Monday, March 28, 2005

Hawthorne Hotel History Lesson

Do you know what was on the site where the Hawthorne Hotel is located, before the hotel was built? When I first came to the Hawthorne in 1999 I had thought it might have been a vacant lot, but I soon learned that there was an office building on this site. It was called the Franklin Building. The building was razed in 1924 to allow the hotel to be built.

Some of the functions carried on in that building were the club meetings of the Salem Marine Society, the oldest charitable society in Salem. The Marine Society was organized in 1766 for the dual purposes of sharing navigation information and providing benefits for needy members and their families.

The Salem Marine Society continues to meet at this site in what we call the Hawthorne Hotel rooftop treasure. On the roof of the Hawthorne Hotel stands an exact replica of a cabin from the Taria Topan, one of the last Salem vessels to ply the lucrative East India trade.

While the cabin is not open to the general public, if your group is planning a meeting at the Hawthorne Hotel, sometimes we are able to persuade the Marine Society to allow a brief tour of the cabin.

Kind regards,


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