Salem: Salem Witch Museum, Salem Witch House, House of the Seven Gables, Salem Maritime NHS

6/19/14 Thursday in Moody, ME (Moody Beach-TT/OW)

On our way after 8:30 am and picking up Susan/Bill. First time actually using the EZPass and it was so slick. We just kept rolling at 65 mph through the toll. Cool. Susan and Bill got really interested in it after seeing all the benefits and the only cost is the hassle of getting it. We arrived in Salem by 10 am, with John managing to find a spot to park on the street. That was a minor miracle-they’re tough on limiting parking time and towing you away if you are even a bit over. We confirmed with a passer by that our spot was good all day. It was not far from the House of the Seven Gables.

We had a bit of walking to find our primary destination, the Salem Witch Museum, but that just means more good exercise! On our way there we saw the Derby wharf where they have the Friendship boat (reproduction) from the 1600’s. This is also where the National Park has the Salem Maritime National Historic Site.

Derby 1 Derby 2 Derby 3

Nearby was the Pickering wharf.  Lots of shops there, but I didn’t picture them.


We arrived at the Witch Museum just in time to get tickets and get in to the show. Here they shared the story of how it all came about in a kind of diorama in the dark, parts exposed as the story progressed. Essentially young Puritan girls, stressed with the severe winter and hard life, listening to a black maid’s stories, started to experience trances and babbling that the local doctor proclaimed meant they were under evil influences. Pretty soon their imaginations led to blaming it on innocent people like Nurse Good, who was pretty old, and the maid who’d been telling them stories. 19 people were hanged and 1 crushed for saying they were innocent. If they admitted guilt they were simply jailed and forgotten. While jailed their families were responsible for the cost of jailing – food, chains…

witch museum 1 witch museum 2 witch museum 3


witch museum 4

The statue is of Roger Conant (1592-1679).  The first settler of Salem in 1626.  “I was a means through grace assisting me to stop the flight of those few that then were here with me, and that by my utter denial to go away with them, who would have gone either for England, or mostly for Virginia”.

There is also the Witch House. It’s the only house from that time period where people are allowed to tour inside. Since it had a fee we all figured it was okay to just enjoy the outside. We’d seen a lot of old houses by now.

witch house

Next up: The Visitor Center, which is also a National Park. Then it was time for lunch so we decided on Kushco Bistro, recommended by my phone app Urban Spoon. It’s a deli with the best and BIG sandwiches. We were all stuffed after just the first half but we were all able to work our way to the end, they were so tasty.


Now we could explore Salem. Here are some buildings that caught my eye:

buildings 1 buildings 2 buildings 3 buildings 5 buildings 6 buildings 7 buildings 8

The yellow building was owned by John Crownshield and we saw his (and his wife’s) graves in the town graveyard. There is also the building/property once owned by Capt. Richard More, also buried in this graveyard.   Note also after that the Five Cents Savings Bank.

graves 1 graves 2 graves 3 graves 4The one after the Crownshields’ is really old – she died in 1683.

Near the graveyard is the Witch Trials Memorial to those hanged (one was pressed) to death as witches. It’s called the Wall of Intolerance (surrounding the grassy area). Quotes of the last words of these brave innocents are printed into the concrete under our feet.

wall 1 wall 2

Some Salem scenes, including the red line you can follow to see the Salem sites. The last is Salem Commons. Such a lovely park right next to all the action.

salem 1 salem 2 salem 3 salem 4 salem 6 salem 7 salem 8 salem 9 salem 10 salem 11Notice I got to spin the wool on a 200 year old spinner to make a bracelet.  Susan got caught in the stocks along with John and I.  She was much happier about the ordeal!

Just beyond where our car was parked is the House of the Seven Gables, the actual house owned by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s cousin, that he based his similarly named book on. I wanted to see it (and 3 other buildings moved there including his birthplace), but the others really didn’t. We were tired, footsore and still had a trip to Costco yet.

house of seven 1 house of seven 2 house of seven 3

Thanks to our GPS we found Costco, did our shopping quickly while Bill and Susan got something to drink, then headed back home. Whew! Another big day.

At home we relaxed then had a simple supper of chili (no popcorn even), then enjoyed the campfire with Randy/Sherri and Susan/Bill until late.

About Patricia Elser

I've always loved the loose, flowing, transparent look of watercolors, of Chinese paintings and their calligraphy, but alas, no watercolor classes were available when I was in school, so that interest remained buried until my children were grown. Even then, I was afraid that I couldn't really paint, so upon my sister's advice, I actually started to take classes. I signed up for every class available, determined to learn no matter how afraid I was. I came upon a teacher, Stan Miller, who inspired me, who opened the door to success in watercolor. I love to look at beautiful images. I want to capture them forever. All my life, photography was how I gathered images of the beauty I saw. Thanks to all that photography, I enjoy composing pictures, especially up close. Watercolors allow me to add more of me in their translation of that beauty. My paintings reflect my love for music and dance, with their rhythm and flow. I am fascinated by the play of light, so it appears in my pictures as drama for they are filled with darks and lights. Maybe it's the challenge, maybe it's the beauty, but now, when a work comes together, it fills my soul.
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