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

Aug 232014

Granted there are several fine homes up for sale in Salem that you can visit on any given Sunday— but we’re talking about the “other” open house, the kind which comes with a guided tour through the history of not only the house, but of the people who lived within as well.

Phillips House

Phillips House SalemFive generations of Phillips family objects are treasured within the walls of Historic New England’s Phillips House, located at 34 Chestnut Street. This is in fact the only house in this very historic district in Salem which is open to the public.

According to the official website: “The unusual collection on display is representative of the Phillips’ extensive travels and interests. It includes Hawaiian and Polynesian objects, as well as fine examples of early American furniture, Persian carpets, and an extensive collection of export porcelain. In the carriage house, visitors can view the family’s collection of carriages and automobiles that spans nearly a hundred years.”

Tours run from 11am to 4 pm, Tuesday through Sunday. The season ends Nov. 2. For specific admission information for individuals and groups, visit www.historicnewengland.org  or call 978-744-0440.

Pickering House

Pickering HouseBuilt in 1651 by John Pickering, it was the home of 10 subsequent generations of Pickerings! It is located at 18 Broad St.

According to the official website: “It is not only Salem’s oldest House, but also America’s oldest Home: home to a single family for over three and a half centuries; home to carpenters, farmers, patriots, military leaders, deacons, diplomats, linguists, and statesmen. And as homes will, it changed with the times.”

It doesn’t taken a historian to imagine the wealth of information almost at your fingertips. The opportunity to not only visit Salem today, but also to see Salem as it was in the beginning awaits you.

Tours operate from 10am to 3pm on Sundays, now through Nov. 30. For specific admission information for individuals and groups, visit www.http://pickeringhouse.org/ or call 978-744-4777.