Meet the Member - The House of the Seven Gables
An American treasure…
In 1668, merchant and ship-owner John Turner built a house on Salem Harbor that was destined to become one of America’s most beloved historic homes. Designated a National Historic Landmark District in 2007, The House of the Seven Gables is best known today as the setting of world-renowned American author Nathaniel Hawthorne’s 1851 novel.
In 1910, Salem philanthropist Caroline Emmerton restored the house and opened it to the public as a museum, using proceeds from ticket sales specifically to fund settlement work that benefited immigrant families. Over a century later, The House of the Seven Gables Settlement Association is dedicated to continuing Emmerton’s dual mission of preservation and education.
The House of the Seven Gables Settlement is a 501(c) 3 charitable nonprofit organization. We are supported by membership, annual donations, and visitation income. We do not receive federal funds to support our dual mission of education and preservation. Please consider a donation or becoming a member to help us continue our work in the community. The House of the Seven Gables Settlement Association is a 501(c)(3) charity and your donation is fully deductible under the law.
Tell us a bit about you and what you do?
House of the Seven Gables Settlement Association was founded in 1910 by Caroline Emmerton. She restored the now 350-year-old mansion and opened it for tours. Emmerton wanted to share the stories of Salem's history and Nathaniel Hawthorne with the world through the 1668 house. But she didn't stop at history. Miss Emmerton took the proceeds from tours and used them to support educational programs for newly arriving immigrants to Salem. Today, the mission continues. With a robust lineup of programming, special tours, and events, The Gables remains a vibrant institution. Best of all? The organization still supports educational initiatives like ESL and Citizenship classes as well as a dual-language summer enrichment program for immigrants in the North of Boston region.
What part of your job would you consider creative, and why do you enjoy that part of what you do?
Historic house museums are morphing into community centers. The days of rooms full of spinning wheels have gone by the wayside in favor or authentic historical experiences and educational opportunities. The Gables is constantly pushing the needle in terms of offerings for tourists and locals alike. You're invited to experience a theatrical program, a lecture with a seasoned scholar, or even yoga on the lawn.
How does your creative work contribute to the growth and stability of the Creative Economy?
The House of the Seven Gables Settlement Association believes in the power of partnership to support history and creativity in Salem and beyond. The organization seeks to find ways to work with local creatives from En Plein Air days to musical events to theatrical performances--all of which tie into our mission and expand our offerings to the public.
What’s your favorite part of running/managing a local business?
The staff at The Gables strongly believes in the magic of our site and its impact on visitors. Whether you are taking a cozy tour while watching the snowfall or sitting under the wisteria arbor with a good book in hand, opportunities abound for ways that you can enjoy the National Historic Landmark District. Being a part of a world-class destination that people from around the world strive to visit and then getting to share 350 years of stories with these visitors is an unbelievable experience. The staff also supports the continued work that we do to offer educational opportunities to newly arriving immigrant families and recognizes that the magic of our site helps us in accomplishing those goals.
What’s the one thing people would be surprised to learn about you our your business?
Despite sharing our mission with so many people, what seems to be most surprising is that we have a dual mission of preservation and education. The organization has recently shifted its educational programming for immigrants to a direct service model. Over 60 people participated in the spring ESL and Citizenship program and we're ramping up for our Caribbean Connections summer enrichment program which will offer a dual-language literacy and history experience for students in grades 2 - 5. Our Community Conversation series has opened the door to the local community and has become a safe haven for all viewpoints to learn about and discuss immigration and immigration reform.
Learn more about the House of Seven Gables
Creative Collective LLC fosters creative business opportunities and productive social engagements. As a collective of creative professionals, small businesses, organizations, and individuals we coordinate a series of events, traditional and non-traditional marketing initiatives, resources, and best practices to define why creativity matters in all aspects of life. Learn more here: creativecollectivema.com and #jointhecollective