City of Salem promises to spruce up witch trials memorial

Area residents attend a memorial dedication, where five women were hanged as witches 325 years ago at Proctor's Ledge.
Area residents attend a memorial dedication, where five women were hanged as witches 325 years ago at Proctor's Ledge. –The Associated Press

SALEM, Mass. (AP) — A city in Massachusetts is promising to spruce up its witch trials memorial that some people have complained is already starting to look shabby just a year after it was unveiled.

About a dozen young trees at the memorial for 19 people who were hanged at Proctor’s Ledge in 1692 have died and the area is overgrown with weeds.

City officials tell The Salem News they plan to replace the dead arborvitae with trees better suited for the terrain.

Dominick Pangallo, Mayor Kim Driscoll’s chief of staff, said the arborvitae were planted after neighbors pushed for perimeter trees “for privacy purposes” but against the advice of a landscape architect.

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They will be replaced with more appropriate juniper or cedar trees.

Pangallo says the city will also more closely monitor the site.

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