Orne’s Point and the Brick Kiln for the Tunnels

Orne's Point Salem MATimothy Orne the First was a ship owner who gave George Crowninshield and Richard Derby their start in his counting house. Their children Elias Hasket and Mary Crowninshield would be later married and be the first millionaire couple in the country. On Orne’s Point Timothy had a tavern that had long been connected to tunnels in town. If you walk the marsh on the property you will noticed a “Y” appear out of it. This is the high ground after the marsh sunk around the tunnel that splits to the two properties on the point.

Now his grandson Timothy Orne III left behind a widow Elizabeth Seawall Pynchon Orne. Out of desperation she began selling off parts of the large Orne estate. Beginning with a larger than usual sale of land, $1,800, to John Sherry had given her a little influx. Also John Buffum was running the ancient tavern on the site. In 1804, however, her means to support the estate had changed; the Widow Orne embarked on the brickyard business.

It has been 3 years since the Salem Common Improvement Fund subscribers began their extension of the tunnels through town. John Fullerton I believe was supplying the bricks initially. The widow Orne subsequently purchased a shop situated in Marlborough Street (Federal Street) on land of William Hunt and had the building moved to Orne’s Point in January of 1804. She also bought oxen and several shovels. She then contracted with Pickering Dodge for her first order of 300,000 bricks. Several other brick sales, some of them quite large, soon followed. Timothy Pickering, a cousin, orders 200,000. Now it only takes somewhere in between 2,000 and 4,000 bricks to build a home, so these purchases give away their real intent. Her daughter Margaret married Joseph Perkins, light house keeper on Baker’s Island, harbor pilot, and he was a Salem Common Improvement Subscriber.

Her son-in-law, Colonel Thomas Cushing IV became involved in the brickyard. Cushing’s father was John Hancock’s best friend and Lieutenant Governor. Thomas Cushing III might of brought Hancock to Salem to run the Provincial Government on Short, Essex, and Washington Streets in front of Daniel Lowe’s building. Col. Thomas Cushing IV was related to John Perkins Cushing through Thomas Cushing II born in 1663. His house is now the Barking Cat on Essex Street.

He was married to Elizabeth Orne’s daughter, Catherine Seawall Pynchon, in 1802. Thomas Cushing and Elizabeth Orne continued to cooperate the brickyard. While managing the sale, supply and distribution of the bricks, had been Elizabeth Orne and Thomas Cushing’s jobs, the actual clay digging and brick molding was subcontracted to Elihu Eggleston. Beginning in 1806, the year of Thomas Cushing’s death, Elizabeth Orne leased the entire operation to Elihu Eggleston for $500.00 per year, and apparently distanced herself from day to day operations.

The remainder of Elizabeth Orne’s life, from 1806-1821, she returned to the domestic realm. Catherine Cushing remarries, this time to Elisha Mack and the couple moves into Elizabeth’s home. Mack’s sister donates Mack Park to the city and establishes the Mack Industrial School for Girls. Its building is connected to the tunnels in town.

Now if you walk down Orne Street to the point you will pass the public playground and look down at your feat. You will notice the road is so badly humped from the ground settling around the brick arched tunnel below. As you continue you will see that marsh I talked about and notice the “Y” in the field. At this point the road becomes private. When I walked down the road one night I found a lama. The lama looked like he wanted to be pet.

I walked back to the playground and started to play. That is when I heard the guard rooster. I didn’t think much of it at the time. So in due course I stopped playing on the swings and stuff and walked back toward the graveyard.

Before I could get to Lee and Orne Street a pickup drove slowly past looking at me. I was looking for a beach head that night that had stories of a witch head buried in it. So I went down the next road, but to no avail. So I headed back up and then saw the police cruiser. I assume looking for me. I was ratted out by the guard rooster.

I have since been in the basement of their money management business in Jacob Rust’s store on Essex Street and seen six sealed tunnel entrances in their basement. Thanks to the great philanthropist John Boris who introduced me. They received Orne’s point through Rebecca Orne, the daughter of Timothy II and Rebecca Orne, who married Joseph S. Cabot. I believe their son was Joseph S. Cabot the fourth mayor of the City of Salem.

City Hall resides on Joseph’s property. His basement and tunnels still are attached to the current building. Recently the town filmed the tunnels and placed a time capsule in them. Cabot was president of the Asiatic Bank founded by Stephen White and the Salem Savings Bank founded by Edward Augustus Holyoke. Two of the smugglers in town. He was head of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society that owned the Northeast section of the cemetery on Lee Street. He was also the Massachusetts State Bank Commissioner. Many people know Orne’s Point as Cabot Farm today.

Now to connect Jacob Rust’s store to the Greenlawn Cemetery. When you watch Lords Of Salem notice Rob Zombie’s wife’s apartment on Essex Street in the old doctor’s office by the Library. Next door to the left was Jacob Rust’s house. Many houses and stores were connected together through leases in Salem. Connected by leases above board and tunnels below. Also Rob Zombie’s wife will walk in the cemetery at the end of the movie.

Another funny thing about the Jacob Rust House on Essex and Hamilton Streets, it is in a quiet zone. This quiet zone starts after the Salem Athenaeum library and ends before the Salem Public Library. Neither library is within the quiet zone…
The other Orne property of any mention is the old Bowman Bakery which now houses the Barking Cat on Essex Street before the YMCA.

bottomFor more tales like this about how Salem MA has shaped American History read Sub Rosa by Christopher Jon Luke Dowgin available at Barnes & Nobel, Amazon.com, and your favorite local independent book seller.
Ask for it by name!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s