Here’s Your Sign #19 ~ Salem Village Meeting House

For many years I have been collecting photos of and information about the various signs that have been placed in honor of some of my ancestors. These signs are a glimpse into some event and/or place where they lived. Some of the signs are small like a placard with a few poignant words, some are large and they go into great detail, and then there are those that are somewhere in between. Each one gives added life to those ancestors.

This sign is dated 1672 and states the following:

“Directly across from this site was located the original Salem Village Meeting House where civil and military meetings were held, and ministers including George Burroughs, Deodat Lawson, and Samuel Parris preached.

The infamous 1692 witchcraft hysteria began in this neighborhood on March 1accused witches Sarah Good, Sarah Osburn and Tituba were interrogated in the meeting house amidst the horrific fits of the “afflicted ones”. Thereafter numerous others were examined including Martha Cory, Rebecca Nurse, Bridget Bishop, Giles Cory, and Mary Esty, Many Dire, as well as heroic deeds transpired in the Meeting House.

In 1702 the Meeting House was abandoned, dismantled and removed to this site until the lumber “decayed and became mixed with the soil.”

In 1992 a memorial was erected here to honor the witchcraft victims, and to remind us that we must forever confront intolerance and “witch-hunts” with integrity, clear vision, and courage.”

In 1675 Sarah Hood, my 9th Great Aunt, married William Bassett Jr who was the brother of Elizabeth Bassett Proctor, wife of John Proctor. On the 23rd Day of May 1692, Sarah was accused of witchcraft and was immediately sent to prison. The month before Sarah was accused; her husband’s sister Elizabeth and brother-in-law John Proctor had also been accused, arrested, tried and convicted of witchcraft. They had been sentenced to hang. They all three spent the next few months together in the prison in Salem. On the 19th of August, despite no evidence to the charges and in spite of numerous testimonials to the character of John Proctor he was hung on Gallows Hill for the crime of being a wizard. This left Sarah and Elizabeth to care for each other. Sarah spent a total of 7 months in this prison, and she was pardoned because the charges against her could not be proven.

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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