"Winter Island, now connected to the mainland in Salem, has had a colorful history. It was the site of eighteenth century Fort Pickering, much of which still survives. The island's Execution Hill was the scene of several hangings in the 1800. Winter Island also served as a militia training ground, and in the late 1800s, an amusement park called Salem Willows grew up nearby.
Fort Pickering Light was established in 1871, the same year as Derby Wharf Light in Salem Harbor and Hospital Point Light in nearby Beverly. For many years before, Baker's Island's twin lights had served as the only guides to the harbor. With the addition of the new lights, mariners would line up Fort Pickering and Derby Wharf Lights after passing Baker's Island on their way into Salem Harbor."