Category Archives: buildings

DrainSmart (Salem, MA)

Date Of Visit: April 9, 2017

Locations: Throughout Salem, MA

Highlights: DrainSmart Mural Project, sights and sounds of Salem

Think twice before you drop that seemingly harmless piece of paper on the sidewalk.  That is what the DrainSmart murals located throughout the city of Salem, MA, seem to be saying.

The DrainSmart Program was created to help create awareness of how littering causes so much pollution in our waters.  As the murals state, everything that enters the sewers drains to the ocean.

There were 12 murals planned for the city.  I photographed 5 of the best looking works.  Unfortunately, I could not locate some of the others or the others I did find had been worn away by pedestrian foot traffic and the elements.

Click here to see what they were supposed to look like.

The DrainSmart murals weren’t the only works of art or signs in the area.

Halloween isn’t the only time people dress up in Salem.  The Commonwealth Vintage Dancers held a Regency Dance Weekend in Salem, MA, while I was visiting.  The participants all wore attire that represented the time they were recreating.

Whenever I am in Salem, I am always taken by the historical significance and the architecture of the area.  This building, the Witch House, is the last standing structure with direct ties to the Salem Witch Trials.  In this house suspected witches and other people who were considered witnesses were tortured and threatened to confess to participating in witchcraft or witnessing witches.

It’s also fun just walking around and checking out the sights and sounds of Salem, particularly on such a pleasant spring day.  They are building a hotel on Essex St and I noticed on the side of this building an old sign for Pickman Place.


It’s always refreshing for me to see buildings that have stood the test of time and still stand today, even if they may have different tenants.  I may have an unhealthy attachment to historical buildings and landmarks.  They bind us together.  In a world that is ever changing and making way for new and better, it’s important to keep our history close at hand as well.  Imagine all of the different people who have walked those same streets, enjoyed the very same entertainers we have.  These streets could tell stories.

This side street where the Salem Witch Trials Memorial stands will be packed shoulder to shoulder in a mere 200 days.  On this day it was desolate.


As was the mall.  There is something about the Museum Mall in Salem that seems creepy and kind of scary when there’s not a crowd there.

There were also musicians out in the warm weather.  You might not recognize the second musician.  He usually plays his instrument with a mask at the very same location during the Halloween season.

There were also some very cute dogs out in Salem during my visit.

Mojo is a 4 year old Airedale and Pointer rescue from Tennessee.


Duke is a 9 month old Hungarian Vizsla.  I wonder if he’s related to Dennis?

The Elms (Newport, RI)

Holidays and mansions.  Sounds like a pretty good combination to me.  That is what the folks at  the Newport mansions are offering all their patrons.  As part of the holiday season, the Newport mansions have been decorated for the season.  The $29 tour includes 3 of the mansions (The Elms, The Breakers and The Marbles).  But, I was only able to see The Elms Mansion.


The mansions aren’t the only ornate buildings in the area.  Some of the homes in the area are very pretty as well.  Before you arrive at the mansions, you can peak at the pretty houses in the neighborhood.

When you enter the mansions, you are given an audio player with headphones to use as part of the self guided audio tour.  Indoor photography is limited to certain rooms (usually they don’t allow photography at all in the mansions but they relaxed their policy slightly for the holiday tours).  I might have sneaked in a few more photos from the rooms that weren’t authorized for picture taking.  It’s actually kind of a good thing that they limit photography because you could easily be inundated with things to photograph.  One room seemed more beautiful or interesting then the previous room.

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Photo taking is allowed on the exteriors of the mansions and the grounds of the buildings.


The mansions are available for tours throughout the year.  So, if you can’t make it there during the holiday try going another time when it is less busy.  If you go to the holiday mansion tour, it is only during daylight hours.  Parking can be difficult, especially if you arrive later in the day.  But, you should be able to find parking somewhere in the area if you can’t find a spot in the parking lots at the mansions.

On The Waterfront (Boston, MA)

As you may have noticed, I tend to visit the parks, small towns and quaint villages in the New England area.  I much prefer the quaint areas and nature to the hustle and bustle of the city.  But, living so close to Boston, I felt it was time to get my camera and show off my charming city.

As I began my journey in the city, I got off the bus at one of the more fanciful designed train stations, South Station.


I avoided some of the more populated areas and stuck to the area where my work office is, near the financial district and the the wharf and waterfront area.


The buildings in this area are impressive.


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The Boston Children’s Museum is located on the boardwalk.


Due to time constraints and the blocked off areas due to the construction in the area as well as the lack of good photography weather (overcast and threatening rain), I didn’t take too many photos.  I plan on coming back another day after most of the construction is complete and the weather is better.  But, I did manage to get some photos of some of the interesting things I saw along the way.

The boat Eleanor, docked at the Boston Tea Party Ships and Museum


Art work titled Who Wears Wool? in the harbor.


This piece of art was draw on a wall in the city.


A cool bike I saw in my travels.


There is a lot of construction going on in the area.  Cranes and half built structures dot the landscape.


A father and son watching the construction workers.


I also met Murray in my travels.


Just an fyi, I am going to begin posting extra photos that I am not including on my WordPress blog on my Facebook page.  Of course, I will post my favorite photos on these blog posts.  Sometimes, people have told me they have a hard time viewing the photos on my posts, because I include so many photos.  So, I am going to post photos that don’t make it on my blog to my Facebook page and I will be breaking some blog posts into 2 rather than one big post.  I will also be posting some of my photos in the smaller format (as you may have noticed).  Hopefully, you can click on them if you want to see the full sized photo.  I am going to update my Facebook page regularly with videos, photos and other fun stuff not included in my blogs.  So,  please stop by and see what’s new there!  I hope you like my Facebook page and follow me here: New England Nomad

Historic Homes of Salem (Salem, MA)

The historical homes of Salem help give the city a quaint feel.  You almost feel like you’re stepping into the pre-Colonial and Colonial days of New England as you traverse these historic areas. They also help keep the city connected to its past.  The homes of Salem range from the wood houses to the brick structures you see scattered around the city.  But, they are all beautiful in their own right.

There are 46 homes listed on the national register of historic homes in Salem, MA.  Don’t worry, I only photographed a few of them.  Let’s start with the John Ward House.  John Ward was a currier (a leather finisher)

The John Ward House, now owned by the Peabody Essex Museum, is an example of First Period architecture.  Originally built at a different location (St Peter Street, only a few blocks away from its current location) in 1684, the house had many renovations over the years.  It is located just down the street from the Salem Witch Museum.


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The Joshua Ward House, located closer to the Salem district area, has a more sordid history.  It is built on the same land as the birthplace of the former Sheriff George Corwin.  Corwin is known for his overzealous involvement in the questioning and torture of accused witches during the Salem Witch Hysteria.  The house is said to be haunted by Corwin. Additionally, George Washington is said to have spent a night there in 1789.

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The Corwin House, also known as the “Witch House” is located a little farther away from the center of town on Essex Street.  It is the house where accused witches were allegedly tortured in the hopes they would confess.  The fact these accused witches could withstand some of his tactics such as strangulation and still held their innocence is testament to their strength and integrity.  Naturally, this house is said to have paranormal activity.


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There are quite a few houses on Brown Street that have a pre-Colonial or Colonial look to them.  Many of them are decorated for the holiday season.  Here are a few

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Closer to the wharf, there are a cluster of historic homes.


This home was built in 1843 by Johnathan Whipple


This home, belonging to Penn-Townsend (a mariner), was built in 1771.


This home, built by Jesse Kenney (a trader), was built in 1804.     DSC_0141



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Along Derby Street, there are a few historic homes, directly across from the wharf.  The Custom House remains in its original location there.  A park ranger stands at the base of the stairwell (on your right).


The Hawkes House is the former home of Benjamin Hawkes, a ship builder and prominent resident of Salem.


Of course, this is one of the most famous buildings in Salem, Massachusetts.   There was no photography allowed in the House of the Seven Gables.  So, I did not go in as I have already been there several times and the only reason to go on a tour this year would be to photograph the inside of the building.


There are also some pretty inns adjacent to to The House of the Seven Gables.



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But, the really impressive homes were on Chestnut Street.  This house was built in 1850 for Francis Cox, a merchant.



Some of the neighbors did not take kindly to my photography.  But, I carried on.


Deacon John Stone,a distiller, lived here.


Even the sidewalk and street are charming.



This house was built in 1832 for Elizabeth King.


Many of the historic homes have been converted to residencies.  In fact, almost all of them seemed to be inhabitated either as homes, apartment buildings or inns.  This house was originally built in 1804 for Amos and Solomon Towne.





Some of these homes are so beautiful during the fall season.  I can only imagine how pretty they must look during the winter with freshly driven snow falling on the trees and walkways.


This was my favorite house on Chestnut Street.  It wasn’t as big as some of the other buildings.  But, it was cozy and cute.

It was originally built by Stephen C. Phillips.

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I met Penuche (named after the fudge maybe?).


And Lola.


This concludes my journals from my trips to Salem, at least for now.  My next few blogs will deal with other parts of the wonderful New England area.