Dead Men Tell No Tales
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.
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.
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.
Now Rob Zombie filmed Lords of Salem in this cemetery, but he did not see any of these tunnels. Not even the crypt…
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!