Walk along Salem's tree-lined streets today, take in its gambrel-roofed Georgian houses and Federal brick mansions, and you can feel the history of the place. Stroll the waterfront and you stand amidst the old Customs House and Derby Wharf, 17th- and 18th-century homes and Hawthorne's House of the Seven Gables, the remnants of shipyards, ropewalks, drying flakes, and tanneries. Pass Chestnut Street, Salem Commons, the old burying ground, and you may think you hear the voices of Nathaniel Hawthorne, merchant king Elias Hasket Derby, the elite of the "codfish aristocracy," and the unfortunate twenty who perished in the infamous witch trials.
Yet, located just 17 miles north of Boston and easily accessible by major highways, Salem has a modern ring to it. In touch with the bustling innovation that has made our area the "hub of the universe" for three centuries, the region is home to many businesses which carry on Salem's legacy of entrepreneurial spirit and American independence. The North Shore's tourist trade attracts thousands of sightseers each year, supporting a wealth of museums, historical societies, and related resources. You can enjoy a cornucopia of attractions: state parks and beaches; restaurants and inns; whale watches and boat excursions; fishing, swimming, and sailing; shopping galleries, antiques emporia, and art colonies; and the excitement of year-round events. Two hours by auto bring you to the Green Mountains of Vermont, White Mountains of New Hampshire, and the coast of Maine for summer hiking, winter skiing, and a host of other year-round pleasures.
Photo Caption: Statue of Salem's founder, Roger Conant
Salem State University
The institution which would become Salem State University was founded in 1854 as Salem Normal School. The university's historic mission - its commitment to training teachers - was part of the great nineteenth-century tradition of establishing a well-educated citizenry as the basis for democratic institutions.
Today, serving over 10,000 undergraduate, graduate, and continuing education students in its respected Schools of Arts and Sciences, Business and Economics, and Human Services, Salem State's goals have broadened to maintain currency with the challenging demands of a changing economy. In doing so, the university continues its devotion to the principle expressed in its motto, "a tradition of excellence."
Photo Caption: Salem Normal School, forerunner of Salem State University