With so much attention focused on the Salem Witch Trials, another crucial aspect of the city's history is often overlooked: its rich maritime tradition. At the turn of the 19th century, Salem was the richest city per-capita in the United States. The harbor, as we see it here today, is a ghost of its former self, but some evidence of its past life remains.
In his book, Death of an Empire, Robert Booth explores a period in history when Salem was on top of the world -- all the way up to its sharp decline in the 1830's. Death of an Empire discusses the highest points of Salem's heyday, and the crime left in its wake, and how it all seemed to fall apart.
Additionally, Salem Harbor was a location featured in Brunonia Barry's popular novel, The Lace Reader. In fact three of the Salem author's books are set in the city -- the most recent, The Fifth Petal, was designated a Massachusetts Book Award "Must Read" title for 2017.
Please proceed along Derby St., crossing at Harbor St., and continuing before crossing to Liberty St. on your right. The next stop will be on your left -- Salem Witch Trials Memorial and Old Burying Point.