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“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)
 

Central Wharf

 
 
Central Wharf Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, July 1, 2015
1. Central Wharf Marker
Inscription. The grassy strip of land extending into the harbor in front of you was once a busy commercial wharf. In the late 1700s and early 1800s, cargoes from around the world were unloaded on the wharf and stored in warehouses until they were sold.
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 parts of his life as to have more than common success.” - Diary of Rev. William Bentley, July 5, 1817

Captions:
Simon Forrester owned Central Wharf from 1791 until
Central Wharf Marker image. Click for full size.
By J. Makali Bruton, July 1, 2015
2. Central Wharf Marker
The foundation of the Forrester warehouse mentioned in the text is the raised stone outline seen here.
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.
 
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.
 
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); a different marker also named Salem Maritime National Historic Site (within shouting distance of this marker but has been reported missing); Wharves in the Late 1800s (within shouting distance of this marker); Home for Aged Women (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Central Wharf (within shouting distance of this marker but has been reported missing); Derby Wharf (within shouting distance of this marker but has been reported missing); The Custom House (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Derby Wharf (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Salem.
 
Categories. Industry & Commerce
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on July 29, 2015, by J. Makali Bruton of Querétaro, Mexico. This page has been viewed 160 times since then and 20 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.
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