Hello there! And welcome back! Are you ready to do some summer jaunting around New England? Of course you are! Let’s meet up today….in Salem 🙂
Do you recognize this house? Isnt it stunning? It was built in 1668 and is considered Jacobean/Post Medieval style. It is a gem of an antique, in a picturesque location on the shores of Salem Harbor. But its best known as The House of Seven Gables, of Nathaniel Hawthorne fame! During the 19th century, this old Salem home was owned by Hawthorne’s cousin, Susanna Ingersoll. It is said she told him many tales about things that happened in and around the home in its centuries of standing at the harbor shore, and he would visit her often as a young man when he worked at the Salem Custom House. Through his connections to the home through his cousin, it is said that he was inspired it to created one of his most well-known works, the novel The House of Seven Gables.
We were able to visit the site, which is now a stunning museum, on a sunny summer day around noon— as you can tell from the harsh light of the photos! When beginning the tour of the House of Seven Gables, you can choose to do just the garden tour or the garden and the home interior. As we happened to be traveling with a rather disgruntled toddler that day, we opted for just the garden tour— and it was well worth the time we spent there!
Just outside the house is a beautiful garden full of flowers and tables to sit at under masses of wisteria. There’s a gift shop in an old house brought to the property. and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s birth home has also been moved to the site (and can be toured as just part of the garden tour).
One of the most amazing things about this site is its situation right on the Salem Harbor. You can walk to the end of the yard and look out over the beautiful sailboats bobbing in the waters. It was so lovely and such a special memory.
Salem is one of my very favorite towns in New England. I’ve been lucky enough now to see it in both the autumn and the summer. And while without a doubt, autumn in Salem is amazing— summer is fantastic too!
It’s not all witchy business in this Boston suburb, as they also have a storied maritime past. Salem was a port town, with wealthy sea captains and shipping magnates as citizens long after the witch trial frenzy was past. (However— if you wanna see some beautiful photos of the Rebecca Nurse homestead, a victim of the Salem Witch Trials, see this post HERE. So many beautiful things, and I was able to photography inside!)
An unexpected gem in the garden area is this sweet red salt box house— the home where Nathaniel Hawthorne was born! The home wasn’t originally in this location, but was moved to the Seven Gables site as part of the museum. I was able to go inside this home, which had many fantastic Hawthorne artifacts, including artwork and furniture. There was a living history interpreter upstairs working on some old timey crafts (I cant quite remember now, I think maybe making bobbin lace?) and she was so lovely to talk to. It’s always nice when you meet someone passionate about the place they are interpreting at, and inspired me when I am volunteering at Hunter’s Home (The Murrell House) here in Oklahoma.
If you’re interested in learning more about the House of Seven Gables, the museum has a fantastic website that includes a virtual tour and teacher resources. You can look at all that HERE. And if you’re in Salem, it’s a must-see historical site.
And now….well, I had promised you some treats, hadn’t I? How do you feel about artwork? Surely very nice?
Yesterday I made this little painting of The House of Seven Gables and it is my wish to send it off to some far-flung place for one of you to enjoy. And so I will give it away! All you need to do? Is comment on this post! And if you’re feeling sweet and lovely, share this post on your own social media and come back here to leave an additional comment– increasing your own chances of winning!
Thanks again so much for visiting. I have missed blogging, and its my hope to get things active around here again. I’ve missed my friends and I’ve missed chatting with people about good things, shared interests, pretty art. There is too much friction and fighting in this world— especially online. Its time we carve out for ourselves some positive spaces for ourselves. And you’re always welcome here!
Well, thats it for now! Hope you are well! Looking forward to sharing more New England with you!~
Read more Summer in New England posts HERE