Tag Archives: History

Santa Clause Swings By Spooky Salem!

It’s been almost a month since Salem celebrated another fantastic Halloween celebration and now the city’s got another holiday event – Santa Claus heading to town and the lighting of the Salem Holiday Tree!

Santa’s Arrival & Holiday Tree Lighting

SMS Tree Lighting and Santa 2015 - Photo Credit Creative Salem

That’s right folks – Santa Claus will be making his appearance yet again in Salem!  Santa Claus will arrive at the top of the Hawthorne Hotel, which is at 18 Washington Square West.  He will be arriving on 6:00 p.m. at the rooftop (with some help from the Salem Fire Department!).

If you’re interested in attending, I’d recommend arriving to the Salem Common by 5:45 p.m. to catch Santa’s arrival.  Bring your friends and family for a night of carols, festivities, and lots of fun!

After Santa arrives, we will be followed by a procession down the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall towards Lappin Park (its nest to the Bewitched Statue within the intersection of Essex and Washington Street), where we will join Mayor Kimberley Driscoll and Santa for the Holiday Tree Lighting.  Everyone is also welcome to bring lanterns to carry with them.  Both store-bought or homemade would work great.

Special Guest: Angie Miller

2017-7-14 Zealyn White Eagle Saloon Portland Oregon - Jack Robert Photography-3.jpg

Another special guest that we are thrilled to have is North Shore’s own Angie Miller.  She will be leading several holiday songs for the Tree Lighting at Lappin Park.  Angie Miller is most known for being a finalist on season 12 of American Idol.  Since then, Angie Miller resides in Los Angeles and is enjoying her flourishing career (she goes by her artist name Zealyn).

Salem Main Streets (SMS)

Salem Main Streets (SMS) continues to revitalize downtown Salem as the vibrant, year-round, dining, retail, and cultural destination it is today.  Some of the many community events and initiatives that SMS supports include Salem Arts Festival, Salem’s So Sweet, the Salem Farmers’ Market, and most especially the October Information Booth.  It’s so exciting to see another holiday event sweeping through downtown Salem this week!

Many thanks go out to the Hawthorne Hotel, Remix Church, Gigi Gill, the City of Salem, and many other community partners that helped make these events happen.  Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Francis donated this year’s tree in memory of Joseph R. Ingemi III.  The tree will be secured and decorated by the City of Salem Tree Department, with assistance from Mayer Tree Service as well as Spencer Contracting for transportation and installation.  Many donations went towards the lights and decorations, with many donations stemming from Salem’s October visitors via Gigi Gill.

About Salem

Image result for Salem Witch Trials

Image result for Salem Witch Trials

Salem has a colorful and bizarre history, being known for the infamous ‘Salem Witch Trials’ event.  The Salem Witch Trials was a disturbing event during the 17th century in which many individuals were accused of witchcraft and black magic.  These creepy tales modified Salem as the Witch City it is today.  Many shops feature products of witchcraft such as wands, capes, hex bags, potions, and many other kooky things involving black magic.

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That ‘black magic’ flows through the streets during October when Salem residents gear up for Halloween month.  Halloween is Salem’s most significant event of the year, with hundreds of thousands of tourists from all across the nation to visit the Witch City.  While other events are held every month, nothing comes close to the spookiness that is Halloween.

Image result for Salem LGBTQ

Image result for Salem LGBTQ

Centuries later and Salem continues to be the spooky ‘Witch City’ that it is today.  Minorities were oppressed during the 17th century, with some women sentenced to death due to witchcraft.  But celebrities like Gigi Gill are flipping the city upside-down – fighting back against those who are preventing Salem from flourishing higher.  Gigi provides as a quintessential example that people from all walks of life are welcome.  Leaders like Gigi help make Salem a better place not just for the LGBTQ community, but for other communities as well.

If you’re looking for something to do after Thanksgiving, I definitely recommend checking out Santa’s Arrival & the Holiday Tree Lighting in Salem.  It’s going to be quite the event to ring in the holiday season!

For those looking for more information on any of the events, feel free to contact Salem Main Streets Executive Director Kylie Sullivan at kylie@salemmainstreets.org. Feel free to follow Salem Main Streets on Twitter and Facebook.

Until then, Happy Holidays!


AHS Crazed Cult Leaders!

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Image result for american horror story cult Beverly and Ally

The moment is finally here…tonight is the LAST episode of American Horror Story: Cult!  It’s been a twisting and bizarre chapter this year, what with this insane cult storyline.  Kai’s army is growing stronger all while killing off his loyal followers (Beverly and Ally are the last remaining main members so far!).

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            Before heading into the final episode, we were introduced to some stories about notable cult figures.  Kai held meetings with his army to discuss the stories of David Koresh, Jim Jones, Marshall Applewhite, and even Charles Manson.  Out of all of the crazed cult leaders in the country, Kai looked up to Charles Manson the most.  But what’s crazier than Kai’s fascination with these leaders are the bizarre stories about the leaders themselves.

Here are the shockingly true stories about the cult leaders mentioned in the past two episodes:

Marshall Applewhite

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Our first crazed cult leader is Marshall Applewhite.  Marshall Applewhite hailed from Texas and founded a cult known as the Heaven’s Gate religious group.  He organized a mass suicide event in 1997, claiming thirty-nine people during the ritual.  The group believed that an accompanying spaceship would take their spirits on board to a journey towards another planet.  In order to ascend into the spaceship, members of the group committed suicide within their mansion in Rancho Santa Fe, California.

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Image result for marshall applewhite

A media circus followed after discovering their bodies and much discussion was held over Applewhite’s actions.  Applewhite was featured on the covers of Newsweek and Time on April 7th, 1997.  His story was featured everywhere in the nation.

David Koresh

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Image result for David Koresh

David Koresh is most famous for the Waco Seige back in the early 90s.  The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) raided Mount Carmel Center (where David held his prisoners hostage).  This standoff lasted 51 days ended on April 19th when U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno approved final assault where the Branch Davidians were to be removed by force.

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During the course of the assault, the church building caught on fire.  80 Branch Davidians, including David Koresh, were barricaded inside the building.  Medical examiner reported of people being shot or even stabbed while inside the building.   It was a bizarre standoff event that ended in a fiery blaze (LITERALLY!).

Jim Jones

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Image result for Jim Jones

Jim Jones’s historical episode gave rise to the term ‘drinking the Kool-Aid’.  He organized a mass murder-suicide with over 900 of his followers in Jonestown, Guyana.  Him and other group members discussed how the group should commit a ‘revolutionary suicide’ by drinking grape-flavored Flavor Aid mixed with cyanide.  Temple films showed Jones opening a container full of Kool Aid for his group.

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Even as members cried in hysterics, Jim Jones calmed them his soothing charisma.  He pushed them to commit this so-called ‘revolutionary’ act.  It resulted in the greatest single loss of American civilian life through a deliberate act (that is, until the 9/11 attacks).

Charles Manson

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Last but not least is the most notorious crazed cult leader of all – Charles Manson.  Charles Manson established the Manson family, a quasi-commune that rose in California around the late 60s.  His followers committed a series of nine murders at four locations between July-August 1969.  He was found guilty in 1971 of first-degree murder and conspiracy to commit murder for deaths of seven people.

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Anyone familiar with the former TV series Aquarius would remember the story of Charlie’s journey with his community.  Both TV series refer back to the atrocious time when the Manson Family committed the murders around southern California.  To this day, Manson is serving multiple life sentences in Corcoran at California State prison.

That’s it for today’s discussion of the crazed cult leaders featured in American Horror Story: Cult.  Some provided sedatives to ‘leave their bodies’ or spark a ‘revolution’ while others simply created a strong army that would do their bidding.  Cult leaders have a lot of powers over their followers, severing ties with those who are their weakest link.

Kai’s army is growing stronger and it will all go down tonight at 10 PM on FX!

Gentrification: The Green Rush’s Secret Curse

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Since I have going out most of the week, I’ve rarely had time to check out my favorite series when they air.  Bong Appetit has been cooking up more dank cannabis-infused foods and the cult within American Horror Story: Cult has been growing incredibly twisted each week.  My other favorite 4/20-themed series Weediquette has also been going deeper into other complex problems of cannabis prohibition.  Last week’s episode featured an intriguing problem that dealt with problems surrounding gentrification.

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Titled ‘Dank New World’, the episode looked into the skyrocketing cost of rent in Denver during the cannabis boom.  Krishna talked with various figures of the real estate industry about an answer out of gentrifying the city more.  Construction has been underway in Denver, with tons of condominiums and apartment buildings springing up each month.  One two-bedroom apartment featured on the episode was listed at $6,000 a month for rental price (which would easily be 5x as much if this were in Boston!).  It was shocking to see what kind of startling effects have been occurring with cannabis legalization.

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Image result for Denver Cannabis 2017

Think about this for a minute – Denver has been become one of the HOTTEST cities on the southwest coast since cannabis legalization in 2012.  Cannabis continues to grow as one of the most trending crops within the agricultural world.  This 21st century green rush event has motivated hundreds of thousands of Americans to flock to the legal state.  All of these ambitious consumers are chasing the American Dream – or their dream for that matter!

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The gold rush of the 19th century spurred an adventurous phenomenon where folks from all across the country headed west for the gold.  It wasn’t so much the gold they were chasing after; rather, the gold stood for a brand-new opportunity.  A new friend, an original business practice, someone that would be their soulmate, and even the chance to claim a whole new identity.

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But the most essential and common aspect lying within these phenomenon?  The chance for a new LIFE.  A mysterious new life that could be found hundreds of thousands of miles away from your home.  You’ve never actually been there, yet you envision how beautiful the country must be on the western region.  Its these magnificent visions that caused everyone to head towards their new destination.

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Image result for Denver High rise apartment

Image result for Denver High rise apartment

We’re in the 21st century ‘Green Rush’ and Americans are more motivated than ever to seek out new beginnings.  The cannabis culture sent shockwaves around the west coast, yet that shock comes with a HIGH price.  More residential buildings are cropping up, but the ironic part is the lack of affordable housing being presented for the consumers.  Denver, like many other major cities within the U.S., is being continuously gentrified and leaving out some audiences out of the 4/20 pot parties.

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Image result for Denver Colorado

Leaving out a handful of unique audiences due to lack of money would spell out bad PR problems like Denver.  Not only does the monstrous marketing tactic of gentrification invites specific audiences into the pot parties, but it also pushes audiences of the lower economic ring out of the occasion as well.  The only audiences that would snag the VIP access of Denver’s cannabis culture would be the ones who can afford the $6,000 two-bedroom apartment.

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Image result for Boston Apartments

Image result for Boston Apartments

What does this mean for the cannabis culture of Boston?  Could gentrification push certain target audiences out of the VIP pot parties?  Would we start seeing one-bedroom apartments go for $3,000 a month within the city?

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Image result for boston massachusetts

While rent prices haven’t gone crazy like those in San Francisco ($1,400 a month for cheapest apartment to rent!), affordable housing options are something we should think about while the green rush is happening in Massachusetts.  Once the cannabis boom ignites, thousands of enthusiastic audiences will be looking to take a piece of their gold.  Boston has already been more relaxed with their cannabis laws then New York City and their liberal perspective of the 4/20 culture is definitely paying off.  That boom comes with a blessing AND a curse.

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Image result for Affordable Apartments in Boston

Image result for Affordable Apartments in Boston

And yet, we can break out of that gentrification curse (we broke out of ‘The Curse of the Bambino’, so Boston has that going!).  Affordable housing options shouldn’t be some fantasy that can’t be reached.  Everyone, from every type of audience, should have the right to the new and incredible opportunities waiting for them with this green rush.  The gold rush phenomenon provided people a sense of hope, a clearer vision towards what they worked for their whole lives.  It’s an extraordinary national event that sparked ideas in everyone, especially the underdogs (FYI, Boston is DEFINITELY a city full of underdogs!).

Image result for Affordable Apartments in Boston

Image result for Affordable Apartments in Boston

The answer for providing all audiences their access to the Boston pot parties?  Affordable housing units satisfying more audiences within the economic ladder.  There were no economic restrictions during the Gold Rush of the 19th century, meaning lots of audiences were able to move out west for a better life.

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Let’s learn from our history and get the green rush right before gentrification turns that gold opportunity into a costly VIP dream.

Nipton’s Green Rush!


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Image result for nipton california

Deep near the border of Las Vegas lies Nipton, a small town in San Bernardino County.  This California desert town sits within 120 acres of land featuring a general store, hotel, and school house.  It’s one of those ghost towns within the Mojave Desert area with a small population (even smaller than Ipswich!).  Even in this 21st century, we still have ghost towns lying around the wild wild west.

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Image result for Ghost town

Instead of dribbling on about the picturesque landscape of Nipton, this PR topic is on the golden opportunity that lies within desert towns (pay close attention to the term ‘golden opportunity’ throughout this story!).  Since these towns have a very low population rate, tourism is the key strategy for keeping these unique towns going.  There are still customers that would enjoy taking a trip to deserted towns to get away for a while.  Deserted towns have that nostalgic western feel, taking people back to simpler times.

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But with a ghost town like Nipton competing with big-time cities like Los Angeles or San Francisco, tourism competition can be heated around California.  And with many more Americans taking less vacations these days, the strategies to attract tourists become much more complex.  Businesses are testing out new tricks to attract the new and younger tourists (i.e. unique hotel bars with assorted craft beers, food tours, and even flavored water!).  Nipton is revolutionizing their tourism strategy by changing from being a ghost town to being a pot town.

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Image result for American Green inc

It’s official, folks – this California ghost town is going to pot…LITERALLY!  Cannabis-focused technology and growing firm American Green Inc. purchased the town for about $5 million.  The new strategy is to transform Nipton into what will be known as, “an energy-independent, cannabis-friendly hospitality destination”.

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Other than going to pot (again, LITERALLY!), Nipton will also be producing bottled water infused with cannabis.  These cannabis-infused water bottles will come from Nipton’s aquifer.  Looks as though the water is springing back up into this desert town!

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Think about this for a moment – a small deserted ghost town that found this golden opportunity to flourish their tourism business.  Not only that, but there will be a river of cannabis-infused water floating around the desert.  ‘Golden opportunity’, water appearing around the desert creating an oasis…history, my friends, is repeating itself!

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Image result for 19th century Gold

California was a huge gold town during the 19th century and Nipton was one of the popular destinations.  Pioneers traveled thousands of miles to the new lands in search for the gold.  It wasn’t so much ‘the’ gold they were looking to collect, but rather the idea concept of gold itself.

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Christopher Columbus once said that someone who had gold were in possession of something with such great value of earth.  People sought after the amazing value the gold had to offer.  This amazing value would help souls reach this paradise they yearn for.  Paradise is reflected not within the piece of gold itself, but the value gold would bring to the individual.  The mere idea of discovering gold would strike a sense of shock, adventure, excitement and even opportunity (a GOLDEN opportunity would be more like it!).

Image result for Golden Cannabis

Image result for Golden Cannabis

How does this philosophical concept of gold apply to this PR case?  Cannabis itself presents great value on this earth.  It is the number one booming cash crop in the country, with people planting their own seeds to grow strains of their own.  With cannabis becoming much more popular within the social norms, the demands for cannabis start increasing.  The ever-increasing demand presents a myriad of opportunities for the communities.  Ghost towns like Nipton, California see cannabis as this ‘green gold’ that would cause tourists to come rushing in (hence the term ‘Green Gold Rush’).  In a sense, the ‘ghost’ you’ll be hearing about in this ghost town is the shipment of Ghost Train Haze being sold!

Image result for California Cannabis

Image result for California Cannabis

We are presented with an intriguing, yet nostalgic strategy happening in California.  Legalizing recreational cannabis means the green gold has finally been unlocked and people are rushing to collect from the treasure chest.  This green gold provides many opportunities for the industry itself and the people who help it grow.  Some opportunities include increased profits, buzzing publicity, an ever-growing community of cannabis users; but the most important opportunity of all is the discovery of a new way of living.  It’s these golden opportunities that make the West so amazing.

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With that in mind, we continue to be in the midst of the 21st century green rush happening in the western region.  The cannabis community continues to spread and new opportunities arise on the horizon.  Pioneers from the 19th century aren’t so different from the pioneers heading out west these days.  Both groups set out west in search for gold, a new home, friends, family;  but most importantly, these pioneers went forth to search for their new lives.