Three hundred and fifty years of stories

January 2, 2018 Published by Julie Arrison-Bishop

In celebration of the 350th anniversary of the construction of the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion (The House of the Seven Gables) in 1668, we are sharing #350yearsofstories over the course of the year.

If you have memories or stories of The House of the Seven Gables that you would like to share, please send them to rconary@7gables.org.

Our first of many stories that we are highlighting comes from Grant H.M. from Vancouver, B.C.:

“As a biographer, I always try to visit the graves of the people I write about, if extant; and as a writer, the graves of writers I admire are holy ground. (I once knelt in snow, for longer than I would have thought possible, beside Emily Dickinson’s grave in Amherst, MA.) So while in Salem for research, I carved out time to visit The House of the Seven Gables, my 108 year old copy of the novel in hand–into which I pressed an elm leaf from a nearby tree. I will never forget touring the various rooms, each enriched by my memories of reading Hawthorne’s masterpiece, and wondering whether my Lynde cousins of old Salem had ever been in the house. What I most remember, though, is that when other visitors saw my book, they said, “Oh, is that it?” None of the dozen or so people had read it! I said, “The house is amazing, but listen – after you’ve read the novel, even long after you’ve been here, you will think of and feel these rooms very differently. You may awaken in the middle of the night with foreboding. You may imagine love blooming in an old garden. You’ll really get it. Read it!” They all promised they would, and I am quite sure I felt Hawthorne’s friendly pat on my shoulder.”

Thanks to Grant for sharing this memory with us! We look forward to sharing many more this year.

This post was written by Julie Arrison-Bishop