Feature Exhibits

It’s the Bee’s Knees! Salem in the Roaring Twenties
Main Gallery Exhibit: February 22-March 21

Lakeside Amusement Park on opening day, July 10, 1920

The Salem Museum takes a look back at life in our hometown a century ago with a new main gallery feature exhibit which opens Saturday, February 22. The exhibit will include personal stories, artifacts, and photographs that explore everyday life—and the nightlife—of the Roaring Twenties. Icons of the decade are also included: a still that produced a lot of moonshine in the ‘20s and six flamboyant flapper dresses from the Museum’s collection.

The 1920s was a decade that emerged from the horrors of the First World War, and ended with a catastrophic stock market crash which ushered in the Great Depression. In between—the Roaring Twenties—was a time of economic prosperity and great cultural change.

Many Americans enjoyed a period of growth, personal freedom, and technological advances. Women won the right to vote. Cars became common. Radio was brand new. People flocked to see silent movies. Sports celebrities emerged. Lakeside Park opened. It’s a decade forever made infamous by flappers, jazz, and Prohibition. Salem in the Roaring Twenties will take a look at our community 100 years ago, a town which was rapidly changing into the Salem we recognize today.

The exhibit has been designed by Alex Burke, the Museum’s assistant director. It will be on display in the Museum’s main gallery through March 21, and then will continue on display in the ground floor gallery for most of the rest of the year. Admission is free.