The gazebo in the Salem Common is dedicated to Jean Missud. They say he and his band still can be heard on the Salem Common. On the Common the first National Guard unit was formed in 1637. In 1801 they were charged by President Jefferson to help collect duties on imports from the shipping in the harbor. Instead they dug tunnels to help ship captains avoid paying duties. In the 20’s Missud led them to a different tune.
To hear more stories on Salem’s only original walking tour reserve your tickets today for the Salem Smugglers’ Tour of the historic Common.
Enjoy reading over a cup of tea at Jolie Tea in Salem, MA. They are the first shop to sell these ARCs. What is even more amazing than their 200+ collection of fine teas, is that the building they are in is connected to the tunnels of Salem. Secretary of the Navy Benjamin Crowninshield had his Merchant Bank in the building. He also was one of many politicians from Salem who was a director of the Second Bank of the United States Boston Branch. Crowninshield was one of many in Salem in 1811 that was bribed by the British to work to create the bank which would sell 70% of its shares to the British after the War of 1812. Across the Common you can also see Senator Nathaniel Silsbee’s house who also was bribed and became a director in the bank. In this building Sophia Peabody had lived for a period of time when Nathaniel Hawthorne lived down the street. Hawthorne’s uncle had a stagecoach company with offices in the building or next door.
As rich as the tea at Jolie is the history connected to the building. Looking over your tea cup you can see through the window the Salem Common that was developed to hide massive amounts of tunnel dirt in. It is the same location the first National Guard unit was formed on. Their descendants dug the tunnels and hid the dirt. Just to the left is the historic Hawthorne Hotel. On that property was originally the Franklin Building owned by Thomas Perkins.
Perkins had paid Charles Bulfinch to build the Bunker Hill Monument, Mass General Hospital, Perkins School for the Blind, and India Wharf. Bulfinch was the one who designed the homes connected to the tunnels in Salem and Boston and the idea of hiding tunnel dirt in rivers, ponds, and marshland. Bulfinch would be the one who built all of the tunnels in Washington D.C. Perkins is the drug dealer who started the Forbes family off to fortune by selling opium to China. His empire was sold to Sturgis Russell who’s cousin founded Skull & Bones. William Russell will purchase property off Perkins in New Haven, Conn. to build the crypt on.
Also the window seat looks out upon the parking lot which at one time was the location of the Bently-Crowninshield House featured in H.P. Lovecraft’s Thing on the Doorstep. The story details Daniel Upton’s account of the tragedy that befell Edward Derby. Edward Derby marries a woman who becomes possessed by her dead evil father who in time possess Derby’s body after he was pushed into his wife’s body when he was in Arkham Asylum. Left for dead the wife’s body limps to Upton’s doorstep informing him that it was in fact Derby who inhabits his wife’s decaying body as he becomes the thing on the doorstep. Arkham Asylum is the same asylum that the Batman universe uses. The Bently-Crowninshield House has since been removed to in front of the Hawthorne.
Now the window behind you over looks the holy parking lot. Once the location of a Jewish temple. So if you are ever chased by any of Salem’s vampires. A variety called psychic vampires. The type of person who can speak at you for an hour and drain your soul and time away. If you are ever confronted in Salem, MA, it is good to know where the consecrated land is…
Below are images of Benjamin Crowninshield, Thomas Perkins, Jolie Tea Building, Merchant Bank notes, and the tunnels….
So head over to Jolie Tea and experience some history from your window seat over one of the 200+ teas they offer. They also sell Howqua Tea named after the man that Perkins made the wealthiest man in the world by selling his opium to. Your welcome to read a store copy of Salem Secret Underground:The History of the Tunnels in the City or its sequel Sub Rosa while at Jolie or buy a copy to bring home with you! They are both filled with the story of the tunnels in Salem and how her smugglers’ shaped American history…
Just watched an episode of the Librarians on TNT and they were citing source material also from Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City in Season 3 episode 1 “And the Rise of Chaos”. In the episode they enter a basement and mention smugglers building tunnels in Boston to avoid Jefferson’s taxes. Which is the reason stated in Salem Secret Underground why the tunnels were extended and the ponds in the common was filled to hide the dirt. Cool huh…..
Why not read the book Hollywood is reading and find out about the secrets in Salem and how it shaped American history!
Available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, and local shops in Salem, MA!