Vintage Salem Morning

Washington Street and the First Train Tunnel in America

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.

Send us your favorite vintage Salem photos to info@salemhousepress.com and we will post them and give you a shout out! Also if you have some to add to the photo from family histories, your readings, or your memories, please share them below in the comments section.

Come back every Wednesday morning to see another glimpse into Salem’s past.

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.

 

1891 Town House Square Salem MA

Stearns Building

The Stearn Building which housed H.P. Ives Bookstore once was flush with the corner of Short Street, which was long gone even in this photo. The building opposite the Stearn Building, on Short Lane, once held the Massachusetts Provincial Congress, after John Hancock took up Reverend Bentley’s offer to move it here after Boston was invaded during the Revolutionary War.  The offending part of the Stearn Building has been removed to make it now flush to the new corner of Washington Street and Essex Street. Most of the buildings behind it have long since been removed and the new ones are also flushed to the current location of Washington Street.

Also you can see the beginning of the tunnel that led to the underground train station in which goods were smuggled through from the Kinsman Building in the distance. Do you remember the fortune telling machine or the traffic cop in the box from here? Tell us below?

Send us your favorite vintage Salem photos to info@salemhousepress.com and we will post them and give you a shout out! Also if you have something to add about the photo from family histories, your readings, or your memories, please share them below in the comments section.

Cheers,
Chris
Owner of Salem House Press