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Hawthorne at Salem

Buildings & Houses

Houses Where Hawthorne Lived

Introduction to Houses Where Hawthorne Lived in Salem

House in Salem where Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1804
House in Salem where Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1804(photography by Aaron Toleos)
 
Nathaniel Hawthorne was born in a house at 27 Union St. in Salem, Massachusetts, in 1804 and lived in Salem on and off during his life. He left Salem in 1821 to attend Bowdoin College and returned in 1825 to live at 10 ½ (or 12) Herbert St. in the house he referred to as "Castle Dismal." From 1828-1832 he lived at 26 Dearborn St. with his mother and sisters in a cottage built for his mother by her brother, Robert Manning, who lived in the house next door at 33 Dearborn St. In 1831 and 1832, Hawthorne travelled to the Shaker Community in Canterbury, NH, to the Erie Canal, and to Niagara Falls. In 1832 Hawthorne and his family returned to the Herbert St. house.
In January of 1836 Hawthorne moved to Boston but returned to the Herbert St. house in Salem in August of that year. In the following summer he spent five weeks in Maine, but he returned to Salem, and in November of 1837 he met his wife, Sophia Peabody, at her home in Salem. In 1839 Hawthorne lived in Boston while working at the Boston Custom House, and in April of 1841, he moved to Brook Farm in West Roxbury where he lived until November of that year. After his wedding in Boston on July 9, 1842, he and Sophia moved into the Old Manse in Concord which they rented from Ralph Waldo Emerson. Because they were no longer able to afford the rent on the Concord house, on October 2, 1845, Hawthorne, Sophia, and their daughter, Una, born in 1844, returned to Salem where they lived in Hawthorne's mother's home on Herbert St.

On April 9, 1846, Hawthorne was sworn in as surveyor in the Salem Custom House. In March of that year Sophia moved to 77 Carver St. in Boston as she was pregnant again and wanted to be near her family and her doctor. Hawthorne soon joined her and commuted to his job at the Salem Custom House. Shortly after the birth of their son, Julian, in June, the family moved back to Salem into a house at 18 Chestnut St. but moved again only a couple of months later into a house at 14 Mall St. which was large enough to allow his mother to live with them. This was the last house in Salem in which Hawthorne lived. In May of 1850, Hawthorne and his family left Salem and moved to a cottage in Lenox, MA.

Literature Related to Houses Where Hawthorne Lived in Salem

House in Salem where Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1804
House in Salem where Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1804 (photography by Aaron Toleos)
 
  • Fanshawe was published anonymously in 1828 In 1828 Hawthorne was living at 10 ½ (or 12) Herbert St. in the house he referred to as "Castle Dismal." He had been living there since his graduation from Bowdoin in 1825. 
     
  • In 1830 "Sights from a Steeple" was published in The Token and "The Hollow of the Three Hills" in the Salem Gazette. From 1828-1832 Hawthorne lived at 26 Dearborn St. with his mother and sisters in a cottage built for his mother by her brother, Robert Manning, who lived in the house next door at 33 Dearborn St.
  • "Young Goodman Brown" was published in the New England Magazine in 1835.
     
  • In 1836, Hawthorne wrote for and edited the American Magazine of Useful and Entertaining Knowledge 
     
  • In 1837 Hawthorne published Twice-Told Tales and Peter Parley's Universal History 
     
  • From 1832 to June of 1836, Hawthorne again lived at 10 ½ Herbert St. After a brief stay in Boston, he returned to the Herbert St. house in August and remained there until 1837. 
     
  • Mosses from an Old Manse was published in June of 1846. In June of 1846 Hawthorne and his wife moved with their daughter Una and their newborn son Julian to 18 Chestnut St. 
     
  • In September of 1850 Hawthorne began writing The Scarlet Letter. A few months after moving into 18 Chestnut St., Hawthorne and his family moved to larger quarters at 14 Mall St.

Images of Houses in Salem Where Hawthorne Lived

Hawthorne was born in a house on 27 Union Street in Salem. That house still stands, but it is now on the property of the House of the Seven Gables Historic Site. Hawthorne lived in three other houses in Salem during his lifetime, all of which are still standing. The house at 10 ½ (or sometimes listed as 12) Herbert Street, owned by the his mother's family, the Mannings, is the one Hawthorne referred to as "Castle Dismal." Richard Manning, Hawthorne's uncle, built the cottage at 31 Dearborn St. for Hawthorne's widowed mother and her children when Manning lived next door at 33 Dearborn. That cottage has since been moved across and down the street to 26 Dearborn St. While working as surveyor at the Salem Custom House, Hawthorne lived for a short time at 18 Chestnut St. but soon moved to larger quarters at 14 Mall St. where he wrote The Scarlet Letter. This was Hawthorne's last Salem residence. 

27 Union St 10 ½ (or 12) Herbert St 31 (now 26) Dearborn St 18 Chestnut St. 14 Mall St.

 

 

27 Union St.

House in Salem where Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1804
House in Salem where Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1804
The house where Hawthorne was born was moved in 1958 from 21 Union St. to the property of The House of the Seven Gables Historic Site where it now stands and is open to the public. Few of the original furnishings are in the house, but it does contain period pieces.. (photography by Aaron Toleos)
The house where Hawthorne was born; originally at 27 Union St., it now stands on the grounds of The House of the Seven Gables
The house where Hawthorne was born; originally at 27 Union St., it now stands on the grounds of The House of the Seven Gables
The house where Hawthorne was born was moved in 1958 from 27 Union St. to the property of The House of the Seven Gables Historic Site where it now stands and is open to the public. Few of the original furnishings are in the house, but it does contain period pieces. (photography by Dan Popp)
Sign on house of Hawthorne's birthplace
Sign on house of Hawthorne's birthplace
The house was originally at 27 Union St. but was moved in the 1970s to the site of the Turner House, aka "The House of the Seven Gables" (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
The house at 27 Union St. where Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1804.
The house at 27 Union St. where Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1804.
This house now stands on the property of The House of the Seven Gables Historic Site and is open to visitors.  (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
Drawing of 27 Union St., Salem, where Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1804
Drawing of 27 Union St., Salem, where Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1804
The Manning house on Herbert Street is in the background. (courtesy of Dr. Melinda Ponder)
27 Union St., Salem
27 Union St., Salem
Early twentieth century postcard made in Germany showing Hawthorne's birthplace on Union St. in Salem (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
27 Union St. in Salem where Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1804
27 Union St. in Salem where Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1804
This image is from a postcard dated 1900 and published by the Detroit Photographic Co. (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
The house at 16 Herbert St. whose backyard was the original location of Hawthorne's birth house at 27 Union St.
The house at 16 Herbert St. whose backyard was the original location of Hawthorne's birth house at 27 Union St. 
According to Dr. Blood, "the house was built in 1850 (originally, one floor with two rooms; now, two floors with an addition added on the back some time in the early 20th century). ...our backyard and driveway are accessible only from Union Street (we share the driveway with neighboring 14 Herbert Street). The site of the Hawthorne house (originally 27 Union...) is in our backyard. ... You can see our house (the pinkish-beige house with a tall, flat back constructed so as not to go over the property line onto the Hawthorne property) in the background of some of the old photos of the Hawthorne house before they moved it[in 1958 to the property of the House of the Seven Gables] (one of the old photos you have on your site shows a brick structure...perhaps that is under our aluminum siding?). In any event, the second floor addition was added to our house before the Hawthorne house was moved in 1958, so it is visible in some old photos. We have one we found in an antique shop on Hawthorne Blvd. that clearly shows our house right behind the Hawthorne house. It was one of the selling points for us. When the Hawthorne house was moved down to Derby Street, the property was eventually purchased by the owner of 14-16 Herbert (originally one owner owned the two houses)." (courtesy of Dr. Elizabeth Blood, Dept. of French, Salem State College)
The backyard of 16 Herbert St. in Salem, looking toward Union St. This area was the original location of the house at 27 Union St. where Hawthorne was born. That house was moved to the property of the House of the Seven Gables Historic Site in 1958.
The backyard of 16 Herbert St. in Salem, looking toward Union St. This area was the original location of the house at 27 Union St. where Hawthorne was born. That house was moved to the property of the House of the Seven Gables Historic Site in 1958.
According to Dr. Blood, "the house was built in 1850 (originally, one floor with two rooms; now, two floors with an addition added on the back some time in the early 20th century). ...our backyard and driveway are accessible only from Union Street (we share the driveway with neighboring 14 Herbert Street). The site of the Hawthorne house (originally 27 Union...) is in our backyard. ... You can see our house (the pinkish-beige house with a tall, flat back constructed so as not to go over the property line onto the Hawthorne property) in the background of some of the old photos of the Hawthorne house before they moved it (one of the old photos you have on your site shows a brick structure...perhaps that is under our aluminum siding?). In any event, the second floor addition was added to our house before the Hawthorne house was moved in 1958, so it is visible in some old photos. We have one we found in an antique shop on Hawthorne Blvd. that clearly shows our house right behind the Hawthorne house. It was one of the selling points for us. When the Hawthorne house was moved down to Derby Street [in 1958], the property was eventually purchased by the owner of 14-16 Herbert (originally one owner owned the two houses)." (courtesy of Dr. Elizabeth Blood, Dept. of French, Salem State College)

10 1/2 (or 12) Herbert St.

10 1/2 Herbert St. house with plaque
10 1/2 Herbert St. house with plaque
 (photography by Terri Whitney)
10 1/2 (also called 12) Herbert St. in Salem
10 1/2 (also called 12) Herbert St. in Salem
In Hawthorne's time, this may have been 12 Herbert St.; there is no 12 Herbert St. today. In Salem directories, the house is usually listed as 10 Herbert St. As parts of the house were at times rented, this may have resulted in the altered house numbers. Hawthorne moved into this house with his widowed mother and two sisters during the spring of 1808. In his journals he refers to this house as "Castle Dismal." When the Hathornes moved in, the house was owned and occupied by Hawthorne's mother's parents, the Mannings, and their eight children. The house was crowded, and Margaret Moore and others refer to Nathaniel sleeping in the same bed with his uncle Robert (aged 24 when Nathaniel was 4), but in her book The Salem World of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Margaret Moore explains that beds were in short supply in large families in early nineteenth century New England (60).  (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
10 1/2 (also called 12) Herbert St. in late nineteenth or early twentieth century
10 1/2 (also called 12) Herbert St. in late nineteenth or early twentieth century
In Hawthorne's time, this may have been 12 Herbert St.; there is no 12 Herbert St. today. In Salem directories, the house is usually listed asd 10 Herbert St. As parts of the house were at times rented, this may have resulted in the altered house numbers. Hawthorne moved into this house with his widowed mother and two sisters during the spring of 1808. In his journals he refers to this house as "Castle Dismal." When the Hathornes moved in, the house was owned and occupied by Hawthorne's mother's parents, the Mannings, and their eight children. The house was crowded, and Margaret Moore and others refer to Nathaniel sleeping in the same bed with his uncle Robert (aged 24 when Nathaniel was 4), but in her book The Salem World of Nathaniel Hawthorne, Margaret Moore explains that beds were in short supply in large families in early nineteenth century New England (60).  (courtesy of the Peabody Essex Museum; special thanks to Bryant F. Tolles, Jr.)
Front and rear view of No. 12 [sometimes listed as 10 1/2] Herbert St., Salem where Hawthorne wrote
from <I>Hawthorne's Country</I> by Helen Archibald Clarke, The Baker and Taylor Co., 1910, opposite p. 68
Front and rear view of No. 12 [sometimes listed as 10 1/2] Herbert St., Salem where Hawthorne wrote from Hawthorne's Country by Helen Archibald Clarke, The Baker and Taylor Co., 1910, opposite p. 68
The description that Helen Clarke gives of the house which Hawthorne referred to as "Castle Dismal" is very close to the way it looks today. While no longer a "tenement house" it is rental property in some disrepair. Clarke says the house "has none of the charm which belongs to many of the older houses, even when somewhat humble. It is a tall, high-shouldered, wooden structure, with not a line to commend it nor a grace to distinguish it" (69). She notes that the third floor window of Hawthorne's room "is miserably small and jambed up so close to the eaves as to make one think of the interior only as the most unprepossessing of attic rooms" (69). Clarke does point out that in Hawthorne's day the street was less dense and that the house did provide the advantage of being only a block from the sea (69). (courtesy of Terri Whitney)

31 (now 26) Dearborn St.

Cottage at 26 Dearborn St. built in 1828 by Robert Manning for his sister, Elizabeth Hathorne, and her children.
Cottage at 26 Dearborn St. built in 1828 by Robert Manning for his sister, Elizabeth Hathorne, and her children.
Robert Manning, built this Dutch style house with a gambrel roof and flared eaves, for his sister, Nathaniel’s mother, and her children in 1828. It was located next door to the Manning House on the site of the former Frank E. Locke house when Hawthorne lived there with his mother and sisters from 1828 to 1832. It was moved across the street in 1851 or 1852 by George Brown, the owner of the house at that time. The original ell from the house is still standing, however, and is part of the house now located at 31 Dearborn St. 

18 Chestnut St.

18 Chestnut Street at corner of Botts Court, Salem
18 Chestnut Street at corner of Botts Court, Salem
Exterior of 18 Chestnut Street (Bott-Fabin house) where Hawthorne lived from 1846-49 while working as surveyor at the Salem Custom House. (photography by Lou Procopio)
18 Chestnut St., Salem, side view
18 Chestnut St., Salem, side view
Side view of 18 Chestnut St., Salem, where Hawthorne lived from 1846-1849 while working as surveyor at the Salem Custom House (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
Entry of 18 Chestnut St., Salem
Entry of 18 Chestnut St., Salem
Entry of 18 Chestnut St. in Salem where Hawthorne lived from 1846-49 while working as surveyor at the Salem Custom House (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)

14 Mall St.

Front of 14 Mall Street, Salem, 2015
Front of 14 Mall Street, Salem, 2015
 (photography by Terri Whitney)
Plaque on 14 Mall St., Salem, MA
Plaque on 14 Mall St., Salem, MA
 (photography by Terri Whitney)
14 Mall Street in 2001
14 Mall Street in 2001
Hawthorne wrote The Scarlet Letter in this house. 
14 Mall Street in Salem
14 Mall Street in Salem
Hawthorne wrote The Scarlet Letter while living in this house. 
Postcard c. 1907 with picture of 14 Mall St., Salem
Postcard c. 1907 with picture of 14 Mall St., Salem
Hawthorne lived in this house when he wrote The Scarlet Letter in 1849. 
Parlor on second floor of 14 Mall Street in Salem
Parlor on second floor of 14 Mall Street in Salem
Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote The Scarlet Letter in this house. 

Sign on 14 Mall St., the house where Hawthorne wrote The Scarlet Letter
Hawthorne's Study at 14 Mall Street
Hawthorne's Study at 14 Mall Street
From Columbia Exposition Pictures by Frank Cousins

Multimedia Related to the Houses Where Hawthorne Lived in Salem

33 Dearborn St., Salem; home of Robert Manning, Hawthorne
33 Dearborn St., Salem; home of Robert Manning, Hawthorne's uncle (courtesy of Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA)
 
  • From 1828-1832 Hawthorne lived at 26 Dearborn St. with his mother and sisters in a cottage built for his mother by her brother, Robert Manning, who lived in the house next door at 33 Dearborn St. (courtesy of Loretta and Roger Rainville)

Houses in Salem Where Hawthorne Lived: Related Websites

House in Salem where Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1804
House in Salem where Hawthorne was born on July 4, 1804 (photography by Aaron Toleos)
 
  • Nathaniel Hawthorne's Birthplace 
    This page of the Website of the House of the Seven Gables Historic site, which is where the house where Hawthorne was born is now located, provides a picture and short introduction to the house.