Salisbury in Massachusetts

Saturday, 23 March 2024 - 11:00 am (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General
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Town Hall © John Phelan/cc-by-sa-3.0

Town Hall © John Phelan/cc-by-sa-3.0

Salisbury is a small coastal beach town and summer tourist destination in Essex County, Massachusetts, United States. The community is a popular summer resort beach town situated on the Atlantic Ocean, north of Boston on the New Hampshire border. It is home to the new Salisbury Beach Boardwalk, full of souvenir shops, restaurants, cafes, arcades and panoramic views of the Atlantic Ocean. The population was 9,236 at the 2020 census. Parts of town comprise the census-designated place of Salisbury.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 17.9 square miles (46.2 km²), of which 15.4 square miles (40.0 km²) is land and 2.4 square miles (6.2 km²; 13.50%) is water. Salisbury is the northernmost town in Massachusetts, with its northwest corner approximately where Elmwood Street meets the New Hampshire border. Lying along the northern banks of the Merrimack River at its mouth, the town is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Merrimack River and Newburyport to the south, Amesbury to the west, and Seabrook, New Hampshire, to the north. The town is home to Salisbury Beach State Reservation, a park which includes the entire seacoast and a small portion inland, as well as the Ram Island and Carr Island State Wildlife Management Areas, the two islands lying in the middle of the Merrimack (along with Eagle Island, which is not protected). Much of the town is covered by marshes, especially in the eastern part of town. Several brooks and creeks run through town as well. The town contains three villages, Salisbury Beach, Salisbury Plains (in the northwest corner of town) and Browns Point (between Salisbury Beach and the center of town).

This was once territory of the Pentucket tribe of Pennacook Indians. It was settled by the English in 1638 as Colchester, and incorporated in 1640 as Salisbury, after Salisbury in Wiltshire, England. The original roads at the center of the town formed a compact semicircle, which allowed the residents to quickly reach the garrison house in case of attack. Those roads still exist, though the shape today is triangular, being bounded by Elm Street, School Street and Bridge Road. One of the two greatest fears at the time was the Naumkeag tribe of Indians, thus the men of the town took turns standing watch against a surprise attack, especially at night. The Naumkeags had been decimated by plague, and the threat was not what it once might have been. The second threat came from wolves, which were plentiful, and which killed the livestock and dug in the graveyard.

Salisbury Beach © MarkBuckawicki East Parish Meeting House © John Phelan/cc-by-sa-3.0 Ghost Trail sign © John Phelan/cc-by-sa-3.0 The Hungry Traveler © flickr.com - David Wilson/cc-by-2.0 Town Hall © John Phelan/cc-by-sa-3.0 Salisbury Beach © Whoisjohngalt/cc-by-sa-4.0
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The Hungry Traveler © flickr.com - David Wilson/cc-by-2.0
The original residents, including Richard Currier, were given one small house lot near the center of town, and one larger planting lot just outside the center for farming. Families also owned large sections of “sweepage lots” near the beach, where apparently they harvested the salt marsh hay. At the time, the area was almost entirely unbroken virgin forest, which had to be cleared for the construction of houses and the planting of fields.

Richard Currier was a millwright and was one of the original settlers of Salisbury. He is listed in the first division of house lots in 1640 and received additional land in 1641 and 1642. In 1654 there were sixty commoners in Salisbury and they voted that thirty families were to be chosen to move west of the Powow River. Eighteen of these families were commoners and the number of commoners were increased to 26 by the time Salisbury New Town became the town of Amesbury in 1668. Richard heads the list of the eighteen commoners and was one of the signers to the Articles of Agreement between the inhabitants of the Old Town and those of the New Town, 1 May 1654.

In 1866, Beach Road was constructed across Great Marsh, providing access to the town’s five miles (8 km) of pristine beach. It developed into a thriving summer resort, lined with hotels, restaurants, shops, cottages, arcades and amusement parks. A carousel called The Flying Horses, hand carved by Charles I. D. Looff, was installed in 1914. John Miller built The Sky Rocket, the beach’s first roller coaster. A Dodgem ride, originally built by Max and Harold Stoeher of Methuen, operated at Salisbury Beach in one form or another from 1920 to 1980. Major entertainers provided concerts, including Glenn Miller, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Frank Sinatra and Liberace.

The resort remained vibrant through the 1960s, then gradually faded. WildCat, the last roller coaster, was razed in 1976. Pirate’s Fun Park, the last small amusement park, closed in 2004 to be replaced with condominiums.

Read more on Wikivoyage Salisbury and Wikipedia Salisbury (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). Photos by Wikimedia Commons. If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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