Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Our 23 Hour Trip: Salem, Massachusetts!

This past weekend, I (Rob) was supposed to be partaking in an event with our friend Ruth, associated with my books. However, after I bought Tom and I some non-refundable airline tickets and paid in advance for the hotel (it was a special). I salvaged the trip and planned an afternoon touring historic Salem, Mass. - Home of the Witch Trials in 1692. What an amazing place.
House of the 7 Gables
Rob and Tom outside the House of 7 Gables
  The first place we visited was the House of the 7 Gables.  The book: The House of the Seven Gables is a Gothic novel written in 1851 by American author Nathaniel Hawthorne.  It was really amazing and cool because it's the second oldest wood-framed house in the entire U.S. (The oldest is the Fairbanks House in Dedham, Mass.). Hawthorne was inspired to write his novel because of his visits to the house. His cousin owned the house (and at the time it didn't have 7 gables).   Usually, the old houses were torn down, but the 7 Gables House was bought by a fan of Hawthorne's famous novel, and she restored it.(A gable is a peak on the roof, btw)
Model of the House

 Was there a ghost in it?  Of course!  This house is over 350 years old. Someone had to be attached to it. The original section of the house was built in 1648. What did the ghost tell me?  The ghost told me that they died of a fever, and made me physically feel chills in my head.  As we went through the house, we learned that there was an outbreak of fever in the late 1600s that killed a lot of people in the colony.. interesting.

Tom at Hawthorne's birthplace

Hawthorne's birth home
  The second place we visited with Nathaniel Hawthorne's Birthplace. It was moved and put right next to the House of the 7 Gables. The house was built sometime between 1730–1745, and located at 27 Union Street until moved to its current location in 1958. According to architectural historian Abbott Lowell Cummings, the house was probably built for Benjamin Pickman on land deeded him by his father-in-law Joseph Hardy, and may have recycled structural timbers from a 17th century Pickman house that earlier stood on its site. It reflects typical architecture for the period: a central chimney, gambrel roof, front and back stairways, and a post-and-lintel doorway.

  - The Witch Museum was great, too. It showed how young girls created the false hysteria that led to 25 deaths and imprisonment of 150 people.
  The museum also had displays about modern day witch hunts like McCarthyism in the 1950s (the communist scare); the AIDS epidemic blamed on gay people; and several others. The place has such an amazing history. (Website: http://www.salemwitchmuseum.com/)
    There were NO witches then, it was all hysteria... it's a great lesson in history and everyone should visit!
Rob and Tom outside the Witch Museum
Downtown Salem main street

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Gift/Memorial Suggestions

Several of our friends have lost loved ones (human and pets) and we found that one of the best ways to honor their memory is to give to an animal charity.
What better way to recognize a life of love, than by giving another life a chance for love?
We donate to many animal rescues, but because we volunteer with
DC Weimaraner Rescue and Coast-to-Coast Dachshund Rescue, those are our 2 favorites.
Consider giving the chance of life to a dog or cat.

About us

We're two married guys who enjoy the simple things in life, especially our dogs. We volunteer for dog rescues, enjoy splitting dinners, exercising, blogging, helping friends and neighbors, ghost investigations, coffee and tea, Tudor history, weather, superheroes, comic books, mystery novels, traveling, 70s and 80s music, classic country, piano, gardening, writing books on ghosts and spirits, architecture, keeping a clean house, cooking simply, and keeping in shape. You'll find tidbits of all of these things on this blog and more.

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!

Tom and Rob Thinking Hard!
Wondering what home project to do next