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Colonial House Cafe: 1906

Colonial House Cafe: 1906

Continuing our tour of Salem, Massachusetts, circa 1906. "Colonial House." Next door to a nickelodeon advertising "moving pictures and illustrated songs." 6½ x 8½ inch dry plate glass negative, Detroit Publishing Company. View full size.


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Washington Street Plaque

The plaque still exists and is still in relatively the same location as in this photo. Situated near 70 Washington Street it reads:

"Nearly opposite this spot stood in the middle of the street a building devoted from 1677 until 1718 to municipal and judicial uses. In it in 1692 were tried and condemned for witchcraft most of the nineteen persons who suffered death on the gallows. Giles Corey was here put to trial on the same charge and refusing to plea was taken away and pressed to death. In January 1693, twenty-one persons were tried here for witchcraft of whom eighteen were acquitted and three condemned, but later set free together with about 150 accused persons in a general delivery which occurred in May. The original courthouse was torn down in 1760."

So reassuring

to see that the Schlitz beer sign was in existence 105 years ago.

Boot scraper

On the stage-left side of the Colonial House entrance, is that an iron shoe scraper? If not, whatsit?

Pickman-Derby-Rogers-Brookhouse Mansion

The photo records the late days of a once-famous Salem mansion, built in 1764 at the corner of Washington and Lynde streets for Benjamin Pickman Jr. In 1786 the house was purchased by Elias Hasket Derby, who commissioned Samuel McIntire to remodel it in the fashionable Federal style. Among other changes, McIntire added the wood frame entrance facade on Washington street and the octagonal cupola on the roof, from which Derby could see merchant ships returning to Salem.

In 1797 McIntire built Derby an even grander mansion which still stands. The house seen here was heavily remodeled in the 1880s as a commercial block, and was demolished in 1915 to make way for the Masonic Temple that still occupies the site at 70 Washington Street. McIntire's cupola was saved and moved to the garden of the Essex Institute, which still owns it. A more detailed story, "Lost Treasures," can be found here.

Here's a painting of the house as it looked circa 1815, now in the collection of the Detroit Institute of the Arts.

Telephone pole

Actually a square pole with a chamfer at each edge would be an octagon. I would guess that the city would have gotten these from a railroad tie manufacturer perhaps?

Nice touch!

I really like that American eagle posted on top of the circular widow's walk. Hi-def brings it out nicely.

Also note the station clock [Seth Thomas?] on the wall behind the left hand window of the ground floor.

BTW, while these are carbon arc lamps, I remember gas lights in Baltimore in the mid 50's on Old York Road in Govans. I don't know why they lasted there so late.

Two things I've never seen before

Square and hexagonal telephone poles.

Salem Observer

No one at the upper windows that I could find, but in finest Shorpy tradition, one of the patrons of the Colonial House bar looks out at the camera, bowler firmly in place.

Definitely a transitional period. All those electric wires, but the pipes for gas distribution are still in place, and it appears that the street light is gas, with its flexible hose running down to the side of the building and convenient handle and line to lower it for lighting. That pole is leaning under its unbalanced load. Perhaps it will be replaced when the city puts up electric street lights.

[The street light is electric -- a carbon arc lamp. - Dave]

Kimball Bros.

Stone; An Illustrated Magazine, 1898

Kimball Brothers, W.A. and C.J. Kimball have started marble and granite works at Salem, Mass.

Back door man

I wonder what's going on in the alley behind the alehouse?

No AC in this town -- yet.

Viewing all the overhead wires, it's obvious this place is still using direct current for electrical distribution. Long live Tesla.

Historic Building

Behind the power pole appears to be a plaque on the wall that resembles one from the National Register of Historic Places. Does this place still exist? Does anyone know what that is about?

Your "wheel"

That's what people of that era called a bicycle.

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