#5 Salem, Massachusetts April 30 - May 3,1987
Thursday, April 30: Remnants of a recent 14" snowfall welcomed us to Salem. This Massachusetts port city, whose maritime commerce has flourished for more than 350 years, offered a diversified experience for the class' 5th mini. Chair Pete Buchanan and his wife Joan had thoughtfully provided each minigoer with a copy of Along the Coast of Essex County so all could learn more about the region. The Peabody Museum, the oldest continuously operating museum in the country, was the scene for cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. The museum houses the country's finest ethnological collection of South Pacific and Far East artifacts. Dinner was served in the ballroom of the historic Hawthorne Inn, headquarters for the mini. The inn was only steps away from many of Salem's historic sites.
Friday, May 1: Our speaker at breakfast was Rob Trowbridge '54, publisher of Yankee Magazine and the Old Farmer's Almanac. Afterward some free time. Some visited the House of Seven Gables, made famous by author Nathaniel Hawthorne. Several had lunch at the Chase House. Tour buses motored us along the Atlantic seaboard to Magnolia where we visited Hammond Castle Museum, featuring an interesting collection of Roman, Medieval and Renaissance objects. In the Great Hall (100'x25'x58'), the 8600-pipe organ, the largest ever installed in a private residence, was a stirring accompaniment to the class' singing of Old Nassau. Then on to Gloucester and a tour of Cape Ann Historical Association museum with its collection of paintings, American decorative arts and furnishings. The tour headed inland to Essex and Ipswich. We walked about the Great House mansion of Castle Hill with its rolling lawn terrace to Crane's Beach. South on 1A through beautiful countryside to Beverly. The Jubilee Yacht Club was the site of a delightful clam and lobster bake. The cooks dropped fare into pots of boiling water over charcoal fires.
Saturday, May 2: A full day in Salem. Breakfast was in the inn's ballroom. Fred Winthrop, whose ancestors moved the capital from Salem to Boston in 1630, was the speaker. He showed slides of the properties acquired by the Trustees of Reservations. Organized in 1891, the group's focus is to save significant areas of open space. On to the Essex Institute Museum where the group watched a film then divided into four groups to tour the museum and three houses: John Ward (17th-century parlor and kitchen), Gardner-Pingree (18th-century decorative styles) and Crownshield-Bentley (one of the finest neoclassical buildings in America). Lunch on our own before boarding the M.V. Fort Pickering for a scenic boat trip to Marblehead Harbor where many succumbed to double-dip ice cream cones. Saw a film at the Custom House across from Derby Wharf before returning to the Hawthorne Inn. The buffet dinner-dance was held at Hamilton Hall (built in 1805) on Chestnut Street.
Sunday, May 3: Breakfast at the old firehouse. Afterward we walked along Chestnut Street, admiring the lovely Federal-style homes. Many featured a welcoming wreath on the door; colorful tulips bloomed in many yards. The Buchanan's lovely home on the North Shore was the setting for the mini's farewell luncheon.
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