Bridge Street Neck (BSN) is listed in the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP)

BSN has historically been a mix of commercial and residential usage. The following are highlighted excerpts of the BSN history taken from the NRHP nomination paper in 2002:

Geographic Location:

Located on a peninsula of land between the North River and Collins Cove, Salem’s Bridge Street Neck is a compact urban neighborhood located a short distance from downtown Salem and serving as an important gateway into the city from the town of Beverly to the north.

Resources:

The resources of Bridge Street Neck, ranging from the late 18th century to the present day include the homes of prosperous sea captains and merchants, as well as the dwellings of the middling and working classes who found employment in the neighborhood’s maritime-related businesses and, in nearby factories and car shops during the 19th and early 20th centuries. 

Despite incremental changes to individual buildings, the nominated district taken as a whole possesses integrity of location, design, setting, materials, workmanship, feeling, and association.

Construction dates range from the late 1700s to the present day, although a slight majority were built between the end of the Civil War and 1900.

Transportation Corridor:

The district’s spine is Bridge Street, which extends in a north/northeast to south/southwest direction. The significance of this transportation corridor, early on serving as the route to the ferry and bridge, later serviced by streetcars, and today connecting Salem to Beverly, cannot be over emphasized.

The Boston & Maine Railroad tracks and the North River mark the western boundary of the district while Collins Cove is the bound to the east. The southern boundary of the Bridge Neck district also abuts the Washington Common National Register District.

Industrial and Transportation Industries:

In the late 19th century, the growth of Bridge Street Neck was fueled by a variety of neighborhood industries including factories that produced jute bags, leather, and lead products as well as the repair shops and car barns for several railroads.

Archaeological Interest:

A high potential exists for locating evidence of ancient Native American sites in the Bridge Street Neck Historic District. Level to moderately sloping topography characterizes the district within a peninsula bordered by the North River, Danvers River, Beverly Harbor and Collins Cove from west to east. The district area borders a marine related ecosystem that would have provided a variety of flora and fauna resources for exploitation by Native American groups. Ancient Native American sites have been identified in Downtown Salem and the Salem Neck locale since the early 19th century.

There is a high potential for locating historic archaeological resources in the district. The district is located within an area believed to be the first settlement of Europeans in Salem, settled in 1626. The exact location of the Old Planter’s settlement, as the initial settlement was known, has never been established with certainty although many researchers believe the group choose the north side of the Naumkeag peninsula for their settlement. Salem Historian, Sidney Perley, states the Old Planter’s had 19 cottages that had all but disappeared by 1661. Structural evidence of residential dwellings, barns and outbuildings may survive in the district related to the Old Planter’s settlement. Archaeological evidence from occupational related features (trash pits, privies, wells) associated with early farmstead or homestead building complexes may also exist.