Salem was founded at the mouth of the Naumkeag River in 1626 (it was originally called Naumkeag and was renamed Salem three years later) by a company of fishermen from Cape Ann led by Roger Conant, and incorporated in 1629. The name "Salem" is related to the Hebrew word "shalom" and Arabic word "salam", both meaning "peace", an irony as we now know how spiteful the Puritans were. Conant was later supplanted by John Endecott, the governor assigned by the Massachusetts Bay Company. Salem originally included much of the North Shore, including Marblehead.


A delusional Dorothy Talbye was hanged in 1638 for murdering her daughter, as at the time Massachusetts's common law made no distinction between insanity (or mental illness) and criminal behavior. Most of the accused in the Salem witch trials lived in nearby 'Salem Village', however a few lived on the outskirts, now Danvers. Salem Village also included Peabody and parts of present-day Beverly. Middleton, Topsfield, Wenham and Manchester-by-the-Sea, too, were once parts of Salem. One of the most widely known aspects of Salem is its history of witchcraft allegations, which started with Abigail Williams, Betty Parris, and their friends playing with a Venus glass and egg.

The Hale Family throughout history!



Salem, MA
Salem, MA

Walk around one of the main streets of Salem!
If you want to tour other "Puritan Streets", click here!

Salem's Official Website