Famous First Lines

“Halfway down a by-street of one of our New England towns stands a rusty wooden house, with seven acutely peaked gables, facing towards various points of the compass, and a huge, clustered chimney in the midst.”

Nathaniel Hawthorne had hoped to finish The House of the Seven Gables by November, but, like many writers even today, finishing a novel on deadline can be difficult. The Witch City Writers challenges you to a speed writing event using the famous first line of Hawthorne’s novel as inspiration.

This event is $5.00 for the general public and free for members of The Gables and Witch City Writers.

Click here to reserve your spot for this workshop.  For more information email jarrison@7gables.org or call 978-744-0991 ext. 152.

Legacy of the Hanging Judge

In 1692 the Salem Witch Trials wrought havoc on a small New England community. “Legacy of the Hanging Judge” replays the events in the words of those who lived through the harrowing times —and those who did not fare as well. The performances take place in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s birth house. Prepare to be interrogated by magistrate John Hathorne, Nathaniel Hawthorne’s great-great grandfather, infamous for his role in the condemnation and deaths of accused witches. Encounter the tormented, the accused and their accusers in this interactive theatrical experience. Beware. You may find yourself accused of “writing in the devil’s book!”

Performances begin every ten minutes in The Nathaniel Hawthorne birth house and last approximately 35 minutes. Last performance begins at closing. Advance ticket purchase highly recommended. Visit 7gables.org for information and tickets.

Tickets for each of the plays (Legacy of the Hanging Judge and The Spirits of the Gables) is $15 or $28 for a combination ticket. The combination ticket is available for any two performances on the same evening. Advance ticket purchase highly recommended. Visit 7gables.org for information and tickets.

Deliver Us from Evil: Counter-Magic in Early New England

Emerson W. Baker of the Salem State University History Department will talk about why folk magic was far more common in colonial New England than most of us realize.  Daisy wheel marks, witch bottles, well-worn shoes by fireplaces or a horseshoe over a doorway are examples of the counter-magic employed to protect homes and families from evil. They are also evidence that New Englanders dabbled in magic, and feared witches and supernatural forces long after the Salem witch trials ended.

The lecture will be followed by a book signing with Dr. Baker and his work, A Storm of Witchcraft.

This lecture is $10.00 for the general public and free for members of The Gables. Advance tickets will go on sale for this lecture mid-July, 2018.

For more information, email jarrison@7gables.org, or call 978-744-0991 ext. 152.

Emerson “Tad” Baker is interim dean of Graduate and Professional Studies and a professor of History at Salem State University.  He is the award-winning author of many works on the history of and archaeology of early New England, including A Storm of Witchcraft: The Salem Trials and the American Experience. He has served as an advisor for PBS-TV’s American Experience and Colonial House. Baker is a member of the Gallows Hill Project team who recently confirmed the witch trials execution site, and he has co-authored an iPhone app on the witchcraft crisis.

Layers of Paint, Layers of History

Christine Thomson is a local conservator whose specialty is paint analysis. This scientific technique is used in historic buildings to help with restoration work and to share better historical information with staff and visitors alike. Ms. Thomson will talk about the importance and techniques of paint analysis and share her 2016 research findings from The House of the Seven Gables. In 2018, The Gables celebrates its 350th anniversary and this talk is complementary to the exhibit These Walls Do Talk, which opens on April 6.

This talk is being held as part of the Essex National Heritage Area’s Trails and Sails weekends. Check out their page for a week of fabulous events around Greater Boston.

This talk is free and open to the public. Please click here to register.

Salem Food Tour: Wine & Cheese Stroll at the Phillips House

Salem Food Tours are guided food and cultural walking tours of historic Salem, Massachusetts. Taste cheese, wine, sweets, and spices along a one-mile route as you take in the beauty of Salem from the historic McIntire District to the waterfront area. Learn about Salem’s illustrious spice trade history, as well as modern Salem’s thriving cultural and culinary scene. Proceeds from the tour support preservation of Salem’s Historic New England sites.

$40 Historic New England members
$50 nonmembers

Advance tickets required. Please call 978-744-0440 or buy online.

Four Centuries of Music Festival

The House of the Seven Gables turns 350 years old in 2018. Join us for a festival with a progressive blend of music from early American history all the way through today at this unique festival by-the-sea. Get ready to dance and enjoy during this summer celebration!

A lineup of performers, refreshments and more will be listed as information is confirmed.

Tickets will go on sale late-spring 2018.

Hawthorne 101 and Photo Hunt

Confused by some of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s verbose vocab? The Witch City Writers will give you a download of the language of 1851 by looking at passages from The House of the Seven Gables. Next, grab your camera and set off to search the grounds of the House of the Seven Gables to find the nooks and niches described by Hawthorne in the book. Document your findings for the chance to win a prize.

This event is $5.00 for the general public and free for members of The Gables and Witch City Writers.

Click here to reserve your spot for this fun event. For more information email jarrison@7gables.org or call 978-744-0991 ext. 152.

Living History Labs at the Gables

Try your hand at history! The Living History Lab hands-on history program at The House of the Seven Gables allows the young and young-at-heart to learn about history through a unique set of experiments.

Living History Labs take place on Saturdays and Sundays from 10:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. and 2:00 – 4:30 p.m. Activities and location vary daily.

All events are included with admission to museum. Admission is free for Salem residents and members of The Gables. The annual exhibit in the Visitor Center is free and open to the public. For rates, hours, and more details, please visit www.7Gables.org.

Enduring Hawthorne: A Marathon Reading of “The Scarlet Letter”

Starting at 9:00 AM on Saturday, July 7th, and running until about 7:00 PM that evening, Salem Maritime National Historic Site will be hosting “Enduring Hawthorne: A Marathon Reading of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter.” With the help of many, many volunteers we will read The Scarlet Letter from beginning to end. Join us from the beginning or stop by to listen as the novel progresses. Watch for special “Hawthorne’s Custom House” tour and the opportunity to make your own scarlet letter to publicly state your personal sins.

Cunning Folk: English Occult Practices in Early America

From astrology to necromancy and back again, the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century British colonies of New England and elsewhere seemed awash with sorcery. This is a talk about the ideas of magic which early modern English colonists brought with them to the Americas: from their preconceptions about Native ritual and heathenry, to almanacs of star-lore and prognostication, and from common forms of folk magic and divination to high-brow treatises on alchemy and handbooks based on medieval spirit conjuration.

This talk is presented by the historian and diviner Dr Alexander Cummins, himself an English magician now living in these United States. Dr Cummins will lead us on an exploration of what early American magicians did and how they went about doing it. Along the way, we will learn about how shadowy colonialist fears were projected onto indigenous peoples and their cultures, as well as much of the necessary background and context of “everyday practical magic” and arch occult philosophy alike that preceded the Salem witch-trials.

Tickets $10.00

Ella Fitzgerald: From Reform School to the Queen of Scat Cat & Jazz

Salem’s popular “music man” Bill Sano chronicles the improbable rise of Ella Fitzgerald from the crime-ridden slums of metropolitan New York and a reform school to the heights of the world music stage. Fitzgerald’s magnificent performing career lasted nearly sixty years, included collaborations with the likes of Duke Ellington and Dizzy Gillespie, and garnered for the legendary scat and jazz singer an amazing 14 Grammy Awards.

Admission is $15.00.

Reservations may be made by email (culturecorner@gmail.com) or text (at 978-979-5907).

Program attendees are eligible for a 20% discount on appetizers, meals, and desserts (beverages excluded) in the Hawthorne Hotel’s Nathaniel’s Restaurant, now featuring the same menu as the hotel’s Tavern on the Green.