Northshore Magazine

Northshore October 2015

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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Page 36 of 222

MEDIAN 14 Oakland St., 4 bd., 1.5 ba., 2,598 sq. ft. PRICE $399,900 AGENT Keller Williams Realty HIGH END 376 Essex St., 6 bd., 4.5 ba., 5,873 sq. ft., 0.33 acre PRICE $995,000 AGENT Keller Williams Realty Real Estate Salem Date of settlement 1629 Date of incorporation 1836 Area 18.1 square miles Population 41,340 ZIP code 01970 Median household income $44,033 Essex Street bustles during the summer and fall seasons. Left, Captain Snitch is a local character. Stroll down Essex Street on any given day in Salem, and you might run into a vampire, a woman wearing a 17 th -century dress and bonnet, a modern-day witch in a full-length cape, or a mom pushing her baby in a stroller. "And that's just Tuesday," laughs Kate Fox, executive director of Desti- nation Salem. All of those people are not only accepted in Salem but embraced, as just a few of the many citizens who make Salem such an interesting and exciting place to live and visit. Of course, Salem is best known for the 1692 Salem Witch Tri- als, during which 20 people were executed and many others were imprisoned (and died there) after being falsely accused of witchcraft. So it may strike some as ironic that a place infamous for such extreme intolerance and fearmongering has become the ideal of an open and friendly city. "I think it's a community that has an amazing history, yet maintains a strong sense of community," says Mayor Kimberley Driscoll. In her opinion, the city's modern, welcom- ing spirit actually makes a lot of sense in light of its history. "I think it really is the least we can do, and people learned a valuable lesson here from what happened in 1692," she says. "And let's not forget what happened here in 1692 ended because a few brave souls stood up and said, 'Wait, this is wrong.'" In fact, Driscoll and other city leaders stood up themselves last summer, when Salem cut ties with Gordon College over the school's dis- criminatory policies toward gays and lesbians, terminating the school's contract to manage Salem's Old Town Hall. Driscoll says the college was "in total conflict" with the city's nondiscrimination ordinance, which went into effect in March 2014 and isn't "just words on a paper." "We did take a stand as a com- munity," she says. "It wasn't OK for many of our residents to feel like they were second-class citizens." In that way, and many others, the lessons of 1692 still resonate in Salem today. Although the witch trials may dominate much of the city's outside reputation, people who know Salem well understand that those dark months in 1692 are a blight on a city that has otherwise been a cradle for world exploration, innovative ideas, literature, and commerce. Salem's harborside location made it a center of international trade in the late 18 th and early 19 th centuries, with ships setting sail from Salem's busy port "to the farthest ports of the rich East," ac- cording to Salem Maritime National Historic Site. It was because of this trade and travel that Salem became home to one of the United States' first millionaires. Evidence of those 34 | OCTOBER 2015 P LACE S THE DETAILS photographs by Robert Boyd (above)

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