Salem is a small city north of Boston, founded in 1626. Salem is known as the Witch City because of the witchcraft trials of 1692 where many innocents were executed. As Salem grew it became home to successful privateers during colonial times. After independence, Salem’s fleet turned their attention to the Far East, risking everything to open the lucrative trade. This trade made Salem one of the richest cities and spawned mansions, museums, libraries and public buildings.
With the waning of maritime trade Salem became an industrial center. For many years it was a shopping hub. This growth was marred by a devastating fire in 1914 that destroyed large sections of the city. After rebuilding, Salem continued to be a commercial and industrial center until the 1950s, when Salem undertook its own big dig to address transportation problems.
This blow to the economy was further compounded with the growth of shopping centers. Salem went into decline with many revival attempts including urban renewal. Everything changed in the 1970s; the witchcraft heritage was embraced; Salem became home to its annual Haunted Happenings: the oldest museum in the country dramatically expanded and numerous shops, stores and restaurants called Salem home.
||235 x 165 mm
||15 April 2014
||92 black-and-white and 92 colour photographs
Jerome Curley graduated from Boston University and for 30 years worked in social services where he was a trainer and administrator of various children's services. He has a bachelor's degree and two master's degrees, which highlights his dedication to learning and research. Upon retirement, he has focused on history and most especially the history of Salem. He has used his skills in writing and photography to co-author two other Salem history books. He writes a regular history column for Salem Patch. He has given presentations and lectures to local historical groups and the public.