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Salem and Essex County June 13, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — batestrishadiane @ 3:05 am

The past 2 days we have been in Salem, Danvers, Saugus, and back to Salem.  It has been cold and rainy; not exactly the perfect weather for visiting outdoor sites!  Today I felt that it might snow at any minute!

We started our adventure yesturday at the Salem Witch Memorial and Charter Street Cemetery.  The memorial was nice but the cememtery is where the real history was.  I found it fascinating how the pictures and designs on the headstones changed over time.  As Dr. Emerson pointed out to us, using headstones to interpret the past would be a great way to engage students. 

We visited Salem Village(better known as Danvers) to view the Parsonage Archaeology Site.  The foundation that remains tells the story of the importance of the church and the minister to Salem Village. Our next stop was Rebecca Nurse’s House in Danvers.  Not at all what I would expect a “Witch’s” house to look like!!  Here again we got a glimpse of colonial life.  It is fascinating how simple yet practical the homes were during this time.

 

Salem Village Parsonage

 

Rebecca Nurse House

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
The last stop of the day was at the Saugus Ironworks.  What a site!  I honestly had no idea that this place existed.  When I think of early New England, I don’t think of ironworks at all.  I assumed most of the iron needed was imported from Britain-boy was I wrong!  These colonists had some state of the art iron production facilities right here in New England!  Because “outsiders” or “non-Puritains” worked in the ironworks, I could use this is the classroom to help students make connections to later times where there was segregation based on ethnicity or religion.
 

Saugus Ironworks

On Sunday we began our day at the House of Seven Gables.  I knew that the house had something to do with Nathanial Hawthorne but I didn’t know what.  I have never read his book with the same name so I was enlightened during this tour.  Our guide was extremely knowledgable and a pleasure to listen to.  I especially liked the hidden staircase-what fun that must have been for children living in the house!
 

The House of Seven Gables

Our last stop of the day was the Peabody Essex Museum.  Here Dr. Baker gave us an informative tour of some of the early American decorative arts showcased in the museum.  I must say that Dr. Baker is so passionate about his craft that it is so much fun to listen to him!
 
 

A common theme throught these past two days certainly has been how to use objects to interpret and make sense of the past.  From gravestones to housing styles to decorative arts-all help us to try to solve the mysteries of the past.

Off to Boston tomorrow to walk the Freedom Trail.  Hopefully the weather cooperates!

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