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Salem is an historic seaside community located approximately 16 miles north of Boston. From its days as one of the earliest landing sites of the English colonists, to its rise as the first major port in the United States, to its trailblazing efforts in opening up the East Indian trade, to its heyday as a thriving hub of American commerce and the home of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Salem's historical legacy is rich. Unfortunately, a well-known blemish on that legacy involved the infamous Salem Witchcraft Trials of 1692. Nonetheless, the City's golden years have left her modern inhabitants with architectural treasures, fine museums, and a sparkling literary heritage. Equally important, the development of Salem has produced a rich ethnic history, to which people of all races, creeds, colors and origins have contributed over the generations. Even today, Salem services children speaking no less than 20 different languages in its public school system. Long a trading, manufacturing and retail center, Salem has been making a slow, and sometimes painful, transition to a service-based economy. The City today serves as the home of Salem State College, the North Shore Medical Center, the Essex County District Superior and Probate Courts, and Registry of Deeds, the world-famous Peabody and Essex Museum, and a host of banks and other financial institutions. It is the educational, medical, legal, cultural and banking hub of the North Shore.
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