Friday, May 11, 2012

The History of Massachusetts blog has moved!

The History of Massachusetts blog has moved! The blog is now located at! Please update your bookmarks and come check out the new site!

Monday, April 16, 2012

John Hammond Jr Conducted Telepathic Experiments at Hammond Castle

John Hammond Jr. was a wealthy American inventor and owner of Hammond Castle in Gloucester. The castle housed not only his elaborate collection of ancient artifacts but also served as a laboratory where he and his team, which included scientist Andrija Puharich, conducted various telepathic experiments in the early 1950s...Click here to read more:

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The History of Hammond Castle

Hammond Castle is a Medieval-style castle located in the fishing village of Gloucester. The castle was built between 1926 and 1929 by an eccentric American inventor named John Hays Hammond Jr...Click here to read more:

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

The French King Who Lived Above the Union Oyster House

Louis Philippe I was the King of France from 1830 to 1845, but spent over 20 years as an exiled prince after the outbreak of the French Revolution. In the fall of 1797, he briefly lived above what would later become the Union Oyster House restaurant in Boston...Click here to read more:

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Faneuil Hall Weather Vane Stolen in 1974

The copper weather vane that has topped the cupola of Faneuil Hall since 1742 was once stolen in 1974.

When the theft was discovered in January of 1974, it made national headlines. Police first speculated that the criminal may have used a helicopter to steal the weather vane and believed the thief intended to sell it on the black market...Click here to read more:

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Rare Salem Witch Trial Document Sold for $26,000

A rare document from the Salem Witch Trials sold for $26,000 last week at a New York auction house. The document was a court indictment for Margaret Scott, an elderly Rowley woman who was one of the last victims hanged in the Salem Witch hysteria of 1692...Click here to read more:

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Faneuil Hall Was Built with Slave Money

It's a little known fact that Faneuil Hall, which has been dubbed the “Cradle of Liberty” since the American Revolution, was financed with money from Peter Faneuil's slave trading business...Click here to read more:

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

John Alden's Account of His Witch Trial Examination

John Alden Jr. was the son of Mayflower pilgrim John Alden and a merchant from Boston who suddenly found himself caught up in the Salem Witch Trials when he was accused of witchcraft by a local child during a business trip to Salem in May of here to read more:

Monday, February 27, 2012

Who Brought the Bed Bugs?

Bed bugs, the little parasites that feed on the blood of people and animals, are not native to North America and were actually first brought to the continent either by explorers or the pilgrims...Click here to read more:

Monday, February 20, 2012

Animals in the Salem Witch Trials

Animals played an important role in the Salem Witch Trials. Since it was believed at the time that witches had animal familiars, or helpers, that they used to do their bidding, many villagers were often on the look out for these possessed animals, which were thought to take the form of almost any creature, from cats and dogs to birds, oxes, cows or pigs...Click here to read more:

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Susannah Martin: Accused Witch from Salisbury

Susannah North Martin was one of a handful of accused witches during the Salem Witch Trials who did not actually live in Salem. Born in Buckinghamshire, England to Richard and Joan North, Susannah relocated with her father and stepmother to the Merrimack plantation in Salisbury, Massachusetts in 1639...Click here to read more:

Monday, February 6, 2012

The Accused Witches of Gloucester

Not all of the accused witches of the Salem Witch Trials actually lived in Salem. A number of the accused also came from nearby towns such as Salisbury, Ipswich, Andover, Topsfield and Gloucester...Click here to read more:

Monday, January 30, 2012

The Toothaker Family: Witches or Witch Killers?

Roger Toothaker was a farmer and folk-healer from Billerica who specialized in detecting and punishing witches. For several years before the Salem Witch Trials began in 1692, Toothaker had bragged to locals that he had taught his daughter, Martha Emerson, wife of Joseph Emerson, his trade and that she had killed a witch. According to the book “The Salem Witch Trials: A Day-By-Day Chronicle of a Community Under Siege,” the victim is believed to possibly be Mathias Button of Haverhill, Mass...Click here to read more:

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Where Did the Shot Heard Round the World Happen?

The Shot Heard Round the World occurred on April 19, 1775 after British troops, searching for ammunition stockpiles in Lexington and Concord, engaged in a brief battle with local minutemen on the North Bridge in Concord.
Engraving of the Battles of Lexington and Concord, circa 1775

Over the years the exact location of the Shot Heard Round the World has gotten muddled. Many writers and historians have attributed it to the first shot fired at the Battle of Lexington, which occurred earlier in the day and was the first official battle of the Revolution. Yet the phrase itself “Shot Heard Round the World” comes from a Ralph Waldo Emerson poem about the Battle of Concord titled Concord Hymn...Click here to read more:

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Timeline of the Salem Witch Trials

Salem is settled. The settlement soon develops into two sections: an agricultural area where the lower class live, known as Salem Village, and a more developed area where the upper class live, known as Salem town...Click here to read more: