Salem () is a historic coastal city in Essex County, Massachusetts located in the North Shore region. Continuous settlement by Europeans began in 1626 and Salem would become one of the most significant seaports in early American history.
Salem is a residential and tourist area that is home to the House of Seven Gables, Salem State University, Pioneer Village, the Salem Maritime National Historic Site, Salem Willows Park, and the Peabody Essex Museum. It features historic residential neighborhoods in the Federal Street District and the Charter Street Historic District.
Much of the city's cultural identity reflects its role as the location of the infamous Salem witch trials of 1692, as featured in Arthur Miller's The Crucible. Police cars are adorned with witch logos, a public elementary school is known as Witchcraft Heights, and the Salem High School athletic teams are named the Witches. Gallows Hill was originally believed to be the site of numerous public hangings and is currently a park used as a playing field for various sports.
In 2012, the Retailers Association of Massachusetts chose Salem for their inaugural "Best Shopping District" award. On January 10, 2013, President Barack Obama signed executive order HR1339, designating Salem as the birthplace of the National Guard. The city's population was 41,340 at the 2010 census.
Salem is located at the mouth of the Naumkeag River at the former site of an Native American village and trading center. Colonists settled the area in 1626 when a company of fishermen arrived from Cape Ann led by Roger Conant.