Showing posts with label Salem Witch House. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Salem Witch House. Show all posts

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Tidal Mills defined by John Goff

John Goff author, historian, architectural historian, restoration architect and preservation consultant who lives and works in Salem, Massachusetts Contact
See him on youtube at 1630'3 Show

Tide Mill Institute's John Goff speaks about historic tide mills in Topsfield, Massachusetts.

From Article in Salem Gazette Tide Mill tours in and around Salem
I had a series of really interesting experiences this month. A writer named Ben Swenson from Virginia e-mailed me requesting a tour of historic tide mill sites in and around Salem. Some 20 years ago, a similar thing happened when David Plunkett, a historian and tide mill preservationist associated with the historic Eling Tide Mill in England, came to America to learn more about water-powered tide mills in Massachusetts. To share some of the fun from both these tours, let us now consider briefly "What Is A Tide Mill?" and some of the historic tide mills that once functioned in and near Salem long ago. See Iron Working in Early New England
What is a tide mill? The question "What is a Tide Mill" pops up frequently, because so little has yet been written or published concerning tide mills. The short answer is that a tide mill historically was any mill or arrangement of buildings and machines situated close to the ocean coast that derived some or all of its motive power from the action of Earth’s moon--and the ocean tides. Tide mills were once exceedingly common, but now are rare. To harness the tides, European, English and American tide mills typically contained a tidal mill pond that was often nothing more than a dammed-across cove or river mouth. Within the dam, a set of one-way opening wooden tide gates would be installed as a valve so that at flood or incoming tide, tide waters would automatically fill the tidal mill pond. Yet as the tide ebbed or dropped, the gates would shut, trapping the mill pond waters at their highest height and holding them for a period of time. At a lower tide, the waters were run off, and run out of the pond, used to turn waterwheels and machines. Tide mills functioned widely between about 1630 and 1930 in eastern Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine. In America, they were almost always timber framed heavy wooden buidings. They were used as grist-mills, saw-mills, and snuff-mills, perform a wide variety of tasks. For other tide mills definitions, see: Tide Mill Institute

Here in Salem, tide mills historically operated on the North River, South River and Forest River. Three old and rare tide mill features that can still be seen in Salem today are: 1) a French Buhr millstone set into the Washington Street sidewalk in front of the Daniel Low Building; 2) Mill and Pond streets that survive near Domino’s Pizza and "Mill Hill" overlooking Riley Plaza; and 3) the beautiful Leadworks site that has recently been remediated near the Marblehead town line on lower Lafayette Street and the Forest River. This site, formerly used to power the Gardner-Wyman gristmill and later Francis Peabody’s lead paint production facility, has an impressive curved stone retaining wall, once used as part of a mill tailrace.

Within a short driving distance, many additional historic tide mill sites can be seen and toured from the outside. These include: 1) the Slade Spice Tide Mill on the Revere Beach Parkway (Route 16) in Revere, MA; 2) the Friend Tide Mill site on the Bass River and near the Cummings Center on Route 62 in nearby Beverly (one of this site’s old granite millstones is now displayed on the Cummings Center property); 3) the site of the former Salem Iron Works in Danversport, MA; 4) a tide mill site in Manchester-by-the-Sea, and 5) a collection of tide mill sites and building(s) bordering Route 127 in the Annisquam section of Gloucester, MA. It is especially fortunate that many of the machines and features of the 1830s William Hodgkins Tide Mill opposite Goose Cove in the Annisquam area were well documented before the old mill was converted into a residence. Consequently, many photographs and architectural drawings showing the mill with many of its original parts can be accessed easily on the Internet, using the Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) web site maintained by the Library of Congress. In the years ahead, let us hope that old New England tide mills attract even more interest. They provide excellent examples of early utilization of a free, renewable, and eco-friendly energy source that holds promise to provide more energy in the future.

Souther Tide Mill History Another Article by John on Tide Mills  Salem ties to some Quincys and tide mills
John also wrote a book on the Salem Witch House 
Book can be purchased at Amazon 

Thomas Gardner Blog  John Goff, Salem Preservationist 
Salem Museum
Preserving Salem's historic Greenlawn Cemetery

The Bowditch House Photo by John V. Goff Historic Preservation & Design

Then & Now: Down By The Mill

Sunday, June 30, 2013

Captain Richard Davenport and Elizabeth Hathorne - Salem Witch House

 From Salem Patch by Melissa Davenport Berry

310 Essex Street’s long forgotten owners Captain Richard Davenport and his wife, Elizabeth Hathorne Davenport (ancestor of acclaimed Salem native Nathaniel Hawthorne)

While the Witch House in Salem, Mass. is certainly famous for its connection to Judge Corwin and the witch trials of 1692, it was 310 Essex Street’s long forgotten owners Captain Richard Davenport and his wife, Elizabeth Hathorne Davenport (ancestor of acclaimed Salem native Nathaniel Hawthorne), who helped establish the sound moral foundation upon which the New Jerusalem was built. Richard Davenport arrived in Salem in 1628 aboard the English ship Abigail. Already a skilled soldier, he went on to become an important military officer in the developing colony.

Before leaving England, Richard was betrothed to Elizabeth Hathorne, sister of William Hathorne. His duties were to establish the Massachusetts Bay Colony and set up house for his new bride. While many settlers perished with a broken spirit from scarcity of food and sickness, Richard endured his first bitter cold New England winter. During the summer of 1630, the Arbella, flagship of Winthrop’s Fleet, brought his new family.

The couple wed and life began in their new Naumkeag home: it was a “roughhewn dirt floor wooden structure with a roof solidly thatched and stone fireplace.” William Hathorne married Anne Smith, and they lived in Dorchester for their first three years in the colony, while he groomed himself for greatness. Meanwhile, Richard was “zealously engaged in agricultural operations,” and like many early Salem planters, he learned from the local Naumkeag tribe that the abundant herring were more useful as corn fertilizer than an evening meal; they called it “fishing the fields.” The problem of light was also solved by their new friends, as Rev. Higginson recorded after a visit to a native wigwam: “the pine trees cloven are so full of moisture of turpentine and pitch they burn as clear as a torch.”

Soon after settlements were established, their names were changed to suit Puritan ideals. Naumkeag was now Salem, Hebrew for peace. In 1636 William Hathorne joined the Davenport clan in Salem. Their wives shared domestic duties and their children played together. Richard and William served jointly in town affairs, tasked with establishing boundary lines and appraising land and properties. William was a magistrate, and court records indicate that Richard benefited handsomely when convicted men were sentenced to serve time on his farms.

 Richard Davenport and Thomas Lathrop shared land in the Farms and managed the day-to-day operations of the planters. Chosen as overseer of the herdsmen, Richard noted in town records that he “contracted Keeper of the Cattle for 36 ponds per ann.” Also a member of the “train band,” Richard had strong ties with its captain, John Endicott, a “hothead Puritan” instigating acts with "indiscreet zeal."

John Endicott

During a drill in 1634, Endicott entered the field, grabbed the flag and cut out the patron cross of St. George with his sword.  Endicott’s defiant act against “popish relics of superstition” made clear his desire to sever customs and binds to “Episcopacy England.” Endicott’s Separatist vision was clear: “we stand on our own soil... which we have won with our swords, which we have cleared with our axes, which we have tilled with the sweat of our brows, which we have sanctified with our prayers to the God that brought us hither!”

Richard became best known in Salem as Ensign Davenport, and he named his daughter Truecross to honor that which Nathaniel Hawthorne called “the first omen of that deliverance which our fathers consummated.”

This Pious Empire was officially emerging; however, there were a few who did not agree with such purist lifestyles. The Crown-sponsored colony Merrymount (Quincy), ran by Thomas Morton, was far less virtuous. This Pagan paradise, rich in merriment, prosperous in fur trade and swarming with native ladies, was a den of erotic energy. The most famous feature, an 80-foot-tall maypole, drew the attention of the “great swelling fellow Endicott.”

Endicott huddled up his men, headed by Richard, and raided the land of good cheer. He “rebuked them for their profannes,” chopping down the “Calf of Horeb” and renaming the fairy kingdom “Mount Dragon.” In his journal, William Bradford noted there was no bloodshed as the boys were too drunk and Morton, “lord of misrule,” too well connected. He was exiled and eventually escaped back to England.

Richard moved forward into more serious matters threatening the New World — the Native Americans. The friendly relations he had once forged came to an end. The holy war against the Pequots not only involved colonists, but other tribes as well. Richard served as lieutenant and second-in-command to Captain Trask in the campaign. The soldiers "being resolved, by Gods Assistance, to make final Destruction of them," waged a bloody battle, and Richard came close to death: “seventeen arrows were shot into his coat of mail, and he was wounded in unprotected parts of his person.”

In 1638 the colonies and native tribes established a treaty, but peace reigned for only a short while. During this time, Richard was elected to the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company.

William was delegated speaker for the New England Confederations, along with Simon Bradstreet, where he served for many years.

Richard, now a “man approved for his faithfulness, courage, and skill,” was appointed to command the colony’s chief fortress, Castle Island, and did so until his tragic death by lightening in June 1665. Elizabeth and the children remained in Boston. “The whole country mourned the loss and Court granted his family favors and lands.”

As it turns out, in 1715, the notorious Judge Jonathan Corwin was succeeded by Addington Davenport, a descendant of the Richard and Elizabeth. While the Davenport-Hawthorne dwelling may be nothing more than a ghostly structure standing in our collective imagination, the lifeblood of their ancestors is alive and well, just like the New Jerusalem they created: “They were soldiers by nature and instinct, and to the end. United in early service, separated by the course of their lives, they were united again in death.”

Salem witch house