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Salisbury Town

Salisbury Town Hall is located at 5 Beach Road, Salisbury, MA 01952; phone: 978-465-2310.

Beginnings [1]

Salisbury was settled in 1638 and incorporated in 1640. The Quaker Whipping Stone in the tiny triangular Green marks the site of Major Robert Pike's championship of three Quaker women whipped at the tail of an ox-cart, a story told in Whittier's poem "How the Women Went from Dover." The stone originally served as the stepping-stone of the Quaker Meeting House in Salisbury, erected in 1752.

A marker at the north end of the Square indicates the Site of the Betsy Gerrish House, within whose narrow walls a session of the General Court squeezed itself in 1757, when the community was a "shire town" and the only settlement north of the Merrimack River.

Two hundred yards to the right of the Square on the road marked to State Route 110 is the Green known as Potlid Square, where the women of Salisbury melted down their pewter pots to make bullets in the cause of liberty. Settlers from Newbury, Massachusetts, and from Salisbury, England, took their part in early frays with the Indians, trying at the same time to build up the fishing industry, the manufacture of oak staves, and shipbuilding. The woolen industry, introduced into Salisbury in 1812, was soon transferred to Amesbury and neighboring towns.

  1. Charles M. Sullivan and Harriet White, Cambridge Historical Commission, Historic Resources of Cambridge, multiple resource nomination document, 1980, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.
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