New Winter Walking Tour of the Salem Common!

Look forward in the next week to a new walking tour featuring the history of the Common from its creation, its dedication to the local militia, the fight between Commoners and Villagers over its use, the old industrial nature, and the beautification by Col. Elias Hasket Derby Jr. and the Salem Common Improvement Fund Subscribers.

Pictture of Elias Hasket Derby Jr. in Salem MA

Col. Elias Hasket Derby Jr.

The Salem Common Improvement Fund was an alias for a series of investors who filled in the 5 ponds with dirt from the tunnels they were digging and attached their new brick homes around the Common between 1801 and 1860 to them. The tour will show you various pictures of the sealed tunnels leading from these houses and give you the history of Federal Architecture and its real reason for being created.

 

The tour will showcase many images of the Common through time on a tablet and tell you entertaining stories, tales of ghosts, and how the tunnels were used. Plus we can peer into two locations that once were entrances to the tunnels.

 

Check the Salem Smugglers’ Tour web page next week to find out more information. Imagine a walking tour through the snow on the beautiful Common!

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Tunnels turned into sewers on Bridge Street Salem, MA.

Sewers, Utilities, and Tunnels

Well I came across these old photos I took a few years ago when they were working on Bridge Street. No thanks to an angry little Napoleon yelling at me from the hole.  Here is part of the tunnel on Bridge Street now running electrical cables by Coffee Time.

Bridge_Street_Tunnels Tunnels turned into sewers on Bridge Street Salem, MA. Tunnels turned into sewers on Bridge Street Salem, MA. Bridge_St_Tunnel_1 Tunnels turned into sewers on Bridge Street Salem, MA. Tunnels turned into sewers on Bridge Street Salem, MA. Tunnels turned into sewers on Bridge Street Salem, MA. Tunnels turned into sewers on Bridge Street Salem, MA.

After the 50’s the tunnels started getting turned into conduits. Many were used for the sewers. Why dig a new hole? A friend of mine had pictures of the sewers on Bridge Street, but I can’t find my copies. In the pictures below is a tunnel entrance in the old Naumkeag Savings building on Essex Street. Below the rug is where the sewer lines enter the building.  Why did a new hole?

DSCN0255 DSCN0260

My friend Steve Dibble was the City Engineer.  He told me on an old sewer map it showed a tunnel in front of the armory that was marked off for transporting black powder from the South River. When I went to see the map, that was the page missing from the map book. Plus I am still waiting for the Assistant Building Inspector to let me see the photos and the video of the tunnel coming out of town hall. I guess that is why some one created the Freedom of Information Act…

For more about the  tunnels read Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City .

Then book a tour on the Salem Smugglers’ Tour to learn more about the tunnels in town.