Monday, February 29, 2016

Secret Room Tour

The House of the Seven Gables has kindly offered two behind the scenes tours of the Secret Room ( for Derby Street neighborhood residents.  The tours will be:

    Saturday, March 5 from 4 to 5 PM

    Monday, March 7 from 4:30 to 5:30 PM

Space is limited, so if we have more interest than space, we will fill the tours by lottery.  If you are interested, please e-mail me at with your availability (Saturday, Monday, or either) by Wednesday, March 3 at 5 PM.  I will confirm spots Wednesday night.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Salem Community Gardens

From Christian Haselgrove:

Salem Community Gardens

Salem Community Gardens rents out raised beds and gardening plots to 400 Salem families. We take great pride in our four amazing gardens, which are paid for by annual plot fees and built and maintained using volunteer labor. Our four garden locations are Palmer Cove (fills up first), Mack Park, Pickman Park, and Splaine Park. Plot fees are Mack & Palmer Cove fee is $30 per plot while Splaine & Pickman are $15. Each garden has its own personality - some plots are large, in-ground plots, other plots are smaller raised beds. 

More information about each garden, along with registration information: Salem Community Gardens

For specific info please contact

Monday, February 15, 2016

Cable Replacment Team February 15

FYI from the Cable Replacement Team.
From: Robert K McCarthy
Councillor Ward One

We're happy to report that all cable splicing on Washington Square South is complete.
On Hawthorne Boulevard, late last week contractors began cable splicing. Barring any unforeseen impediments or inclement weather, they expect to complete their work towards the end of next week.
Cable pulling began on Congress Street on Friday. As you know this process takes about one week to complete. Once installed, the next step will be to splice the cables from inside the manholes. This work is scheduled to begin during the last full week in February, and be completed by the beginning of March.
Cable installation progress on Fairfield Street is ongoing. With one section of cable already installed between the Fairfield manholes and the Canal Street Station, early next week contractors will begin to install the cables to connect the Fairfield Street manholes to the manhole locations on Congress Street. Splicing at the Fairfield manholes will start once installation is complete, and is also expected to be finished by the beginning of March.
Please note that as we get closer to cable removal in the spring, our outreach team will be out advising neighbors and businesses about the upcoming work, and working to mitigate, to the greatest extent feasible, potential inconveniences from the removal process.
As always, police details will be stationed at our worksite to facilitate vehicle, and pedestrian traffic management. We ask folks to continue to exercise caution when approaching all work sites in order to minimize risks to personal safety, and to avoid any interference with construction.
As always, if you have questions, please feel free to contact us through our toll-free hotline (844-SALEM-CABLE) or through the Contact Us feature on the project website.
The Salem Cable Project
The Salem Cable Project on Twitter The Salem Cable Project on Facebook 

Friday, February 12, 2016

Settlement House Meeting

The following notice is from the developers of the Settlement House at 114 Derby Street.

Greetings 114 Derby Street Neighbors,

Please join us on Wednesday evening, February 17th between 6 and 7:30 at The Settlement House, located at 114 Derby Street, to allow us to introduce ourselves and review together our architectural plans and answer any potential questions you may have related to our proposed redevelopment of the property.

Briefly, we propose to substantially renovate both the 1800's structure and its 1980's addition, creating 6 market rate condominiums utilizing a sensitive architectural and landscape architectural approach to our plan for its adaptive reuse within the context of the historic Derby Street neighborhood.

We propose not only to substantially improve the structures but to improve the streetscapes of the frontages at the corner of Turner and Derby occupied by the property.  We will be providing a vastly improved parking area which will provide, on site, the required number of spaces for the residences and street frontage landscaping creating screened-from-view parking and a visual "greenway" to Derby Street and the House of the Seven Gables beyond.

We hope to see you all on Wednesday, but if interested and you would prefer to call with any questions, please feel free to contact Joe @ 508.962.3914 or Larry @ 617.372.7285.

We thank you in advance for your support and look forward to being a part of the ongoing and dynamic Derby Street renaissance.

114 Derby Street Nominee Trust

Joe Skomurski & Larry Frej, Trustees

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

The Secret Room

The House of the Seven Gables has a long-held secret we’re ready to share with the world!

Monday, February 1, 2016

Gables February News Letter

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So far, we have raised $120,000 of the needed $200,000 to make this project a reality.

Keep an eye on your inboxes for details about our crowdfunding campaign, which will go live this week.
To learn more, visit our website at:

 Photo of the Month  #H7G
Use the hashtag #H7G and we might select your image as our Photo of the Month.

Photo courtesy of The House of the Seven Gables Settlement Association.  @h7gables
The Year of Emmerton
Throughout 2016, The House of The Seven Gables will be celebrating the 150th birthday of founder Caroline Emmerton. In 1910, she opened the doors of the famed mansion and collected admission fees which she used to fund her Settlement programs. These programs were for all ages and were meant to enrich the lives of Salem’s primarily Eastern European immigrant community.  Programs included everything from job skills and lessons in English to home economics and the arts. To honor her legacy, we are partnering with Salem Parks, Recreation, and Community Services to offer enrichment programs on our historic museum campus this year. 

On February 7, families are welcome to celebrate the Valentine’s season with a make-your-own Valentine craft program. All materials and professional instruction will be included as well as chocolatey refreshments to celebrate Salem’s So Sweet celebration. The cost will be $5.00/person or $20.00 for a family.

On May 21, come for an En Plein Air painting class and take in the sights of Salem Harbor, The House of the Seven Gables, and our spring gardens in bloom. Join Linda Abbene and paint your choice of a lovely Salem scene. The cost is $45.00. Instruction, canvas, and all materials are included.

Seniors of Salem, stay tuned for a special afternoon at The Gables just for you! This spring, you will be invited for a brown bag lunch in our seaside garden and a special tour of our 2016 exhibit featuring the life and work of Caroline Emmerton. Details will be announced in the Salem Recreation Spring/Summer Guide.

Registration is suggested for all enrichment activities and available at
"The Trustful Guardian: The Lost Letters of Nathaniel and Sophia Hawthorne" by David Moffat
A constant question from visitors in the Hawthorne Birth House, prompted by a line on a sign upstairs, is “Why did Hawthorne burn his wife’s letters?” The incident to which they refer occurred in July of 1853. As Hawthorne prepared to travel to England to become consul to Liverpool, he destroyed his old correspondence.

What would drive a writer to destroy records of his lived experience? Hawthorne’s destruction of the letters may have been a pragmatic move for his literary reputation, or it may have been the act of a private man worried about his private life becoming public. Either way, underlying his simple act are complex ideas about the nature of writing and history. 

Constructing History at The Gables
Saturday, February 13 – Sunday, February 21 11:00-2:00

Come in out of the cold during February vacation and explore how they built houses in Colonial Massachusetts at The House of the Seven Gables.  What worked best?  What failed? How did they learn from their mistakes?

Put on your thinking cap and your hard hat as you…
  • Learn about the tools of the trade and which materials they used most. 
  • Experiment with different construction techniques at each of our hands-on stations using popular building toys. 
  • Fold and decorate your own paper house to take home.
Join us daily at 11:30 & 1:30 for “Why Do We Have Gables?” to explore which parts of historic buildings are the strongest.  Kids will be making shapes with their hands and bodies in this fun, interactive program.

This special programming is part of your museum ticket, which includes guided tours of The House of the Seven Gables and Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Birthplace and self-exploration of our Kid’s Cove maritime history area.

Please visit for more information.
Membership News
In 2016, we’re inviting our members to come behind-the-scenes with the staff at The House of the Seven Gables. On May 16, join our Director of Maintenance and Preservation, Kevin White to learn about historic preservation efforts. Tour the nooks and crannies of our museum campus while learning about how we take care of four centuries of history. There will be two sessions, 11:00-12:00 and 5:00-6:00.

On November 5, join our Collections Care Specialist, Kristen Cunha for a peek into our archives and collections storage facility. Kristen will share stories of some of our best objects and papers rarely seen by the public. There will be two sessions, 10:00-11:00 and 11:00-12:00.

Early in 2016, join Special Projects Manager, Julie Arrison-Bishop for a hard hat style tour of The Gables’ newest project—the secret room. Construction is slated to start in January 2016 and a tour will be scheduled as soon as possible. After the tour, participants will be welcome to share their ideas for the future of the room.

These tour dates and times are free and only for members of The House of the Seven Gables. Please call 978-744-0991 x104 or email to save your space. Space is limited and registration is required.

To become a member, please visit:
Volunteer Opportunities
Be part of one of New England’s premier historic sites and gain valuable skills, knowledge and experience in history, literature, museum studies and functions. 

When you volunteer at The House of the Seven Gables, we work to match your skills, interests and availability with our needs. There are many volunteer opportunities at our organization, including docent, museum store, costuming… just to mention a few. All you need is to do is fill out a volunteer application and let us know where you would like to volunteer. When you become a volunteer you receive a free individual membership as well as 20% off in our Museum Store.

To view a list of available volunteer opportunities at The House of the Seven Gables,
please visit

For more information or to apply for a career/volunteer opportunity, please contact Melissa Reynolds, Human Resources Manager, at 978-744-0991 ext. 111, or
Gifts at The Gables
Just in time for Valentine's Day, visit the Museum Store at The House of the Seven Gables and have a look at our "love"ly selection of unique gifts, books and souvenirs.  

This pair of "Lovey Dovey" salt and pepper shakers is a perfect gift for that special someone.

Available for purchase at The House of the Seven Gables Museum Store. Can't make it to our Museum Store? Call Everett Philbrook, Store Manager at 978-744-0991 x 195 and we can have this item shipped to you.
Upcoming Events 
February 6 and 7
Celebrate Salem So Sweet at The Gables
"Sweet" family activities and discounts at the Museum Store.  Please visit our website for details.
For questions please contact

February 13-21
Constructing History at The Gables
Come in out of the cold and explore how they built houses in Colonial Massachusetts at The House of the Seven Gables.  What worked best?  What failed? How did they learn from their mistakes? Please visit our website for details.
For questions please contact

February 28
9:00am-10:00am & 10:00am-11:00am
MEMBERS-ONLY TOUR - Behind the Scenes: The Secret Room
Do you want to learn more about our big secret? Be amongst the first visitors to our Secret Room project at The Gables. Tours for members of The House of the Seven Gables only. 
To RSVP or for questions, please contact

Coming up in March:

March 16, 2016
Seven Lectures at Seven Gables
"Missing Gables and the Secret Staircase: Joseph Everett Chandler and the Invention of The House of the Seven Gables." with Dr. Timothy Orwig.
For questions please contact

March 19, 2016
A Taste of Derby Street with Salem Food Tours
Join us on a special tour of Derby Street and beyond with Salem Food Tours. The day will start off with a 17th-century food demonstration at The House of the Seven Gables and the remainder of the afternoon will be spent enjoying food and beverages throughout the city. Proceeds from the tour will benefit preservation and education programs at The House of the Seven Gables.
To reserve your spot for this lecture
please visit

March 20, 2016
Salem Women's History Day at The House of the Seven Gables
The House of the Seven Gables will be commemorating Salem Women’s History Day in partnership with other Salem organizations. Join our staff for a tour focusing on the roles that women have played on the property over four centuries. Lectures at 1:00pm and 2:30pm
For questions please contact

March 23, 2016
Wicked Art Bar Night to Benefit The House of the Seven Gables Settlement Association
Join us at the Wicked Art Bar in Beverly to create your own painting of the House of the Seven Gables. Instruction and supplies are provided including an apron, brushes, paints, and a 16×20 canvas. $20 from every seat sold will go directly to the House of the Seven Gables Settlement Association  
To register: 

March 24, 2016
Community Conversations at The Gables
Join us for our first Community Conversation of the year with Marjean A. Perhot, who will propose the question, "What is the Process in the U.S. for Admitting Refugees?"
For questions please contact

For more information or to RSVP to our events, please contact Ryan at 978-744-0991 x104 or

2016 Seven Lectures at Seven Gables Series:

March 16, 2016

Dr. Timothy Orwig, Boston College and Northeastern University
"Missing Gables and the Secret Staircase: Joseph Everett Chandler and the Invention of The House of the Seven Gables"

April 27, 2016

Emily Murphy, National Park Service
"St. Joseph and the Seven Gables: The Polish Community on Derby Street"

May 25, 2016

Eric Jay Dolin, Award-winning Author
"Brilliant Beacons: A History of the American Lighthouse"

June 22, 2016

Mark Beauregard, Author of The Whale: A Love Story
"Hawthorne's Secret"

August 11, 2016

Ken Turino, Historic New England
"The History of the Preservation Movement"

September 21, 2016

Anjali Duva, author of Faint Promise of Rain
"Bells of Change: Tracing the Story of India's Classical Kathak Dance - An Author Talk and Performance"

November 16, 2016

Judy Anderson, Social and Cultural Historian
"Splendor in Marblehead a Century After the Turners"

For more information or to RSVP to our events, please contact Ryan at 978-744-0991 x104or
What's Happening in Settlement?
Settlement Work in the 21st Century:  Citizenship Education

If she could see us now, what would Caroline Emmerton say?
Citizenship education is a vital part of The Gables’ settlement work in the 21st century.  In keeping with Emmerton’s concern for “the strangers in a strange land,” The Gables remains committed to supporting immigrants in the 21st century through vigorous citizenship education.

Honoring this mission, our museum currently provides funding for an ESL and Citizenship program for adults at Bentley Academy Charter School, a program that currently serves 49 adults and 13 children.  The Gables provides childcare support for the adults who attend the evening classes.

Our mission also supports other community initiatives that make life better for new immigrants in other ways.  One of these initiatives will reach a milestone on Tuesday, February 23rd, when officers from the Latino Leadership Coalition, the North Shore Community Development Coalition, Chief Mary Butler of the Salem Police Department, Mayor Kim Driscoll and other municipal officials will gather at City Hall to sign an important document.

The document, a Memorandum of Understanding, will serve as a framework to advance voting rights and political empowerment for Salem’s Latino community.  The memorandum was drafted after the Latino Leadership Coalition received reports of voting rights suppression during the elections of 2012 and 2014. The fact that various community organizations, including The Gables, will gather at City Hall to witness the signing of this document represents a healthy step forward in promoting voting rights awareness among all Salem residents.

The Latino Leadership Coalition met on Saturday, January 30th at the Winter Island Community Room in Salem to discuss strategy on two fronts -- education and citizenship education.  Here, a member details next steps for the Political Empowerment Committee. The LLC has a core group of 17 members.
 What's Happening in Preservation
 We are pleased to announce the awarding of the contract for The Gables second-floor restoration project. Of the many qualified contractors who submitted bids, we have chosen American Steeple and Tower Co. to perform this important work. They are a Salem company that is well versed in historic preservation and restoration. Our structural engineer, (John Wahtne of Structures North) as well as our preservation architect, (David Hart) are familiar with this companies expertise from previous endeavors. Construction is slated to begin within the next few weeks.

In the meantime, conservator Christine Thompson is working on paint and finishes analysis for these spaces. Well known wallpaper expert Richard Nylander has looked at the wallpaper samples that were found so far in this project and has shed light on the time frame of their existence here. These pieces of the puzzle, when put together, will help to develop appropriate interpretation of the spaces once the structural work is complete.

 The first step of the project will be to remove the 1976 plaster ceiling in the dining room to expose the framing as well as a rare surviving example of first period plaster treatment. This is a very exciting opportunity to see this material that is original to the 1668 structure. Following the ceiling removal, measurements can be taken for the fitting and installation of the needed structural components.  As this job progresses it will undoubtedly pose a few challenges for us, but we know well that our guide staff do always present our stories in the most noble fashion. Stay tuned for phase 2.

Membership at The House of the Seven Gables grants you free admission to our guided tours and grounds, discounts on every purchase at our Museum Store, special rates on lectures and exhibits, exclusive invitations to members-only tours and events, and more.

If you are not yet a member of The House of the Seven Gables, CLICK HERE to learn more, or contact Alyssa at 978-744-0991 x 109, or

Hours of Operation
November 2nd-June 26th

Hours subject to change.
For current hours please visit

From January through March 2016, The House of the Seven Gables will be closed on Wednesdays with the exception of February 17 for school vacation week.

During the week of February 13-21, we will be offering family activities from 11:00-2:00daily.

The mission of The House of the Seven Gables Settlement Association is to preserve our National Historic Landmark and leverage its power as an icon of American culture to engage diverse audiences and provide educational opportunities for our local immigrant community.

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The House of the Seven Gables · 115 Derby Street· Salem, MA 01970· USA