Caroline Osgood Emmerton purchased the ancient mansion in 1908, and restored it with Boston based preservation architect Joseph Everett Chandler. Emmerton envisioned the house, built in 1668, as the backdrop for the characters and actions in Hawthorne’s novel. Officially opened to tourists in 1910, Emmerton used the proceeds for her Settlement work in the community. Based on the work of Jane Addams’ Hull House in Chicago, Emmerton assisted the eastern European immigrants living in the neighborhood surrounding The Gables to assimilate into American society and culture. One hundred years later we continue to serve the needy of the community with proceeds from our admissions.
Over the years, the site has grown into a campus of historic buildings and Colonial Revival gardens located on Salem Harbor. One of the most memorable additions to the complex is Hawthorne’s Birthplace (circa 1750), movedseveral blocks to The Gables site in 1958. In 2007, The Gables was awarded National Historic Landmark District status by the United States Department of Interiors.
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