Apr 282015

It goes without say that when something is nearly 350 years old and still functioning, it has a great deal of history to share. The House of Seven Gables, built in 1668 fits that bill, and the staff have now created a retrospective with a different perspective: A Gracious Host: Visiting the Gables through the Years, is an engaging exhibition showcasing the vibrant history of visitation at The House of the Seven Gables.

Tourism-LadiesYou are invited to journey through the past, and experience the history of one of America’s most famous homes as it transformed from a residence into a cultural icon. Through informational panels and object based exhibits, guests will see the house as they never have before.

The exhibit, running now through August 30th, is in the Visitor Center and is self-guided.

Dan Marshall, Manager of Visitor Services for The House of the Seven Gables explains, “We felt that this comprehensive exhibit highlighting our formation as a museum shared a broad overview of our history, allowing us to focus in on specific aspects of that story in the coming years.”

Most notably, he adds, “some of our upcoming milestones include: the 150th anniversary of our founder Caroline Emmerton’s birth in 2016 and The House of the Seven Gables (The Turner-Ingersoll Mansion) turning 350 years old in 2018.”

A Gracious Host will focus on key moments in the history of tourism at The House of the Seven Gables. From the last residents of the house until today, this exhibition will enthrall visitors of all ages. For more than a century, The House of the Seven Gables has been one of the most iconic historic houses in America. You will discover the beginnings of this historic treasure and how it came to be a popular tourist destination.

Marshall states, “I feel that The House of the Seven Gables offers a unique combination of philanthropic, literary, and architectural history. The museum was founded by Caroline Emmerton in 1910 as the financial support mechanism for her charity, The House of the Seven Gables Settlement Association. The proceeds from the mansion tours, funded the classes, daycare and healthcare that she provided to the Polish immigrant population of Salem. While the museum’s historical programs and the Settlement Association have both evolved over time, our profits still support the community through our annual grant programs.”

House of Seven GablesBut the beginnings of The House of the Seven Gables as a historic site date back before the museum’s founding in 1910. The story begins with the construction of the house by John Turner in 1668. Every house has a story worth preserving, and without the early builders and inhabitants, there would be no story to preserve. Fortunately, the story of the early residents is told on the regular guided tour, but to this point has left a gap between that of Susanna Ingersoll, who died in 1858, and Caroline Emmerton who acquired the house in 1908.

During this 50 year period, the house was left to Susanna’s heir, Horace Connolly, then was owned for four years by a series of absentee owners, and was eventually purchased by the Upton family in 1883, who made it a home once again.

It was the Uptons who recognized the historic importance of the house and invited guests to visit for a fee. They took advantage of the house’s storied past and began to generate greater interest in the mansion as a destination. While this was a step towards the house becoming a historical and cultural institution, it would not be until 1910 when Caroline Emmerton officially opened the house as a museum and base for her Settlement Association that The House of the Seven Gables would become the iconic structure that it remains today.

In all that time there have been many visitors, perhaps you or even an ancestor of yours has walked the halls. Time to walk again and see what you may have missed.

As a reminder, Salem residents can visit the museum free of charge, year-round (except in October); just bring proof of residency. For more details, write to info@7gables.org or call (978) 744-0991. The House of Seven Gables is located at 115 Derby Street, Salem, MA

Dec 212012

…What do you see? Salem merchants getting into the spirit of the holidays. Nearly 40 members of the downtown shopping district participated in this year’s annual Salem MainStreets Holiday Window Contest. The same creative minds that designed their charming store themes have dressed up their storefronts with snow, sparkle, fun and a lot more.

Each year it becomes a greater challenge for our judging committee to choose the winners; there were so many great displays.We hope residents and visitors will take the time to enjoy and appreciate the hard work that went into creating these wonderful displays. This is also a great excuse to walk around Downtown Salem to check out all the new and existing restaurants and businesses.

Winners for 2012

  • Most Traditional: Roost
  • Most Whimsical: Scrub
  • Most Original: Rouge
  • Honorable Mention: Salem Toy Museum

The following businesses participated: Witch City Thrift & Consignment Shop, Harrison’s Comics,  re-find men, re-find women, Griffen Theater,  Penelope’s Pet Boutique, Scrub, Coon’s, Treasures Over Time, A Beautiful Corset at J’Adore Romantic Gift Shop, Tavern in the Square, and Roost.

Also: Seedstitch Fine Yarn, J. Mode, Boston Bead Company, Rouge Cosmetics, Two Girls Shop, Radiance Aveda, Mighty Aphrodite, Modern Millie, Angelica of the Angels, Trolley Depot, Addicted Fashions and Angels Landing.

Also: For Kids Only Afterschool, Bernard’s Jewelers, Witch’s Tees, Louise Michaud Photography,  Living With Pets, The Picklepot,  The Happy Sunflower, Crafters Market and Salemdipity.

Aug 272008



Help tourists have a more enjoyable, satisfying experience visiting Salem by directing them to area businesses and attractions.

Volunteers are needed for two hour shifts on October 4, 5, 11, 12, 18, 19, 25, 26, and 31. Volunteers will staff a booth at the start of the Essex Street Pedestrian Mall where it meets Washington Street. Volunteers will hand out maps and give out information about Salem’s attractions, events and businesses. All volunteers will be trained and receive an official shirt. The training will take place Saturday, September 20 from 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. The training session will be held at the National Park Service Regional Visitor Center at the corner of Essex Street and New Liberty Street.

For more information or to volunteer to be an information guide contact Anne Myers at salemmainstreets@salem-chamber.org or (978)744-0004 x13.

Information Booth Shifts
Saturdays 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. (10 – 12, 12 – 2, 2 – 4, 4 – 6)
Sundays 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. (11 – 1, 1 – 3)
Halloween 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. (10 – 1, 1 – 3, 3 – 5, 5 – 7)

Volunteers may also have the opportunity to assist at the NPS Regional Visitor Center downtown Salem. Additional training to volunteer at the NPS Regional Center will take place immediately following the regular training and last approximately 30 minutes.

If you are interested in either of these opportunities please call us as soon as possible. We need your help!