Joseph Smith and Buried Treasure in Salem MA

More than Holy Revelations…

Nathaniel Henry Felt was a friend of Brigham Young and bordered Young’s daughter. It was from Felt’s house now on Charter Street did they both hear of Joseph Smith’s assassination on his campaign trail for president in Illinois. Though before his death, Smith took a trip to Salem to look for hidden treasure…

Here from the Christian Advocate:
“As Linn describes the facts a Mormon named Burgess had gone to Kirtland with a story about a large amount of money that was buried in the cellar of a house of Salem which had belonged to a widow. He alone knowing the location Smith credited the report and on July 25 1836 he started with his brother Hyrum Sidney Rigdon and Oliver Cowdery for Salem and there he hired a house and occupied the same throughout the month teaching the people from house to house. When they got there Burgess said that time had so changed the appearance of the houses that he could not be sure which was the widow’s and he left Salem in disgrace. The house that Smith hired he thought might be the right one and it was when his associates were becoming discouraged that he delivered this revelation it is published in the book of Doctrine and Covenants without giving the name of the place where it was received but Ebenezer Robinson who believed in the Prophet’s divine calling…”

Nathaniel H. Felt

Could the treasure still be in a tunnel attached to the old widow’s cellar?

Army Tunnels of the North Shore

Could be Rabbit…

Tunnelling-photo-Hill-60

I just heard a story about a tunnel that led from the National Guard base, Curtis Guild, in Wakefield MA. A friend of mine during a war game found a tunnel on the base, they thought they could come up and out flank their opponent. Instead they were more intrigued with where the tunnel went. So they walked to the Nike site in Danvers and then they walked to Tremont Street right before Mack Park in Salem where the tunnel was blocked off. Sounded like a true story, it might be fabricated? The curious thing though, if it was true, Salem had too many stories to allow the military to walk through their tunnels….
A Salem Cadets

Well in fact it was the Second Corp of Cadets in 1801, the descendants of the first National Guard Unit in the country founded in 1637, who built the tunnels in Salem. Why not keep up the tradition?

For more information on tunnels in Salem and how the city shaped American history read Sub Rosa and Salem Secret Underground: The HIstory of the Tunnels in the City. Available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, and anywhere books are sold! Also eBooks available at www.salemhousepress.com.
Sub Rosa Book CoverSSU2

Jolie Tea and the History of the Building

Some Great History and a cup of tea…

Photo of Brown Building on Essex Street in Salem, MAAt 105 Essex Street this building was built in 1808-1809. Over the years it has been called the Brown, Merchant’s, and Union Building. It is the oldest mixed used building in Salem. Over the years the building has seen Sophia’s Antiques,  The Merchant Bank, and William Stearn’s Apothecary Store. It has also housed schools, religious groups, and professionals in its offices. John Watson was one of the many tenants that had a school in this building. He was the Parker Brothers’ great grandfather. Over the years the most famous personage to live here outside of Sophia Hawthorne was Congressman and once Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Crowninshield.

Merchant Bank of Salem Ma locationsHe was to open his Merchant Bank in the same location as Jolie Tea on the corner of Union and Essex Streets. The lease was $130 a year. The first deposit of specie in their bank was $54,939.90, $23,841 notes printed for their bank, and $20,279.86 of other bank notes. Once they opened those other banks had to redeem their notes and bring their gold and silver to the new bank to exchange for their bills. They opened their doors on October 11th, 1811.

Painting of Benjamin CrowninshieldAlso in this year its founder Crowninshield will build his new mansion which is now the Brookhouse Home for Aged Women.  Both were paid for by British agents who worked with several in Salem to create a new National Bank  after the War of 1812. Many think that the war was brought on for America to incur a war debt forcing them to create a new national bank in which they can sell the majority of the shares to English bankers to handle the debt. 1811 was the year in which The First National Bank of the United States lost its charter. Benjamin Crowninshield would become a director in The Second Bank of the United States after the War in 1816 along with Associate Joseph Story, Senator Nathaniel Silsbee, Stephen White, Joseph White, Thomas Perkins, and Daniel Webster who would become major shareholders in the new bank or directors. All of them received bribes from British agents as well in 1811 and built or bought new mansions.

Photo of Merchant Bank of Salem Ma Bank NotesBenjamin Crowninshield was a State Representative from 1808, 1809, 1810, 1811, and 1821. He served as State Senator 1812, 1822, and 1823. In 1814 he became Secretary of the Navy during the War of 1812.  Later he would become a Member of Congress from 1823-1831.  He would serve as director of The Second Bank of the United States in Boston and Philadelphia.

After Benjamin Crowninshield stepped down as president of the Merchant’s Bank to become Secretary of the Navy, Associate Superior Court Justice Joseph Story becomes president. Story was also a director of The Second National Bank of the United States in Philadelphia and Boston. Story spent 33 years in the Supreme Court and has had the most impact of the Constitutions interpretation till the modern day. He worked tirelessly with Senator Daniel Webster to protect the national bank from all contenders. Story and Webster were agents for Stephen White who was behind the election and assassination of President William Harrison.

The Merchant Bank operated in this location till 1831 when they moved to the Manning Building which was where the offices are for the Peabody Essex Museum is now in the Bowker Block. In time they would also relocate into the corner of Essex and Washington streets in the Northy Building where Army Barracks is now and then the old Asiatic Building which now houses the new restaurant The Ledger.

Engraving of Sophia Peabody HawthorneNow back to Sophia. Sophia was born in this building. During her early years she played with the Hathorne  family, including Nathaniel,  till her parents moved her away. Also her mother taught school in this building. After many years of separation Sophia marries Nathaniel in 1842.

Oh by the way, the tunnel entering this building is just under the backroom of Jolie Tea. Now the furnace built just inside of the tunnel entrance is supplied by air within the tunnel.

Brown Building tunnel in Salem MaSo come and sit down at Jolie Tea and read Salem Secret Underground:The History of the Tunnels in the City and Sub Rosa over a delicious cup of tea (Maybe a scone too…) to find out more about Benjamin Crowninshield, our nation’s banking history, the tunnels in the city, and other amazing ways Salem, MA has shaped American history.

Cover to the book Sub Rosa which is about Tunnels in Salem and those who built them.

Sub Rosa Coming to Remember Salem!

Harry Potter, Game of Thrones, Dr. Who, Ghosts, and Sub Rosa…

The book Sub Rosa is sold at Remember Salem the harry Potter Shop in Salem, MA

The new smash hit sequel to Salem Secret Underground, the book everyone digs, is coming to Remember Salem. Sub Rosa will be on the shelves of this magical themed store that showcases the products from Harry Potter, Dr. Who, and Game of Thrones in Salem MA. Many people come from all over the world to find the magic they expected to find in Disneyland, but were left disappointed.  After much hunting through the various witch shops in Salem, hopefully your feet will magically lead you here. The store is probably the only place in Salem that ties you directly into that feeling you’re looking for.  Because once you enter this attraction you walk right into a fairy tale. Death Eater hoods, a life size Dobby, a Goblet of Fire, Nimbus 2000, and many other Harry Potter props decorate the walls, which are all for sale! If you are real lucky you might be able to peek your head in and see the Great Hall in the backroom…

The Wizard Kevin Wynot in his wand shop.

Then next door is Wynott Wands. This is real magic. The shop is what Olivander’s was trying to capture. This is the real deal. In here you will find what Disney could never capture.

Wynot Wand shop's shelves of magical wandsWands are hand turned in the basement and some even have magical cores. A true Victorian wand emporium. And your benefactor is Mr. Wynott, who is from an ancient Salem family.

Nearby in Salem, on an ancient land came the magic powder to make the most famous wands of all, the original  #2 pencils! Joseph Dixon would get his black lead (graphite) from land on the ancient Wyman Mills property to make his famous pencils J.K. Rowling used while writing her Harry Potter series. Also the famous London banker George Peabody before moving across the pond would sell these magic wands for him. These wands were brandished to create Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz, and many other tales…

Wynott Mills and Salem Lead Works the property lead was obtained from to make the first Dixon #2 pencil.

Wynott’s Mill where magic graphite powder was obtained for Dixon’s #2 Pencils.

Plus both properties are haunted. The basement of the Wynott Wands holds two trapped souls.  The store owner tells tales about the two ghost. Siblings, siblings who died in a fire that ravaged parts of Essex and Liberty Streets. A Sister and her large autistic brother. The sister  has been the cause of a few women’s mental breakdowns and the brother has flipped a desk and thrown ceiling tiles to the floor. Then next door a kindly old man can be seen from time to time with his ghost cat just putzing through. If you’re lucky  you might catch Tim Maguire, the stores’ owner and guest on Ghost Hunters. Just ask him and he may bring you on a paranormal investigation of his properties…

Historic image of the building Wynott Wands is in.

Previous to the wand shop, the location serviced as the home of many businesses in Salem including a bakery and hair salon that would give corpses their last haircut before their internment.  Also running in front of the shop is one of the many tunnel extensions leading from the coast that leaks the energy of a water undine that is fed off the ghosts under the wand shop. The ghosts provoke the needed emotions that the Undine feeds off of from the living.

Joseph White bought this house in 1811 which would be the house he was murdered in during the year 1830. This is the mansion from the game Clue.

Then across the street is the mansion that is the inspiration for the board design for the game Clue. In 1830 Captain Joseph White planned an elaborate scheme to exact revenge on his two business partners through his own death.  He plotted for his nephew to implement the murder and to pin the crime on the old man’s business partner’s sons and heirs. After the success of this murder, the nephew teams up with one of the the most powerful senators, Daniel Webster, in the country to assassinate a president and get away with it!

The inspiration for the Miskatonic Institute.

To the left of Captain White’s mansion, a home he bought after being bribed by British agents to restore a new national bank, is the Essex Institute. H.P. lovecraft rewrote their history in many of his stories. He renamed the ancient museum the Miskatonic Institute.

Sub Rosa Book Cover

 

To find out more about the murder that inspire the game Clue, the #2 pencil, H.P. Lovecraft in Salem, our nation’s banking history, and unaccounted Presidential Murders; read Sub Rosa which will have Advance Reader Copies on sale at Remember Salem next week! Also on sale there is Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City. Pick up a copy as well; you won’t regret it!

Salem Smugglers’ Tour in Full Swing for the Season!!!

The Tour Based on Salem Secret Underground and the New Hit Book Sub Rosa…

Chris Dowgin tour guide of Salem Smugglers' Tour.

Your Guide and Author Chris Dowgin.

Salem Smugglers’ begins its Spring season for 2017 with a tour of 40 on Cinco de Mayo.  We are off to a good start as long as the rain holds out… Come on the only tour that highlights the inventions, politicians, pirates, bankers, and the tunnels that shaped American history. Tales of the murder that inspired the game Clue, 3 unaccounted presidential assassinations, the attempted creation of the third bank of the United States, George Peabody the founder of JP Morgan and his cycle of economic collapses that happen every 20 years, tales of the tunnels, the history of the biggest opium dealer in the country, and much more!

So before you come on our tour, read Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City and Sub Rosa which is written by your tour guide Chris Dowgin. At the end of the tour, he would love to sign your book and give you a personalized doodle inside the front cover. Books available in many locations in Salem, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.com.

So book your tour today at the Salem Smugglers’ Tour or at 192 Essex Street at Angelica of the Angels.

More than Witches!!!

Jolie Tea in Salem and a Good Read

Advance Reader Copies of Sub Rosa for Sale…

Sub Rosa Book Cover

Enjoy reading over a cup of tea at Jolie Tea in Salem, MA. They are the first shop to sell these ARCs. What is even more amazing than their 200+ collection of fine teas, is that the building they are in is connected to the tunnels of Salem. Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Crowninshield had his Merchant Bank in the building. He also was one of many politicians from Salem who was a director of the Second Bank of the United States Boston Branch. Crowninshield was one of many in Salem in 1811 that was bribed by the British to work to create the bank which would sell 70% of its shares to the British after the War of 1812.  Across the Common you can also see Senator Nathaniel Silsbee’s house who also was bribed and became a director in the bank.  In this building Sophia Peabody had lived for a period of time when Nathaniel Hawthorne lived down the street. Hawthorne’s uncle had a stagecoach company with offices in the building or next door.

As rich as the tea at Jolie is the history connected to the building. Looking over your tea cup you can see through the window the Salem Common that was developed to hide massive amounts of tunnel dirt in. It is the same location the first National Guard unit was formed on. Their descendants dug the tunnels and hid the dirt. Just to the left is the historic Hawthorne Hotel. On that property was originally the Franklin Building owned by Thomas Perkins.

Salem Common

The Salem Common with Nathaniel Silsbee House in the distance.

Perkins had paid Charles Bulfinch to build the Bunker Hill Monument, Mass General Hospital, Perkins School for the Blind, and India Wharf. Bulfinch was the one who designed the homes connected to the tunnels in Salem and Boston and the idea of hiding tunnel dirt in rivers, ponds, and marshland. Bulfinch would be the one who built all of the tunnels in Washington D.C. Perkins is the drug dealer who started the Forbes family off to fortune by selling opium to China. His empire was sold to Sturgis Russell who’s cousin founded Skull & Bones. William Russell will purchase property off Perkins in New Haven, Conn. to build the crypt on.

Archer Building that sat previous on this location the Hawthorne Hoptel is on now.

The Franklin Building once stood on the lot the Hawthorne Hotel occupies now. In the closest corner of the building the Parker Brothers had their first toy store.

Also the window seat looks out upon the parking lot which at one time was the location of the Bently-Crowninshield House featured in H.P. Lovecraft’s Thing on the Doorstep. The story details Daniel Upton’s account of the tragedy that befell Edward Derby. Edward Derby marries a woman who becomes possessed by her dead evil father who in time possess Derby’s body after he was pushed into his wife’s body when he was in Arkham Asylum.  Left for dead the wife’s body limps to Upton’s doorstep informing him that it was in fact Derby who inhabits his wife’s decaying body as he becomes the thing on the doorstep. Arkham Asylum is the same asylum that the Batman universe uses. The Bently-Crowninshield  House has since been removed to in front of the Hawthorne.

The Bently-Crowninshield House now on Washington Square and Essex Street. The home featured in the “Thing on the Doorstep.”

Now the window behind you over looks the holy parking lot. Once the location of a Jewish temple. So if you are ever chased by any of Salem’s vampires. A variety called psychic vampires. The type of person who can speak at you for an hour and drain your soul and time away. If you are ever confronted in Salem, MA, it is good to know where the consecrated land is…

The Jewish Temple now in the auxiliary parking lot for the Hawthorne Hotel. You can also see the Bently-Crowninshield House to the left in its original position when Lovecraft wrote the story.

Below are images of Benjamin Crowninshield, Thomas Perkins, Jolie Tea Building, Merchant Bank notes, and the tunnels….

The Brown Building Which houses Jolie Tea.

Benjamin Crowninshield

Merchant Bank Notes

Sealed tunnel under Jolie Tea. Notice the furnace drawing air from beyond the sealed entrance from the tunnel.

Opium Dealer Thomas H. Perkins. Went from slave trader to opium dealer.

Skull & Bones crypt built on Thomas Perkins old lot.

So head over to Jolie Tea and experience some history from your window seat over one of the 200+ teas they offer. They also sell Howqua Tea named after the man that Perkins made the wealthiest man in the world by selling his opium to. Your welcome to read a store copy of Salem Secret Underground:The History of the Tunnels in the City or its sequel Sub Rosa while at Jolie or buy a copy to bring home with you! They are both filled with the story of the tunnels in Salem and how her smugglers’ shaped American history…

 

What is PEM hiding?

Secrets of the Museum….

Recently on the PEM expansion they uncovered this tunnel. Originally it preexisted the Downing Block in which it was up to recently just a hallway in the basement. Originally there were previous buildings to the left and right of this tunnel. Until 3 months ago this section of tunnel was under the addition to the rear of the Downing Block (owned now by the PEM) which was the original location of the first Boys Club in the country. Now it is exposed as the addition has been demoed. A construction worker said they were preserving the iron door; but the question is, did they open up the tunnel beyond the door?

The original buildings attached to this building were rumored to be part of the Underground Railroad. In either building Runaway Slaves were welcome to stay for a respite. Also this tunnel was heated by a furnace under the left section of the Downing Block. This building is also haunted and the Salem Paranormal Convention has done investigations in the tunnels. Part of the investigation was Scott Gruenwald “the Naked Ghost Hunter”.

Now in front of the PEM to the far right they are digging a new cellar for their expansion which will be done in 2019. Once they did so, they uncovered another tunnel. This lined up with their mock quarter slotted viewer designed into the display above the Jersey Barriers. Now a front end loader and a big pile of dirt blocks our view of the tunnel. Also in front of the East India Marine Hall, paid for by Stephen White who engineered Presidents Harrison’s rise and assassination,  it seemed they uncovered another tunnel. Within the next year they will be reopening a tunnel that had once led from the Essex Institute to the Armory where they house many of their collections. In that collection are Romanov Crown Jewels, possibly acquired by  a member of the Crane plumbing empire when he was Minister to Russia during the Bolshevik Revolution. The jewels might be right next to Blackbeard’s Skull cup…

So what is the PEM hiding?

To find out more read Salem Secret Underground:The History of the Tunnels in the City which is available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, and local shops in Salem, MA for all you tourists and locals alike. Also you can get an advance reader collectible edition of its sequel Sub Rosa on Amazon.com. Later its official release will be sold at Barnes & Nobe on July 4th 2017.