Historic buildings along the Salem Maritime National Historic site includes the Custom House at center.
Photo Credit : Mark Fleming
Take a stroll down Essex Street in the heart of historic Salem, Massachusetts, and you’ll quickly pick up on a somewhat spooky vibe. There are tarot readers, psychics, haunted tours, and magic shops at virtually every turn. Come Halloween, this is ground zero for the crowds who flock to the town made infamous by the witch trials held here in 1693 and 1693.
But Salem is about much more than the dark deeds of its long-ago Puritans leaders. Chestnut Street, a magnificent avenue of Federal-style mansions, stands as testament to Salem’s seafaring heyday in the 1700s, when this was the wealthiest town in America. Down by the waterfront, maritime history breathes through the alleyways. Today’s 42,000 residents live amid a profusion of grand old buildings, top-notch restaurants, and cultural attractions that include one of the great museums in the country. Factor in a seasonal ferry that sprints between Salem and Boston Harbor in less than an hour, and it’s easy to see why so many have decided that yes, they can — and want to — live here.
The following are some of our favorite images by Yankee senior photographer Mark Fleming for the “Could You Live Here?” feature on Salem, Massachusetts, that appears in the September/October 2017 issue of Yankee.
SCENES FROM SALEM, MASSACHUSETTS
Have you ever explored Salem, Massachusetts? Have you ever dreamed of living there? Let us know!