Holy Toledo, It’s Tony Toledo Master Storyteller

Tony Toledo, award-winning storyteller from Beverly, Massachusetts, mesmerizes with his chilling account of Gloucester mariner Howard Blackburn’s tale of survival at sea; his favorite ghost story, “The Bog”; and other tidbits from his amazing repertoire.

Admission is $15. Reservations may be made by email (culturecorner@gmail.com) or text (at 978.979.5907).

Program attendees receive a 20% discount on appetizers, meals, and desserts (beverages excluded) in the Hawthorne Hotel’s Nathaniel’s Restaurant.

The Saga of Howard Blackburn & Other Tales

The story of the fabled Gloucester mariner and blizzard survivor, Howard Blackburn, is a tale of courage, determination and wit – and no one tells it better than Tony Toledo! The Beverly resident, a master storyteller, will also share his favorite ghost story, “The Bog”, and other entertaining tidbits in this one hour program.

Program is presented as part of Jim McAllister’s Wednesdays at the Hawthorne Series. $15, reservations recommended by emailing culturecorner@gmail.com or texting 978-979-5907.

Gadgets and Gizmos

Enjoy a behind-the-scenes tour of Phillips House exploring the inventions and innovations necessary for running a “modern” early twentieth-century household.

$5 Historic New England members and Salem residents
$10 nonmembers

Registration is recommended. Please call 978-744-0440 for more information or register online.

February Vacation at the Gables: Constructing History

Put your thinking cap on during February Vacation week and explore how people built houses in Colonial Massachusetts. What worked best?  What failed? How did they learn from their mistakes?

In this hands-on activity, kids will:

  • Learn about the tools of the trade and which materials they used most.
  • Experiment with different construction techniques at each of our workshop 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.

School vacation programming is included with admission to The Gables. Click here for hours, rates, and information. 

The program is free for Salem residents with valid i.d. and members of The House of the Seven Gables.

ANTI-Valentine Day Tour by Salem Night Tour

The Anti-Valentine Tour takes over the Salem Night Tour. This is the perfect way to spend the worst holiday. Hear about murderous marriages, love gone wrong, and the worst Valentine’s day has to offer. This tour is designed for the hopelessly single, the ironically cool, and the happily in love alike! Last year was amazing, so we’re doing it again!

Tickets ($13) available online.

Celebrate Valentine’s Day with the National Park Service

Visit the Salem Regional Visitor Center February 14-18 and celebrate Valentine’s Day with the National Park Service.  View two new exhibits featuring the model of the Leander which was built as a float for the 1926 Tercentenary Parade in Salem. Also, the mural wall made of faces cut out from 19th-century theater and musical act posters is being restored.   Leave a Valentine note while you are here to this City that we love.  Valentine Day Special: 20% off candy.

“Walking Salem” with Jim McAllister

Jim McAllister will “take the stage” at the Hawthorne Hotel to share for one last time to share experiences, observations, anecdotes, and more than 100 photographs related to his successful “Walking Salem” project.

Last April, Jim set out on foot to explore the city he has called home for nearly 45 years. Armed with the latest Salem map, a broken-in pair of work boots, and an iPhone, he began walking the streets in his own neighborhood. His ambitious plan – to walk every public way in the City of Salem, was completed on December 1.

Lecture admission is $12, seating is limited. To make reservations contact Jim at culturecorner@gmail.com, or if needed, by 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 which now features the same menu as the Hawthorne’s Tavern on the Green.

Dearest Dove: The Love Letters of Nathaniel and Sophia Hawthorne

Salem’s So Sweet weekend is all about the love, wine, and chocolate. Karen Nascembeni of the North Shore Music Theatre and Dana Hersey of North Shore 104.9 will be joined by local playwright Anne Lucas for a unique reading of the love letters of Nathaniel and Sophia Hawthorne. A wine and chocolate reception before the reception is included.

Tickets at 7Gables.org.

Advance Tickets:
Members: $12.50
Creative Salem Members: $15.00
Non-Members: $20.00

Walk-in Tickets: $25.00

For more information, call 978-744-0991 ext. 152.

Where the Bolt of Cupid Fell: Early Modern English Love Magic

The links between love and magic, of enchantment and sympathia, have long been considered by poets, philosophers, and magicians alike.
This talk explores the variety of occult theories and magical practices that seek to grasp both the divinity and madness of love, ranging from remedies of the ancient world, through to the love sorcery of Shakespeare’s day, and even offering some compare-and-contrast to various techniques and ingredients of modern American folk magic and hoodoo. It will consider medical ideas about the elemental Humours, as well as psychological notions of the passions, and both spiritual and physical mysteries of the heart. We will delve into the love magicians’ toolkit, examining means of seduction: from aphrodisiacal herbs to conjuring matchmaking spirits to more forceful bindings, leashes, and so-called “erotic malefic” workings.

Dr. Alexander Cummins is a historian, poet, and cosultant sorcerer whose work focuses on magical books, demonology, herbalism and folk magic as well as love divination and enchantment. His doctoral research centred on magic and the emotions in the pre-modern world.

Tickets: $10.

Black History Month in Salem, Massachusetts

February is Black History Month, and we’re sharing two walking tours that focus exclusively on Salem’s black heritage.

Pick up a self-guided walking tour brochure for Salem’s African American Heritage Sites from the Salem Regional Visitor Center at 2 New Liberty Street. (You can also view and print the tour online here.)

Salem Regional Visitor Center

Following the tour to Hamilton Hall on Chestnut Street, where Curacao immigrant John Remond ran a successful catering business in the early 19th century. Remond was a successful local businessman whose catering business was responsible for planning important events like Salem’s 200th anniversary and a dinner for President Andrew Jackson. Today, Hamilton Hall continues Remond’s legacy by hosting social events each year including weddings, catered dinners, themed balls, lectures, and more.

Continue to Harmony Grove Cemetery, where John Remond and members of the Remond family are buried. From here, learn about Remond’s children, Charles and Sarah, who became known for their activism during Salem’s abolitionist movement in the mid-19th century.

Salem Abolitionist Sarah Parker Remond

Sarah Parker Remond

The two traveled throughout the U.S., Ireland, Scotland, and England where Sarah stayed during the Civil War to convince British Parliament to offer no assistance to the Confederacy. Following the war, she stayed in Europe and moved to Florence, Italy, where she became a physician.

Charles was selected by the American Antislavery Society to work as a representative at a world convention in London, where he also continued to travel from speaking about the importance of the abolitionist movement. His work was supported by abolitionists in Salem as well as William Lloyd Garrison. During the Civil War, Charles worked as a recruiter for the Massachusetts 54th Regiment.

The tour continues to include stops at Lyceum Hall, which was home to the Salem Female Anti-Slavery Society, Pond Street and Rice Street, where the homes of many African American sailors and merchants are located, and Cedar Street, whose residents have included a number of volunteers in the Massachusetts 54th Regiment as well as Regiment Captain Luis Emilio.

Salem's Black Heritage TourPrefer an audio tour instead? The Salem Award Foundation for Human Rights and Social Justice sponsors an audio tour that you can download (for free) on your smartphone. Download the UniGuide mobile app and select “Salem’s Black Heritage” to visit 24 stops around town associated with Salem’s black history. This tour covers historical figures and events from the role of Tituba in the Salem Witch Trials to the success of contemporary author Stephen Hemingway.

Be sure to keep the UniGuide app after your tour, as additional Salem tours, as well as tours for sites around the country, may be found on the app.

Sex & Scandal in 17th Century Massachusetts

TO BE RESCHEDULED DUE TO INCLEMENT WEATHER. Email culturecorner@gmail.com or check back at our events calendar for updates.

An expert on early colonial life, Mary-Ellen Smiley draws on stories found in official town and court records for this surprising, and sometimes-eyebrow-raising, look at the intimate activities of some of our region’s early Puritans.

Program is presented as part of Jim McAllister’s Wednesdays at the Hawthorne Series. $15, reservations recommended by emailing culturecorner@gmail.com or texting 978-979-5907.

The Lighter Side of the 18th Century

Susanne and Larry (aka Prudence Merriweather and Tobias Tripp), well-known local musicians and colonial music historians, whisk you back to 18th Salem for an interactive evening of period music, games, riddles and jokes. You’ll have such a good time, they claim, you may not want to come back to the present day!

Program is presented as part of Jim McAllister’s Wednesdays at the Hawthorne Series. $15, reservations recommended by emailing culturecorner@gmail.com or texting 978-979-5907.