Tercentenary Souvenirs

July 4-10, 1926 Salem celebrated the 300th anniversary of it's founding. There were many events held for this occasion. they ranged from dances, to services to parades, the festivities concluded with a bonfire on Gallows Hill. The following is our collection of memorabilia commemorating that historic event.


Badge specifications: The medals were manufactured by Whitehead - Hoag of Newark, New Jersey. The medal is made of bronze, it is 1 1/4 inches in diameter and weighs approximately 1/2 ounce. The reverse side depicts: the ship "St. Paul" the statue of Salem's founder Roger Conant and the words "Settled by Roger Conant MDCXXVI; Salem, Mass.; Tercentenary; 1626 - 1926. The obverse depicts the seal of the City of Salem.

  1. Banquet Badge: This badge was given to members of the Banquet Committee. There were only fifteen produced.

  2. Sunday Observance Badge: This badge was given to members of the Sunday Observance Committee. There were twenty-four produced.

  3. Military, Society, Trades & Civic Parade Badge: This badge was given to members of the Military, Society, Trades & Civic Parade Committee, the parade was held Wednesday, July 7, 1926. There were nine of these badges produced.

  4. Guest Badge: This badge was given to distinguished guests of the grand ball held at the Salem Armory on Wednesday, July 7, 1926. To the best of our research there were only nine produced. The recipients were Important elected officials as well as military personnel.

  5. Official Souvenir Badge: These badges were sold to school children as well as in many shops. There were 10,000 produced in the first minting.


Award Medal

This medal was awarded to floats in the Military, Society, Trades & Civic Parade which was held on Wednesday, July 7, 1926. This medal is 6 inches in diameter and weighs approximately six and one half ounces and is made of bronze. This design mirrors the medal portion of the badges listed above. Floats in the parades generally were awarded cash prizes however it was voted by either the tercentenary committee or the City council that they would have medals produced because "They would be a more fitting commemoration of the event."



No doubt a variety of paper items were produced for the week long celebration. Our collection consists of an official programme book which retailed for $0.25. It contained not only a listing of the events held but offered the reader somewhat a crash course in Salem history.  A small booklet offers some more readings about some of the interesting events in the cities history. Several Salem businesses produced paper items for the masses such as The Holyoke Insurance company which had printed a small card with simple listing of the daily events. Also for several months a head of the celebration the city has offered for free to its citizens small "stamps" to place on their mail that was sent outside Salem. It featured the logo of the event.

Metal Wares

Other companies joined with the city and produced their own medals and tokens to commemorate the cities 300th birthday.  First is a badge which is in the same basic style of the cities official badge. This one has the city seal along with "Tercentenary Celebration July 4-10, 1926 Salem, Mass. on the front, the reverse has a forty-eight star flag.  Second is a trade token produced for Dan A Donahue's clothing store. The front of this token also has the city seal while the reverse has an advertisement for the store.