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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Salem in Essex County, Massachusetts — The American Northeast (New England)
 

Salem Willows Park Opens for Business

 
 
Salem Willows Park Opens for Business Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, June 29, 2015
1. Salem Willows Park Opens for Business Marker
Inscription. Salem Willows Park is truly one of the city’s treasures. The 35-acre waterfront site, located at the tip of the Salem peninsula, is named for the European white willow trees that were planted in 1801 for the benefit of patients at the nearby contagious disease hospital. This “pest house” was destroyed by fire in 1848, and the area was subsequently designated a city park.

In the summer of 1877, the Naumkeag Street Railway Company began offering horse-drawn trolley service between the Willows and downtown Salem. The company also began building an amusement park on an adjacent strip of land.

The new, improved Willows Park opened for business on June 10, 1880. Its shaded walkways, picnic pagodas, and varied amusements were an immediate hit with the public.

Area residents flocked to the Willows to enjoy a shore dinner, test their marksmanship skills at the shooting gallery, or roller skate at the Willows Pavilion. Many came by streetcar, others by bicycle or on foot. Some visitors stayed overnight at one of the new hotels that dotted the nearby Juniper Point neighborhood.

Added to the park’s popularity were the special events organized that summer by the Willows Park management. Fireworks displays, music and theater programs, high wire acts, and balloon ascensions drew huge crowds. The
Salem Willows Park Opens for Business Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, June 29, 2015
2. Salem Willows Park Opens for Business Marker
Salem Evening News
, which tracked happenings at the park in a regular column, reported the Willows attracted 5,000 visitors in a single day.

A ban on the sale of alcohol at the Willows also contributed to the park’s early success. One local paper noted that the ban kept out the “rough element” that created problems at other seaside resorts.
 
Location. 42° 32.095′ N, 70° 52.205′ W. Marker is in Salem, Massachusetts, in Essex County. Marker is on Restaurant Row. Touch for map. The marker is near Restaurant Row in Salem Willows Park. Marker is in this post office area: Salem MA 01970, United States of America.
 
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 (within shouting distance of this marker); Salem Willows (about 700 feet away, measured in a direct line); Hale Farm (approx. one mile away); Hospital Point Light / Honor the Valiant Men (approx. one mile away); Hospital Point Lighthouse (approx. 1.1 miles away); Beverly Korean War Memorial (approx. 1.1 miles away); The Memorial Bell (approx. 1.1 miles away); Beverly World War I Memorial (approx. 1.1 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Salem.
 
Categories. Entertainment
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 26, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. This page has been viewed 124 times since then and 22 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on July 26, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page.
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