Salem Fagin and the First Boy’s Club in America

The First Boy’s Club and Tunnels…

The First Boy’s Club in the country was held in a building attached to this tunnel. In fact the three locations that the club first resided in were all attached to the smuggling tunnels in Salem MA. The first was the Downing Block next to the Peabody Essex Museum. The second location was in the Salem Lyceum that previous housed a lecture series where Alexander Graham Bell introduced his phone publicly at. The third location was in the old Essex County Bank building built by Charles Bulfinch who became the Architect of D.C. who built all the tunnels under our capitol.

The Boy’s Club learned an important early lesson; keep the kids in a brick building. For the one time they were housed in a wooden building, the Lyceum, they burned it down.  The location where James Russell Lowell introduced the Dante Club’s translation of The Inferno was burned to the ground by these children.

So why was it so important to have these economically challenged children in building attached to the tunnels? Were they helping the sailors and captains smuggle in town? Were they assisting in the runaway slaves attempts at gaining freedom? Or were they run by a Salem Fagin who had them act like the Artful Dodger and break into the homes that also were attached to the tunnels?

Who is to say, but it makes you think…

For more info read Sub Rosa to find out how Salem shaped America and your lives! Available at Remember Salem, Jolie Tea, Wicked Good Books, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon.com. Also to learn more stories like this first hand, book a tour with the Salem Smugglers’ Tour!

Salem House Press
http://www.salemhousepress.com

Advertisements

How an Illustration is Made: Kūkaʻilimoku’s Escape

Strange Things with this Hawaiian God

 

Welcome back to the wacky news from the magical whimsical side of Salem! I am Mr. Zac spilling all the odd secrets of this quirky town. Before we start I will pass on our best wished to the people of Hawaii who had suffered recently in the volcano eruption and earthquake. Luckily the most our volcano has done in millions of years in Collins Cove was crack one foundation…

By the way, above is the graphite drawing of Dave Ward, a shaman from the family of Sitting Bull. The family joke is they are full of bull… Hi Dave! This image was done first then scanned into the computer.

Later the rest of the background was drawn in and arranged on the computer with Photoshop. Kūkaʻilimoku was then drawn and added. Later the dancer and the second native was added. He was drawn from the likeness of Brudha Iz the famous singer. Each was scaled and moved into the right place doing comps on the fly and only settling in on the final when satisfied. Sometimes, different comps are saved on different layers and saved for later.

The funny thing about Kūkaʻilimoku and A Walk Through Salem, the illustration depicts Kūkaʻilimoku being rescued and sent back to Hawaii. Soon after the publication of the book, he was indeed sent back home. There are three remaining statues of him; one was in England, the second in Hawaii, and the third was in the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem. They all were put together in Hawaii in the Bishop Museum for the first time in quite some time. After the show, Hawaii did make arrangements to have them returned for good.

The final illustration depicts a news story in the Salem Gazette where the public finds out about the Hawaiians smuggling Kūkaʻilimoku out of the museum and into the Unzipping Tree in the Salem Common back to Hawaii. I never did find out how they actually did transport him back…

Pick up the first book of the Salem Trilogy, A Walk Through Salem, at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, The Witch House, or Remember Salem.

 

Cheers
~Mr. Zac

Come back every Tuesday at 3PM for new stories about Salem and images from the Salem Trilogy.

How an Illustration is Made

The Salem Custom House and Hawkes House

Welcome back to the wacky news from the magical whimsical side of Salem! I am Mr. Zac spilling all the odd secrets of this quirky town. Today I will share the process my illustrator Chris Dowgin uses while illustrating.

Below you will see three images of the process of his creation of the illustration of smuggling past the Customs agents on Derby Street. Chris starts the drawing in graphite and then scans it into the computer before painting. This allows him to do several versions of the painting and also gives him the ability to save the drawing if a cat knocks over the water jar on the painting…In the image below you will see the background drawn and painted.

On a separate piece of paper, he is able to draw the head at a much larger dimension and then add it to a body drawn much smaller on Photoshop. Both images get scanned in and then scaled to fit before they are added on to the background. The body does not take much detail, but faces do and seem easier to him on a larger scale.

Then helping Elias Hasket Derby, America’s first millionaire, are two other figures drawn much in the same way. The funny thing is that Tim Maguire possed for all the characters, actually looks like the real Elias Hasket Derby. These figures below were added to the cargo they are carrying and applied to the background also utilizing photoshop. After attempting several placements and scales of the figures, Chris had decided on this final composition. What do you think, tell us below?

Pick up the first book of the Salem Trilogy, A Walk Through Salem, at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, The Witch House, or Remember Salem.

 

Cheers
~Mr. Zac

Come back every Tuesday at 3PM for new stories about Salem and images from the Salem Trilogy.

 

 

P.S.~ In Salem Derby would not have smuggled so openly; in fact, he would have used one of the three miles of tunnels in Salem. To learn more about this, read Salem Secret Underground: The History of the Tunnels in the City published by Salem House Press. Available at the same places above. If you do not see it, ask your favorite bookseller to order any of the books.

He Haunts this Town

and Proud of it!

Welcome back to the wacky news from the magical whimsical side of Salem! I am Mr. Zac spilling all the odd secrets of this quirky town. Today I will tell you about the town’s favorite ghost. Mike was the first model Chris Dowgin illustrated for his Salem Trilogy appearing in A Walk Through Salem.

Many things about Mike and A Walk Through Salem are uncanny. Soon after publication Mike died of mysterious causes and found floating in the harbor not too far from his favorite fishing spot. His death still remains a mystery but what has not is, Mike always wanted to be a ghost. In fact, on the morning of his death, he at least visited 3 friends in their dreams.

What might have been the beginning of this fascination? He used to live in his wife’s family home where there was a ghost who would haunt the tunnel leaving the house in Chelsea. An odd member at the local poker games they held in a room off the tunnel. Later in life, Mike hosted a local ghost hunter’s film series for years. Now he haunts the harbor catching the ghost of the fish he caught and ate in the past.

So what else was weird about Mike and the book A Walk Through Salem? The funeral home and the church his funeral was in appears in the same illustration near the middle of the book. Also, he is the one who informed the author of many wonders under the Visitor’s center including Romanov Crown Jewels and Blackbeard’s skull. Maybe one day he will leave the wharf and stop aggravating his wife by smoking in her bedroom in the afterlife (which she still can smell) and take the rocket to heaven.

Till then he will be just chasing the ghost fish through Pickering Wharf…

Pick up the first book of the Salem Trilogy, A Walk Through Salem, at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, The Witch House, or Remember Salem.

 

Cheers
~Mr. Zac

Come back every Tuesday at 3PM for new stories about Salem and images from the Salem Trilogy.

Eclectic Locations in Salem MA!

One of the Many Whimsical Places…

Welcome back to the wacky news from the magical whimsical side of Salem! I am Mr. Zac spilling all the odd secrets of this quirky town. Today I will highlight some of the more fanciful places in Salem Ma.

The Carousel House sits just off the corner of Pleasant Street and Washington Square North and East.  Home to many artists over the year. In fact, you might hear some piano from one of the windows. The carousel horse in the bay window on the second floor is truly magical. There is also the carriage house out of Hansel and Gretel on Bott’s Court, a small winding road that terminates at the Salem Atheneum. There is the house shaped like a riverboat down on Juniper Point. The man who invented the paddle boat was indeed from Salem… Then there is Mr.Pelinger’s House on Federal Street Court behind the Rope’s Garden; filled with wormholes and many mysteries. Also do not forget, the many locations from H.P. Lovecraft’s fiction including the Crowninshield-Bently House, The Curwin House, The Essex Institute, and the Old Burying Point. Come on down or up to Salem and see these wonders!

Pick up the first book of the Salem Trilogy, A Walk Through Salem, at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, The Witch House, or Remember Salem.

 

Cheers
~Mr. Zac

Come back every Tuesday at 3PM for new stories about Salem and images from the Salem Trilogy.

Blackbeard was Never Here!

Even Though his Skull Partially Resides Here…

Welcome back to the wacky news from the magical whimsical side of Salem! I am Mr. Zac spilling all the odd secrets of this quirky town. Today we are talking about Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard.

Salem did have pirates off the coast, although Blackbeard was not one. He did come to rest in Salem though; at least the top of his cranium. Edward Rowe Snow a famous writer of pirates and shipwrecks had the skull plate lined in silver used as a chalice donated to the Peabody Essex Museum, which was created by a series of pirates. Well, technically privateers; a piece of paper only separated them from true pirates.

The museum did loan it to the Nahant Museum in their library but has since returned it to the dark cellars of the Peabody Essex Museum under the location of the old armory, now the Visitor Center.

Pick up the first book of the Salem Trilogy, A Walk Through Salem, at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, The Witch House, or Remember Salem and learn a little more about Blackbeard.

 

Cheers
~Mr. Zac

Come back every Tuesday at 3PM for new stories about Salem and images from the Salem Trilogy.

Kids Really Get High Here!

On Sugar for 212 years…

Welcome back to the wacky news from the magical whimsical side of Salem! I am Mr. Zac spilling all the odd secrets of this quirky town. Here is a tale of how a candy company started from a shipwreck and became a favorite of luckier sailors.

The Ye Olde Pepper Company started in 1806 when an English woman named Spencer was shipwrecked and landed in Salem. She started making gibralters which the sailors took on their voyages. You still can get these sweet treasures made for those salty devils. Though not in their original location, they only went around the corner across from the House of the Seven Gables on Derby Street. Originally they were on Turner Street. Stop by and pick up some chocolate made on the spot or maybe some blackjacks.

Pick up the first book of the Salem Trilogy, A Walk Through Salem, at Barnes & Noble, Amazon.com, The Witch House, or Remember Salem.

 

Cheers
~Mr. Zac

Come back every Tuesday at 3PM for new stories about Salem and images from the Salem Trilogy.