The War of 1812, Secession, and Salem Smugglers

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The war of 1812 almost did not happen. Spencer Perceval  opposed the upcoming  war with the America in light with their ongoing war with Napoleon.  To silence his opposition he was assassinated (the only British Prime Minister to be assassinated in office) and replaced by Robert Banks Jenkinson, the 2nd Earl of Liverpool, who was all for reconquering the lost colonies.

Also opposed to the war were the Federalist in New England.  As the war progressed they refused to pay any money to Washington to continue this war.  Governor Strong of Massachusetts refused to supply troops or money to retake Maine which was part of his state at the time. Instead he raised $1 million to raise a state army of 10,000.  The on the contrary their privateers were making a fortune raiding British commerce at sea.  Or were they?

These Federalist were in open opposition to Jefferson’s Embargo Acts (Spencer Perceval’s Orders in Council act was the cause of Jefferson imposing the Embargo Act. ) which were strengthened during the war by President Madison in 1813. There were some reports stating that Federalist sea captains  were engaging in commerce not raiding with these British ships at sea.

Opposition grew so great during the War of 1812 that the New England Federalists made plans to secede from the union.  Harrison Gray Otis, of Boston who inspired these measures, suggested that the Eastern States meet at a convention in Hartford, Connecticut.  Otis was reportedly worth at least US$800,000 in 1846, which in 2014 would be equivalent to $6.5 Billion. A Boston smuggler who had his home built my Charles Bulfinch who was the official tunnel digger in our nation’s capital and built the tunnels leaving the Massachusetts state house. The idea of leaving the union was not a new one. As early as 1804 some New England Federalists had discussed secession from the Union if the national government under Jefferson became too oppressive.

Timothy Pickering Salem MA

Timothy Pickering. Secretary of State for Washington and Adams.

The Federalists’  national leadership was decimated and their viable base was reduced to the states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Delaware. Timothy Pickering of Salem (smuggler, Secretary of State, and aid to General Washington) and a few Federalists envisioned creating a separate New England confederation, possibly combining with lower Canada to form a new pro-British nation.  Later during the Hartford Convention these ideas resurfaced. The Hartford Convention met December 15 1814. At the convention radical proposals such as a seizure of the Federal customs house, impounding federal funds, and declaring neutrality in the War of 1812 were voiced. Firebrands like George Cabot, John Lowell, Jr., Timothy Pickering, and Josiah Quincy  pushed for secession.  Cabot was another smuggler from Salem that had his homes in Salem and Beverly attached to the tunnels. Cabot became the president of the convention. Otis thought unless moderates like himself and the other delegates took charge, the radical secessionists might take power. Indeed, Otis was unaware that Massachusetts Governor Strong had already sent a secret mission to discuss terms with the British for a separate peace.

George Cabot Salem Tunnel Smuggler

George Cabot, President of the Hartford Convention

Madison moved troops from the New York–Canadian border to Albany where they could quickly be sent to Massachusetts or Connecticut if needed to preserve federal authority. Several New England regiments that had participated in the Niagara campaign were returned home where it was hoped that they could serve as a focal point for New Englanders opposed to disunion.

After the convention ended in January 1815, Massachusetts sent three commissioners to Washington, D.C. to negotiate for the terms that had been agreed upon at the convention. Because of Otis these terms did not propose secession. By the time they arrived in February 1815, news of Andrew Jackson‘s overwhelming victory at the Battle of New Orleans, and the signing of the Treaty of Ghent, preceded them and, consequently, their presence in the capital seemed both ludicrous and subversive. They quickly returned. Thereafter, both Hartford Convention and Federalist Party became synonymous with disunion, secession, and treason, especially in the South. By 1823 the Federalist party even in Massachusetts was decimated.

~ To find out more about the tunnels in Salem and the smugglers’ who shaped our nation read Salem Secret Underground:The History of the Tunnels in the City and its sequel coming out this fall called Subrosa by Christopher Jon Luke Dowgin. Look for them at Barnes & Noble, Wicked Good Books, and Amazon.com. Also to learn about the tunnels and the conspiracies engineered in Salem Ma book a ticket on the Salem Smugglers’ Tour!

 

Ghosts and Tunnels of Salem MA on Beyond the Grave Radio

What Could Get Better!

 

Listen to Chris Dowgin the author of Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City and your tour guide from Salem Smugglers’ Tour on Beyond the Grave Radio. Humor, strange tales, murder, ghosts, conspiracies, and tunnels all detailed from the Witch City.

So book a tour today at http://www.salemtunneltour.com and head over to Barnes & Noble to buy Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City. If you buy the book on the tour you will save $5 and will have it signed and doodled in by the author for no extra cost! What a deal!!

Salem Secret Underground and The Salem Smugglers’ Tour

Chocolate and Peanut Butter

Chris Dowgin Leading the Salem Smugglers' Tour

So what is down there? Within the pages of the book Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City I tell you. The book is filled with pictures of the tunnels in the city. On the Salem Smugglers’ Tour I take you where the photos were taken and show you them on my tablet while going over the history of the people who built them.

So are any of these smugglers important today, or even then? Well lets take a look…

Joseph Story Smuggler in Salem MA

Man who shaped the Constitution, Associate Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story.

George Peabody in Salem MA

George Peabody orchestrated several economic panics with Rothschild in England. His bank is now called JP Morgan which orchestrated the 2008 Financial Collapse.

 

Timothy Pickering in Salem MA

Timothy Pickering was Secretary of State for Washington and Adams. He wrote the Alien & Sedition Acts which are now very similar to Homeland Security and the Patriot Act.

So these men were the politicians who shaped our country. Pickering was Washington’s general and Secretary of State who helped ratify the Constitution. Joseph Story shaped the Constitution with Daniel Webster. Both were in Stephen White’s pocket defending the Second Bank of the United States and their attempts to create what we call the Federal Reserve today. George Peabody founded the Rockefeller Foundation, sold the majority of shares in our national bank to foreign investors, collapsed our economy several times, founded what became JP Morgan bank, and bailed out the local museum which was renamed after him. He owned the Eastern Railroad that built the Gothic railroad station in town.

Elias Hasket Derby Jr.

Elias Hasket Derby Jr. spent the 10th Largest fortune in American history and extended 3 miles of tunnels in town.

 

Elias Hasket Derby

Elias Hasket Derby America’s first millionaire and tenth richest man in American history.

Who else? Elias Hasket Derby was America’s first millionaire and the tenth richest man in American history to this day. Beyond Gates and Buffet put together. He built a tunnel from his wharf, to his home, and to his cousin’s Hodges house who founded the Peabody Essex Museum. His son Eias Hasket Derby Jr. who extended the tunnels so 159 politicians and businessmen could avoid paying Jefferson’s duties. Thomas Perkins who’s opium empire spurred on the wealth of the Forbes, Russells, and Sturgis families. In fact the Russells purchase his land in New Haven and erect the Skull & Bones crypt on it. Russell will create the fraternity with Alphonso Taft who is President Taft’s grandfather.

How do I know these tunnels exist? Because I have been in them!

Chris Dowgin in Tunnel in Salem MA

Chris Dowgin in Tunnel in Salem MA

Chris Dowgin in Tunnel in Salem MA

Chris Dowgin in Tunnel in Salem MA

Chris Dowgin in Tunnel in Salem MA

Can I get you in…no! One day though so keep checking back, but for now there is so much more about this tour than witches. Stuff that still effects you today! Plus the tour is filled with vintage photos of town from the 1800’s, old car crashes, comedy, ghost stories and a famous murder!!!

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Also you will learn how Stephen White who had the East India Marine Hall in the Peabody Essex built got away with murdering his uncle with the involvement of Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story and Secretary of State Daniel Webster. A murder that empowered them to murder presidents Harrison and Taylor to secure the Third Bank of the United States so George Peabody could sell more of our country away to the Rothschilds.

President Taylor. Second to president to be murdered because of the Third Bank of the United States.

President Taylor. Second president to be murdered because of the Third Bank of the United States.

 

President Harrison. Murdered by people in Salem.

President Harrison. The first president murdered by people in Salem.

Daniel Webster Murdered Two Presidents.

Daniel Webster who murdered two presidents in a failed attempt to create the Third Bank of the United States.

Here are some of the cool tunnels in Salem you will see in the book and on the tablet on the tour.

Crypts

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Door that led to compartments runaway slaves could sleep in on the tunnel route in Salem, MA.

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So book a tour today at http://www.salemtunneltour.com and head over to Barnes & Noble to buy Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City. If you buy the book on the tour you will save $5 and will have it signed and doodled in by the author for no extra cost! What a deal!!

Greenlawn Cemetery Tunnels, and Lords of Salem

Dead Men Tell No Tales

Greenlawn Chapel and Greenhouse Salem Ma

A beautiful memorial chapel and conservatory, erected in 1894, by Walter Scott Dickson in memory of his wife, is located here. Dickson Chapel is a High Victorian Gothic work of architecture, made with light-brown granite with trim of olive stone. The conservatory was taken down in the 1970’s after it suffered damage. In 1887 the cemetery was enclosed with an iron fence and gates, 1,087 feet long. Major improvements were initiated in 1933 and 1934 with W.P.A. workers planting many botanical specimens. F. Carroll Sargent, noted arborist, brought many varieties of trees and shrubs from all over North America, China, Japan, Europe, Manchuria, Siberia and Korea to plant at the cemetery. Notable speciments are the following trees: Amur Cork, Dawn Redwood, Osage Orange, Yellowwood, and Katsura Trees. In 1934 the Workers Progress Administration (WPA) workers planted hundreds of trees. Over the years that followed, seeds of shrubs and trees were received from the Arnold Arboretum and started and nurtured in the cemetery greenhouses for eventual planting on the grounds. Longtime Cemetery Commissioner F. Carroll Sargent was instrumental in continuing the tradition of planting and propagating trees and shrubs for the cemetery. There are two bodies of water, Sargent Pond and Fountain Pond.

MA Salem Greenlawn Cemetery Pond and Bridge Color

Pond

Dickson Memorial Chapel is a hidden treasure nestled in North Salem’s Greenlawn Cemetery. The highly significant and impressive Gothic Revival, stone Dickson Memorial Chapel (1894), was designed by Newton architect George Meacham. What is truly hidden are the tunnels under it.

GreenLawn Cemetery Chapel Tunnels Salem MA

GreenLawn Cemetery Chapel Tunnels Salem MA

GreenLawn Cemetery Chapel Tunnels Salem MA

GreenLawn Cemetery Chapel Tunnels Salem MA

GreenLawn Cemetery Chapel Tunnels Salem MA

GreenLawn Cemetery Chapel Tunnels Salem MA

GreenLawn Cemetery Chapel Tunnels Salem MA

GreenLawn Cemetery Chapel Tunnels Salem MA

GreenLawn Cemetery Chapel Tunnels Salem MA

The tunnel blocked off by the stairs you enter upon would lead to Orne’s Point where a widow would sell bricks to build the tunnels in town. Another headed toward Manning’s house, a Salem Common Improvement Fund members house. The other led to that creepy crypt, now storing weed whackers. Plus there is an old crapper under a pile of bricks, I bet that was one hell of a shit.

Toilet covered in brick in the Dickson Chapekl Salem MA

Now Rob Zombie filmed Lords of Salem in this cemetery, but he did not see any of these tunnels. Not even the crypt…

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Get the book everyone digs before its sequel comes out!
Salem Secret Underground:The History of the Tunnels in the City!
Available at Barnes & Noble, Remember Salem, and Wicked Good Books in Salem on Essex Street. Also on Amazon.com!

Then for a great time take the Salem Smugglers’ Tour to find out all of the secrets one can dig up in town!

Jacob Rust Store in Salem MA

Lords of Salem

Jacob Rust

Jacob Rust Store

216-220 Essex Street

This building was built for the Salem Commons Improvement Fund subscriber Jacob Rust in 1801. This is the first storefront from the time of Elias Hasket Derby Jr’s tenure at digging tunnels that was connected. Jacob rust had owned Rust Wharf that had a prison ship docked there from 1812 to 1815 during the War with England. Where I grew up in NJ there was this Chinese house. Who ever bought it bought the restaurant with it. It was a package deal. Only thing cooler in Salem was, when you bought the house you got to walk through a tunnel to work. The Jacob Rust house on the corner of Hamilton and Essex Street was also connected to the tunnel along with his neighbor on Beckford Street. Next door on Essex Street is the house Rob Zombie’s wife’s apartment in Lords of Salem.

Essex Street in Salem MA

The House rising out of the rear of the bus is the Apartment house from Lords of Salem.

Now the the Jacob Rust store is owned by Cabot Money Management. The Cabot Farm in north Salem is a private place on a public road owned by Cabot Money Management’s owners. Orne’s Point was bought by Joseph Cabot. Joseph Sebastian Cabot (October 8, 1796 – June 29, 1874) was a Massachusetts banker and politician who served as the fourth Mayor of Salem, Massachusetts.Cabot was president of the Asiatic Bank,the Salem Savings Bank, and the Massachusetts Horticultural Society that resided in Greenlawn Cemetery. He was also the Massachusetts State Bank Commissioner.

Now Lords of Zombie was filmed in the Greenlawn Cemetery too, but they did not get to film in the coolest part. In the basement of the chapel there is three tunnels. One leading to Orne’s Point. The one heading north opens up to a chamber that was once used to house corpses in the winter. The one heading southeast heads toward Manning’s house where Hawthorne and his mother used to live. Manning had owned part of the cemetery for hi nursery. This tunnel terminates on an old staircase.

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If you are caught walking on that public road with its public park and you wake up the Cabot’s guard rooster you are in trouble. Someone from their house will drive up and down the road and they will call the police. That public road is badly humped from the erosion of the tunnel leading from the chapel in Green Lawn Cemetery to their field. Then in their field you can see further erosion as a path raises out of a marsh and then forks to their homes. The path exposes the two tunnels leading to their homes on the farm. The homes have several secret passages in them I am told. Plus they have easy access to the North River where they could land goods to smuggle into town. Or at least the Orne’s Could.

Timothy Pickering Salem MA

Timothy Pickering. Secretary of State for Washington and Adams.

On this lot was a widow desperate for income who started a brick yard. Could she of been making bricks for the smugglers? Timothy Pickering ordered 200,000 from her. Mr. Orne who the Orne’s Point is named after had Richard Derby and George Crowninshield start off their careers in his counting house. He also had a famous tavern here at one point.

Rust’s store displays the regular exterior chimneys that can be found on most homes connected by the tunnels. It’s the first brick store front from the time of the Salem Commons Improvement Fund subscribers secret tunnel digging expedition and below are pictures of the sealed up entrances.

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Get the book everyone digs before its sequel comes out!
Salem Secret Underground:The History of the Tunnels in the City!
Available at Barnes & Noble, Remember Salem, and Wicked Good Books in Salem on Essex Street. Also on Amazon.com!

Then for a great time take the Salem Smugglers’ Tour to find out all of the secrets one can dig up in town!

Secrets From the Vault

A Jacob’s Ladder

Naumkeag National Bank Salem MA

Samuel Ward Lot

217 Essex Street and Derby Square

The lot was originally developed by Samuel Ward who had his warehouse on the corner of Essex Street and Derby Square. He sold the lot that included the next building to the right, to George Dodge and John Derby (Southern Essex County Registry Bk 143 Pg 260) in 1785. In 1795 they sell the left portion of the lot to the Essex Bank (Southern Essex County Registry Bk 168 pg 70). In 1805 the Essex Bank will be in the Central Building and in 1811 have their own building built on Central Street (Boy’s Club Building). The Essex Bank will sell their portion in 1839 to William Kimball.

In 1858 Kimball sells this portion to the Salem Savings Bank which was founded by Edward Augustus Holyoke, one of the smugglers in town. In 1899 the Kimball Block as it is called then burns down. This will be the second fire on this location. The first was Young’s hat Shop where the widows Beckford and Manning die in. In several paranormal investigations entities have been found. Many have been moved on. Under the front basement stairs is a tomb for two gentlemen who died on the Underground Railroad. A Jacob’s ladder. A highway to Heaven. Very similar to Sheriff Curwin’s burial in his house. The tomb is 12 feet long, concrete, 3 feet wide, and 3 feet high. We have had a water witch declare they reside there. Someone hammered a hole into the base and the basement smelled like dead rats for weeks. Commemoration has been tried for these souls, but stalled. Once an EVP had recorded an entity saying they were afraid when asked if they were scared. Beyond the men looking for freedom, many others might of died in the fire in 1899. Do the two widows still haunt the property?

Hoyt Building Salem MA orb
Hoyt Building Salem MA Tunnel Entrance and Orbs

In 1900 W.E Hoyt Company buys the lot and builds the current building for their clothing and furnishing company. In 1910 Naumkeag Trust Company buys the building. They refit the interior to better suit their bank.

In 1858 John Derby still owns the right portion of the estate. The building to the right was erected in 1873 and was the first cast-iron faced building in Salem utilizing the technology that would develop into the modern skyscraper. In 1874 the fifth floor was added. The Hale (Mercantile) Building was also bought by the Naumkeag Trust Company in 1910.

This building is a cornucopia of entrances, mazes, trapdoors, and more. Starting in the back left corner is a door that leads into Derby Square facing Old Town Hall. As you walk down these steps and through a little hallway you enter the subbasement of the building. On the right behind what seems to be a furnace is an old tunnel entrance. If you look in the ceiling here you will see round glass panels set in a piece of wrought iron. This was used to illuminate this entrance while someone looked for their keys to unlock the door into the tunnel. Such light apertures can be seen on entrances to Daniel Low’s, the old Sacon Jewelry store basement ceiling, and outside the Gulu Gulu. This light aperture is now sealed off by a layer of tar in the flower bed on Derby Square.

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If you take a left you will notice how this subbasement was part of the original tunnel. After 4 paces to your right is an arch you can walk through to access an iron staircase bringing you into the basement. Now if you walk till the end of this room and take a right you will enter a small foyer to a bathroom. In the stall to the left is a trapdoor made of heavy marble. If you back track through the foyer to the room and head straight you will enter another level of the basement.

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Take a right and head toward Essex Street. In front of you is a bathroom. Its ceiling has a section of bricks displaying the original grade of the sidewalk above. Beyond that is more corrugated steel holding up the sidewalk which is quite rotted. If you leave the bathroom and take a left you enter a room in which the wall facing Essex Street and the wall facing Derby Square is attached to glass panes that stretch 3 feet across the ceiling. They have broke into the tunnel on two sides of this room. When you enter either closet on the wall facing Essex Street you will notice that the rain has pulled the sheet rock off the wall and ceiling exposing the brick of the building and the rubble used to seal the tunnel off.

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Now if you leave this room and take a left and quick right you will pass the possible tomb of two runaway slaves. The story goes that somewhere in Salem two gentlemen died and were not allowed a proper burial because their existence might hinder others who longed for freedom. So they encased them in a concrete tomb. There has been an attempt by people in town to consecrate the area as a national memorial, but they failed. In this basement is a 12 foot slab that is 3 feet wide and 3 feet high. It is open in part and then runs under a staircase. It is on the wall where one old basement connected to another. We have had several mediums say this was their final resting place and when someone dug into the base of this slab the basement smelled like dead rats for weeks afterwards. More runaway slaves have also been buried under the tunnel running from Daniel Low building to his warehouse. Daniel Low in the 1930’s refitted the floor of the tunnel to prevent the state having access to a burial ground they could commemorate.

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Take another right again you will find another tunnel entrance within an arch. Under the arch is a hole similar to the one in the Downing Building and the Naumkeag Block. This one is covered by plywood hiding the sewer lines access to the building. In the roof of the arch is a hole similar to all the arched entrance ways to the tunnels. If you exit the arched entrance and head to your right you will enter another room under Mud Puddle Toys. To your left facing Essex Street is a workbench. Above the workbench is a little door that leads you into another tunnel entrance. You have to climb down from the workbench through the door into the tunnel. This shaft goes 12 feet and is littered with building debris. Near the back of the shaft in the ceiling is another hole that terminates into a small manhole in the sidewalk. When you exit the doorway above the workbench you can walk to the back right corner to a stairway to Higginson Square. This is also another sealed tunnel entrance. Between the last two mentioned rooms is a hallway which was the original tunnel that separated the two buildings.

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To enter the second half of the basement you must apply to the rear of the building. In the alley way in between the Goddess Treasure Chest and this old building there is an old iron door made to fit a Hobbit. Once inside you climb down an iron ladder. There you will see a subbasement before you with another iron ladder leading you down. Now to your right you will see a window and a sealed off tunnel entrance, made once more for a Hobbit, that is in line with the Goddess Treasure Chest tunnel patio. This would of been the way to enter that building. If you walk to your left you will find two chambers. The one closest to the alley is quite empty and runs to Higginson Alley. The other one goes past another chamber with a spiral stair. Both chambers terminate at a Mosley vault made by the Hamilton company in Ohio. DSCN0383

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Get the book everyone digs before its sequel comes out!
Salem Secret Underground:The History of the Tunnels in the City!
Available at Barnes & Noble, Remember Salem, and Wicked Good Books in Salem on Essex Street. Also on Amazon.com!

 

 

 

 

Derby Square and the Tunnels of Salem MA

Home of the Engineer and Playboy

Derby Mansion Derby Square Salem MA

Old Town Hall

32 Derby Square

This was the site of Col. William Browne who was a loyalist during the Revolutionary War who fled to Canada. In consequence the state of Massachusetts confiscated his property in 1784. Through Derby’s wife he inherited Brown’s property including Castle Hill which Hawthorne called Brown’s Folly. Castle Hill will be torn down by the Massachusetts Rock and Stone Company. This mansion was designed by Charles Bulfinch and later modified by Samuel McIntire. Charles Bulfinch built the Capital Building in Washington D.C. , the Essex Bank Building in Salem, and the tunnels entrances that connect them. In between the years 1795 and 1799 the mansion was under construction. Soon after the construction was over Elias Hasket Derby dies.

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After returning from sea, Elias Hasket Derby Jr. inherits the mansion and retires into it for 10 years. Did Elias Hasket Derby Jr. build the tunnels leading from the mansion or were they already there? If they preexisted his return to Salem, did these tunnels inspire him to connect other buildings in town? Either way he will spend the next 10 years filling in the Commons and building an extensive network of tunnels to the old colonial system.

At the end of his ten years with his finances faltering, Elias Hasket Derby Jr. returns to the sea and comes back with a 1,000 Merino sheep. Soon afterwards he moves to Londonberry, N.H. and sells the estate to John Derby III and Benjamin Pickman. The house had been left abandoned for years because of the high cost of sustaining it. Elias Hasket Derby Jr. has the mansion demolished before he sells it.

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In 1816 John Derby III and Benjamin Pickman Jr. offer the foundation of the house to the town to have a market place and town hall on the property forever. The town accepts and they have Joshua Upham build Old Town Hall from plans drawn by Charles Bulfinch. Also brick stalls were added to the walkway leading to New Derby Street. These would be demolished at some point and rebuilt in the 1970’s which today houses Artist Row. The opening of Old Town Hall was graced with the appearance of James Monroe as he visited Salem. This will be one of many buildings Monroe would visit that was connected by the tunnels in town. Old Town Hall served as the city seat till 1836 when the new city hall was built.

Now when you sit in the men’s room as the train goes through the tunnel on Washington Street, 2 buildings away, you can feel the wind come through a vent in the back of the stall along with the sound of the wheels running on the track. The back wall of the men’s room is in the middle of the building. Access to the front of the basement towards Essex Street is prohibitive. As well as the back corner of the basement facing Lawrence Place. There are several manholes surrounding the property reading “S’, “Sewer”, and “Drain”. Staff on the city electrical building say it is connected to the current Bank Plaza Building and Daniel Low’s old Warehouse which used to house the Goddess Treasure Chest now.

In 1816 John Derby and Benjamin Pickman Jr. also built the Pickman Building at 22-26 Front Street and 15 Derby Square. 15 Derby Square houses Maria’ Sweet Something and the former location of Fiddelhead. The building in which Front Street Coffeehouse and the needlework shop is in was a later addition. The next row of buildings attached to these two were original along with a third building which stood where the air conditioning unit stands behind the fence.

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Get the book everyone digs before its sequel comes out!
Salem Secret Underground:The History of the Tunnels in the City!
Available at Barnes & Noble, Remember Salem, and Wicked Good Books in Salem on Essex Street. Also on Amazon.com!