Salem is a historic coastal city in Essex County, Massachusetts, located in the North Shore region. Continuous settlement by Europeans began in 1626 with English colonists. Salem would become one of the most significant seaports trading commodities and slaves in early American history.
Today Salem is a residential and tourist area that is home to the House of Seven Gables, Salem State University, Pioneer Village, the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, Salem Willows Park, and the Peabody Essex Museum. It features historic residential neighborhoods in the Federal Street District and the Charter Street Historic District. The city’s population was 44,480 at the 2020 census.
Much of the city’s cultural identity reflects its role as the location of the infamous Salem witch trials of 1692. These were the subject of Arthur Miller’s play The Crucible (1953). Police cars are adorned with witch logos, a public elementary school is known as Witchcraft Heights, and the Salem High School athletic teams are named the Witches. Gallows Hill was once believed to have been the site of many public hangings, including of persons convicted as witches. It is now a park and used as a playing field for various sports.