From the annals of C’mon Really!? arrives this report of the opening of the Gallows Hill Distillery, not in Salem MA, which would have some perverse justification, but in of all places, Allentown PA. Which makes about much sense as a Billy Joel themed karaoke bar in Salem MA.
There is some justification:
“In 1692, in Salem, Massachusetts, my eight-times great grandfather was accused and arrested for witchcraft,” [owner Bob] Piano explained. “He was later hanged on Gallows Hill on Sept. 22, 1692.”
Explaining why “Behind the bar will be a replica of the 17th century house of Jonathan Corwin, one of the judges of the trials.”
Now Sept. 22 was the last and busiest of the execution dates in 1692, with eight unjustly accused hanged but only one male, Samuel Wardwell, who “is the eight-times great-grandfather to American actor Scott Foley and to American author Anne Greenwood Brown.” So Mr. Piano has competition in the descendants game. That wikipedia line would seem to have been contributed by Mr. Piano himself.
Samuel Wardwell was a common carpenter with a penchant for predictions. He often claimed the ability to read the future in tea leaves and made a practice of predicting the genders of the towns’ unborn children. After several of these predictions came to pass, he became known as the Soothsayer of Andover. These were dangerous times to behave in such a manner.
Might there be other common products that brand with the Gallows Hill name? A cursory Google search finds disappointingly few. There is expectedly enough a Gallows Hill Brewing Co. offering “all natural & interesting beer of exceptional quality to discerning palettes” but that is even further afield in Cape Town South Africa, with no discernable connection to Salem MA. Of course there are many potboiler dime novels that abscond the Gallows Hill name, a homemade Gallows Hill recording to be found on YouTube, and of course the “top rated” but still kitschy Gallows Hill Museum/Theatre in downtown Salem.
But that’s it. What, no Gallows Hill dark roasted coffee, no Gallows Hill heavy metal album, no Gallows Hill tattoo and piercing parlor, no Gallows Hill winery. C’mon, the opportunities are endless. 😉