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House for Sale: Salem, Massachusetts

House for Sale: Salem, Massachusetts
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Sounds as though those were busy and creative years for Loretta and Randall — and they were. So we asked why the Wietings were now selling their lovely home. It turns out that Randall’s parents have passed on (his father was born in 1886), while Loretta’s mother is still in Canada. So while Loretta switched countries in 1985 to be with Randall in Salem, now in 2007 Randall will join Loretta in Kingston, Ontario, where they’ve already purchased a house on Lake Ontario. Loretta will go back to running a florist business up there, too, but this time she’ll have Randall as a partner. The long and the short of it is that their beautiful home in the Witch City is now available for $995,000.

Finally, before saying our goodbyes, we sought some “inside” tips about Salem. What in the Wietings’ opinion were, say, the five “must sees” for any visitor? Here’s what they recommended:

1. The Peabody Essex Museum: “The house brought in there piece by piece from China is incredible.” 866-745-1876, 978-745-9500;

2. The House of the Seven Gables: “Once owned by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s cousin, it was built in 1668.” 978-744-0991;

3. The Corwin House (a.k.a. The Witch House): “It’s the only house in Salem directly tied to the witch trials.” (Jonathan Corwin was one of the two magistrates who examined the accused.) 978-744-8815;

4. Chestnut Street, with its impressive array of Adamesque Federal mansions.

5. The harbor area, including the three-masted, square-rigged “tall ship” Friendship tied up there.

How about a favorite restaurant in town? “There are so many we love here, but our favorite has to be the Lyceum Bar & Grill at 43 Church Street [978-745-7665;]. And, incidentally, it’s where Alexander Graham Bell made one of the first long-distance phone calls.” (Nice bit of trivia to contemplate while having dinner.)

We had time only for Loretta and Randall’s #5 that afternoon, plus a late blue-crab-salad sandwich at Victoria Station, a restaurant right on the dock (978-745-3400;

During our 15-minute walk back to where we’d parked at the Salem Regional Visitor Center (across the street from the Peabody Essex Museum; 978-740-1650;, we passed shops such as “Witchcraft and Magical Supplies” and the Salem Psychic Center, featuring “readings by Diana” and “Gifts from the Mineral Kingdom and Beyond.” (Beyond?)

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