Salem has a rich maritime history that dates back to the original Native American inhabitants of the region, which once considered it an important trading and fishing spot. The tribe that inhabited the area during the arrival of the Europeans in 1647 were known as the Naumkeag, which also meant fishing place. Picking up where the natives left off, the settlers continued to take advantage of the city’s ideal location, and Salem became one of the most important trading points in colonial New England. Ships from Salem sailed the globe, importing and exporting goods from lands as far away as India.
One of the most interesting buildings in the site is The Salem Custom House. The building was built in 1819, and offers daily tours where you can see exhibits of the Customs Service as well as the office where the famous author of The Scarlet Letter, Nathaniel Hawthorne used to work.
My favorite part of the site is The Friendship of Salem, a replica of an original Salem East Indiaman built 1797. The original three masted sail boat made trips all over the world, importing and exporting a variety of goods for the residents of the New World.
You can tour the magnificent ship and even go below deck to see how the actual sailors lived while on the ship. The Park Rangers will explain the history and the different features of the ship. There are also interactive educational displays near the boat.
Watching the sun set on the harbor and change the color of the sky was a truly entertaining experience for me. It really brought home the beauty of the passage of Time, and made me realize how lucky I am to have found photography. Looking through a lens has completely transformed how I see the world, and for the first time in my life I am fully conscious of how the exact same subject can look so completely different depending on the light. This knowledge has had a profound effect on so much more than just my photos. It makes me think of a fantastic quote that comes to mind almost every time I have a really good shoot.
“Taking pictures is savoring life intensely, every hundredth of a second.” ~Marc Riboud
You can check out the work of some other great photographers and their submission to the Weekly Photo Challenge: Time.
After the sun had set an eerie blue light took over, creating a different kind of beauty in the landscape. Salem is also known for it’s dark history with witchcraft, and is a popular destination for ghost tours through it’s many historic properties. Seeing the beautiful ship in this light transported me to city’s past and was a nice precursor to exploring some of the other spots in Salem which you can check out in this post. You can get more information about The Salem National Historic Site or scheduling a tour here.
Have you been to Salem and visited this site, or a similar historical ship? I’d love to hear about your visit in the comments!