The vintage images presented in this fascinating collection chronicle the city’s cultural, social, and economic development over a period of one hundred years. Area historians Kenneth C. Turino and Stephen J. Schier are actively involved with historical preservation on the North Shore. Their affection for the area and knowledge of its past are evident in this remarkable new photographic history of Salem.
Salem, Massachusetts (Images of America Series)by Kenneth C. Turino, Stephen J. Schier
Salem, Massachusetts, is one of the most historic settlements in the United States. Most commonly associated with the seventeenth-century witchcraft hysteria of Salem Villagean area that now falls within the bounds of neighboring Danversthe city of Salem actually boasts a rich and textured history with a variety of economic, religious, and cultural
Salem, Massachusetts, is one of the most historic settlements in the United States. Most commonly associated with the seventeenth-century witchcraft hysteria of Salem Villagean area that now falls within the bounds of neighboring Danversthe city of Salem actually boasts a rich and textured history with a variety of economic, religious, and cultural highlights. This new and exciting visual history reveals Salem’s comprehensive heritage from the 1860s to the 1950s. Salem’s early strengths as a colonial community were drawn from the waters around it: fishing was a staple industry in the beginning, and shipbuilding and ocean trade bolstered the settlement economically for many years. In the nineteenth century, after war with Britain caused Salem’s maritime trade to decline, the city developed into a modern commercial center. Prominent settlers fostered the development of luxurious architecture and interior design, along with the founding of the city’s well-known resort and amusement center, the Willows.
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I bought this book as a gift for my elderly father, who was born in and grew up in Salem in the 2nd quarter of the 20th century. It has a very good selection of photos of Salem between approximately 1865 and 1955. There seems to be, from my point of view, a few too many photos of Chestnut Street, and too few photos of streets where ordinary people lived. It appears that the photos in the book were selected on the basis of what the editors had available. For example, some French families loaned many photos from their collections of the French Catholic high school, so there are many more photos of that school than of any other. There is a nice section of the book devoted to the Salem Willows Park. In general, I would recommend the book for people who know Salem, or who knew it before the mid-1950s. I'm not sure that there is enough context given in the captions or introduction to learn a lot about what Salem was like as a community in this period. I have not read volume 2 of this book, and I would very much like to, in order to find out if together they cover the Salem my father (and even I) remember.