Last night my Christmas tree and those of many other Salem residents were engulfed in flames at the annual bonfire at Dead Horse Beach. This is a relatively recent, increasingly-popular tradition; I have friends from towns all around Salem who want to bring their Christmas trees over for our bonfire, to which I say, make your own! I had a dinner engagement last night during the bonfire, so I went over earlier in the day to take some pictures of the beach and the trees (and shells). These are from the morning; I assume the pile of trees got bigger during the day.
Dead Horse Beach is one of the beaches at Salem Willows. It is a relatively sheltered beach facing north, towards Beverly and its harbor. I had always heard the (apparent) urban legend that it became a graveyard for the many horses that died during the Great Salem Fire (of 1914), accounting for its name, but Salem native and local historian Jerome Curley explains that it was known as “Horse Beach” well before the fire.
As I wasn’t able to make it for the conflagration last night, here’s a picture of a previous bonfire from the Salem News (credit to photographer Mark Teiwes).