Salem in Essex County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)
The Point Neighborhood
Salem's Point neighborhood was originally known as Stage Point for wooden fish-drying “stages” along the peninsula. Stage Point was a center for Salem’s early maritime business, and key to her historic economic development.
The area around this peninsula was gradually filled in over the eighteenth century, forming what became known as “La Pointe." It was home to mostly French-Canadian mill workers from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth centuries.
Numerous leather and shoe workshops operated in Salem in the early nineteenth century, but it was the Naumkeag Steam Cotton Company, (top and middle photos) founded by several Salem merchants in the 1830s at the edge of the harbor to take advantage of easy access to coal imports and cotton exports, which assumed economic dominance in the city. As workers' streamed in to the mill, the point neighborhood filled with boarding houses and company-owned tenements. Immigrant-owned business catered to the growing community.
Both the mill and the neighborhood were destroyed in Salem’s 1914 fire, but were quickly rebuilt. While other New England
Naumkeag began to shift production to South Carolina in the 1940s and closed in 1953. The Point's French Canadians began to move from the neighborhood and a new generation of immigrants, first from Puerto Rico, and then the Dominican Republic, moved in (bottom photo). New Caribbean restaurants, groceries, and other small businesses now dot the neighborhood, which is known in Spanish as "El Punto."
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers.
Location. 42° 31.102′ N, 70° 53.379′ W. Marker is in Salem, Massachusetts, in Essex County. Marker is at the intersection of Congress Street and Peabody Street, on the right when traveling south on Congress Street. Marker is located on the sidewalk, along the Salem Harbor Walk. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Salem MA 01970, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Salem Witch Trials Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); a different marker also named The Salem Witch Trials Memorial (approx. 0.2 miles away); St. Joseph's Parish War Memorial Salem Maritime National Historic Site (approx. 0.2 miles away); Great Salem Fire Centennial (approx. 0.2 miles away); Central Wharf (approx. 0.2 miles away); Home of Nathaniel H. Felt (approx. 0.2 miles away); This Ground (approx. 0.2 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Salem.
Regarding The Point Neighborhood. National Register of Historic Places (2014)
Also see . . .
1. Point neighborhood added to National Register of Historic Places.
The Point Neighborhood in Salem represents a fascinating historical and architectural period in the city's history. Settled as early as the 1850s, the neighborhood, historically known as Stage Point, was totally leveled in a devastating 1914 fire. The rebuilding of the neighborhood, largely accomplished in three years from 1914-1917, was the focus of a governor commission that was established days after the fire. The neighborhood's distinctive architecture is an important aspect of Salem's architectural heritage that deserves recognition, appreciation, and advocacy. The new fire code written in reaction to the fire called for any building three stories or taller be built from masonry. (Submitted on March 23, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
2. The Great Salem Fire of 1914 Burns Half the City out of Their Homes.
The Great Salem Fire of 1914 was one of the last great urban fires of the era, following the Portland, Maine, fire of 1866, the Chicago Fire of 1871, the Boston Fire of 1872 and the Chelsea, Mass., fire of 1906. The conflagration cut a swath a half-mile wide and a mile-and-a-half long through the city. Miraculously, only three were killed and two missing, but 60 were injured and more people died from the strain of being burned out of their homes. The firestorm gobbled up 1,376 buildings, leaving homeless 18,000 people – nearly half of Salem’s population. So many businesses were destroyed that 10,000 people lost their jobs. (Submitted on March 23, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida.)
Credits. This page was last revised on September 29, 2020. It was originally submitted on March 23, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. This page has been viewed 93 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on March 23, 2018, by Cosmos Mariner of Cape Canaveral, Florida. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page.