Everyone knows about the mass hysteria known as the Salem Witch Trials. The trials took place between 1692 and 1693 and the actual location was in Salem, Ipswich, Boston and Charlestown.
Back then, the act of behaving "strangely" could cause one to be accused of the felony crime of witchcraft which was punishable by death. During the trials 150 people were arrested and twenty-nine people were convicted. Of those who were convicted, fourteen women and six men were eventually executed.
Aside from the original site of the accusations and high drama, there was another important connection to the Salem Witch Trials. That one was right here in the Metrowest in Framingham, Massachusetts.
In 1692 Deputy Governor Thomas Danforth was one of the early judges who presided over the infamous witch trials and it is widely thought that he left that position over his distain for the inhumane proceedings.
Judge Danforth had previously acquired at least 16,000 acres of land in Colonial government grants that had become his home. This settlement which was originally known as "Danforth Farms" was later to be renamed "Framingham."
After leaving the trials Thomas Danforth worked behind the scenes to rescue a number of the accused that were fleeing from the persecution and death sentences that hovered over them from these hearings.
In fact it was Judge Danforth who turned over a large portion of his settlement to these unfortunate families who were seeking asylum and safety from the cruel treatment they faced.
The part of Framingham that he donated with its stately homes, beautiful architecture and a quiet residential atmosphere still stands as tribute to the safe harbor that was given to so many and who were provided with freedom from the hysteria of the times.
And, the street that carries with it so much historical significance for its part in the events still bears the appropriate name of "Salem End Road."
Copyright 2010 "Must be the Season of the Witch "
Claudette Millette, Broker, Owner, The Buyers' Counsel - (508) 881-6230