Timeline of Salem, Massachusetts

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This is a timeline of the history of Salem, Massachusetts, USA.


17th century[edit]

  • 1626
    • Settlers arrive.[1]
  • 1629
    • Town of Salem incorporated.[1]
Salem Common during the winter
  • 1629
    • The first muster on Salem Common took place where for the first time, a regiment of militia drilled for the common defense of a multi-community area [3], thus laying the foundation for what became the Army National Guard. [4]
  • 1644
Gedney & Cox Houses
  • 1649
    • The first Salem Custom House was built in 1649 and collected taxes on imported cargoes.
  • 1651
  • 1664
    • Pickman House built & is owned by the Peabody Essex Museum and is not open to the public.
  • 1665
    • Gedney House built (approximate date) & is operated as a non-profit museum by Historic New England. The house is rarely open to the public, though private tours can be arranged.
  • 1667
    • House of the Seven Gables is built for Capt. John Turner, remaining in his family for three generations, descending from John Turner II to John Turner III.
  • 1675
  • 1684
    • John Ward House was built. The house was moved to its present site in 1910 and restored by the Peabody Essex Museum. It is open for viewing on guided tour. Rooms on the first floor feature 17th-century furnishings.[5]
  • 1688
  • William Murray House was built
  • 1692

18th century[edit]

Samuel McIntire, c. 1786, pastel portrait attributed to Benjamin Blyth
    • Samuel McIntire (January 16, 1757 – February 6, 1811) American architect and craftsman, born in Salem. He built a simple home and workshop on Summer Street in 1786.
  • 1760
  • 1762
    • Derby House was built
    • Derby Wharf (1762, extended 1806) – Salem's longest wharf (nearly 1/2 mile). When in active use, it was lined with warehouses of goods from around the world. The Derby Wharf Light (1871) remains at the end of the wharf.
  • 1766
    • Salem Marine Society instituted.[2]
  • 1768
    • Essex Gazette newspaper begins publication.
  • 1773
Nathaniel Bowditch

19th century[edit]

Essex Register published in Salem 1807-1840
Map of Salem, 1820
City Hall, built 1838 (photo later 19th century)
Advertisements for Salem businesses, 1857[7]
Salem Harbor, oil on canvas, Fitz Hugh Lane, 1853. Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
Map of Salem and Harbor, 1883

20th century[edit]

  • 1901
  • 1903
  • 1906
    • Parker Brothers, based in Salem, Massachusetts published the game Rook, their most successful card game to this day and it quickly became the best-selling game in the country.
    • Salem Laundry building was built and is now on the National Register of Historic Places.
  • 1907
  • 1908
    • House of the Seven Gables was purchased by Caroline O. Emmerton, founder of the House of Seven Gables Settlement Association, and she restored it from 1908 to 1910 as a museum whose admission fees would support the association.
  • 1914
  • 1915
  • 1925
    • Palmer's Cove Yacht Club is formed [8] and is located in Salem Harbor and sponsors the Bowditch Race that is held each August in Salem Harbor.
  • 1930
US Post Office in Salem
Coast Guard Air Station Salem patch
First page of Charles Darrow's patent submission for Monopoly, submitted and granted in 1935 [13]
Hamilton Hall at 9 Chestnut Street – added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1970 & built in 1805 by Samuel McIntire -
Phillips House at 34 Chestnut Street added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1983 built in 1800 by Samuel McIntire -


  • The entire area of Winter Island was added to the National Register of Historic Places as Winter Island Historic District and Archeological District
  • 1986
  • 1987
  • Derby Wharf Light Station is added to the National Register of Historic Places.
  • 1990
  • 1991
  • 1992
    • Peabody Essex Museum was formed by mergeding with the Essex Institute to form the Peabody Essex Museum. Included in the merger was the legacy of the East India Marine Society, established in 1799 by a group of Salem-based ship captains.
  • Phillips Library established.
  • 1994
    • Winter Island Light is a constituent part of the Winter Island Historic District and Archeological District, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places on April 14, 1994, reference number 94000335.
    • Fort Lee was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
    • Salem Willows Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places.
    • St. Nicholas Orthodox Church and Rectory is added to the National Register of Historic Places.
  • 1997
    • Construction of the rigging shed (80-by-16-foot wooden building) at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, a carpentry workshop and storage space since for The Friendship.
  • 1999
    • The Salem Diner was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

21st century[edit]

Friendship of Salem at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site.
  • 2001
    • Pickering Wharf Marina opens as a full-service marina in Salem Harbor.
    • Salem Water Taxi is founded in Salem Harbor.
  • 2002
  • 2003
    • The National Park Service acquired the Pedrick Store House from the town of Marblehead, this 1770 warehouse was built in Marblehead, just across the harbor from Salem, in 1770 by Thomas Pedrick, a successful member of the merchant community in pre-Revolutionary War Marblehead. [11]
    • The original Fame was a fast Chebacco fishing schooner that was reborn as a privateer when war broke out in the summer of 1812. She was arguably the first American privateer to bring home a prize, and she made 20 more captures before being wrecked in the Bay of Fundy in 1814. The new Fame is a full-scale replica of this famous schooner. Framed and planked of white oak and trunnel-fastened in the traditional manner, the replica of Fame was launched in 2003. She is now based at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site at Pickering Wharf Marina, where she takes the paying public for cruises on historic Salem Sound.[12]
In celebration of Nathaniel Bowditch and his work writing the The New American Practical Navigator, first published in 1802, is still carried on board every commissioned U.S. Naval vessel., in his hometown of Salem, Massachusetts there is the Salem Ferry, named after Bowditch, a high speed catamaran takes people to Boston and is pictured as it is approaching its dock off Blaney Street, Salem Maritime National Historic Site.
  • Pioneer Village underwent a major renovation from 2003 until Spring 2008 when Gordon College (Massachusetts) took over its management along with Old Town Hall [13].
  • The Peabody Essex Museum completed a massive $100 million renovation and expansion resulting in the opening a new wing designed by Moshe Safdie, more than doubling the gallery space to 250,000 square feet (23,000 m²); this allowed the display of many items from its extensive holdings, which had previously been unknown to the public due to lack of capability to show them. At this time, the museum also opened to the public the Yin Yu Tang House, an early 19th-century Chinese house from Anhui Province that had been removed from its original village and reconstructed in Salem.[21]
The Peabody Essex Museum
  • Yin Yu Tang House [14] Yin Yu Tang, was built around 1800 in China. Over 200 years after construction the Yin Yu Tang House was disassembled in China, shipped to America and then reassembled in 2003 inside the Peabody Essex Museum.
  • 2006
    • Kimberley Driscoll becomes mayor.[22]
    • The Salem Ferry 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.
    • Waterfront redevelopment – The first step in the redevelopment was in 2006, when the State of Massachusetts gave Salem $1,000,000.[23] The bulk of the money – $750,000 – was earmarked for acquisition of the Blaney Street landing, the private, 2-acre (8,100 m2) site off Derby Street used by the ferry. Another $200,000 was approved for the design of the new Salem wharf, a large pier planned for the landing, which officials said could be used by small cruise ships, commercial vessels and fishing boats.
  • 2007
    • Salem Arts Association incorporated.[24]
    • Doyle Sailmakers expanded into a new 31,000 square foot loft in Salem, Massachusetts
    • The City of Salem launched the Haunted Passport program which offers visitors discounts and benefits from local tourist attractions and retailers from October to April.


    • On March 29, 2007, the House of the Seven Gables Historic District was designated a National Historic Landmark.[25]
    • Pedrick Store House, a three-story building, constructed around 1770, is a historic rigging and sail loft, which the Park Service relocated from Marblehead to Salem in 2007 & construction began in the rebuilding of the Pedrick Store House, which had been in storage for many years disassembled – current location is Derby Wharf at the Salem Maritime National Historic Site [16] [17] [18]


  • 2009
    • Start of the Salem Farmers Market, taking place every Thursday – starting in June and going thru to October at Derby Square on Front Street [20]
  • 2010
    • The City of Salem's plans call for a total build-out of the current Blaney Street pier, known as the Salem Wharf project. When finished, the Blaney Street pier will be home to small to medium-sized cruise ships, commercial vessels and the Salem Ferry. This project is fully engineered and permitted.[26]
    • On July 28, 2010 Governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick signed into law today a bill that transforms Salem State College into Salem State University. Salem and eight other Massachusetts state colleges have collectively formed a new Massachusetts state university system. [21]
    • Salem Harborwalk opened in July 2010 to celebrate the rebirth of the Salem waterfront as a source of recreation for visitors as well as the local community. The 1,100-foot (340 m) walkway extends from the area of the Salem Fire Station to the Salem Waterfront Hotel.[27][28]
  • The $57.5 million, 525-student residence hall on Central Campus at Salem State University opened. [22]
Logo of Salem State University
  • 2011
    • Opening of the $109 million J. Michael Ruane Judicial Centerin Salem, located at 56 Federal Street. [23]
    • A bike program called Salem Spins, that offers bicycles, free of charge, with a fleet of 20 bicycles, split between two hubs, at Salem State University and downtown, near the Hawthorne Hotel.[29]
    • Waterfront redevelopment – construction crews were building a long seawall at the Blaney Street landing, which runs from the edge of the ferry dock back toward Derby Street and along an inner harbor. This is one of the early and key pieces of the Salem Pier, which the city hopes to have completed by 2014 and is the key to eventually bring cruise ships to Salem.[30][31]
    • A master plan was developed for Winter Island in Salem, with help from the planning and design firm The Cecil Group of Boston and Bioengineering Group of Salem, and the City of Salem paid $45,000 in federal money.[32] In the long term the projected cost to rehabilitate just the barracks is $1.5 million. But in the short term, there are multiple lower-cost items like a proposed $15,000 for a kayak dock or $50,000 to relocate and improve the bathhouse. This is a very important project since Fort Pickering guarded Salem Harbor as far back as the 17th century.[33]
    • In 2011, a mahogany side chair with carving done by Samuel McIntire sold at auction for $662,500.[34] The price set a world record for Federal furniture. McIntyre was one of the first architects in the United States, and his work represents a prime example of early Federal-style architecture. Elias Hasket Derby, Salem's wealthiest merchant and thought to be America's first millionaire, and his wife, Elizabeth Crowninshield, purchased the set of eight chairs from McIntire.[35]
  • 2012
    • Waterfront redevelopment – In June 2012, the $1.75 million was awarded by the state of Massachusetts and will launch a first phase of dredging and construction of a 100-foot (30 m) extension of the pier; a harborwalk to improve pedestrian access; and other lighting, landscaping and paving improvements. Dredging will allow the city to attract other ferries, excursion vessels and cruise ships of up to 250 feet (76 m).[36]
  • 2013
    • President Barack Obama on 10 January 2013 signed executive order HR1339 "which designates the City of Salem, Massachusetts, as the birthplace of the U.S. National Guard. [24]
  • 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. [25] 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. [26]
  • Salem State University campus – $74 million, 122,000-square-foot library at . [27] The new library will have more than 150 public computers and 1,000 seats of study space, from tables and desks to lounge chairs scattered throughout the building.
  • Salem State University campus – $15 million 40,000-square-foot, two-story, glass-walled facility at the existing athletic O’Keefe Center complex. The new fitness facility will provide—in addition to more exercise equipment, two basketball courts, a yoga studio, and a conference/lecture hall that can accommodate an audience of 1000—a place where students can gather, connect and find a bit of respite from the rigors of their academic studies. [28]
  • Salem State University campus – Construction announcement of a $36 to $42 million Dorn for 350 to 400 students. A construction start in the spring of 2014 is the goal and to have the new residence hall open in 2015. [29] [30]
  • Salem will be getting a new state-of-the-art, 20,000-square-foot Senior Center. In March 2013, The Salem Senior Center was finalized in March 2013 by the Mayor of Salem & the Salem city councilors it is official with a $4.9 million bond — the final OK needed to build a community/senior center as part of a private/public development at Boston and Bridge streets.[31] [32] The Salem Senior Center will include parking for 374 automobiles. [33]

See also[edit]

Other cities in Massachusetts


  1. ^ a b c d T.F. Hunt (1880), Visitor's guide to Salem, Salem, Massachusetts: H.P. Ives, OCLC 10361879 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p Salem Directory and City Register. Salem, Massachusetts: Henry Whipple. 1842. Retrieved 2 November 2011. 
  3. ^ ''The Loyalists of Massachusetts and the Other Side of the American Revolution'', James H. Stark, James H. Stark, Boston, 1910. Books.google.com. Retrieved 2012-11-10. 
  4. ^ Alden Bradford (1843). New England Chronology. Boston: S.G. Simpkins. 
  5. ^ Population of the 100 Largest Cities and Other Urban Places in the United States: 1790 to 1990, US Census Bureau, 1998 
  6. ^ National Park Service. "McIntire Historic District Walking Trail". Retrieved 2011-11-02. 
  7. ^ Adams, George (1857), The Salem directory, Salem, Massachusetts: H. Whipple & Son, OCLC 36779111 
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k George M. Whipple (1886). "A sketch of the musical societies of Salem". Essex Institute Historical Collections 23. Retrieved 2 November 2011. 
  9. ^ Massachusetts state record and year book of general information: 1848. Boston: J. French. 1848. Retrieved 2 November 2011. 
  10. ^ Plummer Hall, Salem, Massachusetts: Salem Athenaeum, 1882, OCLC 13736607 
  11. ^ Richard Kurin (2013). Smithsonian's History of America in 101 Objects. Penguin. ISBN 978-1-101-63877-4. 
  12. ^ "Washington Mazurkerwitz and Veronica Ryewhiskey: Recollections of the Polish Community in Salem". Object of the Month. Massachusetts Historical Society. March 2013. 
  13. ^ [1] Early Monopoly Game Box Designs
  14. ^ "Frequently Asked Questions about MONOPOLY". Retrieved 2009-02-26. 
  15. ^ Historic Salem
  16. ^ [2] * 1977
    • Dodge Wing completed at the Peabody Essesx Museum
  17. ^ a b c Wojahn, Ellen (1988). "Fold". Playing by Different Rules. American Management Association (amacom). p. 217. ISBN 0-8144-5861-0. 
  18. ^ Dougherty, Philip H. (February 8, 1983). "Parker Bros. adding book publishing line". The Miami News. New York Times News Service. p. 8A. Retrieved August 5, 2010. 
  19. ^ a b Gorov, Linda (February 9, 1984). "Parker Brothers giving [children's] music market a spin". The Boston Globe. Retrieved September 21, 2010. (registration required (help)). Parker's move comes on the heels of its 1983 entry into children's books. Its 12 books about Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake sold an unprecedented 3.5 [million units]. 
  20. ^ "Sister City - Ota, Japan". City of Salem. Retrieved December 2014. 
  21. ^ Peabody Essex Museum collections (Peabody Essex Museum, 1999)
  22. ^ "Meet the Mayors". Washington, D.C.: United States Conference of Mayors. Retrieved March 30, 2013. 
  23. ^ "Salem gets $1M for waterfront » SalemNews.com, Salem, Massachusetts". Salemnews.com. 2006-12-18. Retrieved 2012-09-03. 
  24. ^ "Salem Arts Association website". Retrieved 2011-11-02. 
  25. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Listings: April 13, 2007". National Park Service. Retrieved 2007-06-26. 
  26. ^ City of Salem, Massachusetts. "City of Salem, Massachusetts – City to purchase Blaney Street parcel today". Salem.com. Retrieved 2012-09-03. 
  27. ^ Galang, Stacie N. (July 16, 2010). "Salem Harborwalk opens amid appreciative crowd". The Salem News (Community Newspaper Holdings, Inc.). Retrieved April 28, 2011. 
  28. ^ Glasset, Meaghan (November 8, 2007). "Grants will transform Peabody Street lot into park, harbor walk destination". Salem Gazette (GateHouse Media, Inc.). Retrieved April 28, 2011. 
  29. ^ "A SECOND CYCLE » Local News » SalemNews.com, Salem, Massachusetts". Salemnews.com. 2012-08-30. Retrieved 2012-09-03. 
  30. ^ "Salem pier work under way » Local News » SalemNews.com, Salem, Massachusetts". Salemnews.com. 2012-08-30. Retrieved 2012-09-03. 
  31. ^ "Salem Harbor Power Station To Close In 2014 « CBS Boston". Boston.cbslocal.com. 2011-05-11. Retrieved 2012-09-03. 
  32. ^ "Plan calls for amphitheater, other fixes at Winter Island » Local News » SalemNews.com, Salem, Massachusetts". Salemnews.com. 2012-08-30. Retrieved 2012-09-03. 
  33. ^ "Patrick-Murray Administration Creates Ports of Massachusetts Compact". Massachusettsgov. 2012-04-30. Retrieved 2012-09-03. 
  34. ^ "THE ELIAS HASKET DERBY FEDERAL CARVED MAHOGANY SIDE CHAIR | CARVING ATTRIBUTED TO SAMUEL MCINTIRE (1757-1811), SALEM, MASSACHUSETTS, 1790–1798 | American Furniture & Decorative Arts Auction | side chair, Furniture & Lighting | Christie's". Christies.com. Retrieved 2012-09-03. 
  35. ^ "World Auction Records At Christie’S «". Antiquesandartireland.com. 2011-01-26. Retrieved 2012-09-03. 
  36. ^ "State awards $1.75M to Blaney Street wharf project » Local News » SalemNews.com, Salem, Massachusetts". Salemnews.com. 2012-08-30. Retrieved 2012-09-03. 
  37. ^ Federal Writers' Project (1937), "Chronology", Massachusetts: a Guide to its Places and People, American Guide Series, Boston: Houghton Mifflin 

Further reading[edit]

Published in the 19th century[edit]

Published in the 20th century[edit]

  • "Salem". Chambers's Encyclopaedia. London. 1901. 
  • Benjamin F. Arrington, ed. (1922). "City of Salem". Municipal History of Essex County in Massachusetts 1. New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Company. 
  • James Duncan Phillips (1929), The life and times of Richard Derby, merchant of Salem, 1712–1783, Cambridge: Riverside Press, OCLC 3187955 
  • James Duncan Phillips (1933), Salem in the seventeenth century, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company 
  • Federal Writers' Project (1937), "Salem", Massachusetts: a Guide to its Places and People, American Guide Series, Boston: Houghton Mifflin 
  • James Duncan Phillips (1937). Salem in the nineties and some of the people who lived there. Boston.  (fulltext via HathiTrust)
  • James Duncan Phillips (1937), Salem in the eighteenth century, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company 
  • James Duncan Phillips (1947), Salem and the Indies: the story of the great commercial era of the city, Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co., OCLC 535834 
  • Trudy Ring and Robert M. Salkin, ed. (1995). "Salem". Americas. International Dictionary of Historic Places. Routledge. p. 577+. ISBN 978-1-134-25930-4. 

Published in the 21st century[edit]

  • Dane Anthony Morrison and Nancy Lusignan Schultz, eds., Salem: Place, Myth, Memory (Boston: Northeastern University Press, 2004)

External links[edit]