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Walking Salem’s Historic Wharves

Hi, my name is Holly, and I am the newest member of the marketing team here at The Gables. A quick recap if you missed my introduction post: I am new to Salem and sharing my adventures as I explore this beautiful city.

Picture of the Derby Wharf Light Station in Salem, MassachusettsThis week I started with a walk down to the Salem National Maritime Historic Site. Friendly park rangers were on hand to answer questions about Derby Warf, the Friendship of Salem, and Derby Warf Light Station. Did you know that at one point there were over 50 wharves extending out into the harbor to accommodate all the international trade going in and out of Salem? One of these was Turner Wharf, owned by the Turner family that built The House of the Seven Gables. I enjoyed my walk down to the light station at the end of the wharf, and it was lovely to look back at The Gables from a new vantage point!

Just down the road from Derby Warf is Pickering Wharf. The wharf has many different eating and shopping options, and I was excited to check out a few. I had to stop into The Marble Faun Books and Gifts, as it is named for one of Hawthorne’s novels! The had a beautiful balance of books, clothes, accessories, and souvenirs and is a great shop for literary lovers. They offer many Salem-inspired items, as well as products made exclusively for The Marble Faun.

In a rather different aesthetic, Die with Your Boots On is a goth/metal/alternative clothing and accessories shop. This store carries the aforementioned boots along with a great variety of clothes and accessories for any occasion. They are a family-owned business, and they make sure to stock small local artists and creators along with other less regional small businesses. I had a lot of fun browsing all of the different products on offer.

Picture of a movie poster for the Scarlet Letter on sale at Pickering Wharf AntiquesNext, I wandered into Pickering Wharf Antiques Gallery, and I lost an hour exploring all the many nooks and crannies of this shop. It seemed never-ending, and there were absolute treasures in every section, including many Hawthorne and The House of the Seven Gables antique memorabilia. Be ready to spend a lot of time (and perhaps money!) if you choose to stop in. There are so many shops and restaurants on Pickering Wharf I was unable to visit them all in one afternoon. I foresee many trips down to the wharf in the future to try and take in all of the options on offer.

Last week was Salem Heritage Days, and Derby Warf played host to the Friday night live music and fireworks. The Ward Eights band entertained the enthusiastic crowd until 9 p.m. when the incredible fireworks show took off. The fireworks, shot off from a barge in Salem Harbor, lasted for a full half-hour and were an absolute delight. It’s been years since I have been to a fireworks show and I loved every minute of it!

Photo of fireworks over Salem Harbor for Salem Heritage Days in August 2021

Thank you to everyone who has made suggestions of places or experiences I should check out. I am working my way to all of them, but in the meantime you can head on over to our Facebook or Instagram to add any of your favorite spots to my list!

(Photos: Derby Wharf Light Station, A Scarlet Letter Movie Poster at Pickering Wharf Antiques, and Heritage Day Fireworks)

Date: August 12, 2021

Author: Holly Watson

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