, Salem, MA

Local News

October 2, 2013

Salem arch repair gaining momentum


He estimated the initial repairs will cost less than $10,000.

Salem Scouts sell wreaths door-to-door every holiday season. Troop 24 is taking orders now and will deliver the wreaths after Thanksgiving.

In addition to the Salem Common Neighborhood Association, the mayor’s office and Salem’s Veterans Council are collaborating on the arch repair project. The veterans have also reached out to the National Guard, which holds an annual muster on the Common.

“This is a great example of people working together,” said Councilor Bill Legault last night. “... I love the whole concept.”

The original Washington Arch dates to 1805, when four gates designed by McIntire were erected on Salem Common. The most memorable was the west gate by Brown Street, which had a large profile portrait of Washington. It was the official entrance to the Common.

The archway was only one of many tributes to the country’s first president, who visited the city in 1789.

Eventually, those original arches deteriorated and were removed. A century later, a new Washington Arch was erected across from Hawthorne Hotel as part of the country’s bicentennial in 1976.

When it, too, began to deteriorate, it was moved to its present location, virtually hidden on a back side of the Common near Winter Street.

Roughly one dozen uniformed Boy Scouts from Troop 24 attended last night’s council meeting. The meeting began a half-hour late because a quorum couldn’t be reached, initially.

Councilors Jerry Ryan, Michael Sosnowski and Bill Legault were at City Hall for the meeting’s 6:30 p.m. scheduled start. They called other councilors on their cellphones, and eventually Councilors Joseph O’Keefe, Robert McCarthy and Kevin Carr arrived, which met the required quorum of six.

For details on the Troop 24 wreath sales, email

Bethany Bray can be reached at and on Twitter @SalemNewsBB.

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