Witch House, Salem

The Witch House in Salem, around 1901:

The same house in 2013:

The Witch House in Salem is one of the oldest houses in Massachusetts, and is the only surviving building in Salem with direct ties to the 1692 Salem Witch Trials.  The house was owned by one of the judges, Jonathan Corwin.  It was likely built in the 1660s or 1670s, although some place its date in the 1640s or even earlier.  The 1901 photo was taken prior to its restoration and move; a street widening project necessitated moving it about 35 feet, and the house was restored to its presumed 17th century appearance, which did not include the attached office from the 1901 photo.

Long Wharf, Boston

Long Wharf in Boston, around 1910. Image courtesy of Boston Public Library.

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Long Wharf around 1930. Image courtesy of Boston Public Library, Leslie Jones Collection.

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The same view in 2006:

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Boston’s Long Wharf was originally much longer than it is now, although the wharf didn’t get shorter – the city grew outwards. At the beginning of the 18th century, a longer wharf was needed to extend further into the harbor, in order to accomodate deeper oceangoing ships. Originally, it started where Faneuil Hall is today, but as time went on, the city expanded by filling in Boston Harbor, sometimes with dirt and rocks, and sometimes with sunken ships and construction debris. Either way, the city ended up filling in much of the space between Long Wharf and other wharves, and the city built up around it. In the 1930’s, the wharf was much the same as it is today, but at the time this part was used by the United Fruit Company, hence the cargo ships. Today, the cargo ships are gone, replaced by ferries to other parts of Boston and surrounding communities. Some of the older buildings remain, including the granite 1848 Custom House Block, which is visible on the far left of both photos.  The cargo ships in the two photos, however, do not exist anymore.  I don’t know what happened to the Vera, the steamer in the first photo, but a ship of the same name was sunk by a German U-boat in World War I.  The same fate definitely did happen to the ship in the 1930 photo, the Oriskany, though; it was sunk by a U-boat in 1945 off the coast of England.

Albany City Hall, Albany, NY

City Hall in Albany, between 1900 and 1910. Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

Albany

City Hall in 2009:

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Albany’s current City Hall was built in 1883 to replace an earlier building that burned in a fire.  It was designed by noted architect Henry Hobson Richardson, and not much has changed about its appearance in the past 100 years, other than the addition of the clock face on the tower.

View from Summit House, Mt. Tom, Holyoke, Mass.

The view of Easthampton from the Summit house atop Mt. Tom, between 1905 and 1915.  Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

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A similar view in 2010:

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The Summit House no longer exists, so I wasn’t able to perfectly re-create the early 20th century photo, but the 2010 photo shows the remains of the promenade that is in the foreground of the older photo.  President William McKinley once walked along it, but now all that remains is the concrete that once supported the wooden boardwalk and the rusty metal railings that tourists once admired the view from alongside.  The Summit House from the older photo was built in 1901, replacing the 1897 structure that had burned just three years later.  The 1901 building also burned, in 1929, and the third one was closed in 1938.  The site of the summit houses is now off-limits; it is the site of numerous radio and TV antennas for the Springfield area.

Easthampton from Mt. Tom, Holyoke, Mass

The view of Easthampton from Mt. Tom, between 1900 and 1910.  Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

Easthampton

The same view in 2014:

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Not much has changed in Easthampton in 100 years, at least nothing that it particularly noticeable from the summit of Mt. Tom.  President William McKinley would’ve seen a very similar view during his visit in 1899, but another famous visitor to the mountain, Jonathan Edwards, would’ve seen a very different view in the 1730s.

Cape Neddick Light, York, Maine

Cape Neddick “Nubble” Light, as it appeared between 1900 and 1910.  Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Detroit Publishing Company Collection.

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The same scene in 2011:

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Not much has changed in 100 years; the 1879 lighthouse, keepers house, and outbuildings remain as they were in the early 1900’s, and the rocks clearly haven’t gone anywhere either.  The only significant changes are the enclosed walkway between the house and tower, and demolition of the bell tower seen to the right of the lighthouse in the old photo.  On a curious note, the Voyager spacecraft, launched in 1977, carries several photographs of notable man-made structures in the event that it should ever be discovered by extraterrestrials, including the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, and this lighthouse.