Summary: Old Sturbridge Village celebrated St Patrick’s in style with dancers, musicians and a few other special events!
Everyone was Irish at the inaugural Celtic Celebration at Old Sturbridge Village. The Celtic Celebration event celebrated Irish culture and history. The event also also included horse carriage rides and animals on the grounds. The babies were especially popular.
The event also showcased some of the cultural aspects of Celtic tradition. Lee (MA) Irish Dance performed a style of dance called Step Dance. People from a variety of age groups, abilities and experience danced to Celtic music. Step dance is a form of dance that is deeply rooted in Irish tradition. As you can see in the photos below, the dancers incorporate a stiff upper body with fast and precise movements of the feet. The dancers kept their vision at eye level (likely ignoring or trying to not notice their friends and family who were intently watching them) and exhibited a serious manner. The dancers dressed in an array of colorful, glitzy apparel. They even added sparkly accessories to their footwear. Their abilities as well as their poise and concentration were all very impressive
In addition to the dancers there was also Celtic music performed by a skilled harper.
Celtic Harpist Cate Mahoney performed Celtic songs. It was amazing watching her make such beautiful music with such ease. Just to show how difficult and taxing it id on her fingers to make this music, you may notice a white bottle on the ground of the second photo. Between songs, Cate would have to use talc on her fingers. Her music, which you can hear in the video below, was very soothing and pleasing.
There were other family friendly events such as dipping candles, a bagpiper performing and readings from Celtic literature. Or, you could just walk around and take in all of the Irish culture in the air and be Irish for at least one day!
Some of you may wonder what am I up to when I don’t post on WordPress. Admittedly, I don’t post on here as often as I would like to or should post. But, I am still out photographing things!
I don’t always post on here whenever I take photographs, especially if it’s from place I go to frequently. So, I thought I would post photos from last winter with a brief description of the photos. I found this post to be fun. I also think it helps show what I’ve been up to in between blog posts! I hope to do this after each season. You can find photos I don’t post on here on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/newenglandnomad/ or Instagram new.england.nomad_
Wollaston Beach, Quincy, MA (Feb 4, 2023)
I took these photos on the coldest day of the year. The actual temperature was -9 degrees with a -31 windchill factor. I dressed warmly (basically 2 eyes poking out of a balaclava and every part of my body covered as frostbite can set in very quickly on unprotected skin in these conditions). All I could think of during this shoot was the planet Hoth from The Empire Strikes Back movie. I wasn’t going to go out on that day figuring it was dangerously cold and my bed would be much more comfortable. But, I heard and saw other photographers talking or posting about how they were eager to go out in the elements. This got my competitive juices flowing! I also figured it is a once in a lifetime (hopefully) event. So, off I went! I came home after and tried to warm up the remainder of the day!
Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary (Marshfield, MA)
I took this photo of Piebald deer at Daniel Webster Wildlife Sanctuary in Feb, 2023
When I first spotted this deer, I thought he or she was molting (a process when some birds and animals shed their fur or feathers). But that only usually happens during the fall or spring. So, it was too early for that.
After asking a friend who knows about these things and doing some research on my own, I realized the deer had a condition called Piebaldism. No, Piebald is not a new type of pastry or desert!
Found in a variety of animals including humans, Piebaldism is condition that involves the absence of mature melanin-forming cells (melanocytes) in certain areas of the skin and hair.
The deer below has a rare genetic abnormality called Piebald. Piebaldism is found in some white tail deer. But it is not very common. Only about 2% of the white tail deer population has this disorder. However, it can cluster among herds and be spread among entire herds in a particular area
Besides the distinct coloring of their fur, Piebald deer also exhibit other features visible in the photo such as skeletal misalignment, shortened legs, crooked legs, bowing of the nose, deformed hooves, shortened jaws as well as internal organ deformities.
Piebaldism is the result of a genetic abnormality that leads to a lack of pigmentation in certain places on the body. It is not clear what causes this abnormality as there have not been enough extensive studies to know for certain. It does appear to be spread genetically,
You can find piebaldism in other animals as well. Horses, dogs, foxes, cattle, cetceans, pigs and even snakes also may exhibit this abnormality. While they may experience some challenges, most animals with this condition often live full and overall healthy lives.
I also spotted this seemingly one legged Great Blue Heron. practicing their balance. Many birds do this as a way of keeping one of their legs warm. Their feathers offer their legs warmth during the colder seasons.
Ipswich River Wildlife Sanctuary (Topsfield, MA)
I often visit this sanctuary. So I have quite a few photos from there. I have selected some of my favorites. But, first I wanted to post photos of one more colorful residents, Jasper.
Jasper, a Redtail Hawk, can often be found gliding through the air or, if you’re lucky, hunting his prey (some photos are of a graphic nature)
I was also able to make it out there just after a snowfall.
While some of the residents do migrate, there are quite a few who stay year round.
Bird feeding, by hand no less, is a popular activity at the sanctuary. They especially appreciate it during the winter
I’ve also been photographing sunrises and sunsets throughout the colder months. These are a few of my favorites from the past season.
Independence Park, Beverly, MA
Riverwalk, Springfield, MA
And, of course, I photographed a few holiday displays
Date Of Event: February 11, 2023 (usually held annually the weekend of or before Valentine’s Day)
Location Downton Salem, MA
Summary: In addition to the 24 ice sculptures that were placed around the downtown Salem area, there were festivities and activities for all to enjoy
It was that time of the year when throngs of people descend upon Salem, MA. No, I’m not referring to the Halloween season.
The Salem’s So Sweet ice sculpture event is quickly becoming one of the biggest events in the city. It’s also a great example of how Salem has become a place to visit throughout the year.
Originally, 28 sculptures were expected to be displayed. But, only 24 sculptures made it to the city.
Due to the weather conditions, it was unseasonably mild during the day, and the sun beating down on them, some of the sculptures were a little worse for the wear by the time I got to photograph them. I also like to photograph after they are lighted at 5 pm.
I was able to use my 24 mm prime lens that has an aperture of 1.4 at its lowest (most open) setting. So I didn’t have to use a tripod, although it did get a little tricky the darker it became.
I am listing them in the numerical order they were listed on their map. Also, the lights on some of the sculptures changed colors and some of the sculptures had special guests posing with them. I have also included photos of some of the sculptures when they were not lighted and when they were lighted to show the difference in the appearance of the sculptures
2 Blackcraft’s Nydia
3 Crystal Snowflake
4 The Commonwealth’s Civic Engagement University
5 Crescent Moon Disco
7 Dog(and dog posing like the dog ice sculpture). The cute dog modeling for me is Grizzly, a 4 year old Bloodhound.
9 Love You Evermore
11 Hocus Pocus
12 Salem’s So Sweet Showcase
13 Lego Minifigure Zeke, a one year old Pyrenees and Komondor mix, was a good boy and posed for this photo for me!
14 Year Of The Rabbit
15 Cat – not available
16 Snail – not available
17 Skeleton Snowman
19 Gummi Bear
20 Cinderella’s Carriage
22 Dragonfly – not available
23 Peace Love & Music
24 Crystal Ball
25 Ancestry Days Tree
26 Shooting Stars
28 Polar Bear – not available (I really would have liked to see that one!)
There were also additional lights and decorative displays throughout the city. This house on Derby St (some of you know the one) is usually lit up for many of the holidays and special events
And there were these cute decorations
But, this event had so much more than pretty sculptures and decorations. In the Salem Visitors Center there was a desk set up for visitors to make Valentines for the city of Salem or for their own personal reasons.
And, if that wasn’t enough, there were warming stations, colorfully dressed guides to help you find the sculptures, a surprise movie star, a band and other activities to entertain the visitors
There was also a special activity for people of all ages to participate in called Brighter Ignite. Brighter Ignite is an illuminated traveling exhibit that encourages people to connect, engage and play. Inspired by the courage of the Maccabees in the story of Hanukkah, the exhibit was designed by artist Tova Speter. Brighter Ignited activates the light from the community and encourages us to explore how we too can stand up for what we believe in.
Below are some videos from the event. I wanted to illustrate just how pretty the sculptures looked as the changed colors!
Have you ever wondered how some of the earlier settlers of New England celebrated the holidays? Then Old Sturbridge Village has just the thing for you.
Luckily, you can see see an accurate display of how New Englanders celebrated Christmas during the 1830s, 1850s and 1870s (except for bonuses like having indoor plumbing and electricity in homes and other modern day comforts) at their Christmas By Candlelight event. One of the biggest attractions is the Center Meeting House, especially during the evening.
The Center Meeting house was used for meetings, elections and sermons. During my visit they were playing music at the Meeting House.
Many other homes were also decorated for the event.
Everything from the furniture and the way the curtains were hung was true to that era, Even the character actors were dressed in clothing of that time.
This worker at Sturbridge was making stockings
As the light was waning and I didn’t want to use a flash in this environment, even though it would have helped bring out some of the features of the people and the settings, I used a prime lens with a low aperture so I could photograph in the low light conditions.
There were also people making decorations, knitting hats and baking holiday treats
There were also musicians performing traditional holiday music
As the sun set on Sturbridge Village, I was able to capture
In case you got cold, there were open fires for people to warm up
Sturbridge Village also showcased acres of lights and decorations
But not all of the lights were on trees and houses. Visitors also wore festive lights to get in the spirit of the event!
Each year Sturbridge Village holds a gingerbread home contest. They have showcased some incredible works in the past and this year was no different. It was a nice way to end the visit
Located just a stone’s throw from the another famous attraction in Plymouth, the Pilgrim Mother Statue and Fountain is perhaps one of the lesser known attractions in the town. However, it has a an interesting back story and rich history.
The statue, which was a gift from the Daughters of the American Revolution to celebrate the1921 Tercentenary Anniversary of Plymouth, was meant a tribute the the women of the Mayflower who suffered a harsh first winter in Pawtuxet. Of the 18 women who boarded the Mayflower, only 5 survived the first winter, The serious look on this statue’s face is evidence of these harsh times.
Across the street from Plymouth Harbor, the statue keeps a watchful eye.
Sculptor Carl Paul Jennewein, a German born American sculptor, was commissioned to sculpt the Pilgrim Mother statue in 1920. Jennewein used granite from Deer Island for the base and bowl of the foundation. The statue is made from Knoxville, Tennessee, marble.
The Daughters’ 34th Continental Congress have described the statue as being of a “mature woman” who is “strong yet modest” and “sweet, gentle and kind.” The fact the women and men of the Mayflower made it through these difficult conditions is proof of these qualities.
Clowns, devils and zombies oh my! These were just a few of the costumes people wore to the annual Creepy Clown and Devil’s Chase road race at Salem Willows last weekend.
Over 1,000 runners participated in the annual race. All participants were given these cool medals while the top performers were given additional awards,
The clowns started their 3.33 mile race first. While costumes were not required, they were encouraged.
One of the things I noticed is how many runners were smiling and having fun while they were running. As a runner I can say I don’t recall smiling or enjoying myself while running. Who knew running could be so much fun
Living up to the name of the race, some of the devils were dressed to scare for their 6.66 mile race!
Not all of the costumes were scary though. For instance, there were these cute participants
The spectators also dressed up and rooted for their favorite runners.
There were also some inspiring participants in the race this year.
Team Hoyt ran in the event
And a visually impaired runner also completed the race
Location: Hampton Beach, 169 Ocean Blvd, Hampton, NH
Parking: Metered parking is available at Hampton Beach. Since this is a popular event, parking is also available at various lots usually for $20 for the day during this event, although prices fluctuate based on the time of day and parking availability
Summary: Sand sculptors from all over the globe competed for the Hampton Beach Sand Sculpting grand prize
It may seem strange to talk to about sand sculptures and the beach during October. But, what better way to feel warm and cozy during these colder days than looking back to this annual summer event.
The theme for this year’s sand sculpture event, which began in 2000 was “The Greatest Show On Earth.” All of the competitors contributed to sculpting the main sculptures for this theme.
I made two visits to the beach to view the sand sculptures which may explain the difference in light and shade in the photos.
I am posting the photos in the order they were located on the beach abd including info about each sculpture whenever background details were available..
“Transition” – Rusty Croft (Carmel, CA)
As is evident by the gravestone like sculpture, this sculpture is a tribute to a loved one who has “transitioned.” This sculpture placed 4th in the competition. As I was photographing these works of art I found it
“Primal” – Chris Guinto (Captain Cook, HI)
Chris, originally from Florida but currently residing in Hawaii, is no stranger to the competition or to winning awards. He won the Sculptor’s Choice Award in 2021.
He described his dinosaur skeleton (or as he called it “spineasaurus”) coming to life. As you will see as a common feature of these sculptures, the attention to detail is incredible.
“I Am Life” – Melineige Beauregard (Hawaii)
1st Prize and People’s Choice
Melineige, who won the competition in 2017, repeated her standard of excellence with “I Am Life” bringing home first place.
She said the sculpture was based on the “flower of life” design that is present in all of nature and life. According to Melineige, this pattern connects us all through flowers and nature. The front side represents the “flower of life” while the back side represents the death and destruction that is also present in our lives.
“Knowledge Is Limited. Imagination Encircles The World” – John Gowdy (Italy/New Jersey)
This sculpture, based on a quote by Albert Einstein, uses symbols like books, an owl and pen and paper to show the different ways to express knowledge. Again, the attention to detail is amazing.
“Wyvern Whisperer” – Greg Grady (Derry, NH)
Governor’s Choice Award
Grady, another regular competitor and founder of the sand sculpture event, said the inspiration for the sand sculpture the Wyvern (pronounced (why-vurn) Whisperer was his son. His son asked him to make a dragon and they settled on a two legged dragon (wyverns are 2 legged dinosaurs) and he modeled the smaller figure on his son who likes to play “super hero.”
“Linked” – Bruce Phillips (San Diego, CA)
Bruce, from San Diego, CA, said his sculpture represents people and working together.
“Trolls” – Karen Fralich (Ontario, Canada)
The meaning of this sculpture seems straight forward. Troll-like figures hug, offer treasures and act friendly to the crowned figure while they attempt to stab and mock him to his back
“Entropy” – Carl Jara (Lyndhurst, OH)
“Entropy”, in short a randomness or disorder in the system, certainly does show a disorder and randomness. Jara’s sculpture placed 3rd in the event.
“Let There Be Peace On Earth And Let It Begin With Me” – Justin Gordon (Groveland, MA)
“Hierarchy Of Needs” – Abe Waterman (Prince Edward Island, Canada)
Unfortunately, Abe’s sand sculpture collapsed due to weather conditions. So, a photograph of the sculpture was put in its place.
The sand sculptures are usually kept up for a week (in this case until June 26). The sculptures are also lit up for night viewing.
Location: Stanley Park, 400 Western Ave, Westfield, MA (about 2 hours west of Boston, MA and 1 hour northwest of Hartford, CT)
Official Season: Stanley Park is open to the public (7 days a week) from 7:00 am until dusk daily (1/2 hour before sunset) until the last Sunday in November. Upon entrance, please note gate closing times.
Off-Season: Gate 1, across from Westfield State University’s Woodward Center, is open year-round from 7:00 am until dusk daily, weather permitting. Upon entrance, please note gate closing times.
Parking: There are several free parking lots at Stanley Park, The main parking lots are located off Western Ave
Universally Accessible: Yes
Dog Friendly: Yes
Summary: A braille trail has been installed at Stanley Park
Many of us have heard of “rail trails” (formerly use railroad tracks transformed into hiking trails). But, few of us may have heard of a Braille Trail.
As we progress and develop a more universally accessible society, most parks and attractions are making efforts to ensure their trails and buildings are more accessible for all. Stanley Park is no different, Enter the Braille Trail at Stanley Park.
The Braille Trail at Stanley Park in Westfield, MA, was built and designed by Scout Jeremy T Trottier of Troop 821 as part of his Eagle Scout project. Jeremy, 15 at the time he began this project, has always wanted to become an Eagle Scout and he had been working hard to reach that goal. Besides, it’s in his blood. Jeremy’s father and uncle are both Eagle Scouts.
The trail, which is meant to give the visually impaired an enhanced experience at the trail, is located at a serene, shaded, usually quiet area of the park where a lot of the wildlife is active. The sounds of nature and wildlife are meant to enhance the experience for the visually impaired.
The 300 foot path is connected by a series of 3 wooden stations attached by a rope with placards containing information about the trail and park in braille and print.
There is also a bench at the end (or beginning) of the trail.
Jeremy fund raised to generate the $1,700 to pay for the plaques and other materials to create the trail; It was completed and officially dedicated September 9, 2017
In case you’re wondering, yes, Jeremy realized his dream when he was officially awarded Eagle Scout on January 13, 2018.
There are a lot more ladies these days in Salem, MA. Well, at least 26 more.
To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the artful Lady Of Salem the 26 ladies, shaped in the design of figureheads are displayed throughout the downtown area, They celebrate the “Golden Age Of Sail.”
So what is a figurehead and what do they symbolize? Figureheads are used to identify the ship in a non-literate society. They are carved from wood and placed at the bow of the ship. Figureheads were often thought to ward off evil spirits and give the crew good fortune. Since they are located at the front of the ship, they were considered the “eyes of the ship” and they were said to guide the captain and crew into safe harbor. Unlike the figureheads you will find on ships, these Ladies are 33’ tall and made out of light weight polyurethane foam molded form
Most of the Ladies can be found on light posts and on storefronts on Essex St. Only 3 of the 26 figureheads are located off Essex St
I am posting the Ladies in the order they are listed on the website listed above with the name of the artist and a little info about each one and information about what the figurehead may represent
Depending on where you are coming from, it may not be the best or easiest way for you to access them. There is no real order to view. View them at your leisure and convenience! One figurehead is located in the Old Salem Town Hall (better known for being one of the filming locations of Hocus Pocus).
At the bottom of the post I have included a map and list of the where the figureheads are located.
1 “DIY Shipbuilding Lady” – Keri May Killam
231 Essex St/Washington St (near Rockafellas)
As you will see in some of the other figureheads, some of the figureheads have themes and names, often based on the sponsor or artist of the figurehead. Since The Home Depot sponsored this figurehead you may noticed hardware related items on the board of the figurehead. The figurehead is also a nod to the “do it yourself” craftsmanship involved in building these vessels the figureheads were attached to. In colonial and post-colonial times, the East Coast had an abundant supply of Eastern Red-cedar, White Pine and a variety of Spruce and Oak trees which were used to build the vessels of Salem and the surrounding areas.
2 “West India Trade Lady” – YMCA Girls Today
228 Essex St
This figurehead is a symbol of the trade which existed in Salem in the Revolutionary and post Revolutionary times. Salem, at the time, was considered a hub for trade. In fact, arguably the first known millionaire in the United States was a merchant named Elias Hasket Derby, a merchant who made much of his money through trade. Ships would travel from Salem to the West Indies (Caribbean Islands), Barbados, and Jamaica with a cargo of dried codfish, haddock, mackerel, lumber, bay berry candles, and occasionally cows. They traded with the islanders for molasses, sugar, cotton, rum and slaves who were bought to work as field hands and domestics.
On a sad note, at least 18 Salem vessels were known to have transported slaves from Africa to America and the Caribbean
3 “Mermaid Lady” – Jeanne Pare Muse
230 Essex St
Evident by the various jewels, grass and the tail shape on the board, this figurehead has both the shape of a mermaid and the jewels you would find at the sponsor of the figurehead (Treasures Over Time). Mermaids were said to snare sailors with their beautiful appearance and even more beautiful voices. They were said to serenade sailors, eventually dragging them down to the bottom of the ocean
4 “Day Of The Dead Lady” Cynthia Mikula Smiszek
213 Essex St (near Wicked Good Books)
A tribute to the Day Of The Dead holiday, this figurehead displays not only the face painting that is associated with the day, it also has related symbols on the board. It is also a stark reminder of the risks of life at sea. In 1738 alone, over 400 people from Salem had died at sea because of disease, drowning, cannibalism and other dangers of life at sea.
5. “West India Trade Lady” – Shelia Farren Billings
215 Essex St
Believe it or not, at one time after the the Revolutionary War, there were almost 50 wharves. While many of the cargo of these vessels included rum, cotton, sugar and fish, some ships also brought slaves from Africa and the Caribbean. In the 1800s, Salem’s population of 10,000 included 200 African descendants.
6 “Philanthropic Lady” – Shelia Farren Billings
216 Essex St
This figurehead is a tribute to Captain John Bertram who was one of Salem’s wealthiest residents and philanthropist. In addition to being involved in the sea trade, he also managed several railroads and made his riches in the California Gold Rush. He helped fund Salem Hospital (1873), the home for Aged Men, the home for Aged Women and the Children’s Friend Society. Some of these organizations are still active today.
7 “Salem Museum Lady” – Mary Ellen Smiley
Inside the Old Town Hall vestibule (32 Derby Square)
Salem is known for its museums and landmarks. So it comes to no surprise there would be a figurehead bearing that name. The Town Hall where this figurehead is located may be best known for being one of the filming locations for the first Hocus Pocus movie. It was designed by the famous architect Charles Bulfinch. It is the earliest surviving municipal structure in Salem, MA, dating back to 1816 or 1817.
Although I could not gain entry to photograph this figurehead, I was able to copy and paste this photo I took of it in 2018
8 “Lady of Means” – Karen La Mesa/Tina Armstrong
210 Essex St
This figurehead has a connection to the sponsor Salem Five. But the coins which are evident along the board are also a reminder of the substantial trade Salem made with other countries and the origin of the sponsor of this figurehead
. As a result of the large sums of money generated from the overseas trade, particularly China, the Federalist Party decided to create banks in order to protect their investments. The original banks were named Salem Bank and Old Essex Bank. Eventually, the Nickel Bank (now named Salem Five) was established in 1855.
9 “Lady Hospitality” – Judith Pabich
209 Essex St
The Salem Inn, the sponsor of this figurehead, was established in 1834. This figurehead is a tribute to the Inn and the hospitality of the area.
10 “Sea Shell Lady” – Mary Ellen Halliwell
195 Essex St (taken down for maintenance)
Sailors were said to send “Sailor’s Valentines” to loved ones. The shells that were used to adorn the octagonal hinged wooden boxes can be seen on the board of this figurehead. In realty, historians now believe these boxes were made by women on the West Indian Island of Barbados and purchased by men while they were in port. Caribbean shells imported from Indonesia were used to make these elaborate heart shaped designs and patterns.
This figurehead exhibits the importance of trade between China and Asia. In 1784 Elias Hasket Derby sent his ship “Grand Turk” to Canton, China with a cargo of tobacco, fish oil, sugar and earthenware. In return, the “Grand Turk” brought back furniture, silk, nankeen cloth and porcelain.
12 Quaker Lady” – Kenneth Glover
190 Essex St
In addition to settling in Pennsylvania and New Jersey, Quakers also settled in Salem, MA. The Quakers, who were also known as “The Society of Friends”, controlled shipping and trade on both sides of the Atlantic during the 1770s. There is also a connection to the witch hysteria which would plague Salem years later. One story claims that in 1656, two Quakers were found on a ship landing in Salem. After the town fathers inspected them for “Witch Marks” and none were found they were swiftly deported.
13 “I Am No Witch” – Kenneth Glover
137 Essex St (Armory Park)
This figurehead is a tribute to Lady Bridget Bishop by Kenneth Glover. After being missing for some time, it is now located in front of the Salem Armory Visitor Center on Essex Street. Bridget Bishop was a tavern keeper who was executed in 1692 during the Salem Witch Trials. The name of the figurehead is taken from a direct quote from Bridget Bishop refuting the charges of witchcraft against her.
14 ”Ladies of Good Fortune” – Lady Shalimar
188 Essex St
15 182 Essex St
Located near some of the psychics and palmists, these figureheads are a reminder of the superstitions and predictors of the risks at sea. Sailors avoided sailing on Fridays, they boarded with their right foot and having women on board was considered “bad luck.” This lady in these different different dresses appears to be a “reader” or someone who could predict some of these risks.
16 “Sailor Lady: Life at Sea” – Palmer’s Cove Yacht Club, John Devine
181 Essex St
A sailors job was never done. Traveling along the seas was risky hard work. From raising masts to defending from other sailors or pirates, there were many tasks and risks on the job. The Palmer’s Cove Yacht Club is sure to have experienced some of these tasks and risks, minus the pirates.
17 “Merchant Lady MaryKate” – MaryKate Ross
181 Essex St (Witch Tees storefront window)
This figurehead, appropriately placed inside a storefront, is a tribute to the merchants of Salem, specifically John Cabot and Elias Hasket Derby, who are attributed with launching Salem’s “Golden Age Of Sail” with their vessel “The Buccaneer” in 1783. Cabot and Hasket sailed to several Baltic ports and are said to be the first ship to trade with the Russian empire in St Petersburg. Through this risky trade that others were afraid to make, they made huge profit margins
18 “Lady Wendlyn” – The Torch Club
181 Essex St
This figurehead is meant to show the diversity of both the diversity of the people of the area as well as the diversity of the ancestors of the area. Despite our differences, we are all “Irish, Dominican, Panamanian, Haitian, English and Danish” according to the Torch Club
19 “Deep Blue Mystery Girl” – Bates Elementary School, 5th Grade Art Class
176 Essex St
The Deep Blue Mystery Girl, was made by the Bates Elementary School 5th grade class. I’m sure with a little help from their teacher. The figurehead is an homage to the seas and more accurately the sea monsters that were once thought to inhabit the waters the sailors sailed in. Bass and other fish became a major source of food and trade for these sailors. Not only did sailors see whales, a variety of fish and maybe even a few monsters. Of course some of the monsters they saw were often times just sharks, octopus and other sea critters. Some of them at least.
20 “Lady Liberty” – Nicko Papadimitrion
Witch City Mall entrance (186-3 Essex St)
Fittingly, the figurehead for “Lady Liberty” depicts the Statue Of Liberty with an I love Pizza shirt. If you look closely at the board of the figurehead you may see a popular landmark of NY as well as a plane flying an advertisement for the pizzeria. If you look closely at the building, you may also see a famous movie character near the building. New York was, and still is, an important hub for trade and tourism. And I’m sure many of the ships from the 18th and 19th century had figureheads on them.
21 “Grog Shoppe Lady” – Sheila Farren Billings
Village Tavern (168 Essex St)
Located above the entrance to the Village Tavern the Grog Shoppe Lady figurehead is a reference to the Grog, an alcoholic beverage originally made from water and rum. I know what you’re thinking. “Yum!” Taverns, as you can imagine, were a staple of most ports where Grog was served. The draft taps along the board of the figurehead is a fitting representation of the Village Tavern, the sponsor of the figurehead. And, no, I don’t think they serve Grog.
22 “Banking and Commerce Lady” – Amberlyn Narvie
168 Essex St (near fountain)
The “Banking and Commerce Lady” is representative of the Pierce & Waite Mercantile firm. Aaron Waite and Jerathmiel Peirce were the owners of the original Friendship vessel, a replica of which you can usually find docked at Derby Wharf. The coins placed upon the board are no doubt a tribute to the riches both men made as well as to the Beverly Cooperative Bank, the sponsor of the figurehead.
23 “Naumkeag Woman” – Dori Phillips
168 Essex St
Before it was known as Salem, it was known as “Naumkeag” (“still water dividing the bay” or “the fishing grounds”). Naumkeag also refers to an independent tribe in the Massachusetts confederacy of tribes. There are also some herbs or spices scattered along the board of the figurehead, certainly a tip of the hat to the sponsor of the figurehead (Scratch Kitchen).
This figurehead is a throwback to when figureheads from the early 1800s and earlier were often carved from wood and placed at the bow of the ship. As you may notice, these figureheads, sometimes weighing over several tons, were heavy and would slow down the ships. So ship builders and their crews would opt for smaller, lighter figureheads.
25 East India Peacock Lady – Jeanne Pare Muse
In front of Peabody Essex Museum (161 Essex St)
If you look closely at this figurehead you may notice peacock feathers on the board and jewels on the lady.
Captains of ship boats in the early 1800s were expected to donate curious items they found during their trading expeditions. Some of these “curiosities” were shrunken heads, nose flutes, jewels and exotic shells. While I do see some exotic items on the lady, I think she left her shrunken heads at home.
Peacocks often roamed the country side of India, one of our trade partners at the time. In fact, they were so common and majestic they became the nation’s official bird. The peacock is associated with the Hindu God, Lakshmi, symbolizing patience. kindness, compassion and good luck
26 “Scarlet Letter Lady of Salem” – Jeanne Pare Muse
155 Derby St
One of Salem’s most famous residents was a writer you may have heard of. But, Nathaniel Hawthorne was not only a prolific writer. He was also a surveyor of revenue at the Custom House in Salem. This particular figurehead is a tribute to one of his greatest works.
These figureheads are going to be up until the middle of October. And, don’t forget to vote for your favorite figurehead at their Facebook page
Dogs also like the figureheads. I found this cute dog with some very big ears during my visit to the figureheads.
I would like to thank the Lady Of Salem Maritime Exhibition organizers for all their help, especially by providing photos of a few figureheads I could not find on my own and providing me with answers and info regarding this exhibit.
El corazón de Holyoke está vivo con murales. The heart of Holyoke is alive with murals.
Sponsored by the Nueva Esperanza, Inc in cooperation with Beyond Walls, the new murals in Holyoke, MA, named “El Corazon are meant to both give a voice to the artists in the neighborhood as well as give a glimpse into the culture of the community.
While most of the murals are clustered together on or near Main St, Clemente St and Hamilton St you will have to either walk quite a ways or drive to a few of the far flung destinations on High St. I wanted to take in the environment and experience the area. So I parked on Main St and walked to all of the murals. They were pretty easy to find.
All of the murals posted below are on the website attached above. I am including the murals in the order I visited them.
Collaborative Mural by Repoe 9 + Teck 3%
341 Main St
“Iguana Boina” (Iguana Beret) by Rafique
363 Main St
“Ojitos Lindos” (Cute Little Eyes) by Bikismo
387 Main St
“Yagrumo” by Vero Rivera
398 Main St
Transition of the Ancestors by Frankie Borrero
401 Main St
“La Danza” by David Zayas
57 Hamilton St
“Father And Baby Moose” by Bordalo II
44 Clemente St
If you look closely, you may notice the mixed media used to make this mural
“Seguimos Tostando” by Golden305, Bikismo + 305Ange
453 High St
“Tun Cutum PÁ” by Don Rimx
147 High St
I also found some other art in my travels around Holyoke