Although The House of the Seven Gables has closed for the winter, behind-the-scenes projects as well as virtual programming continue. Once the safety of visitors and staff is again assured, The Gables will resume regular operations.
This winter, executive director Kara McLauglin launched The Gables’ Annual Appeal with a message of hope and concern. She told supporters that the National Historic Landmark District has experienced an unprecedented loss of revenue due to the ongoing pandemic.
“Normally, admission fees and Museum Store sales provide the popular historic destination with 80 percent of its operating costs,” she wrote. As museums and cultural institutions around the world well know, 2020 was no normal year. Whatever help The Gables’ community can and has offered is welcomed with sincerest gratitude.
During this dormant phase, Gables’ friends, neighbors and members can still look forward to the following events.
This January, The Salem News is publishing a series titled “Young Nathaniel Hawthorne.” Look for these lively stories about a part of Hawthorne’s life that is less well known but vital to a readers’ understanding of the celebrated author and Salem native son. These fun and surprising stories will run on consecutive Mondays. The Gables greatly appreciates The Salem News’s generous support and effort.
Also in January, The Gables offered members its first of two online book club discussions. On January 14 at 6:30 p.m., readers talked about Hawthorne’s delightful short book, “Twenty Days with Julian and Little Bunny by Papa.” Hawthorne faithfully kept a journal of the three weeks he cared for his 5-year-old son while his wife visited her sister. Readers will see a side of Hawthorne that may come as a happy surprise.
The second book to be discussed, on March 11, is Hawthorne’s “Wonder-Book for Girls and Boys.” Both of these book club selections are featured in The Salem News’s Hawthorne series. Call The Gables at 978-744-0991 or go to the website’s events page to sign up.
Brunonia Barry kicks off The Gables’ annual lecture series on February 24 when she discusses a topic especially important in her writing: Salem as an inspiration. Other lectures in the series: Instagrammers from #SalemMa share the stories behind their popular postings; filmmaker Ben Wickey shows his 30-minute stop animation version of “The House of the Seven Gables” in October; Mary Pilon, author of “The Monopolists,” shares the backstory of the iconic Monopoly board game on Thanksgiving weekend.
Community Conversations resume this year when Community Supported Film shows and discusses a series of documentary films made by some of this region’s immigrants.
Later this winter Kaylee Redard, a Visitor Services Specialist at The Gables, will cook colonial meals in a live, online demonstration. Families will be invited to The Gables’ first-ever snow sculpting day and a Bingo night. Look for a Monopoly tournament for kids of all ages this year, as well.
And this April, two very absorbing and unusual audio tours will be made available online. “Passages of the Past” and “Hawthorne’s Shadow”—both produced by Intramersive studios—are recreations of a Salem long-since passed, narrated by actors and meant to be experienced while walking through historic Salem neighborhoods.
For more information on upcoming programs, visit 7gables.org/visit/programs.