Salem is a city filled with beautiful historic homes. Some, like the House of the 7 Gables or the Phillips House, are open to the public as museums. But do you ever wonder what architectural treasures are contained within Salem’s numerous Victorian, Colonial, and Federal-style private residences?
Luckily for us, the Christmas season offers something more than holiday cheer, gifts, and gatherings with family and friends – it also gives us, through the annual Christmas in Salem tour, a rare glimpse into some of these wonderful private homes. decorated for the holiday season. We were excited to go on this tour for the first time this year and even happier that it surpassed all of our expectations. Touring through the homes was akin to walking through a high-end magazine – each house was exquisitely decorated with floral arrangements, whimsical trees, stockings hung by the chimney with care, and much more.
This year’s Christmas in Salem tour focused on the beautiful homes of South Salem in honor of the centennial anniversary of the Great Salem Fire of 1914. In June of 1914, a fire started on Boston Street and, over two days, spread across the city. Over 1,000 buildings (including private homes) were destroyed and 18,000 people were left homeless (For more information, Destination Salem offers a wonderful map and overview of the Great Salem Fire). The homes featured on the tour either miraculously (and often times, narrowly) escaped the fire or were rebuilt in the Colonial Revival style.
Christmas in Salem doesn’t just stop with the house tour, however – there are many additional walking tours, wine tastings, discounts, and deals available for ticket holders. Proceeds from this tour help support Historic Salem, a non-profit group dedicated to preserving the city’s historic resources.
Christmas in Salem is a unique opportunity to see a side of Salem that is usually not made available to the everyday visitor. This window of opportunity, though, is a small one – as Christmas only comes but once a year, Christmas in Salem arrives only for the first week of December. Don’t miss out on next year’s tour, December 4-6, 2015.
For more information, visit christmasinsalem.org.