Salem, MA: history, population, rivers, lakes, mountains, resorts, hotels, motels, inns, and landmarks.

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Salem, Massachusetts

One of the shire towns in Essex county. This is the oldest and largest seaport but one in old Massachusetts. Its Indian name was Naumkeag. It is 14 miles N.N.E. from Boston, and lies in lat. 42°31'19" N., and lon. 70°54' W. Population, 1836, 15,002. Salem is nearly surrounded by water, being situated between two inlets of the sea called the north and south rivers. To the main, and now inhabited part of the town, is attached a peninsular portion of land, called the Neck. This was the first inhabited land, and was formerly used for fishing and other purposes. It ultimately became the property of the town, and was, for a long time, used as a public pasture. In 1816, when the present Alms House was built, a large portion of it was enclosed, and has since been cultivated as the Alms House farm. The finest and most comprehensive view of Salem may be had from "Gallows Hill." Its situation is low, but pleasant and healthy. Its streets are quite irregular. Essex is the only street which runs through the town and is very angular and crooked. Federal and Bridge streets are broad, straight and regular. Chestnut is esteemed the handsomest, though it is not the most public street. It has rows of elms on either side. Winter and Broad streets are the widest. The first pavement was made in Essex street, between Court and North Streets, in 1773, and is still in use. The south church has great architectural beauty, and the north church is built of stone, with a beautiful front of the gothic order. There is a Custom House at the head of Derby wharf. Salem has always been a commercial place. It has a convenient harbor and good anchorage. In point of wealth and commerce, it has always ranked as the second town in New England.

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