Old Burying Point

Every weekend should be a three day weekend.  Not only did I get chores done around the house, I was able to have some relaxation time and some fun.  On Sunday I headed up to Salem, Massachusetts to check out some sights.

One of my stops included Old Burying Point, also known as the Charter Street Cemetery, which dates back to 1637.

This is Salem’s oldest cemetery and the second oldest in the United States.  If you find yourself in Salem, it is on Charter Street and is adjacent to the Witch Trials Memorial.  Two judges from the Salem Witch Trials, John Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin, are buried here. Hathorne was the great-great-grandfather of Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of The House of the Seven Gables, The Scarlet Letter and other works.  It is assumed that Nathaniel changed the spelling of his last name so he would not be associated with John Hathorne.  John never repented his part in the mass hysteria.   Another famous resident of the cemetery is a former Governor of Massachusetts, Samuel Bradstreet.

Next to the cemetery is a memorial for the victims of the Salem witch hysteria that began in 1692.

Between February 1692 and May 1693, more than 150 were arrested.  Fourteen women and five men were executed by hanging.  Also, two dogs were hung.  Another man, Giles Corey was pressed to death by heavy stones while the authorities tried to get a confession from him.  In this park there is a stone bench for each of the “witches” that was condemned to death.  I didn’t take photos of each bench, but I took quite a few to get a sense for how many suffered. Three centuries later all of the accused and executed were proclaimed innocent.

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American living in England. When she isn’t writing, she’s traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs, or reading. Not necessarily in that order.
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5 Responses to Old Burying Point

  1. Carl V. says:

    Old cemeteries are so fascinating. There is one close to our house with many graves from the 1800’s. Just that visual reminder gives such a sense of what it means for time to pass. I’d certainly enjoy visiting this one in Salem, what history! Love the large stones around the outside of the cemetery, and those benches are great. That whole point in history was so sad. Thanks for sharing so many great pics, I enjoyed seeing them. On top of which I was reminded of a word I hadn’t heard/read for a long time…long enough that I had to look up what it meant: sagacity.

  2. I studied the Salem witch trials in school and was shocked by how people could be falsely accused. However, when I wandered around the memorial and read each name of the executed the saddness really hit me. How horrible for the victims and their families.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and insight. Where was good judgment or even common sense?

    • Carl V. says:

      Sadly even today it is all too easy to whip up mass hysteria. Couple that with the fact that we always seem so ready to believe the worst of everyone, as opposed to the best, and I’m surprised something like that didn’t happen more often actually. It is sad for their families. You want to leave a legacy, but certainly not that way. What a way to be remembered.

  3. Seasweetie says:

    I too love old cemetaries and have always wanted to go to Salem. It looks like you had a perfect day for it, and thank you for sharing.

  4. The weather was great for a day in Salem. This was my third trip to Salem since moving out here. It is such a quaint place to visit and the people were extremely nice.

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