~ A Day Trip to Massachusetts ~
June 14, 2007 ~ Album links below
Background information for some of the pictures
Salem Willows is renowned for the European white willow trees planted in 1801 to form a shaded walk for patients convalescing at the old smallpox hospital. The beautiful wooded and hill peninsula jutting out into Salem Harbor became a municipal park in 1858. During the first half of the 20th century, Restaurant Row on the park's north shore served fresh seafood favored by locals and visitors alike. The last of these once popular restaurants was closed in the late 1940's. A carousel with carved flying horses was another special attraction at Salem Willows which then, as now, operated as an entertainment center.
Bavarian woodcarver Joseph Brown created the famous Flying-horse Carousel in 1866. In 1945, the horses were sold to Macy’s Department Store in New York City, where they graced the famous Macy’s Christmas displays. While the original horses have been replaced, the carousel itself still offers a thrilling ride.
Salem Willows seagulls are well fed with spilled popcorn from E.W. Hobbs. The corn is popped without oil in an old, large rotating kettledrum and topped with real butter. It may be the state's best-tasting popcorn.
Derby Wharf, the longest of the three wharves, was begun in 1762 by Richard Derby, Sr., one of Salem’s wealthiest merchants. Over the years, as the Derby family’s trade expanded, they extended the wharf, until in 1806 it reached its current half-mile length. Derby Wharf Light was First Lit in January 1871 and in 1970 it was converted to electric power.