Friday, December 23, 2011

A Distracted Promo With a Tidbit of History That Would Have Made Scrooge Smile!

1937 Photo of The House of the Seven Gables
from the Library of Congress
Photo Credit

Three weeks ago I made my second visit in less than two days back to Salem's House of the Seven Gables since my original visit in 1975 as a high school junior - and no, the picture from above isn't from that original trip!  On my most recent visit I was given a private showing of the property and given permission to take photos inside the houses - something that is not allowed to visitors on the regular tours.  The reason for that was so that I could share both the Turner-Ingersoll Mansion and the Nathaniel Hawthorne Birthplace House with readers of The Distracted Wanderer.  Finally after several late nights and long hours, both posts are finally up and running so should you wish to see the inside of the house that is believed to have inspired Nathaniel Hawthorne to write his 1851 Gothic Romance novel The House of the Seven Gables, you may do so here.

As an added bonus, the house was decorated for Christmas - a holiday that was illegal in Massachusetts for many, many years following a law passed in 1659 by the Massachusetts Bay Colony that banned Christmas celebrations and required a five-shilling fine from anyone caught "observing any such day as Christmas or the like, either by forbearing of labor, feasting, or any other way." The law was repealed in 1681 but it wasn't until 1856 that Christmas Day became a state holiday in Massachusetts. Gosh, if Ebeneezer Scrooge had known that, maybe he could have moved to Massachusetts where he would have been within his legal rights to "Bah Humbug" as much as he wanted and no one would have condemned him for it in the least!

Speaking of Christmas, I've got lots to do before Sunday so I'd best get to it!


  1. A law against Christmas? Well there are forces trying to do that very same thing now. Holidays not Christmas. I don't think it's going to work though.

    Have a terrific day and a very merry Christmas. :)

  2. That silly law reminds me some laws that communists made between 1950's and 1980's. I'm glad it's all gone :)
    Merry Christmas to you and your girls!!!!

  3. Have yourself a merry little Christmas!

    Your bud,


  4. you made me laugh with your comment about the pic not being from your school trip
    I know it isn't, it's from mine!

    Happy Merry all that kiddo
    and lots of hugs from me and Hope


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