Wednesday, September 2, 2009
House of the Seven Gables-September 2
I enjoyed touring this fifteen room mansion because I had read The House of Seven Gables by Nathaniel Hawthorne. It was first built in 1668 by a wealthy sea captain,Captain John Turner. It started out as a simple cottage,but with his increased wealth,the captain was able to enlarge it. It then ended up to be a seven gabled house. The next owner,also a sea captain, wanted it to look like a federalist house so he removed the additions with the gables. Gables were added back to the house when Hawthorne's cousin owned it. Later additions included the "Cent Room" and a secret passageway,just because Hawthorne had added them to the house in his book. The "Cent Room" was sometimes added to a house when a sea captain died at sea and his wife needed some income to make ends meet. She was able to sell penny candy and other small items in this addition to the house. The picture I have here is of the entrance to the house,with the Salem Harbor in the background. Also pictured here is the Custom House. Hawthorne worked in this building 1846-49 as a surveyor. Here he conceived his ideas for The Scarlet Letter,and The Custom House Introduction can be found in that book. The book was published in 1851. Just strolling through the neighborhood of this section of Salem was enjoyable. Salem has kept many of its homes of the 17th,18th and 19th centuries. Many different innovative architectural styles can be seen just by walking the streets of the city.