“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”

Salem in Essex County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)

Salem Willows

Salem Willows Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, June 29, 2015
1. Salem Willows Marker
Inscription.  Salem Willows is named for the European white willow trees planted here in 1801 to form a shaded walk for patients convalescing at the old smallpox hospital. Later the area became a park. During the first half of the 20th century Restaurant Row on the park’s north shore served fresh seafood favored by locals and visitors alike. The last of these once popular restaurants closed in the late 1960s. A carousel with carved flying horses was another special attraction at Salem Willows which, as now, operated an, amusement center. Although the restaurants and flying horses are gone, visitors still flock here during the summer to enjoy the seashore, the arcade, and the park’s ample picnic grounds and recreational facilities.

Directly ahead, the expanse of Salem Sound is dotted with numerous islands belonging to the city. The largest is Baker’s Island, which boasts a sizable summer community and has been the site of a navigational beacon since 1798. To the south of Salem Willows, across the entrance to Salem Harbor, lie the headlands of Marblehead. To the north, across Beverly Harbor, the shore stretches toward the rugged coast of Gloucester
Salem Willows Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, June 29, 2015
2. Salem Willows Marker
The islands mentioned in the marker text can be seen to the north.
and the rest of Cape Ann.

Salem Willows provides a seaside promenade popular throughout Essex County, Boston, and beyond. The area also possesses residential and historical importance. A “tenting ground” established in the mid-19th century gave way to summer cottages which are now the center of a distinctive year-round neighborhood. Beyond this neighborhood, across a causeway, lies Winter Island. Over the years it has served a multitude of purposes, including fish drying, shipbuilding, and public executions. Since the 1640s a fort there – now known as Fort Pickering – has defended the mouth of Salem Harbor. From the Civil War until 1971 most of Winter Island was under federal authority; it was used most recently as a Coast Guard base. Inland, on the high ground in the center of Salem Neck, lies Fort Lee. Originally built in the 1740s, Fort Lee joined Fort Pickering in providing protection for Salem’s sea approaches for more than two centuries.

Salem Rediscovered – A community project sponsored by Historic Salem Inc. and the City of Salem
Funded in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and business contributions
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Notable Places.
Location. 42° 32.179′ N, 70° 52.106′ W. Marker is
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in Salem, Massachusetts, in Essex County. Marker can be reached from Fort Avenue. The marker is near the most northern part of Salem Willows park. 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 2 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. On "The Line" 1880-1940 (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Salem Willows Park Opens for Business (about 700 feet away); Hospital Point Light / Honor the Valiant Men (approx. 0.9 miles away); Hospital Point Lighthouse (approx. 0.9 miles away); Rev. John Hale House (approx. 0.9 miles away); Hale Farm (approx. 0.9 miles away); Beverly Korean War Memorial (approx. 1.1 miles away); The Memorial Bell (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Salem.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. It was originally submitted on July 23, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. This page has been viewed 380 times since then and 4 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 23, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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Feb. 24, 2021