The Derby wharf was the longest and perhaps the most important wharf during the heyday of Salem’s maritime career. Before I went to Salem, I pictured the wharf as a long pier, built on pilings. Union Wharf (now Pickering) may have been built in such a manner but derby wharf looks more like a long spit of land.
The wharf has been reconstructed. Pictures before the rebuilt show little pieces of land broken up by water. You can see that would happen; the wharf is barely above sea level and at high tide the water would be up to the wall, if not over.
When Will Rees visits Salem, this wharf, and all the others (and there were over fifty) would be lined with warehouses filled with spices, cloth and other luxury goods from the East.
The building next to the Friendship was moved to this spot but it kind of illustrates what the wharves looked like. The lighthouse at the end, by the way, is new.
A slice of American history. I find it pretty fascinating. Everyone thinks of witches when one thinks of Salem (and there is a lot of witch stuff – subject for a later post) but Salem’s maritime history is just as interesting. When my character visits Salem, it is the wealthiest town in the US and was practically supporting the Federal government on custom duties.