Jan 152017

Finding a secret or hidden room is the stuff of mystery or spy books, but it doesn’t happen in real life… or does it? You are invited to visit the House of Seven Gables in Salem Ma on January 22nd for a symposium and tour of a recently uncovered living space on the second floor.

The Secret Room is in fact one of two “under-utilized 2nd floor rooms. By removing old partitions and 18th century flooring, a large chamber and adjacent living space were uncovered. Also found to add to the historical significance were the original 17th century wide pine floors, hand forged nails and an exposed gunstock post.

Gables executive director Kara McLaughlin has stated that “Rarely does an iconic property with the history and significance of The Gables yield such an opportunity.”

To take advantage of sharing that opportunity for discovery and interpretation, the free symposium will feature staff and some of the region’s restoration specialists recounting what should be most fascinating behind-the-scenes info.

The special tour is set for 9:15-9:45am, followed by a lunch and roundtable session from 1 to 2pm.

Space is limited, advance registration is required, and some on-site parking is available. For more details go to www.7Gables.org/events or call 978-744-0991.

Step back in time and then help not only bring the secret room into the present, but perhaps share an idea or two for its future!

Feb 022016

Secret Rooms Project continues to gather momentum at the House of Seven Gables. Thus far, $120,000 of the projected $200,000 needed to make the project a reality has been raised. What project? What secret?

The House of the Seven Gables has apparently guarded a long-held secret that is now ready to be shared with the world:

“The storied past of The House of the Seven Gables has something more to reveal within the original four walls of this venerable 1668 mansion. Two second-floor chambers (rooms) were partitioned off decades ago and later used for utilitarian purposes. Recent careful removal of the partitions and 18th-century flooring have revealed a large chamber and adjacent living space with original 17th-century wide pine floors, hand-forged nails and an exposed gunstock post.”

Secret RoomsIf you’ve visited the House several times for the various tours, lectures and events and thought you knew it inside and out… surprise!

The goal is to restore these previously private and largely unknown spaces and open them to the public. These newly restored rooms are expected to impart greater scope and meaning to the stories The House of the Seven Gables tells.

For as old as the building is, for as many people that have walked through it, you can well imagine the excitement that is surrounding this project from the Gable staff”s point of view.

From the Gables website:

“To turn this opportunity into a reality we need your help. Restoring these hidden-from-view spaces will involve a lot of tender loving care and require structural reinforcement of a summer beam (the main weight-bearing beam). The project is expected to cost $200,000. The good news is we have already raised over $120,000. We are looking to you to help us raise the balance and launch this exciting new chapter in our nation’s literary and cultural heritage.”

If you are on their email list, then keep an eye on your inbox for details about a crowdfunding campaign, which will soon go live.

Otherwise, to learn more, visit the Gables website.

(Photo courtesy of John Andrews of Social Palates Photography )

Jan 232015

No pro football this weekend. What will you do? What will you do? You could go into a defensive stance and mope around the house. OR, you could call an audible, and go for the option of another house— that is, Salem’s House of the Seven Gables . Make it a team effort and take the entire family for a tour of this historic site.

House of 7 Gables Football InviteThis is their suggested game plan: “Climb the secret staircase, experience living history, and enjoy our beautiful seaside campus!You could even make it an outdoor Family Photo Safari—everyone bring your cell, camera or tablet and spend some creative time snapping photos outside on our campus. Then choose your family’s best photo and send it to us or #h7g.”

They will give away one Family Membership to the winner from all submissions!

When you explore the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion, better known as The House of the Seven Gables, professional guides will lead you on a 35 minute tour that introduces two prosperous merchant families, the Turners and Ingersolls, and reveals some of the earliest Georgian-style interiors. Guests also learn about Salem’s maritime history and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s connection to this legendary home.

And then there is the Museum Store, which besides stocking memorabilia and related items, is now also carrying candy selections from two of Salem’s well-known confectioners. Harbor Sweets and The Old Pepper Company. These candy companies have a history with the city of Salem that makes them both a great fit for the Gables store.

Now through June 25th hours for the House of Seven Gables are daily 10 am-5 pm. Closed on Wednesdays from January 1 through March 29, 2015, except for February 18. For more details, call 978-744-0991. The House of Seven Gables is located at 115 Derby Street.

Winter Wonderland Tour

A bit more adventurous? May we suggest the Winter Wonderland Tour being conducted by the fine folks at the Phillips House, Saturday, January 24 from 2 -3 pm.

“Rediscover the stories and the history of historic Chestnut Street this winter during the Phillips Favorites series. Chestnut Street is even more beautiful with a coat of snow. Bundle up and join us for an architectural walking tour, ending at Phillips House with a cup of cocoa and an optional house tour. We invite our visitors to experience the Phillips House staff’s favorite tours, stories, and movies highlighting the historic Chestnut Street neighborhood during the winter season.”

There may indeed be a coat of snow! What more could you ask for?

This tour is one installment in a six-part series of events which is packaged at $50 for the general public and $20 for Historic New England members. Space may be available at individual programs with admission being $10 for the public and $5 for Historic New England members.

Tour gathers at corner of Summer and Chestnut Streets near Hamilton Hall. Registration is required; call 978-744-0440 for more details or go to www.HistoricNewEngland.org.

McAllister on the Witch House

And if you just can’t get enough of history, we’ve got one more event to share. Jim McAllister, the legend who knows the lore of Salem and the North Shore is into week #4 of “52 weeks, 52 lectures.”

While, according to Jim “The majority of these weekly talks will relate to one or more facets of North Shore history or culture, others to Paris and other important French art centers and themes,” this Saturday, Salem is front and center.

The Witch House/Corwin House, 310 Essex Street will be explored beginning at 6pm.

“An empathetic perspective on the Putnams of Salem Village, an extended family that played a major and unfortunate role in the 1692 Salem Witch Trials, and an examination of the extraordinary social, economic, personal, and political pressures  that may have driven them to do so.”

Due to space limitations, reservations are required. Contact Jim at culturecorner@gmail.com or call 978-979-5907.

Don’t sit by the sidelines this weekend. Get into the game that is Salem

Jan 022015

If you tried visiting the House of Seven Gables at any time over the past couple of days you discovered that you could not get in. But no need to worry. Nothing is wrong.

In fact, according to Kara McLaughlin’s Executive Director comments in the Gables newsletter, everything is fine.

“We saw 25,000 guests in October alone. On September 21st, more than 250 people attended our annual fund-raising event, Taste of the Gables. On November 15th, more than 120 Salem residents took part in our Salem Residents Appreciation Day party as we launched a program to offer free museum admission for Salem residents. Salem residents can now enjoy our historic house museums and waterfront gardens on a complimentary basis year-round, with the exception of October.”

So why close down?House of Seven Gables

In their own words….

Dear Friends,

The House of the Seven Gables Annual Shutdown will take place from January 1 – January 15, 2015.

From January 1 – January 15, 2015, The House of the Seven Gables will be closed for our annual shutdown. During the shutdown we will be working on maintenance projects and housekeeping, to ensure that we are ready to welcome in the new year. We will continue to be active on social media, and update our website as events and programs become scheduled.

2015 is sure to be an exciting year here at The House of the Seven Gables, as we have a lot planned for the months ahead. Be sure to check facebook.com/7gables, and our website www.7gables.org for updates.

We will reopen on January 16, 2015 at 10:00 AM. Check our website for the most current hours and schedule.

Be sure to have a happy and safe New Year, and we will see you in 2015!


The Staff of The House of the Seven Gables

Over the past few months they have also completed some highly visible projects, including the installation of a new, wooden shingle roof on the Hooper-Hathaway House and the construction of a new, architecturally appropriate porch on The Settlement House.

The House of Seven Gables is located at 115 Derby Street, Salem MA.

Dec 082013

Christmas in New England. Today a warm picture of snow outside the home with family gathered around a tree & gifts, or family gathered around the dinner table, smiling and ready for a feast of food. But ’twas not such in early Massachusetts history. And no, you can’t blame the Salem witches for that.

House of Seven GablesAs part of the annual Christmas Tours of the Gables, this year you’ll find much discussion about the fact that Christmas was banned in New England for nearly two centuries. The House of the Seven Gables is offering daily, now through Dec. 31 from 10am to 5pm, a special tour blending the unique history of the mansion with the little known history of Christmas in colonial Massachusetts.

The Puritans bristled at the day being used solely for “reveling.” It was seen as sacrilegious that the day was given over to drinking, feasting and all manner of over-indulgence, instead of quiet contemplation.

Take the tour to hear the story of how the Puritans got their way outlawing Christmas in 1659 and how the holiday inched its way back into the hearts of the population so that Massachusetts officially legalized Christmas in 1856.

Explore the maritime, architectural and literary history of the house and discover Christmas’ transformation from a rowdy seasonal celebration to the peaceful family-centered traditions we recognize today. The rooms of the mansion will be decorated for the holiday tour by local interior decorators, historical societies, and florists.

200 years of history in a walking tour— and you get to see the charming rooms of the House of the Seven Gables; that is a nice present to give to your family, or just yourself.

This special tour is offered during regular hours in December except during the production of A Classic Christmas. Closed Christmas Day. Open on Christmas Eve and New Years Eve, 10am-2pm. For more details on the Tour, please call 978-744-0991.