read more about John ENDECOTT (ENDICOTT)
  • 1628 -September 6 - Puritans land at Salem, from Mass Bay Colony
  • 1662 - June 15 - A fast was held at Salem MA with prayers for rain, and the Lord gave a speedy answer.
  • News  1692 - March 1 - Salem Witch Trials
    In Salem, Massachusetts, in 1692, many people believed in and feared witchcraft. Consequently, when two young girls fell into trances and had seizures that doctors could not explain, many people in the town said witchcraft was to blame. On March 1, 1692, authorities charged three women, Sarah Goode, Sarah Osborne, and a slave woman named Tituba, with practicing witchcraft.

    Nearly 150 men and women filled prisons from Salem and surrounding towns. These prisoners were alleged, or charged without proof, of practicing witchcraft. Many of them died in prison, some were hanged, and one was crushed to death. During this time, many people believed in witches and were quick to believe when someone was accused of witchcraft. A recent epidemic of small pox, threats of Indian attacks, and small town rivalries lead to this panic. Governor William Phips of Massachusetts put an end to the witch trials on October 29, 1692.
    March 1, 1692
  • 1748 - March 1 - 1748 - The heaviest snow of the "Winter of the Deep Snow" in New England came to an end. Coastal Salem was left with more than thirty inches of snow on the ground.
  • 1799 - Essex Bank Established
    In 1799, Essex Bank was established in Salem with capital of $300,000.

    The Edinburgh Encyclopaedia, Volume 3
    Author Sir David Brewster
    Publisher J. & E. Parker, 1832
    Page 229
  • History of Salem, Massachusetts

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  • News  1816 - The temperature reached 92 degrees at Salem MA during an early heat wave, but then plunged 49 degrees in 24 hours to commence the famous year without a summer .
    June 6, 1816
  • News  1822 - Fire
    The Cotton Factory, situate near Watertown Bridge, on Thursday morning last, about half past 7 o'clock, was, in the short space of about two hours, almost wholly destroyed. The fire originated in the garret, and probably is another instance of spontaneous combustion, from the cotton litter and sweeping of the Factory. The loss is extremely heavy, being estimated from 20 to 22,000 dollars, and falls principally upon Messrs. Wiswall & Hunting. The only insurance upon this property was effected in New-York, for 6000 dollars.
    The Salem Gazette
    Salem, Massachusetts
    June 4, 1822
  • 1836 - Salem is incorporated as a city

    Massachusetts City and Town Incorporation and Settlement Dates
  • 1839 - Salem
    Salem, Massachusetts
    One of the shire towns in Essex county. This is the oldest and largest seaport but one in old Massachusetts. Its Indian name was Naumkeag. It is 14 miles N.N.E. from Boston, and lies in lat. 42°31'19" N., and lon. 70°54' W. Population, 1836, 15,002. Salem is nearly surrounded by water, being situated between two inlets of the sea called the north and south rivers. To the main, and now inhabited part of the town, is attached a peninsular portion of land, called the Neck. This was the first inhabited land, and was formerly used for fishing and other purposes. It ultimately became the property of the town, and was, for a long time, used as a public pasture. In 1816, when the present Alms House was built, a large portion of it was enclosed, and has since been cultivated as the Alms House farm. The finest and most comprehensive view of Salem may be had from "Gallows Hill." Its situation is low, but pleasant and healthy. Its streets are quite irregular. Essex is the... Read MORE...

  • 1845 - SALEM. [Pop. 15,082. Inc. 1629.]
    The Indian name of Salem was Naumkeag.

    The first colony arrived under the guidance of Capt. John Endicott, in September, 1628; but Roger Conant and others, from Plymouth Colony, had removed hither two or three years earlier.

    A second company of several hundreds joined them is 1629, of whom about one hundred went and settled Charlestown.

    Salem originally included the towns of Lynn, Wenham, Manchester, Marblehead, Topsfield, Beverly, Middleton, and Danvers.

    Salem is the largest place in the county, and was made a city in 1836.

    Perhaps no event has given Salem so much notoriety as the supposed prevalence of witchcraft in Salem Village, now the town of Danvers, in 1692.

    The belief in witchcraft was as general in Europe as in New England, but the delusion passed away much sooner here than elsewhere.

    Salem proper is a peninsula, its harbor is safe and capacious, and it has always been distinguished for the enterprise of its merchants.

    ...

  • 1854 - Salem
    Salem, a city, port of entry, and one of the capitals of Essex county, Massachusetts, is situated chiefly on a tongue of land formed by two inlets of the sea, called North and South rivers, 14 miles N. by E. from Boston. Lat. 42° 31' 18" N., Lon. 70° 53' 63" W. It extends nearly 2 miles in length, and three- quarters of a mile in breadth, occupying the peninsula from shore to shore. The streets are generally irregular. Chestnut street is considered the handsomest. It is finely shaded with elms, and on either side are rows of elegant mansions. In the eastern section of the city is a beautiful public ground, containing 8 1/ 2 acres. Salem is for the most part well built, largely of wood, but partly also of brick and stone. The principal public buildings are the city hall, erected in 1837; the court house, a new and handsome edifice; Marine Hall, Mechanic Hull, and the churches, of which there are 19 or 20. Salem is distinguished for the number and standing of its scientific and literary... Read MORE...

  • News  1869 - Salem and South Danvers (Mass.) Oil Company gave each of their seven workmen a New Year's gift of $100.

    St Joseph Herald
    Saint Joseph, Michigan
    February 26, 1870
  • News  1869 - A lady in Salem, Mass., recently lost about a dozen yards of velvet, which took fire from the rays of the sun passing through a globe of water.

    St Joseph Herald
    Saint Joseph, Michigan
    May 15, 1869
  • News  1877 - February 12 - 1st news dispatch by telephone, between Boston & Salem, Mass
    Salem, Mass., July 5. - While fire works were being set off on the common tonight a shell exploded, blowing fragments into the crowd.

    GEORGIE, son of Charles Sewall, was instantly killed, as was also FRANK C. ANDERSON, five years old. MARTIN RYAN'S right arm was shattered and it was amputated. CHRISTINA ANDERSON, sister of FRANKIE, had her fingers broken; WILLIE THOMPSON, 10 years old, received several broken ribs and is fatally injured. VICTOR TREMBLAY'S nose was broken and lip cut.
    Lock Haven Express
    July 6, 1889
  • Salem Massachusetts, 1890
    SALEM is an old and cultured city in the southeastern section of Essex County, on Massachusetts Bay, and 16 miles northeast of Boston, with which it is connected by the Eastern Division of the Boston and Maine Railroad, and by another branch through Wakefield and Peabody. A line to Lowell gives it direct connection with the interior. It is bounded on the north by Beverly harbor, on the east by Salem harbor and Marblehead, on the south by Swampscott and Lynn, and on the west by Peabody. The assessed area is 3,802 acres. The harbor is safe and convenient, but not of sufficient depth for vessels of the largest class; so that the East India trade, for which this city was once famous, is carried on by Boston and New York. There are still a large number of substantial and convenient wharves,— generally bearing the names of the original owners. "The Neck," a long northeast projection between Beverly and Salem harbors, has within a few years become a place of attractive residences and of... Read MORE...

  • 1895 - Salem
    Salem, a city, port of entry, and one of the capitals of Essex co., Mass., is pleasantly situated on a peninsula formed by two inlets of the sea, called North and South Rivers, of which the former separates it from Beverly, 14 miles N. by E. of Boston, with which it communicates by the Eastern Railroad. It is also connected by branch rail roads with Marblehead, Lawrence, Lowell, Haverhill, and Wakefield. It has a good harbor. The town had formerly an extensive trade with India, China, Africa, and South America; but at present the foreign trade is small, although - the coasting-trade is extensive, the reception of coal for distribution by rail being a leading interest. The principal manufactures are of cotton goods, white lead, lead pipe, castings, leather, boots and shoes, &c. The city has an almshouse, a hospital, an orphanage, 20 churches, a high school, a state normal school for girls, a city hall, a court house, a reformatory, a custom-house, an East India marine society with a... Read MORE...

  • 1906
    Salem, a city, port of entry, and one of the capitals of Essex Co., Mass., is pleasantly situated on a peninsula formed by two inlets of the sea, called North and South rivers, of which the former separates it from Beverly, 14 miles NNE. of Boston, on the Boston and Maine R. It has a good harbor. The town had formerly an extensive trade with India, China, Africa, and South America, but this has almost entirely disappeared, giving place to a coasting trade of some importance. The principal manufactures are of cotton goods, lumber products, machinery, leather, boots and shoes, etc. The city has an almshouse, several hospitals, an orphanage, homes for the aged, a state normal school, and a number of scientific institutions and public museums, including the East India Marine Museum, the Peabody Academy of Science, the Salem Athenaeum (in Plummer Hall), and the Essex Institute (the last with a library in 1905 of 90,000 volumes and over 310,000 pamphlets). The town has many fine old... Read MORE...

  • 2023 - Salem has something for everyone. Here's a list of places to go and things to do in Salem:
    The Salem Witch Museum: Start your visit by delving into the history of the Salem witch trials. The museum offers a captivating overview of the events that unfolded in 1692 through life-sized stage sets, figures, and narration.

    The House of Seven Gables: This historic mansion, made famous by Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel, is a must-visit. Explore the beautiful house, gardens, and learn about the history of the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion.

    Peabody Essex Museum: One of the oldest and most renowned museums in the United States, the PEM boasts an extensive collection of art and cultural artifacts from around the world. It's a cultural treasure trove.

    Salem Maritime National Historic Site: Dive into Salem's maritime history at this national historic site. Explore historic ships, lighthouses, and waterfront buildings that tell the story of Salem's role in early American trade.

    Salem Willows: For some outdoor fun, head to Salem Willows Park. It's a great place for a picnic, a stroll... Read MORE...

Discover Your Roots: Salem Ancestry

Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in Salem, Massachusetts, USA

We currently have information about ancestors who were born or died in Salem.

View Them Now (sorted by year of birth)

male ancestorWilliam TRASK (14 December 1585, East Coker, Somerset, England - 15 May 1666, Salem, Massachusetts, USA)
male ancestorThomas BROWNING (25 April 1585, , England (United Kingdom) - 1670, Salem, Massachusetts, USA)
male ancestorRichard INGERSOLL (10 March 1587, Edworth, Bedfordshire, England - 21 July 1644, Salem, Massachusetts, USA)
female ancestorAnn LANGLEY (29 July 1595, Sandy, Bedfordshire, England - 30 July 1677, Salem, Massachusetts, USA)
male ancestorRobert MOULTON (1595, Ormesby, Norfolk, England - 26 June 1655, Salem, Massachusetts, USA)
male ancestorJohn PORTER (1596, , England (United Kingdom) - 6 September 1676, Salem, Massachusetts, USA)
female ancestorAnne THOMPSON (24 September 1598, Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, England - 5 November 1639, Salem, Massachusetts, USA)
male ancestorWilliam HAWTHORNE (, , England (United Kingdom) - April 1681, Salem, Massachusetts, USA)
male ancestorThomas ANTRIM (3 December 1601, Salisbury, Wiltshire, England - 24 January 1662, Salem, Massachusetts, USA)

Ancestors Who Were Married in Salem, Massachusetts, USA

We currently have information about ancestors who were married in Salem.

View Them Now

male ancestorRichard WATERMAN (1600 - 26 October 1673) and female ancestorBethiah RICE (1600 - 3 December 1680) married
male ancestorHenry COOKE (2 June 1615 - 25 December 1661) and female ancestorJudith BIRDSALL (1611 - 11 September 1689) married 29 June 1639
male ancestorRobert MOULTON (1616 - 28 November 1665) and female ancestorAbigail GOODE (15 September 1619 - 27 March 1666) married February 1640
male ancestorRichard PITTENGILL (1621 - 1695) and female ancestorJoanna INGERSOLL (3 March 1625 - 1693) married 1643
male ancestorThomas PUTNAM (15 March 1614 - 5 May 1686) and female ancestorAnn HOLYOKE (1626 - 1 January 1665) married 17 August 1643
male ancestorFrancis NURSE (18 January 1618 - 22 November 1695) and female ancestorRebecca TOWNE (21 February 1621 - 19 July 1692) married 24 August 1644
male ancestorEdmund TOWNE (20 June 1628 - 3 May 1678) and female ancestorMary BROWNING (7 November 1637 - 16 December 1717) married 25 March 1652
male ancestorJohn PUTNAM (1627 - 7 April 1710) and female ancestorRebecca PRINCE (1 June 1627 - 16 November 1704) married 3 September 1652
male ancestorJosiah SOUTHWICK (1632 - 1693) and female ancestorMary BOYCE (12 March 1637 - 1694) married 13 December 1653
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Updated: 9/15/2023 5:07:02 PM

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