The Congress Street Dream Bagger from A Walk Through Salem

Can You Name the Local Who Posed for this Illustration?

Congress Street Dream Bagger from A walk Through Salem by Chris Dowgin

Take your guesses and place them in the comment section below.

Buy A Walk Through Salem Today from Salem House Press!


Do You Know this Salem Local from the Salem Trilogy?

Can You Guess the Name of This Salem Local…

Johnny Miller illustrated by Chris Dowgin in A Walk Through Salem published by Salem House Press.

This Salem local is an expert craftsman. A real expert in wood and true lover and supporter of local and national bands alike. A truly wonderful person to know that has a little bit of that special magic. A powerful dancer who gets the groove going. A one time DJ on our local radio station.

The Record Exchange illustrated by Chris Dowgin in A Walk Through Salem published by Salem House Press.

Can you guess his name? Place your guesses in the comment section below.

He appears in A Walk Through Salem.  Start your journey by reading this first book in the trilogy,  now in its second edition at Barnes & Noble and on

Daniel Low & Co. Salem MA


Daniel Low & Co. was a landmark store downtown on Washington St., located in the distinctive 3-story, red brick building, formerly the First Church, built in 1826. This popular store operated from 1874 until 1995.

This corner lot, in what is known as Townhouse Square, held Salem’s first Meeting House from 1634-1673. A bronze plaque on the side of the building, now used by Rockafella’s Restaurant, tells the story. The First Church was extensively remodeled c.1874 in High Victorian Gothic style. It was enlarged to the west, twin corner towers were added. Daniel Low and Company acquired the property in 1923 when the First Church merged with the North Church (Unitarian.)

Many city residents remember shopping for gifts and jewelry in the store with the white columns, chandeliers and wide central staircase. Even when being used as a church, the bottom floor was rented out to retail establishments to offset the cost of maintaining the building.

Daniel Low & Co. became famous for their souvenir witch spoon which they began making in the 1880’s and advertised in national magazines. They became successful with the creation of their own mail-order catalog, which grew to as large as 200 pages. Their first mail order catalogue was called the Daniel Low Year Book and put out in 1892.

The owner’s son Seth took over after Daniel Low died of a heart attack in the store in 1939. Later the company was run by Seth’s widow Florence until the mid-1950s. In 1955, Bill Follett bought and ran the company until it was sold, along with the building in 1994.

One of the stories of Daniel Low was that he got wind that the state was going to confiscate his tunnel to commemorate the runaway slaves that were buried under its floor. In the middle of the night he poured a new concrete floor to prevent the state from doing so. Now the tunnel is haunted.


Today you still can walk through this tunnel. Daniel Low’s house on Essex  Street is also connected to tunnels. A little further south was the residence of Jacob Rust. His home and store where Cabot Wealth Management is was another store connected to their home. What an amazing commute…





~Mr. Zac

New Winter Commons Walking Tour from Salem Smugglers’ Tour

Look forward in the next week to a new walking tour featuring the history of the Common from its creation, its dedication to the local militia, the fight between Commoners and Villagers over its use, the old industrial nature, and the beautification by Col. Elias Hasket Derby Jr. and the Salem Common Improvement Fund Subscribers.

Pictture of Elias Hasket Derby Jr. in Salem MA
Col. Elias Hasket Derby Jr.

The Salem Common Improvement Fund was an alias for a series of investors who filled in the 5 ponds with dirt from the tunnels they were digging and attached their new brick homes around the Common between 1801 and 1860 to them. The tour will show you various pictures of the sealed tunnels leading from these houses and give you the history of Federal Architecture and its real reason for being created.


The tour will showcase many images of the Common through time on a tablet and tell you entertaining stories, tales of ghosts, and how the tunnels were used. Plus we can peer into two locations that once were entrances to the tunnels.


Check the Salem Smugglers’ Tour web page next week to find out more information. Imagine a walking tour through the snow on the beautiful Common!