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House of the Seven Gables Museum –
Place — House of the Seven Gables Museum
115 Derby Street
Salem, Massachusetts 01970
Phone: (978) 744-0991, extension 116 *
House of the Seven Gables Museum Web Site
The House of the Seven Gables can be found
in Salem, on Derby Street, between Turner street and Hardy street,
not far from the Derby Warf. It has a spectacular view of the
harbor, as the home sits on prime real estate.
The House of the Seven Gables is the
oldest, restored wooden home in New England. Besides having 17th
century architecture, this house museum has "an 18th century
granite sea wall, and two seaside Colonial Revival Gardens.
Nathaniel Hawthorne and his works are
showcased throughout the house museum. Inside, the visitor can see
"more than 2,000 artifacts and objects, more than 40 framed works,
500 photographs and glass plate negatives, and more than 50 volumes
in our rare book library."
Just steps away from The House of the Seven
Gables, the visitor can tour Nathaniel Hawthorne's early childhood
home that was saved and moved here in 1958. Inside, the visitor can
learn all about the man, Nathaniel Hawthorne. Like many children
during his time, he lost his father who died at sea, when he was
four. There were lots of Salem families who lost their
father/husband. One out of four families lost someone at sea.
The House of the Seven Gables also has a
theatre. The following events were listed on their web page:
the Gables * Legacy of the Hanging Judge * A Classic
In 1668, The House of the Seven Gables was
built by a Salem sea captain and merchant, John Turner to be his
family home. Turner had made his fortune in the East Indies trade.
He bought the original property from a widow, Ann Moore. The
original house was beyond fixing up, so he tore it down, except for
the cellar and fireplace. It was a labor of love, a work in
progress, as he added several additions to the home, turning it
into a mansion.
Captain John Turner died at sea, leaving
the mansion to his widow, who married another sea captain, Charles
Redford. The new Mrs. Redford died at some point, and left Captain
Charles with the children. Knowing that the odds were he may also
die at sea, he put a will together, insuring that John Turner's
children would inherit the property. When Charles did indeed die at
sea, Turner's children inherited the property with no problem.
John Turner Jr., during the Salem witch
trials, feared for the safety of his sisters, so he built a secret
staircase along the fireplace up to the second floor, in case the
cruel, sadistic magistrate came prowling around, looking for
potential witches, inspired by the hysteria in Salem.
Three generations of the Turner family did
enjoy the Turner Mansion as their family home. The home was sold
after John Turner's great grandson Edward died without any heirs. A
Captain Samuel Ingersoll bought the property in 1782.
Unfortunately, Captain Samuel Ingersoll died at sea in the 1800s,
but left the mansion to his daughter, Susannah, who was a second
cousin of Nathaniel Hawthorne. She spent the rest of her life in
the mansion, and died in 1858.
Nathaniel Hawthorne would visit with
Susannah often, and eventually was inspired by this
Turner-Ingersoll Mansion to write his 1851 novel, The House of the
Seven Gables. The name stuck, and the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion was
known by many by this name, because of Nathaniel Hawthorne's
The House of the Seven Gables;
Turner-Ingersoll Mansion was described by Hawthorne himself, as
being "a rusty, wooden house, with seven acutely peaked gables,
facing towards various points of the compass. And a huge clustered
chimney in the middle."
He was describing the original John Turner
Mansion, not the home that he was familiar with in 1851. As early
as 1782, Captain Ingersoll had removed 4 of the 7 Gables, along
with several portions of the home. Susannah had shown Nathaniel
remnants of what was left of the removed Gables which some say was
the creative spark that inspired his novel.
After Susannah died, her adopted son
inherited the home, but ran into financial troubles, and had to
sell it in 1879. It stood mostly vacant. By 1883, the home was
badly in need of some TLC and major renovation, if people were to
inhabit it again. It was in danger of being ripped down, but was
saved by Henry Upton who stabilized it. The Upton family called it
In 1908, a mover and a shaker with a big
heart, philanthropist and preservationist Caroline O. Emmerton
bought the home with great plans to restore it, and use it to help
others. 230 years after the mansion was built, the structure of
this mansion had been changed considerably from its original plan,
to fit the needs of the generations of folks who lived here. All 7
gables were gone at this point, along with some of the additions
that Captain John Turner had built.
After buying the home, Caroline O.
Emmerton, formed The House of the Seven Gables Settlement
Association in 1910. Her goals were "to preserve the house for
future generations, to provide educational opportunities for
visitors, and to use the proceeds from the tours to fund her
The first step was to restore and rebuild
the original mansion that Captain John Turner had built for his
family. To restore the seven gables and other period features of
the original home, from the 17th and 18th century, Caroline
enlisted the help of architect, Joseph Everett Chandler, who was a
central force in the early 20th century historic preservation
movement. His philosophy and considerable expertise made sure that
the house was preserved, and restored to its Georgian architectural
"fabric." The result was the restoration of Captain John Turner's
original mansion, to its former glory , complete with the secret
To raise more money for other restoration
projects and most importantly for the programs to help Salem's
Polish immigrants, who mostly lived around The House of the Seven
Gables neighborhood, Caroline set up the tours of the mansion to
bring to life Hawthorne's popular novel, The House of the Seven
Gables, including having the 'cent shop' set in the mansion, as
well as other artifacts and furnishings from Hawthorne's era. This
very popular tour let the visitor step back into time and
experience history and appreciate Nathaniel Hawthorne's life and
Caroline and The House of the Seven Gables
Settlement Association she formed, also bought and saved five
additional 17th, 18th and 19th century structures creating a house
museum park on The House of the Seven Gables Mansion Museum
property: The Retire Becket House (1655); The Hooper Hathaway House
(1682); Nathaniel Hawthorne's Birthplace (c1750); The Phippen House
(c1782); and The Counting House (c 1830). This House of the Seven
Gables Historical House Museum Park has been registered and listed
on The National Register of Historic Places.
So thanks to a philanthropist and
preservationist, Caroline O. Emmerton, and like-minded people, the
visitor can go to not only The House of the Seven Gables House
Museum, but also the other 17th, 18th, and 19th century buildings
mentioned above, that have been moved to this building museum
HISTORY OF MANIFESTATIONS:
People who love their homes while alive,
often want to stay in them, not letting death get in the way! When
their homes are restored, it is like a giant paranormal trigger,
that draws spirits into this world.
( Adam Thoroughgood House * Madrona
Manor * Whalely
House * LeDuc
Mansion * Ringwood Manor )
Children who have died from disease or
accidents, sometimes like to stay in the family home, or a
familiar, safe place.
Farm House Museum * Karsten Inn * Robert
E. Lee Mansion * Kehoe
Sometimes spirits choose to stay in this
world, appearing as children because it was a very happy time in
their life, or because they are trying to work through a childhood
E. Lee Mansion * Bethlehem Hotel )
Water faucets and lights go on and off all
A strong, unknown,
benign presence is felt throughout the mansion, keeping the
Various shadows have been spied by the
living throughout the various floors.
Entity of a
female, thought to be Susan Ingersoll
She has been seen peering out of the
windows before disappearing.
Entity of a little
Likes to play around the attic area, and
look out the gable windows.
A psychic by the name of Lisa was taking a
tour of The House of the Seven Gables, made contact with a
presence, and took a picture on the back porch of the little boy
seen playing up by the gables, mentioned above. Many personal
experiences of staff and visitors have been reported and
Probably so, though there isn't much hard
evidence to back up the personal experiences of staff and visitors.
The volume of personal experiences, and the aura of the place
strongly suggest that entities share the home with staff and
cordially welcome tourists. At night, when the museum is closed,
the spirits still have this home to themselves.
Very few paranormal groups are allowed in
to investigate/or publish their findings, because the folks in
charge don't want to loose the focus on their mission statement: to
be a source of education, preservation and community philanthropy.
At this point, they aren't ready to come completely out of the
paranormal closet yet, though they hint at it through a theatrical
production, and did allow the story found in D'Agostino's book to
be published. They currently have a peaceful coexistence with their
spirits, and don't want to disturb them.
By Thomas D'Agostino
Salem page on HauntedPlacestoGo * "Ghost of the Seven Gables" page on About.com
"A remarkable photograph captures the Hawthorne ghost" - About.com * House of the Seven Gables Museum Web Site