Feb 2, 2017

Salem Witch Trials to Be Memorialized

NBC Boston
Michael Rosenfield
January 27, 2017

Today, Proctor's Ledge is just an outcropping with some trees in a residential neighborhood, but soon it will be the site of a new memorial dedicated to the haunting past of Salem, Massachusetts.

"I think it's very fitting they decided to do something after all these years," said Salem resident Tom Brophy. "We've always known about it, but nothing was ever done about it until now."

Brophy's home sits along the historic site near Gallow's Hill. It's where historians believe the accused witches of Salem were executed 325 years ago.

"It was an awful thing that happened here," said Brophy. "Awful injustice, really."

City officials announced this week that a final design for the memorial has been selected.

It will include stones with the names of the 19 people who were hanged here, all of them accused of being witches.

It was a sad time in Salem's history, according to longtime City Councillor Tom Furey, who says the memorial will allow people to pay their respects.

"It's embedded in our DNA," said Furey. "Something we have to respect and recognize we're part of that."

Descendants of the victims, along with historians and neighbors who live near the site, have all helped with the plan according to city officials.

"The whole goal is to respect and recognize the role that witch history has played in the history of Salem," said Furey.

Mayor Kim Driscoll said in a statement the memorial "presents an opportunity for us to come together as a community, recognize the injustice perpetrated against those innocents in 1692, and recommit ourselves to the values of inclusivity and justice."

It's hoped that construction on the memorial will begin in April, and that it could be completed by the summer.


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