Salem, MA

Salem, MA

For a period of 20 years around the turn of the 18th century during the “Golden Age of Sail,” Salem was truly America’s trading capital and crossroads of the world. Daring sea captains and undaunted investors launched voyages that would open up the lucrative eastern trade to New England. Vessels laden with cod, rum, molasses, shingles and other products plied angry waters around Cape Horn and Cape of Good Hope to exchange their goods for exotic spices and other luxuries, returning to reap vast profits. By 1800, Salem was the sixth largest city in America and the richest per capita. Although those days are gone, the aura of that time persists in the grand homes and government houses that marked the era and, in a few remaining wharves, memorializing the many that once stretched their arms toward returning ships from the Orient.

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