Tag Archives: architecture

Friday The 13th (Salem, MA)

Dates Of Visit: July 13 & 14, 2018

Location: Salem, MA

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Yes

Highlights: architecture, dogs, flower boxes


What is a better place to spend Friday the 13th than Salem, MA?  Well, maybe Camp Crystal Lake would be more appropriate.  But, I’m not stepping one foot there!

I actually spent the weekend in Salem and it was not at all scary during my visit.  In fact, it was downright peaceful.

The city of Salem was holding their annual window box competition that was judged at the end of July by the Salem Garden Club.  Roughly 40 people compete.   I was able to capture some of the prettier flower boxes.  I am not sure if all or any of these flower boxes were involved in the competition.  But, all of the window boxes and other flower baskets definitely looked like winners to me.

As an aside, Salem’s buildings are not always straight which can make photographing them difficult.  It’snot just an excuse for the photographer.  Well, maybe a little.  But, due to soil erosion and the age of some of the buildings in the area, the buildings have shifted.  So, while a window may look straight, the building may, in fact, not be.

I didn’t want to spend the entire day photographing the usual sites.  Well, maybe I did include a few popular places in this post.  But, I mostly wanted to get some photos of buildings that don’t get as much attention like the Essex Bank Building (built by Charles Bulfinch in 1811).


And the Stepping Stone Inn (built in 1933).


This is the back side of the Old Town Hall in Salem.  You may recall seeing this building in the Hocus Pocus movie athough it may look more familiar from the front.  It is the oldest municipal building in Massachusetts dating back to 1816.  It is now used to display art and historical exhibits.  The second floor of the building, called Great Hall, has always been used as a public hall, and contained Town offices until 1837.


Located across from historic Derby Wharf, the Custom House has a


The eagle on top of the house is actually a replica of the original.  The original eagle was painted black during the second World War so that it would not be easily detected by any foreign fighters should they attack us on U.S. soil.



Built in 1810 for the prominent Salem merchant Benjamin Crowninshied, The Home For Aged Women (it now operates as the Brookhouse Home) is another one of the more majestic buildings on Derby St.  The Brookhouse Home continues to offer assisted living and support to senior women





There’s always a feeling of Halloween in the air in Salem as these doors and windows show.  After all, it’s never too early to count down the days until Halloween.

One of the more popular places in Salem, especially during Halloween, the Crow Haven Corner is Salem’s oldest witch shop.  Make sure to stop by the next time you’re in the area!


The Salem Witch Museum from a different angle.  I love the angles and shapes of the wall and windows.


These doors on an apartment complex on Derby St caught my attention.  They both seemed to keep the old style of Salem in their designs.



One of the really cool things about Salem are the old buildings that have survived.  While the offices and stores are different than the what was originally housed there, the structures are still the same.

This building, where Rockafella’s restaurant is now located, was used as the first meeting house in Salem from 1634 to 1673.  Prior to that, as the sign suggests, it was used for worship in July and August of 1629.

The sign for Daniel Low & Co is a sign from a store which operated on Washington St.  It operated from 1874 until 1995.

Named after Aaron Waite and Jerathmiel Peirce, the Salem Maritime Museum store on Derby Street sells wares associated with your trip to Salem.  There are also helpful park rangers there to help you during your visit.



Dogs weren’t afraid to venture out to Salem on the 13th either.

Luna is a 6 month old liver pepper mini Schnauzer.


Bella is a 14 year old American Pitbull Terrier.


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The Mount (Lenox,MA)

Date Of Visit: June 4, 2017

Location: 2 Plunkett St, Lenox,  MA (about 2 hours west of Boston and 1 hour northwest of Springfield, MA)

Hours: The Mount is open daily from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm through October 31st, except on early closing days (please see below). The Mount is open from 10:30 am – 3:00 pm most weekends in November through February. Please call 413-551-5100 to confirm hours.

Cost: $18 for adults, $17 for seniors (65 and older), $13 for students with id, $10 for members of the military, free for teens and children (18 and younger)

Handicapped Accessible: Yes

Dog Friendly: Service pets may be allowed

Highlights: home of author Edith Wharton, trails, fountains, flowers

Website: The Mount


Once the home to one of Massachusetts’ more prominent authors, The Mount is more than just a beautiful mansion.  The Mount, once the home of Edith Wharton, has colorful gardens, fountains, art, spectacular views and history around every corner.

The Mount, which was recently restored, is an elegant house that has kept much of its original charm.  What is great about the mansion is that you can see the entire home in half an hour or so.  Yet, it isn’t so much the quantity of time and space the tour (I took a self guided tour but there may also be guided tours as well) would take.  But, rather, it is the quality of time and space the tour takes.  Around each corner is one beautiful piece of furniture and architecture.  Yeah, I think I could live here.

I couldn’t use my flash when I took photos inside of the mansion.  But, I did my best.  Sometimes the lack of lighting gives the home a mysterious feel.  Sometimes it just makes the photos look crappy.  You decide.

The two floor building has about a dozen rooms and there is a handicapped accessible entry and elevator.

Some of my favorite rooms had the old, antiquated tools and appliances we used to use.

The grounds of the Mount is as beautiful as the inside of the building.

The Beaver Loop Trail, a gentle, short trail (about half a mile) that runs along the grounds of The Mount, offers some very pretty views.

Edith Wharton was fond of animals (well, mostly she was fond of dogs not so much cats – oh well she wasn’t purrfect I guess).  Along the trail around the mansion, a side trail leads too a pet cemetery.

There are also little critters along the trail outside of the home.

The Mount is also hosting a special art exhibit called SculptureNow on its trail.  If you missed it, you can view the blog post I posted a few weeks ago bout the art exhibit here.

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Bancroft Tower (Worcester, MA)

Date Visited: March 19, 2016

Cost: Free

Location: Bancroft Tower Road, Salisbury Park,Worcester, MA

Open: Daily from sunrise until 6 p.m.

Bancroft Tower



In 1900, Stephen Salisbury II built a tower on what is now known as Salisbury Park as a tribute to his friend, historian and jack of all trades, George Bancroft.   And to think, my friends only usually give me gift cards, wine and books for my birthday.

The park is has a wide variety of bird life.

As I was reviewing the photos, I couldn’t help feeling the tower was purposefully constructed to look as though it was  incomplete.  The sides are not rounded and seem almost as though they were cut off from the facade or the builder gave up half way through.  But, as the photos show it was indeed constructed this way by design.

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My favorite view from the tower was at the arched entrance.

The 56 foot tower is made  of natural stone and granite.  It was designed by Stephen C. Earle and Clellann W. Fisher.

The plaque at the memorial states:





Jacks wasn’t impressed by the tower.

There were some views of the city from the parking lot.

During my visit and in my research after the shoot, I found out they let visitors inside the tower during October of each year.  The views at the top are said to give 360 degree views of the area.  The sorority and fraternity at the local college also holds a Halloween party for the kids in the area at the tower with mild scares.  So, it looks like a visit in October is on my list!

A walking tour of the Bancroft Tower:

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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.