Salem in Essex County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)
Central Wharf was built in 1784. In 1791 merchant Simon Forrester purchased the wharf and extended it to its current length of 795 feet, making it the fourth longest wharf in Salem. On the foundation in front of you, Forrester built a fine brick warehouse. The same year, he purchases and finished the large house behind you, and from his mansion he could survey the wharf, warehouses, and vessels that were the source of his wealth.
Through the years, Central Wharf has seen many uses. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, flour, grain, and coal were loaded and unloaded here. From 1937 to 1973, the U.S. Navy operated a Naval Reserve Training Center that has since been demolished.
Yesterday died in Salem, Capt. Forrester, Age 71...with a temper as boisterous as a tempest & with habits of occasional intemperance like a ship without a helm, he still retained so much of his industry in the active
Simon Forrester owned Central Wharf from 1791 until his death in 1817. An experienced seaman and former privateer, Forrester's trading expertise made him one of the nation's first millionaires. In 1776 he married Rachel Hawthorne, aunt of American author Nathaniel Hawthorne, and they raised twelve children. Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.
This photo shows Central Wharf just after the Salem Fire of 1914. Forrester's brick warehouse, indicated by an arrow, has been gutted by the flames; today only the foundation in front of you remains. Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, Mass.
Erected by National Park Service.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Industry & Commerce.
Location. 42° 31.264′ N, 70° 53.261′ W. Marker is in Salem, Massachusetts, in Essex County. Marker is on Derby Street, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 177 Derby Street, 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. Salem Maritime National Historic Site (here, next to this marker); Wharves in the Late 1800s (within shouting distance of this marker); Home for Aged Women (within shouting distance of this marker); The Custom House (within shouting distance of this marker); Derby Wharf (within shouting distance of this marker); The Pedrick Store House (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Privateer Warehouse (about 300 feet away); Derby House (about 300 feet 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 29, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. This page has been viewed 231 times since then and 5 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on July 29, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.