House of the Seven Gables
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The House of the Seven Gables is a historic house in Salem, Massachusetts. It was built for Captain John Turner. It remained in the Turner family for three generations. The earliest section of the house was built in 1668. It faced south towards Salem Harbor. It was a two-room, 2 1⁄2-story house. It had cross-gables and a huge central chimney. This portion now forms the middle of the house. The house was remodelled over the years. It was eventually acquired by the Ingersoll family. Nathaniel Hawthorne often visited his cousin Susannah at the house. He wrote a novel called The House of the Seven Gables. The book uses the house as background. The house was restored between 1908 and 1910. A "cent-shop" and a secret staircase were added. This was done to please visitors who expected the house to resemble the one in Hawthorne's book. The House of the Seven Gables is the oldest surviving mansion house in continental North America. It has 17 rooms and over 8,000 square feet. The house is now a non-profit museum.