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Contact: Emily Murphy, 978-740-1691
Contact: Sheila Cooke-Kayser, 978-740-1663
[Salem, Mass] Salem Maritime National Historic Site today announced its revised schedule of hours for December through February. “I am delighted to report that we are developing new public and curriculum-based programming for the spring, summer and fall of 2009, but in order to do so, we are reducing the number of tours and hours of operation in the winter,” said Superintendent Patricia Trap. The current full range of tours will be available on weekends throughout the winter months. “We carefully examined our visitation statistics and have reduced services only during times of lowest visitation, in order save costs and allow the staff time to develop new programs,” added acting Chief of Interpretation and Education Sheila Cooke-Kayser.
The Salem Visitor Center, on New Liberty Street, will remain open from 9 to 5, seven days a week, showing the award-winning Essex National Heritage Area orientation film Where Past is Present throughout the day. The orientation film for Salem Maritime, To the Farthest Ports of the Rich East, will be played on demand in the Visitor Center throughout the winter.
Beginning December 1, the West India Goods Store on Derby Street will be open from noon to 4 pm, Tuesday through Sunday, so that visitors and Salem residents can get their favorite herbs and spices for holiday cooking. “We are fully stocked with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, allspice, and many other seasonings,” stated Eastern National assistant regional manager Rosemary Draper, who manages the shop for the National Park Service’s non-profit partner. “All the items we carry at the West India Goods Store represent trade items that were being brought into Salem during the Great Age of Sail, so we have Indian shawls, glassware, porcelain, tea, and coffee as well as herbs and spices.” A small selection of coffee, tea, and seasonings has been moved to the bookstore at the Visitor Center so that these items will be available even when the West India Goods Store is closed.
The biggest changes to visitor services will be in the availability of the Orientation Center and of tours of Salem Maritime National Historic Site. In December, the Orientation Center at 193 Derby Street will be open Tuesday through Friday from 1 to 5, and weekends 9 to 5. It will be closed on Mondays. Tours of the site will be offered Tuesday through Friday in the afternoon, and in the morning and afternoon on the weekends. In January and February, the Orientation Center will be closed Monday through Friday, and no tours will be offered on the weekdays. The Orientation Center will be open 9 to 5 on the weekends, and tours will be offered in the mornings and afternoons. The bathrooms and exhibits behind the Custom House will remain open from 9 to 5 seven days a week for those visitors who arrive on days that the Orientation Center is closed. “We will continue to provide curriculum-based programs and group tours by appointment,” said Cooke-Kayser. To make a reservation for a group tour or educational program, please call 978-740-1662.
For a detailed schedule of tours, visit Salem Maritime’s web site at www.nps.gov/sama/planyourvisit/hours.htm.
In order to supplement the reduced schedule of ranger-guided tours, Salem Maritime will be making free audio-tour devices for self-guided tours of Salem Maritime available at the Visitor Center and the West India Goods Store beginning December 1. The audio tour is can also be downloaded from the web site onto a personal listening device at www.nps.gov/sama/photosmultimedia/audiotour.htm. “The audio tour is a wonderful way to experience Salem Maritime,” said Park Historian and Web Site Manager Emily Murphy. “With narration, sound effects, and a soundtrack from local early music group Poor Richard’s Penny, the audio tour allows visitors to move at their own pace through the site.”
For more information about the winter tour schedule at Salem Maritime, please call 978-740-1650 or www.nps.gov/sama.