Parking: street parking and garage parking is available near the exhibit
Universally Accessible: Yes
Dog Friendly: Yes
Summary: The Blue Trees, an outdoor art exhibit, is adding some color to the streets of Salem, MA
If you have been seeing blue trees in the Salem (MA) area, don’t buy new glasses or make an appointment to see your eye doctor. You’re not seeing things. The trees in Salem have turned blue. At least some of them have.
The Blue Trees exhibit is the brainchild of Konstantin Dimopoulos, a conceptual and social artist originally from Port Said, Egypt. The Blue Trees are meant to draw attention to the deforestation happening around the globe. The environmentally safe watercolor used on the trees is temporary and is harmless to the trees, surrounding environment, people, waterways and wildlife. It will be washed away with the rain and other weather conditions. There are currently 27 places to see these blue trees including Houston, Sacramento, Vancouver, Singapore, Germany, Australia and, of course, Salem.
The trees were painted in time for Earth Day of this year and I was fortunate enough to see one of the painters at work.
The trees, which are part of the Peabody Essex Museum’s exhibit, can be found by the museum on Essex St.
Summary: Runners from all over the region competed in the 6.66 mile Devil’s Dash or the 3.33 mile Creepy Clown race.
It’s that time of the year again in Salem, MA.
Devils, clowns and other scary characters came together in Salem MA last weekend to compete in the Devil’s Dash/Creepy Clown race.
The race started with the Creepy Clown 3.33 mile race. The Devil’s Dash race started shortly after the clowns race began. The Devil’s Dash was a hellish 6.66 miles. Although it wasn’t required, participants were, of course, encouraged to wear a costume. And many of the runners got into the spirit of the event!
I’m still confounded how people can smile while they’re running. That, to me, is the truly creepy part of the race.
People of all ages could participate in the race. But, the little runners are always the most fun to photograph
It’s also fun to see families or groups of people running together. I was lucky to see some
The race wasn’t just for people. Pets could also participate in the race. Or, they could root on their favorite runners.
Although the race was a rimed event with standings, all of the participants were winners in my book. In fact, all of the participants walked (or ran) away with a medal for their efforts.
Date Of Event: October 2, 2021 (held annually the first weekend of October)
Location: Salem, MA (about 45 mins northeast of Boston, MA and 1 hour southeast of Concord, NH)
Summary: An assortment of zombies, mad scientists and other costumed revelers roamed the streets of Salem, MA in the annual Salem Zombie Walk
The annual Salem Zombie Walk in Salem, MA, has quickly become one of the most popular events in October.
There were young zombies, which are both the creepiest and cutest for me to see!
Zombie families (one of my favorites)
A zombie dog
and whatever this lady is holding
Although the event is called the “zombie walk”, there weren’t just zombies at the event. There were werewolves and mad doctors among other spooky characters
The zombies began their walk at Salem Commons in Washington Square. They continued throughout the heart of downtown Salem, shrieking, gyrating and moaning the entire way.
It’s always nice to see familiar, friendly faces at these events. Throughout the years, I have attended and posted blogs about the past few zombie walks and I often see familiar faces there. This zombie is a regular at the yearly events and he always has a monster with him. I hope to see him and all the other zombies next year!
Parking: Metered street parking is available and there are two big parking garages on New Liberty St and Congress St
The Downtown Garage (New Liberty St) costs $1.50 per hour.
The Waterfront Garage (Congress St) costs $.75 per hour on weekdays and $1.50 per hour on weekends
Both garages operate from 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM Sunday through Wednesday and from 7:00 AM to 2:00 AM Thursday through Saturday.
Public Transportation: The MBTA’s Commuter Rail has a stop which deposits its passengers right at Washington St. $15 for a round trip ticket from North Station (fares vary depending upon where you leave from and where you are going)
The snow, ice and cold weather didn’t prevent countless revelers from heading to Salem for the annual Salem So Sweet ice sculpture celebration. In fact, it made for the ideal conditions.
For the past 19 years, Salem has been brightening up the winter days with a ice sculpture festival, highlighted by a special illumination show on the day they arrive.
Much like everything this past tear, everything seemed different and not just because of the obvious. The crowds were smaller, there was a less jovial feel to the event and it wasn’t as festive as in the past. While smaller crowds can be a plus for visitors and especially for visitors with a camera, it didn’t feel right. I’d rather wait and even jostle for a photograph and feel a more fun atmosphere. I suppose that is to be expected these days though. The crowds seemed to ebb and then gather sporadically. But it did seem to be a much smaller crowd this year.
The sculptures were delivered around noontime on the 6th. But, the celebration really heats up during the late afternoon and early evening. From 5 pm to 9 pm on Saturday the sculptures were illuminated. They are only lit up for these 4 hours. So it does attract a busy night time crowd. Although, of course, with most bars closed or operating with heavy restrictions, the night crowd was noticeably smaller.
Unfortunately, the ice sculptures are removed on Valentine’s Day, February 14. So you’ll have to wait until next year, when things are expected to be closer to “normal” to see the sculptures in person.
There were also fewer ice sculptures this year than in the past. Last year there were 26 sculptures. This year 17 sculptures adorned the streets of Salem. However, a few of them were either damaged, had melted substantially because of the warmer weather and sunlight during the day or, in one case, completely broken.
But, I did my best to photograph the sculptures that were available.
I have skipped a few that were too damaged or completed destroyed and one I forgot about because it was too far away (# 17 “Bakery”)
1 “Owl And Moon”
This owl, which was located near Witch City Wicks on Essex St probably looked better before it was illuminated since the sun helped to melt it and obscure some of its features. That was a common theme as you will see in some of these photos. It’s a trade off. Either take the photos of the sculptures when they are fresh and haven’t melted and haven’t been mutilated or wait until the are illuminated when they look, in my estimation, much prettier. I may take photos of the sculptures before and after illumination next year to avoid this from happening again.
2 The World
If you attend the ice sculpture festival each year, you may notice some of the same companies or organizations use the same type of sculptures each year like this sculpture also on Essex St. The Journeymasters, a travel agency company, usually has a sculpture of a globe with a star or some other kind of fanciful design around it.
3 “Thanking All Alumni On The Front Lines”
This sculpture, sponsored by Salem State University whose sports teams are named the Vikings, was located on Essex St near the Bewitched statue at Lappin Park. It was dedicated to the front line and first responders who graduated from the university’
4 Kids In Snow
Located in front of Salem Cycle on Washington St, this ice sculpture depicts two children sledding.
This sculpture of a fish was appropriately located next to Turner’s Seafood on Church St
6 Joan Of Arc Sword And Shield
Located outside of Coon’s Card & Gift Shop on Essex, this sculpture was dedicated to Joan of Arc.
This sculpture, located on Front St, had an actual rose near the top of the sculpture. It also accurately depicts how, while the sculpture look even more stunning at night, they can be much more difficult to photograph the darker it gets even with a tripod and careful photoshop editing. It wasn’t even that late either. I think it was close to 6:30 pm when this photo was taken. But it does get dark pretty early in these parts during the winter.
8 Rocking Horse
Nothing anything different or weird about this rocking horse sculpture which was located on Front St? Don’t lose your head trying to think.
Yes, this rocking horse is missing it’s neck and head. Although it was a little warm (by winter in New England standards) and the sun was beating on the sculptures during the day, this sculpture’s head didn’t melt off. It was almost certainly the act of vandalism or damaged during delivery.
11 2021 Picture Frame
Located on Central St, this sculpture was famous for people and sometimes their pets posing in together
12 Gingerbread House
This sculpture, located neat Witch City Mall (formerly Museum Place Mall) on Essex St, looked goof enough to eat.
13 Hello Kitty Phone
Unfortunately, the writing on the wall of the Peabody Essex Museum on Essex St made it a little hard to show all of the features of the cat.
This was the only sculpture that wasn’t illuminated. As you can see the sun had caused it to melt quite a bit.
This sculpture was appropriately located across from the oldest candy company in America (Ye Olde Pepper Company) and in front of the House of The Seven Gables, this sculpture depicts a train with a cargo of candy canes.
There were helpful guides at the event to hep you find the sculptures and distribute maps showing where all the sculptures are located, although most people used the map on their map from the event’s website. Some of the helpers got into the spirit of the event.
Although she didn’t say much, Samantha was also dressed up for the event.
Although they weren’t part of the actual event, there was some other decorations that lit up the event.
This house on Derby St is famous for decorating its property for major holidays and events.
You may notice a little critter walking up the pathway. When I was photographing the decorations I noticed this little animal approaching me. Having seen cats there during previous photo shoots at this location, I thought nothing of it until it got right in front of me. Yeah it’s a skunk. Fortunately there was a fence between us and the skunk didn’t spray. He or she just turned around and walked back the way he or she came from. It was a very close call!
The famous Jerry the dinosaur of Salem.
The city of Salem has also put up year round lighting displays that made the event even more Decorative than usual.
And this business on Derby St got into the Valentine’s Day spirit.
I look forward to photographing this extravaganza next year when things are more “normal.” But hopefully not too normal!
You can view photos from previous Salem’s Too Sweet Events that I have photographed in the past by clicking on the links below:
Location: Salem, Commons, Washington Square, Salem, MA
Universally Accessible: Yes
Dog Friendly: Yes
Summary, 18 placards tell the story of Wizzil, a horrible hag who wants to add some excitement to her life. Without giving away too many spoilers, her parrot suggests she amuse herself by making someone else suffer. Hilarity ensues.
It definitely seems like this whole “socially distancing” thing is working. During my quick, socially distanced visit to Salem, MA, there was hardly a soul in the area. In fact, many people were probably curled up with a book.
Salem Public Library has brought the best of both worlds to the Salem Commons. The Storywalk, which was based on the children’s book Wizzil by William Steig and illustrated by Quentin Blake, was created so that families could enjoy the outdoors while still reading and laughing as a family.
The 18 signs are placed within the socially distanced spaces recommended by the government. They were prepared by the Children’s Room staff at the Salem Public Library.
If you do go, there are some ground rules. First, you must give each visitor a 6 foot zone of space for social distancing purposes. Visitors are also discouraged from touching the signs.
You can read the story below. I have I have posted the photos of the placards in the order of how they were placed at the common. You may have to expand the screen to read the lettering since it is so small. Or, better yet, go to the Commons and read it for yourself!
Below are some photos of Salem Saturday morning. It was very desolate and I was half expecting a zombie or some other undead being to come around one of the corners. I was in Salem after all. It was just me and this very hungry squirrel.
Location: Pickering Wharf, Salem Maritime Museum, 160 Derby St, Salem MA
Summary: over 100 pets met up at the Salem Maritime Museum to show off their costumes and march in the Howl-O-Ween pet parade.
Halloween isn’t just for humans. The annual Howl-O-Ween pet parade showed off over 100 of these Halloween pet revelers.
Although I wasn’t able to get all of the participants names and breeds. Below is a sample of some of the participants:
Pepper, Millie, Hobs and Rocky (all chihuahuas) were the three Musketeers and fun sized Musketeer.
Sadie, dressed as Jason Doghees I mean Vorhees, is a 12 year old Peekapoo.
Lucy, 1 year old Puggle, was a roaring lion. Lucy is a rescue from the Northeast Animal Shelter in Salem, MA. She was saved from one of the storms that recently hit Florida.
Ralph, a Jack Russell and Mini Pinscher rescue, was a cute little pineapple.
Triskit, a 3 year old chihuahua, was a parrot.
Buddy (on the left), a 8 year old chihuahua, was a lumberjack. Pixie, dressed as Babe The Blue Ox (on the right), is a 6 year old chihuahua.
One year old Penny Liu was dressed as a Chinese Mandarin.
Calypso was an angel.
Winston, a 5 year old Corgi, was dressed as Paddington.
Reecey, a 13 year old half border, half husky mix, was dressed as a mutant ninja turtle.
Olive, a 4 year old feist mix, was a bumble bee.
Ziggy was dressed as Mr. Spock. Live long and prosper Ziggy!
Oso had a very special delivery for everyone!
Jasper, a 2 and a half year old mixed breed, was a zebra.
“Sweep the leg!” Dexter, dressed as Johnny from Cobra Kai and Oliver, dressed as “Daniel son” from Miyagi-Do. They are both 4 year old French Bulldogs.
Hazel (on the left) was dressed as a peacock. Molly (on the right) was dressed as Cleopatra.
Grayson was dressed as Lucy.
Twix, the cowgirl, is an 11 month old Dalmatian.
Opal, a 9 month old husky mix, was dressed as Hermione Granger.
Benji, 10 years old, was dressed as Batman.
Remus, a 4 month old mixed Lab, was dressed as Luigi. If you watch the video of the pet parade below you may see his mom and dad dressed as Mario and the Princess from Super Mario World.
Henry, a 2 year old, King Charles Cavalier, was dressed as a Cavalier.
Seba the lion is a 4 year old Lab.
The acrobatic Tilda was dressed as a ballerina.
Nissan (on the left) was dressed as Princess Leia. Sirius (on the right) was dressed as Yoda. They are both terrier mix shelter dogs.
Hunter, a 5 year old rescue lab, was dressed as a skunk.
Sequoia, a 3 year old cattle mix, was dressed as a blowfish.
The pet parents also got into the spirit of the event.
Daisy and her mom were dressed as the Little Mermaid and Ursula.
Nala and her family were the “udderly spectacular” cow family.
Walt was dressed as Flounder with the Little Mermaid.
Dumbo was dressed as an alligator.
Brady and the rest of the family were dressed as Abu with Aladdin and Family
Not all of the pets at the parade were dogs, though.
There was this chicken.
There were also these two very brave cats.
Scout was dressed as Peter Pan’s shadow.
and this cat/lion hybrid!
Strider, a 10 year old fancy bearded dragon, was dressed as a clarinet.
Unfortunately, I was unable to get the names of these cute pets below.
Although they looked great and the main point of the event was to have fun. There were awards for best overall costume, most creative and the best costume with people. Some of the winners of the costume contest were:
Ruby the Racehorse, a 2 year old pointer mix, won for best pet with humans.
Adelphie, dressed as a time traveler’s backpack, won for most creative.
Butterscotch, dressed as spaghetti and meatballs, also won a pet with humans award. It wasn’t until later when they received their award did I notice the Lady and the Tramp tie in.
Nellie, dressed as a pin cushion, won for best overall costume.
Last, but certainly not least, Tilda, 5 years old, was the Grand Marshall of the event!
There was also a pet parade where all of the contestants could show off their costumes. All of the more than 100 contestants and their parents or friends marched in the parade.
Date Of Event: October 3, 2019 (held annually the first week of October)
Location: Downtown Salem (Congress St, Derby St, Front St, Washington St, Essex St, Salem Common)
Summary: Salem’s Chamber Of Commerce kicked off the month long “Haunted Happenings” celebration for the month of October. Scores of heroes, monsters and kids came together to celebrate and march!
Clowns, super heroes and super villians were only a few of the characters who marched the 24th annual “Haunted Happenings” parade last Thursday night to kick off Salem’s month-long “Haunted Happenings” celebration.
The theme of this year’s parade was “The Future Is Ours” and some of the participants used futuristic props to fit into the theme of the parade. These park rangers, for instance, had a futuristic robot ranger in the parade!
What would a Halloween parade be without candy?
Well, since candy tossing is not permitted, some of the participants ran over to the onlookers with fistfuls of goodies.
What always entertains me about the Haunted Happenings parade is the unexpected and spontaneous things some of the marchers will do (more on this later).
For instance, who needs feet to walk? These kids used an unorthodox method of marching.
Some of the marchers chose to drive in the parade. The parade participants arrived in a variety of vehicles, or, er, caskets,
Some of the more popular people in the parade weren’t the participants. These motorcycle cops slowed down to share some high fives with their fans.
Holy Bat caves! Where was Robin?
Shiver me timbers, pirates and other characters were also there.
The usual suspects, Jason, Michael, Pennywise and Frankenstein’s monster were all their. It’s a wonder we all made it out unscathed!
But, these guys and ladies were there to protect everyone!
Not all of the marchers were dangerous or scary, though. Mermaids, poets and this nice gentleman who had “lotion in his basket” were also there. Ok, maybe the last guy wasn’t so nice.
Of course, there also were bands, baton twirlers and flag wavers.
The best part of the parade is seeing how much fun the kids are having. In fact, it had some of them jumping for joy.
Just to preface this photograph, I will often bend down, kneel or squat down low when I photograph subjects or events, especially little subjects, so I can be at eye level when I photograph them. So, I was photographing the parade, minding my own business when someone tapped me on the shoulder and got down to my eye level! It was both unexpected and hilarious!
Not all of the great costumes were worn by the people in the parade, though. All of these people got into the spirit of the parade! Or, they may just regularly dress this way. I don’t judge!
Funny story. I saw this cute unidog or dogicorn while I was walking to the parade. Well, it turns out I had actually photographed her at the parade last year as well. Ginger the Goldendoodle is 2 years old. I look forward to photographing you next year and for many more years to come, Ginger!
This was her costume last year!
This is the first time I used a dedicated flash (a flash that is not a pop up flash and not built into the camera) during night time photography. Hard to believe since I have been doing this photography thing for a while now. But most of my photography is done during the early morning, daytime or sunset hours. This is something of a common misconception though. I would later learn in my research that you can and in some instances should use a flash during daytime hours and on sunny days. But, in the past, I was so unsure and unfamiliar with night time photography settings, I would often switch to video when I thought it got too dark to photograph images (this is what I did at last year’s Halloween parade).
I think you can see the difference a speed lite can make (I didn’t use the flash for all of my night time photographs because some subjects weer near light sources when I shot them and I did want to save as much of my battery life for my flash as they can often use a lot of power). Plus, the dark, night time feel can be a good look for photos, especially for a Halloween parade shoot. I think you may be able to tell which photos I took with the flash and without based on the lighting in the photos.
I have learned a great deal about flash photography and the best teaching tool is experience. Although I am still learning, one tip for a shoot like this is to never point the flash directly at your subject. Try tilting the flash upward or at an angle, particularly when shooting outdoors. I am using the Canon Speedlite 470EX-AI and I use the ETTL (Evaluative Through-The-Lens) mode which is similar to using the Automatic setting on your camera. The autoflash, is the mode where the camera uses information obtained through the lens (“TTL”) to calculate how much light the flash needs to emit for the appropriate brightness. The camera then automatically sets the flash output accordingly. My next goal is to learn how to use the manual features to maximize the effect of my speed lite.
Don’t forget to check out my Facebook page to see additional photos I have taken from all over New England here: Facebook page.
Location: Salem Commons, Washington Square, Salem, MA
Highlights: vintage party, swing dancing,swing music,lawn games
Party goers of all ages and backgrounds gathered together earlier this month at the annual Vintage Law Party which celebrated the early 1900’s.
Although not required, vintage outfits were encouraged and many people came out in the vintage best.
Dance classes were offered by North Shore Swing.
The lessons must have worked because the dance floor was ablaze with swing dancers. Eat your heart out, Gene Kelly.
Music was provided by Dan Gabel’s High Society Orchestra
And, of course, Patty supplied the vocals.
There were also lawn games such as badminton, croquet and bocce. There was also a referee for the croquet tournament
Bocce can be a difficult game with lots of lots of twists and turns. These reaction shots how how a game can go in many different directions very quickly!
Ted and Jenna were the winners of the Witch’s Wicket Croquet Tournament.
The one photography tip I would give for this post is not about technique nor is it about equipment or anything photography related. My tip is to be bold (which is good advice for just about any aspect of our lives) and not be shy. Despite my photos of people and all of the wonderful people I have met, I’m not generally an overly social person. So, it’s not my nature to go up to complete strangers and ask for their photograph. In fact, I think I missed a few good photo opportunities in the past because of my shyness. Some people may find that hard to believe now.
I also think photography can be a solitary activity. All you need is your camera. But, my camera has helped me meet so many nice people I would never have met if I didn’t have a camera with me. So, don’t be too shy or worry what somewhat might say if you ask to take their photo. In my experience, they’ll most likely say “yes” or at least be flattered. You may make their day! The upside far outweighs the downside. The worst they will say is “no” and they have every right to say that. It’s not personal. Besides, it’s a good way to connect with someone. You may not just get a good photo. You may make a friend.
Salem’s known for a lot of things. But, sweet isn’t usually one of the words that come to mind. However, sweet has become an annual theme in Salem.
The 17th annual Salem’s So Sweet event kicks off with a wine and chocolate tasting gala Friday, Feb. 8. The sculptures were placed at different historical places and businesses throughout the city of Salem.
I figured today would be the perfect day to post about this sweet event, especially since some of the sculptures have a romantic theme.
I am showing the ice sculptures in the event in the same order they are listed on the attached map. I tried to photograph them all when they were lit up. But there were a few I was not able to photograph at night. There is a big difference in the way the sculptures when they are lit up. I plan on photographing them only at night in the future because of this difference.
You might think that since I frequent Salem I have dined at many of their establishments. You’d be wrong. In fact, I have only been to a few restaurants there (I used to like Victoria’s Station). I also liked Murphy’s Pub & Grill which has also closed and is becoming a “tequila bar.” In A Pig’s Eye was a pretty good restaurant too. I’m sensing a trend here. Maybe it’s best I don’t eat at the restaurants there. I may be a curse. But, I’m not much of a “foodie” or eater in general (although when I do eat, I eat my whole plate and then some). I would much rather be taking photographs than eating and I always think I may miss some cool photo opportunities while I’m eating which would really bother me. Besides, I just don’t get very hungry when I’m out in the field. I’m too focused on my job. I rarely eat at all when I go out on shoots. I have heard good things about some of the places in Salem though.
This sculpture of Cupid was located at Adriatic Restaurant and Bar on Washington St (I haven’t eaten there yet so they’re safe from my “curse”). I especially like how the lighting in the city complemented the lighting from the sculpture.
I actually missed two sculptures during my initial visit to Salem. Actually my camera batteries died (the cold weather affects camera batteries dramatically). So, I grabbed this photo the next morning. This sculpture of wine glasses was located at Stella’s Wine And Bar I especially like the subtle little details in the sculptures. Are those fangs or claws in the wine glasses?
This Mary Poppins sculpture had lights that changed colors. This sculpture was located near the Trolley Depot on Essex St.
This dove was located near the entrance to the Witch City Mall on Essex Pedestrian Walkway.
This “I Found My Heart In Salem” sculpture of the Tin Man was located at the Salem Witch Museum. This seems to be a theme with the Witch Museum. Last year they had a sculpture of Dorothy’s shoes with the phrase “There’s No Place Like Salem.”
This sculpture of a baker, which was the only sculpture that didn’t light up, was located at Coffee Time Bake Shop on Bridge St.
This sculpture was located next to Bunghole Liquors. Hey I didn’t name the place. The sign for the store is probably one of the most photographed places in all of Salem. Of course this is actually a term used with wooden barrels. But it has a much different meaning for some other people apparently.
“Candy” which was located across the street from the Ye Olde Pepper Companie. There was actual candy in the dishes to the right and left of the vase.
Dogs loved the ice sculptures also. Sophie, a 5 month old mixed breed dog, had a fun time looking for the sculptures.
You can view the sculptures from the 2018 Salem’s So Sweet celebration here
Summary: An annual event that allow s visitors to tour the inside of historic homes throughout the historic Salem, MA, area
How many times have walked by the many historic homes of Salem, MA, and wondered what they look like on the inside?
The Christmas In Salem event in Salem, MA (held annually the first weekend of Dec) lets you see for yourself.
The 39th annual self-guided tour, which began at the House Of The Seven Gables, included tours of 15 homes. Some of the homes featured on the tour are historic buildings run by the park service, some are actual home residences. Tickets can be purchased on the day you visit, or (and I highly recommend it) you can purchase your tickets in advance online. There is also a trolley that can take you to some of the homes.
One of the perks of the tour was the photography policy was relaxed and photography was allowed at most of the homes and buildings, even in buildings where photography is not usually allowed (namely, the House of the Seven Gables). In fact, it is one of the reasons I finally made it to the House of the Seven Gables. They usually don’t allow photography in that building.
As there are so many buildings included in the tour (15 in total, but only 11 that allowed photography), I will give a brief description and background of each building with links for additional information when available. I took a variety of photos from each building, depending on the size and beauty of the building.
As mentioned above, there are 15 homes or buildings (with a “bonus” second tour of your favorite home or building). You may also split up your visits so that you can go on 2 separate days rather than trying to visit all of the homes or buildings in one day. I will list all of the homes and buildings in the order they are listed on the tour map you are given when you check in at the House of the Seven Gables.
House Of The Seven Gables (houses 1 and 2 on the tour)
The House Of Seven Gables has always been one of my favorite historic homes in all of new England. I have always loved the narrow, almost secret passageways and its history.
The House of the Seven Gables has The verse written on the wall in the first photo is from Hawthorne’s work The Marble Faun. Some of the tour guides, such as the woman shown in the final photograph, read holiday stories or or other related works. The woman shown in the portrait is Susanna Ingersoll, Hawthorne’s cousin.
There was also a Christmas tree in one of the rooms at the home. Fun fact (except for those alive at the time): Christmas was banned by the Puritans in the MA colony from 1647 until 1681. Rather than being a time for celebration and festivity that included some of the pagan origins associated with the holiday, the Puritans thought the holiday should be a time for fasting and humiliation. Another fun fact: the first Christmas tree, similar to the tree shown below, in America is said to have been in the home of Cambridge resident and Harvard College professor Charles Follen in 1835.
There was a wine tasting area, as well as a place to view the food and toys of this era. The food shown below on the far right of the table is a common delicacy of that time, cod.
The outside of the House of the Seven Gables is as pretty as the interior.
Another fun fact: Although he visited his relatives at the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion (aka House of the Seven Gables), Nathaniel Hawthorne never lived in the house. He was born on Union Street. But, it may not seem that way when you visit. The Union Street house where Hawthorne was born was purchased by The House of the Seven Gables Settlement Association and moved to the museum campus in 1958.
This building, located a short walk from the Salem Witch Museum at 14 Mall St, is one of the homes where Hawthorne lived in Salem. This building is not included on the tour.
The third home on the tour, the Captain William Lane House, and the fourth home, the Josiah Getchell House, did not allow photography.
The fifth home of the tour was the Thomas Mogoun House, 58 Derby St. As you will notice from the photos from the homes and buildings in the photos is that while they do have the original, or close to the original frame and structure, they were indeed more contemporary inside, unfortunately. I was hoping to see rustic beds with hay instead of mattresses. No such luck.
One of the more serene and peaceful places on the tour was the Saint Nicholas Orthodox Church at 64 Forrester St. A choir of men and women were singing traditional Christmas songs (not contemporary or radio songs of course). I really could have stayed and just listened to them because of their beautiful voices. I didn’t take any photos inside of the church and this is actually a photo I took of the church from 2015 when I first began my blog.
The seventh home on the tour was the Ives-Webb-Whipple House at 1 Forrester St. This house, which was built originally in 1760, was being shown and is still on the market.
The house was staged very tastefully.
The Captain John Hodges House at 81 Essex St was the 8th home on the tour.
The 9th home on the tour was the Richard Manning House located at 10 1/2 Herbert St.
The 10th building on the tour was the Immaculate Conception Church at 15 Hawthorne Blvd. Although there was some pretty and interesting architecture and decor in the church, I didn’t take any photos there.
The 11th building on the tour, the Captain Simon Forrester House at, 188 Derby St, and the 12th home, the Benjamin W. Crowninshield House at 180 Derby St, did not allow photography.
Another building I had walked past countless times without visiting until this year (I stopped in during the summer and hope to post that shoot…someday) is the 13th building on the tour, the Salem Custom House at 176 Derby St. Interestingly, Nathaniel Hawthorne worked here for some time. He worked on a little book you may have heard of during his tenure there.
The 14th home on the tour, The Derby House at 168 Derby St was not available for tours during my visit.
The 15th and last home on the tour was the Captain Edward Allen Mansion House at 125 Derby St.
Not all of the historic homes are available for tours and the particular homes that are available for tours may change from year to year. Since many of the homes are fairly small to average size and only so many people can enter a home at one time, the wait can be long to get into some houses. But the homes are all located near each other and the map lists them in a way that is makes them easy to find. I was able to hit each home in about 4 to 5 hours. If you’re not in the Christmas Spirit, the mix of historical background and Christmas decor is sure to get you into it!