|Turner-Ingersoll House, 54 Turner St., Salem, aka "The House of the Seven Gables"|
Built in 1668 for the prosperous merchant Captain John Turner as a 2 1/2 story, two room, central chimney plan house with two gables, this house, an important example of seventeenth-century New England architecture, was later owned by Captain Samuel Ingersoll and his wife, Susannah Hathorne. At the time of its construction, it probably resembled the John Ward house in Salem. Turner later added a kitchen lean-to and a single room plan to the south wing with a brick chimney and a two story porch. This wing contained a parlor, chamber, and a garret with three gables. It featured an overhang with carved pendants and casement windows. In 1692, John Turner, Jr. added a new north kitchen ell and the famous "secret staircase" in the rebuilt main chimney. In 1725 he added more stairs as well as Georgian style ornamentation. Further changes were made in the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries by subsequent ownder, including Hawthorne's relatives, the Ingersolls. The gables were removed, the front porch reconstructed, and trim in the comntemporary Victorian style was added. In 1908 the House of the Seven Gables Settlement Association purchased the house, and Caroline O. Emmerton, the Settlement's founder, arranged for the restoration of the property, including the gables, of which there are eight, not the seven referred to in Hawthorne's famous novel. When Hawthorne was alive the house had only five gables, but Susan Ingersoll, Hawthorne's cousin whom he frequently visited, had told Hawthorne that two additional gables had once been part of the house.
|(courtesy of the Peabody Essex Museum; special thanks to Bryant F. Tolles, Jr.)||close window|