“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)

Wharves in the Early 1800s

Wharves in the Early 1800s Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, July 1, 2015
1. Wharves in the Early 1800s Marker
Inscription.  If you visited Salem’s waterfront in the late 1700s or early 1800s you would have been impressed not only by the ships and their exotic cargo, but also by the variety of artisans and craftsmen who worked on the wharf. Sail makers, riggers, rope makers, and blacksmiths were only some of the skilled workers vital to Salem’s fleets.

This modern painting depicts the area along Derby Street in the early 1800s when Salem’s trade was at its peak. Featured in the foreground is Derby Wharf (where you are now standing) with its three-story warehouses. The other historic wharves in the painting no longer exist. Along the shore on the left side of the painting is a shipyard, where a hull is being constructed. Just above the shipyard is the Turner-Ingersoll mansion, immortalized by Nathaniel Hawthorne in his novel The House of Seven Gables.

Isaac Cushing, ship joiner, has removed his Business to the Chamber of Store no. 15, Derby Wharf, where orders in his line will be gratefully received, and faithfully executed. Patent Binnacles & Sky Lights of all sizes will be constantly kept for sale at the above place. – Advertisement in
Wharves in the Early 1800s Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, July 1, 2015
2. Wharves in the Early 1800s Marker
The marker is on the left hand side of Darby Wharf while walking out to the lighthouse.
the Essex Register, March 13, 1811

How it Looked Then
1 The ship John docked after a voyage to the East Indies. The keel rests on the mud exposed at low tide.

2 Derby Wharf, begun in 1762.

3 Unloading sugar from Isle de France (Mauritus).

4 Unloading cotton from India.

5 Dunnage, packing material used to prevent cargo from shifting.

6 Weighing unloaded cargo on the U.S. Customs scales.

7 Weighing unloaded cargo on merchant’s tripod scales.

8 Coppering the hull of a schooner to protect it from wood-boring teredo worms.

9 Counting house of ship owner Elias Hasket Derby, Jr. whose one-horse chaise is parked in front.

10 Schooner delivering lumber.

11 Brig under construction in the shipyard.

12 The brig Badger.

13 The ship Monk.

14 Ship captain Samuel Ingersoll’s home, later known as the House of Seven Gables.

15 Fishing boat heading out of the harbor.

16 Orne’s Wharf.

17 Former privateer Rhodes.

18 Crowninshield Wharf, or India Wharf, built in 1802. Three merchant ships are docked along each side.

19 Stagecoach awaiting a shore party.

20 A visiting naval frigate, with sailors rowing ashore.

21 Coney Island, near the harbor entrance.

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Baker’s Island Light.

23 Becket’s shipyard, birthplace of many of Salem’s famous vessels.

A Hides B Hemp C Tea D Tallow E Nutmeg F Coffee G Molasses H Cotton I Fireworks J Pepper K Wine L Sugar M Chinaware
Erected by National Park Service.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Industry & CommerceSettlements & SettlersWaterways & Vessels.
Location. 42° 31.078′ N, 70° 53.091′ W. Marker is in Salem, Massachusetts, in Essex County. Marker is along Derby Wharf at Salem Maritime National Historic Site. 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 Harbor (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Pedrick Store House (approx. 0.2 miles away); Wharves in the Late 1800s (approx. ¼ mile away); The Point Neighborhood (approx. ¼ mile away); Derby Wharf (approx. ¼ mile away); Central Wharf (approx. ¼ mile away); Salem Maritime National Historic Site (approx. ¼ mile away); The Custom House (approx. ¼ mile 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 31, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. This page has been viewed 261 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 31, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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Feb. 25, 2021