The House of the Seven Gables
Everything you need to know about The House of the Seven Gables in a minute and a half! Keep scrolling past the video for a full transcript and much more information about The House of the Seven Gables.
Welcome to the Salem Spotlight, a series in which I tell you everything you need to know about attractions, restaurants, hotels, witch shops, tours, and a bunch of other locations in Salem, Massachusetts. Today we’re having a look at The House of the Seven Gables.
Throughout The House of the Seven Gables’ many years, it has inspired authors, artists, tourists, ghost hunters, and many more. It was built in 1668 by a merchant and shipowner named John Turner who was the head of one of the most prominent New England families at the time.
It passed to the Ingersoll family in 1782. In 1804, Susannah Ingersoll inherited the home. For about a four year period in the 1840’s, Ingersoll’s cousin Nathaniel Hawthorne worked just down the road at the Custom House and would pop in frequently. These visits inspired Hawthorne to pen his famous novel The House of the Seven Gables.
After the Ingersoll’s lost the mansion to creditors in the 1870’s, the house bounced between a variety of owners until it landed on the Upton family. The artistic and industrious Uptons were both the first to give tours of the mansion and to sell souvenirs relating to it. This makes The House of the Seven Gables the longest-running Salem attraction!
The final notable owner was Caroline Emmerton, who worked with a local architect in the early 20th century to restore it to its original appearance as well as preserve it for future generations. It is because of Emmerton that The House of the Seven Gables stands in such fantastic condition to this day.
What’s Inside The House of the Seven Gables?
The House of the Seven Gables offers one of the most bang for your buck admission policies there is. With the cost of the ticket you get:
- A 40 minute guided tour of the house itself
- Access to other facilities on the grounds, including: Nathaniel Hawthorne’s birthplace, the Counting House, and the Living History Labs. The latter two both offer activities for kids.
- Open access to the seaside gardens
- An audio tour offered through a partnership with an app.
I’ve taken this tour twice. And both times I had an absolute blast with it. Check out all the images I have from both tours on the images page. My favorite part of the tour is also the most infamous. It’s not often in life one gets to take a hidden staircase to an unfinished 17th century attic. But, the House of the Seven Gables tour lets you do just that. Disclaimer though, you must be relatively thin and fit the do it, it’s a bit of a tight fit. There is also a more leisurely path up to the attic for all who’d rather avoid the tight squeeze.
Another distinguishing characteristic of the tour is that it includes multiple structures and outdoor garden spaces. And all of it is positioned seaside. This makes Gables a perfect stop on a gorgeous day in Salem as, after the tour, you’re free to hang out in the gardens and feel the cool ocean breeze on your witchy face. The other structures on the grounds are absolutely worth checking out. They’re more of a self-guided situation though, although there may be a guide waiting inside to answer questions. All things considered, the House of the Seven Gables tour is well-regarded for good reasons. It’s one of the very few places I recommend for anyone traveling to Salem, even if they’ve been to the attraction before. There’s always some new facet to check out at the Gables.
Hours of Operation
Like many Salem attractions, The House of the Seven Gables has fluctuating seasonal hours:
- January 1 – 16, 2020: Closed
- January to late May: 10am – 5pm
- Late May to Late June: 10am-5pm most days, but until 7pm on Friday and Saturday
- Late June to Halloween: 10am – 7pm
- November and December: 10am – 5pm
- A bunch of seasonal/holiday hours, which you can check out at at https://7gables.org
- Adults: $16
- Seniors aged 65+: $15
- College (need ID): $15
- 13-18 year-olds: $13
- 5-12 year-olds: $11
- Under 5 years-old: Free
- Salem Residents (with proof of residency): Free
The House of the Seven Gables is located a little bit further down Derby St. than Pickering Wharf. Coming from downtown Salem, it’s on the way toward Salem Willows and Winter Island. It’s also a stop on the Salem Trolley. The address is: 115 Derby St. Salem, Massachusetts 01970
Contact the House of the Seven Gables
You can reach the attraction at 978-744-0991 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Music used in the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rQ4KJcOzX4
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