Saturday, August 14, 2010

Day 55

You know you are in the land of your Tukey roots when in one morning you see a Sweetser Street, Cushing Lane, and Peabody (the town). :-)

I had a fantastic day in Salem, MA. The traffic was messy getting there but once parked, this is an easy town to navigate. I must say the National Park Service does a great job. They have a lovely Visitors Center next to the parking garage. They can recommend several options of how to see the town. Most exciting from a navigation standpoint, they have a map with a red tour line drawn for a walking tour and then HAVE A RED LINE PAINTED ON THE SIDEWALKS. What a concept!

I took off for the waterfront. Again, the Park Service offers daily tours. One tour is of the waterfront, Friendship (a late 1700s merchant sailor), and the Customs House. The second tour is of two homes (late 1600s/early 1700s). Total cost - $5.00 Best bargain ever.

The tours answered several questions. First, Henry Tukey (Stephen's son who was buried with him) died in Batavia. I didn't know where that was. It turns out to be the old name for Jakarta, Java. Thus it is more likely that Henry is just memorialized on his father's tombstone which explains how they can have death dates 5 years apart.

Second, the ship in the photo had 20 regular sails and could accommodate up to 10 additional small sails. The average crew was only 18-22 men. Impressive. Three, up to 98% of individuals in Massachusetts in the early days were literate. Literacy was defined as reading. Writing was considered a man's necessity if he was engaged in business (versus a skilled laborer, etc.). Women as well as men were schooled in reading - so they could read the Bible. So... although I thought our ancestors (e.g., Hannah and Stephen Tukey) because they couldn't sign their names, they may in fact have been able to read. Four - large barrels were used to store goods aboard ship and in warehouses. Many of the barrels have wooden "hoops" holding the staves together rather than metal. The hoops were made of soft wood which the bugs would eat through. When the softwood hoops fell apart, they were replaced with new ones before the bugs started on the oak barrel.

The Narbonne house (owned by the Park Service) was the type owned be a man of moderate means. The architecture is "first period" and has two floors in front sloping to one in back (for the kitchen). According to Maine records this is the type of house John Tukey build. Just thought I would show you an example.

In Between these tours, I tours the 7 Gables Home. Very well restored and even has a secret staircase around the chimney. This was an easy go for kids. Those of us who were taller and had hips had to think small. The gardens were truly lovely, looking out on the harbor.

Finally, I had to pay homage to the witch trials. The town has created a Witch Trial Memorial. next to the old burying ground they put enclosed an area with stone walls. Then they cantileavered stones out from the wall, one for each individual executed. The stones are engraved with the name of the individual, their death date and the method of execution. It was very nice - and the busiest cemetery I have ever seen.

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