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With a population of 43302 and a median income of 65565, Salem is an excellent location with an extremely active market.
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Salem is located at the mouth of the Naumkeag River at the former site of an Native American village and trading center. Colonists settled the area in 1626 when a company of fishermen arrived from Cape Ann led by Roger Conant. Conant’s leadership provided the stability to survive the first two years, but John Endecott replaced him by order of the Massachusetts Bay Company. Conant graciously stepped aside and was granted 200 acres (0.81 km2) of land in compensation. These “New Planters” and the “Old Planters” agreed to cooperate, in large part due to the diplomacy of Conant and Endecott. In recognition of this peaceful transition to the new government, the name of the settlement was changed to Salem, the hellenized name of Shalem (שָׁלֵם), the royal city of Melchizedek, that is traditionally identified with Jerusalem.
In 1628, Endecott ordered that the Great House be moved from Cape Ann, reassembling it on Washington Street north of Church Street.Francis Higginson wrote that “we found a faire house newly built for the Governor” which was remarkable for being two stories high. A year later, the Massachusetts Bay Charter was issued creating the Massachusetts Bay Colony with Matthew Craddock as its governor in London and Endecott as its governor in the colony.John Winthrop was elected Governor in late 1629, and arrived with the Winthrop Fleet in 1630, one of the many events that began the Puritan Great Migration.
In 1639, Endecott was one of the signers on the building contract for enlarging the meeting house in Town House Square for the first church in Salem. This document remains part of the town records at City Hall. He was active in the affairs of the town throughout his life. Samuel Skelton was the first pastor of the First Church of Salem, which is the original Puritan church in America. Endecott already had a close relationship with Skelton, having been converted by him, and Endecott considered him as his spiritual father.
Salem’s harbor was defended by Fort Miller in Marblehead from 1632 to 1865, and by Fort Pickering on Winter Island from 1643 to 1865.
One of the most widely known aspects of Salem is its history of witchcraft allegations which started with Abigail Williams, Betty Parris, and their friends playing with a Venus glass (mirror) and egg. The infamous Salem witch trials began in 1692, and 19 people were executed by hanging as a result of the false accusations; Giles Corey was pressed to death for refusing to plead innocent or guilty, thus avoiding the noose and instead dying an innocent man. Salem is also significant in legal history as the site of the Dorothy Talbye Trial, where a mentally ill woman was hanged for murdering her daughter because Massachusetts made no distinction at the time between insanity and criminal behavior.
William Hathorne was a prosperous businessman in early Salem and became one of its leading citizens. He led troops to victory in King Philip’s War, served as a magistrate on the highest court, and was chosen as the first speaker of the House of Deputies. He was a zealous advocate of the personal rights of freemen against royal emissaries and agents. His son Judge John Hathorne came to prominence in the late 17th century when witchcraft was a serious felony. Judge Hathorne is the best known of the witch trial judges, and he became known as the “Hanging Judge” for sentencing accused witches to death.
On February 26, 1775, patriots raised the drawbridge at the North River on North Street, preventing British Colonel Alexander Leslie and his 300 troops of the 64th Regiment of Foot from seizing stores and ammunition hidden in North Salem. Both parties came to an agreement and no blood was shed that day, but war broke out at Lexington and Concord soon after. A group of prominent merchants with ties to Salem published a statement retracting what some interpreted as Loyalist leanings and professing their dedication to the American cause, including Francis Cabot, William Pynchon, Thomas Barnard, E. A. Holyoke, and William Pickman.
During the American Revolutionary War, the town became a center for privateering. The documentation is incomplete, but about 1,700 Letters of Marque were granted during that time, issued on a per-voyage basis. Nearly 800 vessels were commissioned as privateers and are credited with capturing or destroying about 600 British ships. Privateering resumed during the War of 1812.
Following the American Revolution, many ships used as privateers were too large for short voyages in the coasting trade, and their owners determined to open new avenues of trade to distant countries. The young men of the town, fresh from service on the armed ships of Salem, were eager to embark in such ventures. Captain Nathaniel Silsbee, his first mate Charles Derby, and second mate Richard J. Cleveland were not yet twenty years old when they set sail on a nineteen-month voyage that was perhaps the first from the newly independent America to the East Indies. In 1795, Captain Jonathan Carnes set sail for Sumatra in the Malay Archipelago on his secret voyage for pepper; nothing was heard from him until eighteen months later, when he entered with a cargo of pepper in bulk, the first to be so imported into the country, and which sold at the extraordinary profit of seven hundred per cent. The Empress of China, formerly a privateer, was refitted as the first American ship to sail from New York to China. By 1790, Salem had become the sixth largest city in the country, and a world-famous seaport—particularly in the China Trade, along with exporting codfish to Europe and the West Indies, importing sugar and molasses from the West Indies, tea from China, and products depicted on the city seal from the East Indies – in particular Sumatran pepper. Salem ships also visited Africa – Zanzibar in particular, Russia, Japan, and Australia.
The sail frigate USS Essex was built at one of Enos Briggs’ shipyards on Winter Island in 1799.
The neutrality of the United States was tested during the Napoleonic Wars. After the Chesapeake–Leopard affair, President Thomas Jefferson was faced with a decision to make regarding the situation at hand. In the end, he chose an economic option: the Embargo Act of 1807. Jefferson essentially closed all the ports overnight, putting a damper on the seaport town of Salem. The embargo of 1807 was the starting point on the path to the War of 1812 with Great Britain. Both Great Britain and France imposed trade restrictions in order to weaken each other’s economies. This also had the effect of disrupting American trade and testing the United States’ neutrality. As time went on, harassment of American ships by the British Navy increased. This included impressment and seizures of American men and goods.
The Salem–India Story by Vanita Shastri narrates the adventures of the Salem seamen who connected the far corners of the globe through trade. This period (1788–1845) marks the beginning of U.S. international relations, long before the 21st century wave of globalization. It reveals the global trade connections that Salem had established with faraway lands, which were a source of livelihood and prosperity for many. Charles Endicott, master of Salem merchantman Friendship, returned in 1831 to report Sumatran natives had plundered his ship, murdering the first officer and two crewmen. Following public outcry, President Andrew Jackson ordered the Potomac on the First Sumatran Expedition, which departed New York City on August 19, 1831. This also led to the mission of diplomatist Edmund Roberts, who negotiated a treaty with Said bin Sultan, Sultan of Muscat and Oman on September 21, 1833. In 1837, the sultan moved his main place of residence to Zanzibar and welcomed Salem citizen Richard Waters as a United States consul of the early years.
The Old China Trade left a significant mark in two historic districts, Chestnut Street District, part of the Samuel McIntire Historic District containing 407 buildings, and the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, consisting of 12 historic structures and about 9 acres (36,000 m2) of land along the waterfront in Salem. Elias Hasket Derby was among the wealthiest and most celebrated of post-Revolutionary merchants in Salem. Derby was also the owner of the Grand Turk, the first New England vessel to trade directly with China and second to sail from the United States after the Empress of China. Thomas H. Perkins was his supercargo and established strong ties with the Chinese and garnered the Forbes fortune through his illegal opium sales.
Salem was incorporated as a city on March 23, 1836, and adopted a city seal in 1839 with the motto “Divitis Indiae usque ad ultimum sinum“, Latin for “To the rich East Indies until the last lap.” Nathaniel Hawthorne was overseer of Salem’s port from 1846 until 1849. He worked in the U.S. Customs House across the street from the port near Pickering Wharf, his setting for the beginning of The Scarlet Letter. In 1858, an amusement park was established at Juniper Point, a peninsula jutting into the harbor. Prosperity left the city with a wealth of fine architecture, including Federal-style mansions designed by one of America’s first architects, Samuel McIntire, for whom the city’s largest historic district is named. These homes and mansions now comprise the greatest concentrations of notable pre-1900 domestic structures in the United States.
Shipping declined throughout the 19th century. Salem and its silting harbor were increasingly eclipsed by nearby Boston and New York City. Consequently, the city turned to manufacturing. Industries included tanneries, shoe factories, and the Naumkeag Steam Cotton Company. More than 400 homes were destroyed in the Great Salem Fire of 1914, leaving 3,500 families homeless from a blaze that began in the Korn Leather Factory at 57 Boston Street. The historic concentration of Federal architecture on Chestnut Street were spared from destruction by fire, in which they still exist to this day. A memorial plaque currently exists where the Korn Leather Factory once stood, on what is now a Walgreens store.
Salem is located at(42.516845, -70.898503). According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 18.1 square miles (47 km2), of which 8.1 square miles (21 km2) is land and 9.9 square miles (26 km2), or 55.09%, is water. Salem lies on Massachusetts Bay between Salem Harbor, which divides the city from much of neighboring Marblehead to the southeast, and Beverly Harbor, which divides the city from Beverly along with the Danvers River, which feeds into the harbor. Between the two harbors lies Salem Neck and Winter Island, which are divided from each other by Cat Cove, Smith Pool (located between the two land causeways to Winter Island), and Juniper Cove. The city is further divided by Collins Cove and the inlet to the North River. The Forest River flows through the south end of town, along with Strong Water Brook, which feeds Spring Pond at the town’s southwest corner. The town has several parks, as well as conservation land along the Forest River and Camp Lion, which lies east of Spring Pond.
The city is divided by its natural features into several small neighborhoods. The Salem Neck neighborhood lies northeast of downtown, and North Salem lies to the west of it, on the other side of the North River. South Salem is south of the South River, lying mostly along the banks of Salem Harbor southward. Downtown Salem lies 15 miles (24 km) northeast of Boston, 16 miles (26 km) southwest of Gloucester and Cape Ann, and 19 miles (31 km) southeast of Lawrence, the other county seat of Essex County. Salem is bordered by Beverly to the north, Danvers to the northwest, Peabody to the west, Lynn to the south, Swampscott to the southeast, and Marblehead to the southeast. The town’s water rights extend along a channel into Massachusetts Bay between the water rights of Marblehead and Beverly.
As of the census of 2010, there were 41,340 people, 19,130 households, and 9,708 families residing in the city. The population density was 4,986.0 people per square mile (1,926.1/km2). There were 18,175 housing units at an average density of 2,242.7 per square mile (866.3/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 81.5% White, 4.9% African American, 0.22% Native American, 2.6% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 6.74% from other races, and 2.47% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.6% of the population (9.1% Dominican, 2.9% Puerto Rican, 0.5% Mexican, 0.3% Guatemalan). Non-Hispanic Whites were 75.9% of the population in 2010, compared to 95.9% in 1980.
There were 17,492 households, out of which 24.2% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 38.8% were married couples living together, 13.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.5% were non-families. Of all households 34.9% were made up of individuals, and 11.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.24 and the average family size was 2.95.
In the city, the population was spread out, with 20.2% under the age of 18, 10.4% from 18 to 24, 33.4% from 25 to 44, 21.9% from 45 to 64, and 14.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females, there were 86.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.5 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $44,033, and the median income for a family was $55,635. Males had a median income of $38,563 versus $31,374 for females. The per capita income for the city was $23,857. About 6.3% of families and 9.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 12.2% of those under age 18 and 7.9% of those age 65 or over.
Salem is represented in the state legislature by officials elected from the following districts:
The connection between Salem and Beverly is made across the Danvers River and Beverly Harbor by three bridges, the Kernwood Bridge to the west, and a railroad bridge and the Essex Bridge, from the land between Collins Cove and the North River, to the east. The Veterans Memorial Bridge carries Massachusetts Route 1A across the river. Route 1A passes through the eastern side of the city, through South Salem towards Swampscott. For much of its length in the city, it is coextensive with Route 114, which goes north from Marblehead before merging with Route 1A, and then heading northwest from downtown towards Lawrence. Route 107 also passes through town, entering from Lynn in the southwest corner of the city before heading towards its intersection with Route 114 and terminating at Route 1A. There is no highway access within the city; the nearest highway access to Route 128 is along Route 114 in neighboring Peabody.
Salem has a station on the Newburyport/Rockport Line of the MBTA Commuter Rail. The railroad lines are also connected to a semi-abandoned portion of freight lines which lead into Peabody, and a former line into Marblehead has been converted into a bike path.
Several MBTA Bus routes pass through the city.
The nearest general aviation airport is Beverly Municipal Airport, and the nearest commercial airline service for national and international flights is at Boston’s Logan International Airport.
The Nathaniel Bowditch is a 92-foot (28 m) high-speed catamaran that travels from Salem to Boston in 50 minutes from May to October and had its maiden voyage on June 22, 2006. The Salem Ferry is named after Nathaniel Bowditch, who was from Salem and wrote the American Practical Navigator. Ridership increased every year from 2006 to 2010, when it peaked with 89,000, but in 2011 service was cut back because of the dramatic rise in fuel prices. The Salem Ferry is docked at the Derby Waterfront District.
The ferry was purchased by the City of Salem with the use of grant money that covered 90 percent of the $2.1 million purchase price. Because of the cutback in service during the 2011 season, Mayor Kim Driscoll is now seeking a new operator who can run the ferry seven days a week from May to October.
For the 2012 season Boston Harbor Cruises will be taking over the running of the Salem Ferry with seven-day service and a Monday to Friday 7 a.m. commuter ferry to Boston. The Salem Ferry will be running seven days a week for the 2012 season starting the first weekend in June and going through to Halloween.
Boston Harbor Cruises, the contractor that operates the city’s commuter ferry to Boston, runs their largest and fastest vessel between Salem and Hingham for the last two weekends in October. The company’s high-speed ferry service to Provincetown concludes in October, freeing up its 600-passenger boat for service between Salem and Hingham. The ferry ride between Hingham and Salem takes one hour. With traffic, especially around Halloween, the drive between Salem and Hingham could be three hours or more.
For the 2013 season, service is expected to start in the last week of May. The Salem City councilors approved a five-year contract with Boston Harbor Cruises to operate the city’s commuter ferry from 2013 to 2017. Also new for the 2013 season, Boston Harbor Cruises will offer a 20 percent discount to Salem residents for non-commuter tickets. The City of Salem has approved a seasonal restaurant with a liquor license at The Salem Ferry dock to be operated by Boston Harbor Cruises. The plan is to build a 600-square-foot (56 m2) building plus patio seating.
The latest data from 2015 point to 61,000 riders, with around 11,000 being commuters, according to Boston Harbor Cruises, which runs the Salem Ferry.
In Salem, there is a program called Salem Spins, that offers bicycles, free of charge, for use around the city. The program started in 2011 with a fleet of 20 bicycles and is split between two hubs, at Salem State University and downtown, near the Hawthorne Hotel. In 2011, Salem was awarded $25,000 from the Green Communities grant program, which went toward the purchase of the bike fleet. Fees are charged to a participant’s credit card only if they return the bike late or damaged. Right now, Salem Spins is open only to people over the age of 18. But the city is considering changing that, Marquis said, as well as producing a bike map for participants and offering a “seasonal pass” where bikes could be used for more than one day at a time.
Salem has eight stations where drivers can charge their electric cars. Four are located at the Museum Place Mall near the Peabody Essex Museum and the other four are in the South Harbor garage across the street from the Salem Waterfront Hotel. The program started in January 2013 and will be free of charge for two years, allowing people to charge their electric cars and other electric vehicles for up to six hours. This program was paid for by a grant from the state of Massachusetts due to Salem’s status as a Massachusetts Green Community.
Owning a home is a keystone of wealth… both financial affluence and emotional security.Suze Orman
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