Due to the rising COVID-19 numbers, mask mandate, and general uncertainty, The Gables will be transitioning its in-person fundraiser to a virtual one.
Although we are disappointed to not see your faces, we hope you will join us on September 12 at 5 p.m. for a virtual version of Celebrating Our Founder’s Vision. Like last year’s virtual event, we encourage you to support local restaurants, breweries, distilleries, and wine shops. Invite your friends to a mini-event at your home and have some fun supporting The Gables or just gather with your family in the comfort of home and learn more about our mission and recent work with our 30-minute video and auction, with unique getaways, experiences, art, and more.
This year we are celebrating our founder’s vision of preservation and service. Caroline Osgood Emmerton was born on April 21, 1866, in Salem, Mass. The Salem that Caroline grew up in was the Salem of “The Gilded Age,” when advances in machinery led to economic growth, waves of immigration, and tension around class inequality. These trends influenced Emmerton’s career choice later in life.
Emmerton’s family valued community service and likely influenced her life’s work. She was involved with dozens of community organizations in her lifetime, but her work at The Gables is her most notable accomplishment. She purchased the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion in 1908, restored it, and opened it as a museum in 1910.
Emmerton used proceeds from museum visitors to fund The House of the Seven Gables Settlement Association. In the early 20th century, the settlement house movement was seen as the progressive method to help newly arriving immigrant families adapt to life in their new cities. Settlement houses offered a variety of services including classes, medical care, and recreational opportunities.
Emmerton also used proceeds to save threatened buildings in Salem. She was instrumental in moving The Hooper-Hathaway House (1682) to The Gables’ property in 1911. The Retire Becket House (c.1655) was moved in 1924. Our site today, with seven historic structures, reflects Emmerton’s dedication to preservation.
The House of the Seven Gables Settlement Association remains one of about 50 settlement houses still operating in the United States. The Gables has survived for over a century and will continue to help generations of people immigrating here in search of new opportunities to thrive.
Your support this year will help The Gables continue to recover from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and carry out its mission to engage people of all backgrounds in our inclusive American story.
Our online event will be held on Sunday, September 12 at 5 p.m. A donation of any amount will provide you with access to the event. Click here to donate.
This post was written by Holly Watson