Welcome to tales of Nineteenth-Century Salem. 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!

Bulfinch Tunnels



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. In Salem Bulfinch built the Poor Farm on Collins Cove, Looby Asylum, Essex Bank, and Old Town Hall. They were all attached to the tunnels in Salem. In Boston he built India Wharf, Bunker Hill Monument, Mass General Hospital, Federal Street Theater, and the State House. In 1797 he engineered a public work project to take down the Tremont and fill in the mudflats of the Charles River. He did this to hide the tunnel dirt he was digging to attach the various mansions in Beacon Hill. Six years later Elias Hasket Derby Jr. would copy his plan as he filled in the ponds and river in the Salem Common to hide his tunnel dirt.

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.