Salem Through Time
Part of the America Through Time series
Salem is a small city on the north-east coast of Massachusetts with Eurpean history dating from 1626. Called the Witch City after the Puritan witch trials of 1692, Salem has a more colorful past than that: during the Great Age of Sail (~1780-1810) Salem was a major maritime seaport opening trade with the Far East. This trade generated wealth that resulted in an explosion of wealth for Salem merchants, multi-million dollar mansions, and a living museum of architectural treasures. While preserving much of its past, Salem remains a vibrant evolving city.
Jerome Curley graduated from Boston University and for 30 years worked in social services where he was a trainer and administrator of various children's services. He has a bachelor's degree and two master's degrees, which highlights his dedication to learning and research. Upon retirement, he has focused on history and most especially the history of Salem. He has used his skills in writing and photography to co-author two other Salem history books. He writes a regular history column for Salem Patch. He has given presentations and lectures to local historical groups and the public.
Nelson Dionne is a collector of Salem memorabilia, and won a top prize from Historic New England in 2013. Dionne collects old postcards, photos, magazines, newspaper articles, pamphlets and books. His collection is all about Salem, mostly post-Civil War. It focuses heavily on businesses, shops, railroads and industry from the late 19th century to today. Dionne's collection, considered priceless, was turned over to Salem State University library in 2013. He gave other material to be used for the Salem Museum in Old Town Hall. In 2014, Dionne launched "Salem's Forgotten Stories," a series of books focusing on a particular subject in Salem history using information and images from his collection. He has also compiled old photographs and stereoscope images into other books and published collections.