Vintage Salem Morning!

Original Location of Washburn, Bigelow, Almy & Co. on Essex Street in Salem. Most only remember them as Almy’s. Later they moved across the street where the Essex Condominiums are now.

Vintage Salem Morning!

Packard Electrics Salem MA

Packard Electrics was housed in the location of the Salem Wax Museum building. Electric cars were once the second most popular automobile behind steam powered cars. Gas powered cars were to clunky with their crank start, too dirty, and noisy without mufflers for ladies. The factory burned down during the 1914 Fire.

Learn more by reading Sub Rosa by Chris Dowgin available at Jolie Tea, Remember Salem, Wicked Good Books, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.com.

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!

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.

Elias_Hasket_Derby_Jr_2

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.

Old_Town_Hall_Right_Side

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!

Charles Bulfinch and Salem MA

Tunnels Are My Calling Card…

Essex Bank Building Salem Ma Built by Charles Bulfinch

Essex Bank Building

11 Central Street

Built in 1811 by Charles Bulfinch for the Essex Bank. It is rumored that the National Capital Building that he built was connected to a tunnel so that members of Congress can escape through. He also built three levels of tunnels running from the Adams building to the Jefferson Building in the Library of Congress I got to walk through. He was the Architect of D.C. and was on hand to rebuild the capital after the British burned it down during the 1812 War. He also will build the Loobey Asylum where the Essex Institute is today, the TB Hospital on Collins Cove, and Old Town Hall in Salem. He also built many homes on Beacon Hill in Boston, one in which Edgar Alan Poe lived in. He also built the Essex Bank Building.

The Essex Bank was founded in 1792 and was the first in Essex County. William Gray was its first president. In 1795 the Essex Bank was in the Samuel Ward Building where the Gathering Church was on the corner of Essex Street and Derby Square. In 1805 they occupied the Central Building. In 1811 the Essex Bank moved here. In 1817 James King and Shepard Gray , Cashiers, robbed the bank. The Essex Bank folded in 1819. In 1831 two former employees James King and his son James Charles King dies. Their occupations were Cashier and Book Keeper. They both were members of the Essex Lodge. The First National Bank, the office for the American Association for the Advancement of Science, Custom House, and the Mercantile Bank were also housed in this building. In 1899 the Salem Fraternity occupies the building and renovates it to their needs. They would be the first boys club in the country. This was their third location after they burned down the wooden Salem Lyceum building down. The first building was brick and the third, so they preserved their arsonist activities.

Tunnels lead from the Naumkeag Block to this building and continue on to where the old distillery and wharf was, built by John Derby. Also the tunnels lead from the Pickman-Derby Building to here. Plus William Gray Jr. had his building on Central Street connected and hired Charles Bulfinch who built the tunnels attached to the nation’s Capital Building. The basement brick walls have been covered. The owner wants me to break into the house through the tunnels…

Charles Bulfinch

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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!

William Parker House and How to Raise Money For a Famous Game Company

Monopoly Built by Smuggling

Parker Brothers' House Salem MA

William B. Parker House

33 Pleasant Street

William B. Parker built his home kitty corner of Parker Court in 1851. Parker Court has a tunnel running from Winter street to the Isaac Smith House on the corner of Pleasant and Bridge Streets. William Parker also owned large tracts of land on March Street and lots composing of Beacon (East Watson Street then) and Barton Streets. He will own the Hawkes House for a short period too. The E.W. Abbot House which will be described next was once his property as well which is connected to the tunnels.

William Parker was the father of the Parker Brothers, George and Charles, who started the toy company in the Franklin Building. William had owned ships with Joseph Jr. White, John Andrews, and Benjamin Felt. He also was brought into a libel case in 1830 accusing Col. Upham as a Federalist smuggler during the Embargo Act (Report of Timothy Upham vs. Hill and Barton of New Hampshire Patriot and State Gazette). Hill and Barton also accused Upham of being a corrupt Collector of Customs in Portsmouth. The whole time Upham declared himself as much a Democratic-Republican as Crowninshield was. Remember the tunnels under George Crowninshield Sr. house which became the Customs House in Salem…

When I first searched this basement in the first version of this book the deceased owner’s son had the basement filled with large furniture after his mother’s death. Then I returned during his estate sale and the basement was cleared out. Then I found the tunnel entrance had led under the granite stairs in the front of the house. This sealed entrance also had the usual raised cold sill. Later I heard a utility worker who was in front of the house he had seen the original iron door that sealed the tunnel. So it makes you wonder where the fortune started from that set up the Parker Brothers toy company?

Clue Monopoly Parker Brothers Smuggling Tunnel Salem Ma

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!

Cook-Kimball House on Pleasant Street: Tunnels and Bomb Shelters in Salem MA

Bomb Shelter

Cook-Kimball House Salem MA with Tunnels

Cook-Kimball House

14 Pickman Street

Built circa. 1807-1808 for Robert Cook Jr. who was a local painter. His father Robert Cook married Elizabeth Liscomb. He was a fisherman & mariner. They had 6 children; Elizabeth, Robert Jr., Benjamin, John Morong, and Martha. He married Hannah Gowan in 1800. Robert Cook Junior’s son John Morang Cook was also a painter. Robert Cook Jr. has the wooden house to the right also built in 1813. Samuel Field McIntire builds both of them. The first home remained in the hands of Robert’s heirs till 1839 when Captain James S. Kimball bought it.

In the basement they converted a section of the tunnel into a bomb shelter and the tunnel leaving the original structure under the addition is now flooded. Also the Mack Industrial School for Girls and the David Lord House next door are made out of brick. This brick would be needed to fork the tunnel up Collins Street to Barton Street where the tunnels continue through the backyards on the old Captain William B. Parker lots.

Cook Kimball House Tunnel 2

Cook Kimball House Tunnel 3

Cook Kimball House Tunnel 5

Cook Kimball House Tunnel 6

Cook Kimball House Tunnel 7

Cook Kimball House Tunnel 8

Cook Kimball House Tunnel 34

Cook Kimball House Tunnel Fish Bowl 2

Cook Kimball House Tunnel Fish Bowl

Cook Kimball House Tunnel

 

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!