"its long and lazy street, lounging wearisomely through the whole extent of the peninsula, with Gallows Hill and New Guinea at one end, and a view of the alms-house at the other"
Essex Street
Public DomainEssex Street - Credit: G. K. Proctor
Postcard of Gallows Hill (1906) (500 * 320)

Gallows Hill was the site of the executions during the infamous Salem witch trials. Surprisingly, its location is by no means a certainty. Charles Wentworth Upham, the author of several works on the Salem witches, locates it near the intersection of South Street and Hanson Street, towards the back of what is now Gallows Hill Park (shown on the first map below). However, more recent specialists have contested this on the grounds that its steep rise would have made dragging the condemned up there in carts highly impractical.

New Guinea refers to the High Street area. It was here that black former slaves had their encampment, pointing up the highly segregated nature of Salem at the time.

The alms-house at Salem Willows, constructed in 1816, lay for over 140 years on what is now Memorial Drive (see the second map below).

The “long lazy street” that connects these insalubrious landmarks is Essex Street.

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