Nathaniel Hawthorne House
Yes, you can read the 1851 classic novel entitled The House of the Seven Gables (www.archive.org) and visit the actual House of the Seven Gables (www.7gables.org) too. It was the home of Nathaniel Hawthorne in Salem, Massachusetts, a town where he was born and lived for many years and where he set many of his stories. You may also like reading A Wonder-book for Girls and Boys (archive.org), published the same year.
About the Writer
Hawthorne (1804-1864) moved away in his mid-forties and never returned. He is also remembered as a close friend of US President Franklin Pierce. In fact, common thought is that Pierce would not have been elected without the help of his writer friend from college, Hawthorne, who published a glowing biography of Pierce to draw attention away from Pierce’s weaknesses.
“No man for any considerable period can wear one face to himself and another to the multitude, without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.” –Nathaniel Hawthorne
The reason most tourists visit Salem is to see spooky places from its witch-hunting history (Hawthorne is descended from a notorious witch hunter), but Salem is a quaint small town that offers much more than that. We found the most spectacularly colorful sea glass along its shores, a docked historical vessel welcoming visitors, and a homey diner-style ice cream parlor.
Salem is also recognized as the setting of the Disney classic Halloween feature film Hocus Pocus, starring Bette Midler, Kathy Najimy, and a very young Sarah Jessica Parker.
It is a pretty and peaceful town where readers can enjoy the rare combination of visiting an author home, enjoying a scoop of fresh ice cream, scouring the sand for sea glass, and soaking up history that precedes the official start of the United States.
On the Path
This is the first stop on Massachusetts Author Adventures Trail Part 1.