Birthplace of America’s National Guard

Salem has always had a unique cosmopolitan view on the rest of the state in its ambition to lead. 380 years ago, it did just that as America’s National Guard was founded here in Salem. To this day, Salem commemorates the First Muster on the Salem Common. Celebrated in April, the First Muster is a reminder that America’s National Guard continues its proud tradition of service at home and abroad. Pictured here is the April 1, 2017 commemoration.

For centuries the Salem Common served as a gathering place, and included at one time a circus with elephants roaming around. Nowadays the park welcomes young and old and offers a great tranquil escape. Fitness enthusiasts can enjoy the approximate half mile lap around the Common, or simply relish a relaxing pick-nick.

The Salem Common joined the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. Noteworthy houses include the 1811 Joseph Story House and the 1819 Andrew-Safford House – the most expensive house erected in the United States at that time.

Did you know?

Besides the Salem Common, there is another important park in the city that has a lot of history connected to it. The Salem Maritime National Historic Site, managed by the National Park Service, consists of 9 acres of land and 12 historic structures. It became the first National Historic Site established in the United States (March 17, 1938) and is located just a block away from the Hawthorne Hotel.

Where to find more information:

Salem Common

Salem Maritime National Historic Site

Andrew-Safford House

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