New stamp from Gloucester, MA today! We also got several lighthouse stamps at the Salem Visitors Center on Saturday.
The Salem Maritime NHS was the first National Historic Site in the United States (1938.) Salem is well known for the Witch Trials, but it was one of the most important seaports in American history. Salem was settled by Europeans in 1626 at the mouth of the Naumkeag river. It was the site of an ancient Native American village. By 1790, Salem had become the sixth largest city in the country, and was a world-famous seaport. There used to be 50 ports in Salem at one time. Now there are 3 remaining. Ships came back from sailing the world with sugar, rum, silks, oranges and even exotic animals. The animals were kept in the basement of the Custom House while awaiting sale to zoos, circuses and collectors.
The Visitors Center is a great place to start your visit. There are bathrooms, a film, a gift shop and lots of local info and brochures. You can also get your National Park passports stamped here!
“The site includes the Custom House, Public Stores, Scale House, Hawkes House, Derby House, West India Goods Store, Pedricks Store House, a lighthouse and three historic wharves. The park also maintains and operates a replica tallship, the Friendship of Salem.” (NPS) There are different tours during the day, so you may want to check in before you go to see what is being offered. If you can tour the Friendship do it! You can go above and below deck and see the captain’s quarters.
If you are interested in Maritime history- Boston, the North Shore and the Cape Ann areas of Massachusetts are wonderful places to come visit! Here is a great list of maritime museums you may want to add to your trip. We have been to Boston National Historic Park, The Essex Shipbuilding Museum, Gloucester, Marblehead, Lowell’s Boat Shop, the Museum of Fine Arts and the Peabody Essex Museum many times. They all are worth seeing. The fall is an amazing time in Salem and Labor Day weekend/September Gloucester has their beautiful Schooner Fest.
In September 2013 my husband Craig and I went to an event at the Saugus Iron Works National Historic Site in Saugus, MA. At the visitor center and gift shop, I noticed a whole section for National Park Passports. I had never seen them before. For years Craig and I had wanted to visit Yellowstone, Yosemite and our other National Parks. We decided that day to buy one of the passports and make it our goal to visit as many National Parks, Historic Sites and Monuments as we could!
There are kids passports, regular passports and even a whole binder system that you can store stickers and extra pages in. The passports come with a nice fold out map of all of our National Park, NHS, NRA, etc. locations. Here are the different designations.
Since buying our passport we have visited Fort Matanzas and Castillo de San Marcos in Saint Augustine, FL, the Salem, MA National Historic Site, Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park. This year we are headed to the Golden Gate NRA, Yosemite National Park, Kings Canyon, Sequoia, Joshua Tree, The Mighty 5 in Utah, Mesa Verde, the Grand Canyon and Acadia-WHEW! Next year we are heading back to Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton and Glacier National Park for our 20th anniversary. We hope to go to Alaska, the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii soon.
I hope you will join us in our quest to get as many National Park Passport stamps as we can fit in our book! I will post links to our YouTube channel, Instagram and Pinterest sites so you can view some of these amazing places along with us.
Next year-2016 is the 100th anniversary of the National Parks and I hope this will inspire you to visit a park near or far.