Halloween May be Over, but Salem’s Charm Never Ends

One of America’s Oldest Towns, Salem Blends Past and Present

While the home of 1692’s infamous Witch Trials may be the best place to celebrate Halloween, Salem offers history and culture year-round. Originally incorporated into Massachusetts Bay Colony in the 1620’s, Salem’s name comes from a Biblical term for “peace.” In fact, the town’s name has the same meaning as the “Salem” in Jerusalem.)

Prior to the famous legal proceedings, famed colonial minister Roger Williams was one of Salem’s first residents. Williams was a staunch advocate for religious tolerance and equitable treatment of the Native population. Unfortunately, Massachusetts Bay eventually banned Williams for spreading “dangerous” ideas among his congregants. After that, Williams fled South to Rhode Island, the state with which he’s most often associated today.

Friendship of Salem - Salem Movers - Moving Company Salem

The Friendship of Salem is one many functional vessels docked at Salem Harbor. Photo by Fletcher6 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 or GFDL], via Wikimedia Commons

Not Looking for a Witch Hunt? Try the New England Pirate Museum

As Salem Harbor became a major shipping center in the largely unregulated New World, it attracted an assortment of sailors looking to make their fortunes. Naturally, among those sailors were more than a few pirates. Today, visitors interested in maritime history can learn the stories of Captain Kidd, Blackbeard, and others who frequented the harbor.

The “living” museum features a full-size pirate ship, an 80-foot cave, and historical artifacts displayed in context.

Also docked in Salem Harbor and open to the public is the Friendship of Salem. The Friendship is a fully seaworthy 171-foot exact replica of a 1797 sailing vessel.

Bit Bar: Salem’s Arcade for Grownups

If more recent history is your thing, you’ll love Saint Peter Street’s Bit Bar. Inside of a former jail, Bit Bar is home to dozens of classic arcade consoles from the 1980’s and 90’s. With a full comfort-food style menu and an outdoor seating area, it’s a great place to get a bite to eat and challenge your friends to a game of NBA Jam, Ms. Pac-Man, or Mortal Kombat.

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Featured photo by Baker, Joseph E., ca. 1837-1914, artist. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons