, Salem, MA

Local News

September 5, 2013

Powering back in time


“That entire area, there’s history with every step you take,” he said.

Refreshments will be provided, Gordon said. To confirm participation or get more information, call 978-532-0229 or email

Why South is north

With the 300th anniversary of the South Congregational Church upcoming, minister Grant Hoofnagle solves the church’s great mystery. Why is South Congregational Church located in the north of Peabody?

The answer links to the fact that it’s 300 years old, with roots going back to a time when Peabody wasn’t Peabody. It was part of Salem. With churches already established in what is today downtown Salem and at Salem Village — presently Danvers — “We were the south parish,” he explained.

From God to gas

The beautiful South Congregational Church as it stood in Peabody Square for most of its existence — its replacement can now be found on Prospect Street near Northshore Mall — was eventually torn down, and the District Court stands in its place. But, as an anonymous caller to The Salem News pointed out, the court did not replace the church.

”There was a gas station there,” confirmed Ward 3 City Council candidate and former councilor Bill Toomey, who has been around long enough to remember these things personally. He added that at one point in its history, the church had gun racks in the back.

“They were Minutemen,” he said of the congregation. And they answered the call in 1775 as the British marched north.

He hasn’t been around long enough to remember that personally, however.

Why blue is green

It’s because the Peabody Police Department has issued shirts to its special operations officers made from, well, trash.

Some kind of manufacturing magic goes into transforming the sorts of things pulled from landfills — plastic bottles, cases, keyboards, coconut shells and corn husks — into shirts. Kenai Sports does the resource-friendly trick, according to the department’s Facebook page.

The new shirts will be unveiled Sunday at the International Festival.

Staff writer Alan Burke can be reached at

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