Oh the weather outside is frightful…

Though it’s no winter of 2015, the Salem area has been hit with a few days of the white stuff. It was a perfect backdrop for this weekend’s Salem’s So Sweet celebration. Over 20 ice sculptures were on view around the city ranging from Cinderella’s Carriage to the heart shaped candy dish we co-sponsored with our friends and neighbors at Ye Olde Pepper Companie across the street.

We also hosted two sugar-filled days of cookie decorating and partnered with Salem Parks, Recreation, and Community Services to offer Family Valentine Crafts.

Be sure to save-the-date for Valentine’s weekend in 2018–who knows what we’ll plan for our 350th anniversary celebration!

Get your Groupon!

Did you know that The House of the Seven Gables is currently running a Groupon? While the admission deal is great, we’d love for you to consider all that membership has to offer!

In 2017, you can enjoy:

  • Free admission for unlimited visits to our campus and guided house tours
  • Free admission to this year’s Seven Lectures at Seven Gables
  • An invitation to enjoy our Life and Labor exhibit opening on April 7
  • A Lunch on the Lawn party on May 21
  • A chance to enjoy Salem’s popular Fourth of July celebration from our Seaside Lawn
  • A member-exclusive preview of our October Performances
  • A behind-the-scenes tour with our collections staff
  • A 10% discount on every purchase at our Museum Store
  • Monthly E-news & members-only quarterly newsletter, Views from The Gables

What are you waiting for?! Click here to join: https://www.groupon.com/deals/the-house-of-the-seven-gables-1

What’s Happening in Preservation?

The “Secret” Symposium was held on January 22 to bring together the construction team for the Secret Rooms Project and to introduce the next steps to prepare for the room’s opening in 2018. Special Projects Manager Julie Arrison-Bishop shared the tale of wallpaper selection for the Accounting Room portion of the project.

Richard Nylander, a world-renowned expert on historic wall coverings, consulted with The Gables as part of the project. He analyzed a dozen different paper hangings found in both the Dining Room Chamber and Accounting Room. The wallpapers dated from the late-eighteenth to the early-twentieth centuries. The wallpaper pictured here, Diana, has a long history with the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion and was the suggested choice for reproduction.

Diana was found on some of the earliest layers of the Accounting Room and matched samples found in the archives—helping to solidify the history of it in the house. It was covered by another pattern in the early-nineteenth century. In the early-twentieth century it is presumed that Caroline Emmerton had this wallpaper reproduced for the parlor at The House of the Seven Gables. Her reproduction was done by the Birge Company out of Buffalo, NY and was a popular paper purchased for private homes in the same time period.

In 2017, we’ll come full circle with this historic treasure. Thanks to a partnership with Adelphi Paper Hangings, LLC we’ll soon be installing this handcrafted wallpaper back to its rightful place in our nearly 350-year old mansion.


2017 Wallpaper Images for Adelphi (31)

What’s Happening in Settlement?

On February 22nd, at 6:00 p.m., The Gables will begin the third year of its Community Conversations on Immigration.

The main topic of the discussion on February 22nd will be sanctuary cities. Salem Mayor Driscoll and Mayor Joseph Curtatone of Somerville will give an overview of the pros and cons that civic leaders consider as they think about applying this status to their city.

As the nation begins this tumultuous year, the Gables’ community conversations are gaining steam. Throughout Salem, forums are being offered at churches and other institutions for people to share their thoughts on sanctuary cities and immigration reform.

The primary goal of The Gables in hosting these dialogues is to encourage all residents and civic leaders of Salem and surrounding communities to listen, learn, and share their thoughts on immigration and immigration reform.  The immigration conversations serve as an educational tool to explore some deeply entrenched perceptions and misperceptions that new immigrants and the descendants of earlier generations of immigrants have about each other — and sometimes about themselves and their own heritage.

Salem State University, during its week-long celebration of the legacy of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., offered a forum entitled Social Activism 101:  Revolutionary Reflection. The forum stirred many people to think about the pressing civil rights issues of the day, including immigration reform.

Similarly, another forum organized on January 24th by three churches and faith leaders in Salem brought people together to reflect on the pros and cons of sanctuary cities and the moral stance a city might take, as reflected in this flyer.

Future scheduled conversations include:

March 22, 6:00 p.m. – Roundtable discussion — Participants Dr. Nik Theodore, researcher at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and Salem Police Chief Mary Butler will discuss police involvement in immigration enforcement, as well as the perceptions of Latino communities about this partnership.

May 17, 6:00 p.m. Jeanne Kempthorne, Salem resident and lawyer will discuss the exploitation of immigrant labor by large landscaping firms.

July 19, 6:00 p.m.  Mary Lui, Professor of American Studies and History at Yale University and author of The Chinatown Trunk Murder Mystery will explore the sensationalist press coverage and racist attitudes that surfaced in the early 20th century in New York during this dramatic trial.

Sept. 14, 6:00 p.m.  Prof. Avi Chomsky of Salem State University will share the dramatic, but relatively unknown immigrant labor history that sprang from Salem’s Point neighborhood during the Pequot Mills Strike of 1933.



Bundle up and enjoy our new audio tour

Visitors to The House of the Seven Gables can now enhance their stroll of our historic grounds with a brand new audio tour, just launched on January 13. The audio tour takes about 20 minutes and will allow you to learn about our National Historic Landmark District museum campus, landscape design, and unique dual mission of preservation and education.

The audio tour was produced jointly with Gables staff and UniGuide. To enjoy this tour on your smartphone or tablet just download the UniGuide app.

The audio tour is free with admission to The Gables. Free grounds passes will be available during Salem’s So Sweet weekend on February 11 -12, 2017.

A “Secret” Symposium

Even though the secret is out about the Dining Room Chamber the crew who worked on the project wants to share their findings with our supporters! Join us to meet the people who worked to complete the construction phase of the project and to learn about our plans for the room as The Gables prepares to celebrate its 350th anniversary in 2018.

During this symposium guests will learn about the architectural planning, engineering, and construction as well as findings from historical research. A tour of the project will be available from 9:15 – 9:45 a.m. A lunch and roundtable session to help brainstorm ideas to share the history of the room will take place from 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. Space is limited and advance registration is required.

This event is free. Donations toward the second phase of the project will be accepted.

To reserve your spot for the symposium please CLICK HERE; email groups email jarrison@7gables.org, or call 978-744-0991 ext. 152.

A New Year of Support

With the new year comes new opportunities to support The House of the Seven Gables. Beginning in April, our annual exhibit, Life and Labor Over Four Centuries at The Gables, will explore the untold stories of the people who worked in the buildings and on the grounds of the site. Opportunities for sponsorship are available for this important exhibition, including panel sponsorship for our 10 interpretive panels.

In the spring our annual appeal kicks off for a six week run, followed by an end of year drive. This appeal is critical to our mission’s success, and we rely on our supporters to keep our work going.

Our annual special event, Taste of The Gables, is looking for volunteers with fundraising experience to serve on the planning committee, sponsor the event, or become a host/hostess! This year’s event will be held on Sunday, September 17. Tickets will be available in the summer.

A brand new initiative that we will be offering in 2017 is our Partner Sponsor program to support events and programs during the entire year.

Also new is our Legacy Program which offers friends a way to plan a major gift or include The Gables in their estate.

To support The Gables this year through any of these programs, contact Karen Barter at kbarter@7gables.org, or call 978-744-0991 x126.

What’s Happening in Preservation?

Closing to the public in early January does not mean that we sit idle. We work right 1-18-16-winter-picturesthrough winter here at The Gables, just like Jack Frost! This public closure affords us the time to accomplish a wide range of projects to prepare for the coming year.  Some of the tasks that we will complete include a deep cleaning of our public spaces and the care of our historic collections.

As technology and research progress, so do the best practices for caring for our history. To keep up with the current museum practice, we will be implementing the latest methods as we shine the silver, buff the brass, and make the glass gleam!  You can see for yourself how we did when we re-open on January 13.

Gifts at The Gables

Salem: Cornerstones of a Historic City is the indispensable guide to historic Salem. Learn about the major aspects of Salem’s history: maritime trade, the Witch Trials, exceptional architecture, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. This volume includes over seventy illustrations and six maps.

This book and more are available for purchase at The House of the Seven Gables Museum Store. Can’t make it to our Museum Store? Contact Everett Philbrook, Store Manager at 978-744-0991 x195 or ephilbrook@7gables.org, and we can have this item shipped to you.


Life and Labor over Four Centuries

In 2017, The House of the Seven Gables will examine life and labor over four centuries on our museum campus which is a National Historic Landmark District. The annual exhibition will focus on the roles of those that have worked in the buildings and on the grounds of our site ranging from enslaved people to settlement workers. The exhibit committee has been extensively researching the inhabitants of The Gables and learning about how their work compared to others in the region and throughout North America. Mark your calendars for the exhibit opening event on April 7.

The popular Seven Lectures at Seven Gables series will kick off on March 2. A.B. Chitty and Priscilla Murolo will be presenting From the Folks who Brought You the Weekend: A Short, Illustrated History of Labor in the United States. The lecture series will conclude with William Martin’s newest work of historical fiction—The Mother Lode—due out this summer. In between, visitors will have a chance to learn about slavery in Essex County and New England, maritime work, and the upstairs/downstairs story related to domestic staff.

The life and labor theme will use the Community Conversation series to open up dialogue about the immigrant experience and the impact of labor. The first Community Conversation is scheduled for May 17. Local activist Jeanne Kempthorne will talk about the impact of gas-powered lawn equipment in the landscaping business, particularly the people who work with the equipment. Mary Lui of Yale University will present her work, The Chinatown Trunk Mystery. Her conversation will talk about the impact of media on immigrants in the early 20th century and today. Avi Chomsky will return in September to share the history of labor in Salem’s Point neighborhood.

Final details are in the works for a partnership with The Upstart Crows to offer a theatrical presentation about the life of Joan Sullivan, an indentured servant who worked for John Turner. The Living History Labs and family programs will allow for hands-on history experiences that share the work story with our young visitors. Liz Duclos-Orsello from Salem State University will offer a walking tour of The Point neighborhood about the geography of work that focused on both the work in the mills and the work in the homes. Labor themed tours will be offered throughout the year—be sure to follow us on Facebook or check out our event calendar for the most up-to-date events.