Wednesday, November 2, 2011

House of the Seven Gables ~ In Sepia

Salem 12

Salem 08

Salem 13

Salem 14

It's not difficult to imagine the house as it once was, described in the opening sentences of Nathaniel Hawthorne's novel, House of the Seven Gables. The past vividly comes to mind, especially with a bit of planning to avoid the height of the tourist season, a little luck and timing. The historic site is popular for events and weddings. Workers carrying long poles and gaudy blue tenting arrived within minutes after my last shot...or rather, their presence determined my last shot! My fragile bubble popped and I was back in Salem on a late September day in 2011.

The story begins:

Halfway down a by-street of one of our New England towns stands a rusty wooden house, with seven acutely peaked gables, facing towards various points of the compass, and a huge, clustered chimney in the midst. The street is Pyncheon Street; the house is the old Pyncheon House; and an elm-tree, of wide circumference, rooted before the door, is familiar to every town-born child by the title of the Pyncheon Elm. On my occasional visits to the town aforesaid, I seldom failed to turn down Pyncheon Street, for the sake of passing through the shadow of these two antiquities,--the great elm-tree and the weather-beaten edifice.

The aspect of the venerable mansion has always affected me like a human countenance, bearing the traces not merely of outward storm and sunshine, but expressive also, of the long lapse of mortal life, and accompanying vicissitudes that have passed within.

A few lines from Nathaniel Hawthorne's House of the Seven Gables.


  1. Hello Carol:
    These images are, or so we feel, perfection as we find that both sepia and black and white photographs have a particular appeal not always to be found in colour. Possibly, of course, it is the subject matter which works so well here in a monotone.

  2. Hello Jane and Lance ~ Thank you! I agree that many scenes do translate better in monotones. Confess I was torn because the garden was so colorful and pretty. In the end, time of day, history and the story convinced me this was the way to go.

  3. I love the sepia. I missed my chance years ago to see the house-hope to wander that way again someday. pgt

  4. pgt ~ Thank you for expressing an opinion on the sepia! It's easy to overlook Salem when there is so much to do in was really JCB who spurred us on in that direction! Someday you'll visit, just avoid Halloween!


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