• Salem Maritime National Historic Site

    Salem Maritime

    National Historic Site Massachusetts

National Park Service to Host Book Launch at Salem Visitor Center

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Date: April 20, 2012
Contact: Jonathan Parker, 978-740-1663
Contact: Emily Murphy, 978-740-1691

SALEM, M.A. - On April 28, 2012 from noon to 4 PM, Salem Maritime National Historic Site will host a book launch at the Salem Visitor Center for the new book The Polish Community of Salem.

This book, published by Arcadia Publications, is a photo history of Salem's Polish community from the late 19th century through the present. It is the result of about a year's worth of work by a group of dedicated National Park Service volunteers, led by Salem Maritime's park historian, Emily Murphy, and Felicia Wilczenski, a Salem native who is a professor and interim dean of the University of Massachusetts Boston's College of Education and Human Development. The volunteers collected dozens of photographs from members of the community. "We are very grateful to those who generously opened their family albums to give us a glimpse of Salem's past," says Wilczenski. "everyone who gave us photographs is represented in the book."

This project came out of an ethnography project completed by the National Park Service between 2004 and 2009 to help Salem Maritime better understand the history surrounding St. Joseph's Polish Club, which the park had acquired in the late 1980s. "The ethnography project, which included oral history and historical research," says Murphy, "resulted in the book In the Heart of Polish Salem, which is available on our web site. One of the recommendations of the team was that their work continues with volunteers collecting stories and photographs. This is the first result, and I am eager to see what our Polish volunteers will come up with next!"

Copies of The Polish Community of Salem are available for purchase at the Visitor Center, and light Polish-style refreshments will be served during the open house. For more information, please call 978-740-1691, or visit our web site, www.nps.gov/sama.

-NPS-

About Salem Maritime National Historic Site
Salem Maritime National Historic Site was designated in 1937, the first National Historic Site in the National Park system. The nine acre site includes the homes of merchants and mariners, the Salem Custom House in which the famous author Nathaniel Hawthorne worked, and a replica of the three-masted cargo vessel Friendship. Today, the park rangers and volunteers of Salem Maritime NHS continue to inform and inspire visitors with the maritime history of New England and the United States. For more information, visit us on the web at www.nps.gov/sama or call 978-740-1650.

Did You Know?

An artist's depiction of an American privateer pursuing a British merchant ship.  Painting by Thomas Freeman.

During the American Revolution, Salem was the most successful privateering port in America. Salem's 158 privateering vessels captured 445 English vessels.