Historic Salem, Incorporated (HSI) joins the Salem community in its concern over the Peabody Essex Museum’s (PEM) plans to remove the Phillips Library Collection and other historic collections to Rowley. We appreciate PEM's intent to improve conservation and safe storage. However, these papers, books and objects inform Salem’s unique local history as well as our national heritage and should be accessible to the public in a Salem location. We encourage the PEM to develop strategies to integrate the historic collections into programming and education, to tell of Salem’s extraordinary contribution to art, culture and science.
On behalf of Historic Salem, Inc. I want to thank the Salem community for supporting our holiday fundraiser, Christmas in Salem. The 38th annual holiday home tour hosted more than 2,100 tour guests who visited 10 private homes, each uniquely decorated for the holidays. The success of this tour supports Historic Salem’s mission to advocate for historic assets in our community while also highlighting the value of preservation.
The “City Sidewalks” theme for this year’s tour showcased homes in the McIntire District and in Downtown Salem. We even highlighted the history of downtown by offering lectures by Jim McAllister on Salem’s Urban Renewal. Most fittingly, tour headquarters was in Murray Hall at The Bridge at 211, one of the few buildings in this downtown neighborhood that remained standing after urban renewal.
Thanks to the sacrifice and generosity of our home owners, what a fabulous group of homes we were able to showcase once again this year! Special thanks also to the many guides and house captains who stewarded the homes during the tour. Their diligence in watching over these houses while also providing historic content and engaging with tour guests is a huge part of what makes this event so successful. Our decorators for all the homes did such a marvelous job. And, we also greatly appreciated the many musicians who donated their time and talent to perform in several of the homes. How festive!
Thanks as well to our tour headquarters host, The Bridge at 211, for providing a beautiful venue and being so accommodating. And, we extend our most sincere appreciation to our many partners who helped add to the excitement of the tour: Creative Salem, Destination Salem, Jim McAllister, Salem Arts Association, Salem Food Tours, Salem Historical Society, SalemVolunteers.org, Salem Wine Imports, and The Garden Club.
Importantly, this event wouldn’t be possible without the financial support of several local institutions, including Soucy Insurance, the Salem Waterfront Hotel & Suites, Salem Harbor Station, Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation, Cummings Architects, and Salem Five Charitable Foundation. And, we’re so appreciative of our office staff and the dedicated Christmas in Salem committee, chaired by Simeen Brown, who donate so much of their time and talents to ensure our tour is a success year after year.
Christmas in Salem is a spectacular way to kick off the holidays, see inside historic Salem homes, and spend time with friends and family enjoying Salem’s holiday season. Remember to join us again next year for our 39th Christmas in Salem, held from Friday, November 30 through Sunday, December 2. Learn more at christmasinsalem.org. There’s no better way to launch yourself into the holiday spirit!
Historic Salem, Inc.