Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Getting the Inside Scoop on the House of the 7 Gables


On Sunday, Sept. 20, a group of BSLUGs had the opportunity to tour The House of the Seven Gables in Salem and hear its history as told by the philanthropist, Caroline Osgood Emmerton (1866-1942). Given the supernatural theme in Nathanial Hawthorne's romantic novel, it was fitting that Ms. Emmerton's spirit spoke to us through our tour guide, Irene, who was decked out in a turn of the 20th century costume befitting the wealthy Salemite. Ms. Emmerton (a colleague of Isabella Stewart Gardner) was not only responsible for preserving the old Turner-Ingersoll Mansion, but also founded the The House of the Seven Gables Settlement House, modeled after Jane Adams's Hull House in Chicago, which provided invaluable social services to the many new immigrants in Salem.

After a delightful tour, complete with a hidden staircase and a gorgeous garden, the BSLUGs strolled along the waterfront. They then continued their lively conversation further down the road at the Pig's Eye restaurant.

Many thanks to Jill Blanchard who made all the arrangements, and to Johanna Umana, Andrew French, and Irene for making such a facinating and lovely day possible!