Stories from Marblehead

Isaac Allerton, a Pilgrim from the Mayflower, had arrived in the Marblehead area in 1632 and established a fishing village on the harbor across from Marblehead Neck. Originally called Massebequash after the river which ran between it and Salem, the land was inhabited by the Naumkeag tribe. Marblehead was set off in 1649. The port  became important, and many residents were involved in the Revolutionary War. The town began a long decline after the war, and when George Washington visited the town during his presidential tour of 1789, he observed that Marblehead “had the appearance of antiquity.” Fishing continued as a major industry, with 98 vessels putting to sea in 1837.

Read “Marblehead in 1700” by Sidney Perley

The Marblehead smallpox riot The Marblehead smallpox riot, January 1774 - In 1773, the selectmen ordered all houses where the disease had appeared to be closed, and dogs to be killed immediately. The fears of the inhabitants increased when permission was granted to build a smallpox hospital on Cat Island.
Ships off Liverpool in the Great Storm of 1839 Awful Calamities: the Shipwrecks of December, 1839 - Three gales of unequaled fury and destructiveness swept along our coast carrying desolation and death in their stormy pathway, and overwhelming many families in the deepest mourning.
Pigeon Cove The October Gale of 1841 - In the latter part of September, 1841, was a long, unbroken spell of uncomfortable weather, which culminated in a violent and cold storm of wind, snow and rain on the night of October 2, continuing four days.
Agnes Surriage of Marblehead, fisherman's daughter The story of Agnes Surriage, the Marblehead tavern maid - In 1742, the 26-year-old king’s collector visited Marblehead and fell in love with the young tavern maid, a poor fisherman's daughter ten years younger than himself.
Moll Pitcher, the fortune teller of Lynn and Marblehead - Soon after her marriage she was known as a fortune-teller, her clients increasing during the fifty years that she afterwards lived. Her fame reached every fireside in New England, and her successful predictions were the themes of many midnight vigils and story-tellers.
The Gerrymander is born in Essex County, February 11, 1812 - Marblehead's Elbridge Gerry served as governor of Massachusetts and vice-president of the United States, but his historic legacy will forever be tied to a political monster dubbed the "Gerrymander."

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