THE PHILIPS SCHOOL AND HOCUS POCUS

BARBECUE WITCH ANYONE…

Phillips School Hocus Pocus Salem Common

This was the location of the school in Hocus Pocus. In 1992 on the 300 year anniversary of the Witchcraft Hysteria Elie Wiesel dedicated the memorial and Disney filmed Hocus Pocus. In this building in the film, the three witches are burned in the incinerator. While filming, Disney did not think the Common had enough leaves and colors so they shipped massive dump trucks to the park. Today the steeple is missing on the building, along with most of the steeples in Salem. Also, my neighbor, Miss Fitzgerald was one of the original teachers in the school who died not too long ago at 99 years old. After knowing her for 15 years I realized she was retired longer than I was alive.

I hear this building is still open to the tunnels, now just to get in…

To hear more stories about the Salem Common book a tour on the Salem Smugglers’ Tour of the Historic Common today!

http://www.salemtunneltour.com
More Than Witches!!!

BULFINCH TUNNELS

LIBRARY OF CONGRESS TUNNEL

Bulfinch Tunnels. This is part of the tunnel system between the Adams and Jefferson buildings of the Library of Congress that is at least 4 levels deep. Charles Bullfinch gave a tour of Boston’s and Salem’s underground through their tunnels to President James Monroe and was hired to dig Washington D.C.’s tunnels.

Find out more in Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City and its sequel Sub Rosa. Available at Remember Salem, Jolie Tea, Wicked Good Books, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.com.

Salem House Press
http://www.salemhousepress.com

What Lies Below in Salem

Tales from Salem’s Underground
(Reprint from the Salem Gazette)

Salem Secret Underground Front Page of Salem Gazette

“These homes were built by respected architects – names like McIntire and Bulfinch. They were the homes and businesses of senators and Supreme Court justices,” said Dowgin. “And in the basements and under the fireplaces, many of them had smuggling tunnels.”

Dowgin, a local historian, has been primarily known for his illustrated children’s books “A Walk Through Salem” and “A Walk Under Salem,” which introduce readers to Salem history in a whimsical way. But his latest book is something different. “Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City” shows a new side to the famous merchants and captains of industry, one tinged with tax evasion, thievery and even murder.

“The practice of building smuggling tunnels probably dated back to the earliest days of Salem being used as a port,” said Dowgin. “But it really became a common occurrence in the early days of the United States.”

During the Revolutionary War, many shipping magnates in port cities all up and down the East Coast turned to privateering, amassing huge fortunes in wealth captured from British vessels. After the war, the fledgling republic tried to recapture some of that wealth, in the form of steep import duties and other taxes.

“We’d just had an expensive war, we were trying to get our country started, and everyone wanted the party they were opposed to shoulder the brunt of the tax burden,” Dowgin said. “In many ports, people were losing money, but Salem just kept getting richer and richer.”

Part of the reason was that many of the goods that entered Salem were immediately spirited into a complex tunnel network that kept them away from the prying eyes of customs agents. These tunnels extended far into the city, but began practically at Salem wharf itself. As an example, look at the 1762 Derby House, part of the Salem Maritime Historic Site.

 

Derby_House

“When Richard Derby built the Derby House for his son, Elias Hasket Derby and his new wife, Elizabeth Crowninshield Derby, it was the subject of much speculation in town,” Dowgin said. “In the late 18th century, houses weren’t commonly made of brick, because there was a superstition that brick houses were unhealthy. Then there was the question of why so many bricks were needed; about three times as many as you’d need for a house of that size.”

In reality, Dowgin said, the bricks were being used to construct a tunnel in the basement. Today, the entrance to the tunnel is slightly above grade, and visitors can see the bricked-in arch.

“After the Derby House, the tunnel builders got smarter,” Dowgin said. “They realized that, if they built two brick houses at a time at a fixed distance apart, no one could guess how many bricks were supposed to be there.”

To find out more about the tunnels of Salem watch Chris Dowgin on Kitchen Expeditions on the Travel Channel premiere episode. Chris will be giving a tour to Robert Irvine of the tunnels that used to smuggle duty free cinnamon. Check out the show and then buy your own copy of Salem Secret Underground:The HIstory of the Tunnels in the City.

Come back every Tuesday at 3PM for new stories about Salem and images from the Salem Trilogy.

Vintage Salem Morning

Welcome to another Vintage Salem Posts. Every Wednesday we will post another image from our home town’s past. If you have any other images of the buildings or locations we offer each Wednesday, please share them below.

Dixon Chapel and Greenhouse in Greenlawn Cemetery

Greenlawn Cemetery, Chapel, and Greenhouse. Under this chapel 4 tunnels meet. One heading out to Orne’s Point where the Widow Orne sold bricks to keep her property to be used to create the tunnels in Salem. Her kin Secretary of State Timothy Pickering bought 40,000 bricks from her in one order when a house only needed 8,000 bricks.

For more info read Sub Rosa by Chris Dowgin available at Remember Salem, Jolie Tea, Wicked Good Books, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.com.

Cheers,
Chris
Owner Salem House Press

Vintage Salem

Welcome to another Vintage Salem Posts. Every Wednesday we will post another image from our home town’s past. If you have any other images of the buildings or locations we offer each Wednesday, please share them below.

Train Tunnel on Washington Street

4 Views of a Secret. This tunnel running from Essex Street to the Tabernacle Church under Washington Street was used to hide the loading of contraband from the smuggling tunnels in Salem. The first track on the frog entering the tunnel was built by George Peabody whose plan has bankrupted our country every 20 years up to 2008. The second track on the frog was owned by Thomas Perkins the opium dealer who would smuggle runaway slaves to his sweatshops in Lowell. Eight tunnels met in the back of the Kinsman Building (Opus Underground) and one left the front to this tunnel in the photos. Kinsman was superintendent of the Eastern Railroad owned by Peabody.

For more info read Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City and Sub Rosa by Chris Dowgin available at Wicked Good Books, Jolie Tea, Remember Salem, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.com.

Cheers,
Chris
Owner Salem House Press

I AM PRESIDENT JAMES KNOX POLK

Welcome to tales of Nineteenth-CenturySalem. A time in which Salem was the richest city and the most influential in shaping our young country. In our posts you will learn how Salem has shaped American history from the profits she made by the smuggling that happened in her tunnels by the most wealthy and powerful in their day; sometimes for the good, but more often not. So join us every Monday for new tales!

James Knox Polk

INDEPENDENT TREASURY?

I suffered typhoid poisoning as Speaker of the House defending Andrew Jackson’s Bank War after he visited Stephen White of Salem. White was the banker behind Senator Daniel Webster who was Secretary of State for President Harrison who died one month into office of typhoid. In my presidency I was against a third national bank and created an Independent Treasury governed by Congress. For this I will be assassinated 3 months after leaving the presidency by typhoid by Daniel Webster and Henry Clay. A doctor who was at the death of Harrison of typhoid was on the river boat where I caught my own dose.

For more read Sub Rosa by Chris Dowgin published by Salem House Press.
Available at Barnes & Noble, Remember Salem, Jolie Tea, and Amazon.com.

Old Naumkeag Trust Bank Building

Welcome to the Salem Tunnel Report. Every Monday we will post new and old tunnel finds along with those who built them. In our posts you will learn how Salem has shaped American history from the profits of the smuggling that happened in these tunnels; sometimes for the good, but more often not.

Tunnels under the old Naumkeag Trust Bank on the corner of Derby Square and Essex Street.

This spot originally held the Essex Bank before Charles Bulfinch built them a new bank on Central Street. The Salem Savings Bank, Salem Bank, and the Naumkeag Trust Bank which became Eastern Bank have used this building. The first building used as a bank on this location suffered a fire. Historically this location had six different buildings. Now all of their foundations are joined together in one large basement with several sealed tunnel entrances and tunnels converted into hallways between foundations. Due to the different levels of the original foundations there is a six foot difference between the basement floor near Essex Street and the alley off of Derby Square in the rear. Also there is a tomb of two runaway slaves in the basement.

For more read Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City and its sequel Sub Rosa by Chris Dowgin published by Salem House Press. Available at Barnes & Noble, Remember Salem, The Witch House, Jolie Tea, and Amazon.com.

New Edition: New Pictures and New Tunnel Finds

SALEM SECRET UNDERGROUND: THE HISTORY OF THE TUNNELS IN THE CITY

Extended Introduction, New Tunnel Finds, Expanded History of the Real Murder Behind the Game Clue, The Tale of the Second Witchcraft Hysteria of 1811, Truth Behind our Nation’s Banking History!

Salem Secret Underground Third Edition cover

This is the latest edition of the living book which keeps changes with each new tunnel finds. This new edition covers the house Nathaniel Hawthorne courted his wife in and the house of the man who owned the largest opium empire in American history and controlled the Bank of England.

Read about the tunnels that built the wealth of the men in Salem who went on to shape the history of America through its national banks, Constitution, Congress, Drug Problems, Wars, Architecture, and Inventions.

Available at www.salemhousepress.com. Support the Small Independent Presses and Support the Stories that Could of Been Buried. $17.99

Also available at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, Remember Salem, Jolie Tea, Wicked Good Books, and the Salem Witch House!

Salem Smugglers’ Tour and Salem Secret Underground Mentioned in Another Book!

 

 

In Wicked Truths:Book 3 of the Wicked Cries series  has the characters taking the tour and talking about info from the book. Janet Evanovich and Phoef Sutton used the book to research for their Wicked Charms book. Also The Librarians TV Show and Carol Perry in her Witch City Mysteries used the book to research the tunnels in Boston and Salem.  Have you read the book these people really dig yet? Check out The Wicked Truth Series….

Also Carol Perry in her newest book in the “Witch City Mystery” series have created a cast of characters using my families surname. In her previous work she used Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City as research to understand the tunnel routes inside the town. I wonder if Carol or Janet was the first to use my book to study tunnels in Salem for their books.

It is cool to see who is reading Salem Secret Underground and how mystery writers are building tales of the tunnels I helped to bring to light.

You can buy Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City today at Salem House Press or Amazon.com. Pre-orders for Grave Errors can be purchased here on Amazon.com.

Salem Fagin

The First Boy’s Club and Tunnels…

The First Boy’s Club in the country was held in a building attached to this tunnel. In fact the three locations that the club first resided in were all attached to the smuggling tunnels in Salem MA. The first was the Downing Block next to the Peabody Essex Museum. The second location was in the Salem Lyceum that previous housed a lecture series where Alexander Graham Bell introduced his phone publicly at. The third location was in the old Essex County Bank building built by Charles Bulfinch who became the Architect of D.C. who built all the tunnels under our capitol.

The Boy’s Club learned an important early lesson; keep the kids in a brick building. For the one time they were housed in a wooden building, the Lyceum, they burned it down.  The location where James Russell Lowell introduced the Dante Club’s translation of The Inferno was burned to the ground by these children.

So why was it so important to have these economically challenged children in building attached to the tunnels? Were they helping the sailors and captains smuggle in town? Were they assisting in the runaway slaves attempts at gaining freedom? Or were they run by a Salem Fagin who had them act like the Artful Dodger and break into the homes that also were attached to the tunnels?

Who is to say, but it makes you think…

For more info read Sub Rosa to find out how Salem shaped America and your lives! Available at Remember Salem, Jolie Tea, Wicked Good Books, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.com. Also to learn more stories like this first hand, book a tour with the Salem Smugglers’ Tour!

Salem House Press
http://www.salemhousepress.com