The House of the Seven Gables Monthly E-News March 2016
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Caroline Osgood Emmerton:
A Lasting Legacy

By Irene Axelrod, Guest Contributer

Born on April 21, 1866, on Summer Street in Salem (today the location of the Salem Inn), Caroline Emmerton descended from a long line of generous civic and philanthropic-minded citizens. Her family was involved in most of the civic and charitable organizations in Salem.
Caroline Emmerton was privately educated. In 1888, she was working at the Seamen’s Bethel on Turner Street. Sailors were long gone from the area; people living in the neighborhood were in need of services. In 1892, Miss Emmerton visited the settlement house, Toynbee Hall in London. By 1894, at the age of twenty eight, she was serving on the board of the Charter Street Home. All of these activities and concerns must have led to her purchase of the Turner Ingersoll House, known as The House of the Seven Gables, in 1908. She hired the architect Joseph Everett Chandler and the two worked together to convert the house into use as a historic site, a settlement house and a residence for the settlement workers. The house was open for visitors on April 30, 1910.
In 1911, Caroline Emmerton purchased the Hooper-Hathaway House from William Sumner Appleton and moved it to The Gables property. This provided more space for the many settlement programs which helped neighborhood residents to learn English, cook and sew, participate in sports, become familiar with woodworking and act in dramatic performances and many other activities. Purchasing and relocating the Retire Beckett House to the campus in 1924 provided space for an antique shop and afternoon tea service.
In 1999, Caroline Osgood Emmerton was named Person of the Century by Salem Evening News. The award recognizes the lasting legacy of service, historic preservation and education and the continuation of her work long after her death on March 17, 1942.
 Photo of the Month  #H7G
Use the hashtag #H7G and we might select your image as our Photo of the Month.

Photo courtesy of @amybethq
Celebrating a Vision
Throughout 2016, The House of The Seven Gables will be celebrating the 150th birthday of founder Caroline Emmerton. In 1910, she opened the doors of the famed mansion and collected admission fees which she used to fund her Settlement programs. These programs were for all ages and were meant to enrich the lives of Salem’s primarily Eastern European immigrant community.  Programs included everything from job skills and lessons in English to home economics and the arts. To honor her legacy, we are partnering with Salem Parks, Recreation, and Community Services to offer enrichment programs on our historic museum campus this year. 

On May 21, come for an En Plein Air painting class and take in the sights of Salem Harbor, The House of the Seven Gables, and our spring gardens in bloom. Join Linda Abbene and paint your choice of a lovely Salem scene. The cost is $45.00. Instruction, canvas, and all materials are included.
Seniors of Salem, stay tuned for a special afternoon at The Gables just for you! This spring, you will be invited for a brown bag lunch in our seaside garden and a special tour of our 2016 exhibit featuring the life and work of Caroline Emmerton. Details will be announced in the Salem Recreation Spring/Summer Guide.
Registration is suggested for all enrichment activities and available at
Volunteer Opportunities
Be part of one of New England’s premier historic sites and gain valuable skills, knowledge and experience in history, literature, museum studies and functions. 

When you volunteer at The House of the Seven Gables, we work to match your skills, interests and availability with our needs. There are many volunteer opportunities at our organization, including docent, museum store, costuming… just to mention a few. If you're interested in volunteering, please fill out an application and let us know where you would like to volunteer. When you become a volunteer you receive a free individual membership as well as 20% off in our Museum Store.

To view a list of available volunteer opportunities at The House of the Seven Gables,please visit

For more information or to apply for a career/volunteer opportunity, please contact Melissa Reynolds, Human Resources Manager, at 978-744-0991 ext. 111, or
Gifts at The Gables
In celebration of Women’s History Month, the Museum Store is drawing attention to a book titled The Chronicles of Three Old Houses.

The book was published in 1935 by our founder Miss Caroline Emmerton, and its purpose was to inform the public of her personal account of how she was able to fund Settlement work in Salem by opening The House of the Seven Gables for guided tours. This was not an easy task for her to accomplish, as the house had been through several changes and alterations over the years. In the book, we learn that Miss Emmerton had a long acquaintance with the house.

When the opportunity came for her to purchase the house, she secured the assistance of Joseph Everett Chandler, a leading preservationist at the time. Then, the process of returning the house to its earlier appearance began. The original mortise holes were revealed, showing where a few missing gables once were. The discovery of the framed overhang on the south wing was revealed, and the missing central chimney was rebuilt with a secret staircase inside.

In Chronicles, Miss Emmerton also describes how she was able to purchase the Hooper-Hathaway House (1682), and move it from its original location on Washington Street, as well as the Retire Beckett House (1655), which had been built on a portion of Beckett Street that no longer exists today.

Caroline Emmerton’s belief in fellowship lead her to create the historic site that we enjoy today. She donated it all out of her own sense of personal duty and community pride. Over one hundred years later, we are still carrying on her mission of serving the local immigrant community. Her book is still available for purchase today and is exclusive to our Museum Store.

Available for purchase at The House of the Seven Gables Museum Store. Can't make it to our Museum Store? Call Everett Philbrook, Store Manager at 978-744-0991 x 195 and we can have this item shipped to you.
Salem Women's History Day
Mayor Kimberley Driscoll has proclaimed Sunday, March 20, 2016 Salem Women's History Day. Join The House of the Seven Gables as well as other local community and cultural organizations in a day of learning about the important roles women have played in Salem's history for over four centuries. All tours, lectures, and exhibits are free for Salem residents.


The House of the Seven Gables will host a special tour focusing on the roles that women have played on the property for over four centuries. These tours will take place at 11:00, 12:00, and 3:30. Local historian Robin Woodman will offer her lecture, "Strong Women of The Gables" at 2:30 p.m.
Dina Vargo, author of the "Wild Women of Boston" will speak at 1:00 p.m. Part of her talk will include new research information about an influential woman and her role in the Settlement movement of the early twentieth century. Join us for the reveal! A book signing at the Museum Store will follow her talk.
The lectures are free. Tours are free for Salem residents and members and $12.50 for the general public.

Please click here for a full schedule of events around Salem.
Upcoming Events 
March 16, 2016
Seven Lectures at Seven Gables
"Missing Gables and the Secret Staircase: Joseph Everett Chandler and the Invention of Th House of the Seven Gables." with Dr. Timothy Orwig.
For questions please contact

March 19, 2016
A Taste of Derby Street with Salem Food Tours
Join us on a special tour of Derby Street and beyond with Salem Food Tours. The day will start off with a 17th-century food demonstration at The House of the Seven Gables and the remainder of the afternoon will be spent enjoying food and beverages throughout the city. Proceeds from the tour will benefit preservation and education programs at The House of the Seven Gables.
To reserve your spot for this event
please visit

March 20, 2016
Salem Women's History Day at The House of the Seven Gables
The House of the Seven Gables will be commemorating Salem Women’s History Day in partnership with other Salem organizations. Join our staff for a tour focusing on the roles that women have played on the property over four centuries. Lectures at 1:00pm and 2:30pm 
For questions please contact

March 23, 2016
Wicked Art Bar Night to Benefit The House of the Seven Gables Settlement Association
Join us at the Wicked Art Bar in Beverly to create your own painting of the House of the Seven Gables. Instruction and supplies are provided including an apron, brushes, paints, and a 16×20 canvas. $20 from every seat sold will go directly to the House of the Seven Gables Settlement Association  
To register: 

March 24, 2016
Community Conversations at The Gables
Join us for our first Community Conversation of the year with Marjean A. Perhot, who will propose the question, "What is the Process in the U.S. for Admitting Refugees?"
For questions please contact

For more information or to RSVP to our events, please contact Ryan at 978-744-0991 x104 or

Coming up in April

April 8, 2016
Caroline Emmerton: An Unbounded Vision Exhibit Opening Reception
Help us celebrate a vision by joining friends and supporters of The Gables for the opening reception of our 2016 exhibit honoring the life and legacy of our founder
For questions please contact

April 16-24, 2016
April Vacation Family Programming - Living History Labs
What was it like to write a letter with a quill?  What did people eat in 1668?  What chores did they do?  Find out this April vacation in our Living History Lab at The House of the Seven Gables, where guests will play both scientist and historian by getting their hands and minds on some fun and engaging experiences from the past.
For questions please contact

April 27, 2016

Seven Lectures at Seven Gables 

"St. Joseph and the Seven Gables: The Polish Community on Derby Street" with Dr. Emily A. Murphy.
For questions  please contact

April 28, 2016

Community Conversations
William LeGault, Councilor-at-Large for the City of Salem, will dive deeply into the questionWhy Can’t These Immigrants Be More Like Us?  Drawing on his own family experience as he grew up in the Point neighborhood, LeGault will discuss the perspectives of previous generations of immigrants towards the more recent immigrants who have come to Salem.
For questions please contact
What's Happening in Settlement?
Breaking Through:  Latino Community Reaches a Milestone in Citizenship Education

On Tuesday, February 23rd, officers from the Latino Leadership Coalition, the North Shore Community Development Coalition, Mayor Kim Driscoll, Chief of Police Mary Butler, and other municipal officials gathered at City Hall to sign an important document.

The document, a Memorandum of Understanding, serves as a framework to advance voting rights and political empowerment for Salem’s Latino community.  The memorandum was created after the Latino Leadership Coalition received reports of Latino voter harassment and intimidation in Salem during the elections of 2012 and 2014.

The reports were documented and presented to the City Clerk, Board of Registrars, City Councilors and Mayor Kim Driscoll on March 26, 2015. They were subsequently formally discussed at a meeting with the City Clerk and Board of Registrars at City Hall on August 20, 2015.  Members of the public, including two residents of the Point neighborhood who gave testimony about the voter intimidation they experienced, also attended this meeting. 

The Latino Leadership Coalition, a grassroots organization made up of Latino parents and educators, took up the struggle that the North Shore Community Development Coalition and Salem State University faculty and students had undertaken after the elections of 2012, when reports of voter intimidation in the Point neighborhood initially surfaced.  These reports were brought to the attention of city officials at the time, but received no response.

The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding by the Latino Leadership Coalition, city officials, and community partners represents a healthy step forward in promoting voting rights awareness among all Salem residents.
 What's Happening in Preservation
Construction for the Secret Rooms project kicked off on February 1. American Steeple and Tower, Inc. of Salem is the selected contractor for the project and has started work on the removal of the 1976 plaster ceiling in the dining room. The next step in the process will be to work with the engineering plans from Structures North to create the steel framing that will reinforce the summer beam and floor joists that support the dining room chamber. For the time being, visitors can view original 17th century plaster and decorative finishes.
Over the next month, American Steeple and Tower will be installing the steel framing and also working on restoring the Accounting Room to an earlier configuration. Through early 2018, our staff will be working with a group of researchers to interpret the Secret Room space. As we choose how this room will be finished, The Gables has launched a crowdfunding campaign through We have a goal to raise $30,000 in the coming weeks and need your help to finish this project strong.

Attention all members! Keep an eye out in your mailbox for your exclusive print newsletter, Views From The Gables, with more extensive articles and a complete calendar of eventswhich will be arriving soon.

Membership at The House of the Seven Gables grants you free admission to our guided tours and grounds, discounts on every purchase at our Museum Store, special rates on lectures and exhibits, exclusive invitations to members-only tours and events, and more.  

If you are not yet a member of The House of the Seven Gables, CLICK HERE to learn more, or contact Alyssa at 978-744-0991 x 109, or

Hours of Operation
November 2nd-June 26th

Hours subject to change. 
For current hours please visit

From January through March 23, 2016, The House of the Seven Gables will be closed on Wednesdays. We will be open 7 days a week beginning on March 24.

The mission of The House of the Seven Gables Settlement Association is to preserve our National Historic Landmark and leverage its power as an icon of American culture to engage diverse audiences and provide educational opportunities for our local immigrant community.