House of the Seven Gables – Salem, Massachusetts - Atlas Obscura
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Salem, Massachusetts

House of the Seven Gables

The 340-year-old house that inspired the classic Nathaniel Hawthorne novel. 

Author Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in Salem, MA, and his famous 1851 novel The House of the Seven Gables was based on an actual house in that city that still stands. The house was originally located on Washington Street, but it was moved to a more tourist-accessible location a few blocks away in the town center.

Also called the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion, Seven Gables is located right on the water of Salem Harbor at the intersection of Derby and Turner Streets. The large house was built in 1668 and is uniquely constructed with many pointed gables, multiple chimneys, and a dark, foreboding exterior. 

For a fee you can take a tour of the house and learn its history. Along the tour you will have an optional climb through a narrow secret passage way, added by one of the home’s many owners. You will also see displays on Hawthorne’s life, work, and historic Salem in general. At the end of the tour, you can choose to explore the small house of Hawthorne’s birth, which was also moved from its original location on Union Street to sit beside the House of the Seven Gables. A few blocks away on Hawthorne Boulevard towers a large statue of Nathaniel Hawthorne himself.

Adapted with Permission from: The New England Grimpendium by J.W. Ocker

Know Before You Go

Note: there is a free, but small parking lot on site. Parking in the South Harbor garage makes travel easy the entire day if you plan on exploring all Salem has to offer. But note that if you do park in that garage, you have to move your car every four hours.There are many stairs in the house and other than the first floor it is not handicap accessible.