Built by sea captain John Turner in 1668, this traditional colonial home existed 24 years before Salem gained notoriety for its witch trials. The house stayed in Turner family hands for three generations, until Susan Ingersoll—cousin to Nathaniel Hawthorne—acquired it. Hawthorne visited the home, by then known as the House of Seven Gables, and was inspired to write his 1852 classic novel of the same name.
As the oldest surviving wooden mansion in the country, the house has undergone countless renovations in its 340-year history. Georgian-style changes made in a 1725 remodel have been preserved. A mysterious "secret" staircase that Turner added in 1692 can still be seen in the main chimney. Another mysterious feature of the place is a female apparition, who locals believe to be Susan Ingersoll. Some claim to see the woman peering through windows.
The House of Seven Gables
hosts seasonal theatrical dramatizations and regular historical house tours; Hawthorne's birth home has been moved to the site. Call 978-744-0991 for more information.