Thursday, June 30, 2005

Planter Boxes are an icon of the Hawthorne Hotel in Salem

Flower Boxes filled with Mini Petunias Posted by Hello

As the seasons change in Salem, so do the flowers in the planter boxes. This is a view of the current box, in full bloom. Next up will be New Guinea impatients, if all holds true to form.


Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Picklepot and the Hawthorne Hotel

One of my favorite new stores in Salem is the Picklepot, located on Washington Street here in Salem. It is a store that sells handcrafted items from a wide variety of local artisans.

Here is a press release about a recent honor that the store received:

The Picklepot Nominated for the NICHE Top 100 Retailers of American Craft.

The Picklepot, of Salem, MA, has been selected as a nominee for the 2005 Top 100 Retailers of American Craft. NICHE Magazine, the exclusive trade publication for retailers of fine American craft, will announce the 100 winners at a ceremony on August 5th, 2005, during the
Philadelphia Buyers Market of American Craft at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

More than 18,000 professional craft artists throughout the US and Canada nominated over 700 galleries, retail stores and museum shops. Criterion for selection included treating artists with courtesy and respect, paying on time, promoting and marketing American craft, giving back time and energy to the craft community, mentoring emerging artists and maintaining an inventory that is at least 85% American Craft.

For more information contact:
National Contact: Daniel Waldman Phone: 410.
889.2933 x218
About Niche Magazine:
About the award:
About The Picklepot:

If you go to the Picklepot because you learned about it on our BLOG, be sure to tell Jeff, the wonderful energetic woman who owns this store, that Juli from the Hawthorne Hotel says hello.


Monday, June 27, 2005

More flags for your review

This week's flag list is as follows:

Monday June 27, Alabama and Central African Republic

Tuesday June 28, Alaska and Chad

Wednesday June 29, American Samoa and Chile

Thursday June 30, Arizona and China

Friday July 1, Arkansas and Colombia

Saturday July 2, California and Comoros

Sunday July 3, Colorado and Congo-Brazzaville

As always, we will be posting a small informational article about each state and country in our lobby on the day that that entity's flags are flown. Please stop in to the Hawthorne Hotel to learn more.


Sunday, June 26, 2005

A Very Special 70th Wedding Anniversary at the Hawthorne Hotel

Leon Masse and his work Posted by Hello

One of the joys of running a small, independent boutique hotel is our ability to really get to know just a little bit more about the lives of the people who come to do business with us. One such example is the couple who celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary here today, Leon and Jeanne Masse.

When they came in to work out the details of this event, we learned about Leon's lifelong passion for woodworking, for making replicas of buildings. We learned that Jeanne often would be the painter of the buildings, making sure that each meticulous detail was attended to. We saw photo after photo of his work, and listened as his wife told us about how many hours he spends each day in his basement woodworking shop. Each work takes approximately one year to finish, quite a testament to his attention to detail.

Today they celebrated their 70 years together, here at the Hawthorne Hotel. We are so pleased to know about Leon and his special work, and to see this lovely couple as they celebrated their seven decades together. In a hotel that is 80-years old, that seems very fitting.

Thanks for letting us have a peek at your very interesting and lovely life. Congratulations to you both!

Juli and the Staff of the Hawthorne Hotel

Leon and Jeanne Masse Posted by Hello

Saturday, June 25, 2005

Hawthorne Hotel's Full-time Employee of the Month May 2004 -- John Kluge

Executive Chef Steve Nelson, John Kluge, Juli Lederhaus, Ken O'Keefe and John Pellecchia Posted by Hello

One of the most enjoyable parts of my job is awarding the employee of the month awards to our staff members. I love to surprise each winner in his or her own work area, with the entire team of managers along for the applause and support of that employee.

On Friday we awarded both the full and part-time awards for May. John Kluge was our Full-time Employee of the Month and you can see him surrounded in the photo above by the management team. Executive Chef Steve Nelson, and Sous Chefs Ken O'Keefe and John Pellecchia joined me in congratulating John.

John has been working in our kitchen as a line cook since September of 2004. He proved himself very early, making it through the extremely busy October period without skipping a beat. We are very pleased to have John as a member of our staff, and when you come to dine in the Tavern or Nathaniel's you will be able to sample some of his fine cooking.


Friday, June 24, 2005

Hawthorne Hotel says so-long to Michael Jr.

Six-foot sub sendoff for Michael Posted by Hello

Today was Michael Harrington Jr.'s last day at the Hawthorne Hotel. Those of you who know him will understand why we feted him with a six-foot submarine sandwich. Mike has eaten a sub virtually every day forever, so we thought it only appropriate.

The sub came from the Super Sub shop in Beverly on Cabot Street. Their phone number is 978-927-4788. By the way, the sub was very good!

Mike is leaving to go out to the Publick House, our sister property in Sturbridge, Massachusetts. So if you are out that way, stop by and say hello. The Publick House's website is

We'll miss Mike and his daily sub.


Our Employees Make Us Shine

Carmen Batista Part-time Employee of the Month for May Posted by Hello

Today we awarded our part-time employee of the month award to Carmen Batista of the Housekeeping Department. Carmen is a room cleaner, and she is one of the best ever. Carmen is one of those quiet workers who works hard from the minute she arrives until the moment that she leaves. She is dedicated and loyal, and we are so very pleased to have her.

Carmen has been with the Hawthorne Hotel since 1998. She has been awarded the employee of the month award in March of 2002 and in June of 2000, so you can see just how consistent a staff-member she has been for us. Like a number of our excellent employees, Carmen comes from the Dominican Republic.

Congratulations to Carmen, and muchos gracias!


Thursday, June 23, 2005

Summer Has Arrived in Salem

You know that summer has officially arrived in Salem when you see that the window boxes at the Hawthorne Hotel have changed from pansies to petunias. This is now the situation, so we can safely say that summer is here. That, and the 80 degree days have finally arrived as well.

This year the petunias are a miniature variety, a very soft yellow to cream color. The blossoms are not quite fully opened yet, so I will wait a bit before clicking off a photo to post here.


Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Hawthorne Hotel getting read for the next 80 Years

Tuckpointing the Hawthorne Hotel Posted by Hello

As we approach the 80th anniversary of the opening of the Hawthorne Hotel (July 23, 1925), we are also completing the once-every-eighty year job of tuckpointing the bricks. This is a big, expensive job where the workers grind out the old mortar and then they replace, by hand, new mortar in between each and every brick. They inspect the bricks at the same time, replace any broken ones, and when the process is complete, the surface of the building is ready to withstand whatever weather New England throws our way for another three-quarters of a century.

This is hot, difficult and tedious work, but we have been very happy with the quality of the work performed by our tuckpointing contractor in the past, and we have asked them to do the other half of the building, which will complete the work that they began two years ago. If you are in need of such a contractor, here is the way to find them:

Statewide Maintenance and Development
68 Harvard St.
Brookline, MA 02146
Attn: John Cronin

or by email to

One of the less-glamorous parts of my job is managing the capital budget. This line item is a tough one, because its not something that is done all the time, so when it comes due, hard decisions about how to make it happen have to be made. I thought you might be interesting in knowing just a little bit more about how to manage a historic hotel.


Closer view of tuckpointing operation Posted by Hello

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

The Salem Trolley and the Hawthorne Hotel

Bob Anthony and the Salem Trolley Posted by Hello

As the Salem Trolley makes its loop around Salem, one of the sights the guides always point out is the Hawthorne Hotel. They usually mention the flags out front (which you can read about in many other posts on our BLOG) and they often will comment on their personal recommendation of our restaurants, mentioning that the Tavern especially is a favorite of the local citizens.

The photo above shows my fellow Rotarian, Bob Anthony, with the Salem Trolley. Bob tells me he helped to found what has now become an institution in Salem in 1982. He has recently returned to Salem, and has made his way back to the Trolley and to helping foster tourism in Salem. We are happy to have him back and happy to have him as part of the Salem Rotary Club.

If you read this article and then use the Trolley, please tell them (especially Bob) that I said hello!


. . . . check it out for more information. . . .

Here is some history of the Trolley taken from their website, which you can access directly by going to:

Founded in 1982 by a local female entrepreneur with a single trolley purchased from Kissemmee, FL, the company has greatly expanded and currently includes a fleet of four replica turn-of-the-century trolleys.

From our humble beginnings as a one hour tour of Salem, we now provide transportation for weddings, corporate events, bar/bat mitzvahs and other social gatherings.

Local historian, author and tour operator, Leah Schmidt, became the third owner when she acquired the company in January, 2004. Schmidt is a lifelong North Shore native and former college educator and she has been a tourism professional in Salem since 1997.

Though we have significantly enhanced our business since our early days, one thing has always remained the same about The Salem Trolley: we are a family-oriented business that has earned our local and national reputation through dedication, hard work and a deep connection to the Salem area.

Monday, June 20, 2005

Where else can you see so many ever-changing flags?

Here are the flags that will be flown today. Stop in the hotel and take a look. To the right of the elevators we post a small synopsis of the country and state that are represented by the flags of the day. We fly one country and one state flag on the front of the Hawthorne Hotel, while the flag of the United States is flown on the top of the hotel.

This is our way of helping to remind all of us that we are citizens of the world.

Monday -- Bulgaria and Vermont

Tuesday -- Burkina Faso and Virgin Islands

Wednesday -- Burundi and Virginia

Thursday -- Cambodia and Washington

Friday -- Cameroon and West Virginia

Saturday -- Canada and Wisconsin

Sunday -- Cape Verde and Wyoming

Yours in peace,


Sunday, June 19, 2005

Best Doughnuts in Salem

Ziggy & Sons Donuts Posted by Hello

Whenever you live in a place long enough, somehow you'll find the places that only the locals know. Ziggy's is one of those places. Located at the corner of Essex and Webb Streets, right at Collins Cove, this is THE place to go in Salem for the very best donuts ever, along with some local gossip if you're so inclined.

I love the coconut and the cinnamon donuts myself. Beware though, they are not open at all on Saturdays, and their hours are kept to those morning hours that one should really reserve for donut eating, and no others.

The place is not much to look at, but believe me, the donuts are worth the calories, fat, carbs and whatever else is holding them together and making them taste so good.

It's a good long walk from the Hawthorne Hotel, so you can burn off most of your junk-food calories coming and going. Just exit the hotel on the Essex Street side, turn left and keep walking. Depending on how you count a block, its about 11 blocks away.

Have one for me! Or better yet, if you go, bring one back for me too!


Saturday, June 18, 2005

Hawthorne Team says 'so long'

Cruz Batista, Debbie Stokes, John Pellecchia, Michael Harrington Jr. and Debbie Stephanides of the Hawthorne Hotel Staff Posted by Hello

This week a number of us met in a local restaurant to have lunch with Michael Harrington Jr. who is leaving us to move to Sturbridge and help with the Publick House. The Publick House is our sister hotel located in Sturbridge. If you want to know more about the Publick House, you can click on this link to learn more:

Michael is the son of our owners, and has been working at the Hawthorne for over thirteen years, most recently in the position of night manager. Mike has been an integral part of the hotel for all of the years I have managed the property, and he will be greatly missed by all of us.

The photos in this article and below are an opportunity for you to get to know some more of our staff members. Here is a list of who is pictured, and what they do at the Hawthorne:

Cruz Batista, Assistant Server, Nathaniel's Day Shift
Debbie Stokes, Server, Nathaniel's and Tavern
John Pellecchia, Sous Chef for both Nathaniel's and the Tavern
Michael Harrington Jr., Night Manager
Debbie Stephanides, Server, Tavern

Jay Gilliss, Chief of Building Maintenance
Christine Turner, Assistant Director of Catering
Amy Jacobson, Catering Manager
Carol Murray, Sales Manager
Claire Kallelis, Director of Food and Beverage

Hannah Stringer, Sales Manager
Brooke Woodruff, Cook
Steve Nelson, Executive Chef

We hope you enjoy meeting these members of our staff.


Jay Gilliss, Christine Turner, Amy Jacobson, Carol Murray and Claire Kallelis of the Hawthorne Hotel Posted by Hello

Hannah Stringer, Brooke Woodruff and Steve Nelson of the Hawthorne Hotel Staff Posted by Hello

Friday, June 17, 2005

Winter Wedding Fantasy at the Hawthorne Hotel Posted by Hello

Our Guests Continue Their Praises

Here is what a guest had to say about an event that they had here this year.

"Dear Karen,

I didn't know how we could put together a nice small wedding in a few weeks, but thanks to your beautiful hotel and incredible staff, the wedding was a great success.

Because we didn't have a big reception with dancing, the food and surroundings were very important for our guests' enjoyment. The food was top notch; and your staff's attention to detail helped make the evening flow seemlessly.

Thank you again,"

It's so nice to be part of a committed team of staffmembers who really do their jobs well. We are proud to call ourselves the Hawthorne Hotel.


Thursday, June 16, 2005

"Bewitched" Statue Arrives in Salem

Elizabeth Montgomery from Bewitched Posted by Hello

Yesterday this new statue was unveiled with great ceremony, a crowd of 1,000 people turned out to cheer and jeer (depending on their own personal viewpoint), and now Salem has a new statue recognizing the attention the 1970's television series, Bewitched, gave to Salem.

My photo, taken this morning after all of the crowds went home, shows that the site is still partially under construction. We assume a plaque will be forthcoming to identify this to all who stop by.

The statue is located at the corner of Essex and Washington Streets. Since the Hawthorne Hotel has its side entrance on Essex Street, it will be easy for our guests to find this latest addition to Salem. Simply exit the Hotel from our side door and turn to your right. Walk 4 blocks along the Essex Street pedestrian mall, and you will arrive at Washington Street.

Have fun!


Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Salem is "Bewitched", Hawthorne has a special place in the memories of many

Meredith and Bill Asher Posted by Hello

Today Bill Asher, husband of the late Elizabeth Montgomery who played Samantha in the hit television series of the 60's and 70's Bewitched stopped by the Hawthorne Hotel to visit the location where two important episodes of the show were made, as well as where they stayed for the three weeks that the show was on location.

Bill and his wife Meredith visited our special Bewitched area of the Hawthorne Hotel to see the memorabilia from the two shows that firmly linked Salem to the series. They were in our city today for the dedication and unveiling of a statue that TV Land has given to the City of Salem. It depicts Samantha riding on a broom.

Stay tuned for more on this unique story.


Tuesday, June 14, 2005

More Local Art at the Hawthorne Hotel

Giclee print of original watercolor by artist
Patti O'Hare Williams Posted by Hello

Last year I was looking for some new artwork to hang in our guestrooms, the finishing touch to an ongoing remodeling project for the Hawthorne Hotel. In a serendipitous meeting, I introduced myself to Susan Fader of Ditto Editions, at a meeting regarding the Creative Economy that was sponsored by the Salem Chamber of Commerce, the Marblehead Chamber of Commerce, and Salem State College's Enterprise Center.

Susan represents local artists, and has a company that is able to make archival quality prints of original works of art. These prints are called giclee, pronounced gee-clay. Her company is called Ditto Editions, located in Marblehead.

Susan and I hit it off right away, and when I went to her studio the following Saturday, I found what I was looking for! Working with Susan and her husband/partner Nick was so easy, it made working out the details of a very ambitious and complicated process a breeze. We are very happy with the final product now hanging in a number of our sleeping rooms.

If you would like to know more about Ditto Editions, Susan Fader and her husband and partner, Nick, you can check out their website at:

Over the next months I will post some of the artwork that we are using from Ditto Editions, including this one today, that is called Hospital Point, painted by Patti O'Hare Williams.

This particular scene is located in Marblehead, the next community south of Salem. I recently went for a drive to this spot, and it is so lovely, I would be happy to give you directions if you ever wish to go there.

We are very pleased to be able to offer our guests yet another special touch, local art representing local artists and scenes from the area we are in called Essex County.


Monday, June 13, 2005

Roger Conant Statue Rededicated June 12, 2005

Roberta Clement and Roger Conant Statue Posted by Hello

Roger Conant, who is called the founder of Salem, came to our city in 1626, and persuaded others who had come with him from Dorchester England to settle here.

This statue, which honors him and his courage, was commissioned by the Conant Family association in 1911, and installed in Salem on June 17, 1913. It was sculpted by Henry Hudson Kitson, and was unveiled at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts in February of 1912.

Members of the Salem Common Neighborhood Association, beginning in the Fall of 2001, went on a mission to learn about how to preserve this statue, and then to raise the funds to do just that. $30,000 and many fundraisers later, the statue was restored during May of 2005, and rededicated yesterday in a grand ceremony on the Common.

Many Salem dignitaries were in attendance, and speakers included a descendent of Roger Conant, Douglas R. Conant, Mayor Stanley J. Usovicz, Lance Kasparian, Chair of the Salem Historical Commission, Michael Coleman, President of the Salem Common Neighborhood Association, Roberta Clement and Maryann Curtain, Co-Chairs of the Roger Conant Statue Restoration Committee.

After the dedication, an afternoon reception was held in Sophia's at the Hawthorne Hotel. The Hawthorne Hotel was a proud contributor to this effort, and happy to be the chosen to host part of this event.

Lance Kasparian, Mayor Stanley J. Usovicz, Michael Coleman and Maryann Curtin Posted by Hello

Douglas R. Conant  Posted by Hello

Sunday, June 12, 2005

This week we proudly fly the flags of these countries and states . . .

Monday -- Benin and Pennsylvania
Tuesday -- Bhutan and Rhode Island
Wednesday -- Bolivia and South Carolina
Thursday -- Bosnia/Herzegovina and South Dakota
Friday -- Botswana and Tennessee
Saturday -- Brazil and Texas
Sunday -- Brunei and Utah

As always, the flag of the United States of America occupies the giant flagpole on top of the Hawthorne Hotel.

This week, Tuesday June 14 is Flag Day. We are proud to offer a look outside of our own areas to other parts of this world we live in, and other states, by flying this daily changing assortment of flags. It is our way to help encourage peace with all peoples.

If you wish to know more about the country or state 'of the day' simply stop in our lobby to see a small synopsis of each. They hang to the right of the elevators.


Lobby Restroom Towel Dispensers

After Posted by Hello

Yesterday I posted a before picture of part of the lobby restroom remodel. Today I have shown the same area in the after view.

As we worked through the remodeling of these restrooms I knew I wanted them to look like they might have looked in 1925 when the Hawthorne Hotel was brand new. However, photographers don't usually take photos of such utilitarian spaces, so I had nothing to refer to for ideas.

Working with the designer from the Architectural Studio, Karolina Burtt, we collaborated on ideas that would bring back a look that would be appropriate to the time period. The use of marble and tile for the floors and wainscoting was a natural, and we knew that the stalls must have been made of wood, rather than the metal or composites that are common today. If you want to find Karolina, you can contact her at The Architectural Studio in New Hampshire,

But the towel dispenser was the tricky part. There would not have been disposable towels in the bathrooms in those days, but rather a common towel on a hook. What we now know to be an unsanitary situation would not be what today's patron expects or would use.

All of the research that we did could not locate a towel dispenser that would be both aesthetically pleasing and would fit in the space we had allotted. What to do, what to do?

We decided to try to hide what could be purchased, by faux painting it, so we went to work to find a faux painting artist that could help. In the end, we chose Steven McCarthy of Orange, Massachusetts. You can find him at:
The three of us worked as a team, we conceptualized the idea of making the dispenser 'disappear' by creating a niche filled with appropriate items, via faux painting. Steven did an outstanding job of making the concept come alive.

We hope you enjoy the results.


Friday, June 10, 2005

Hawthorne Hotel Looks Back 80 Years

Opening Day at the Hawthorne Hotel  Posted by Hello

As we approach our 80th Birthday, I thought I would share with you some photos of the old Hawthorne Hotel. Today's photo is a view of the Hotel from the street, showing the crowd of folks waiting to get inside to see the new Hotel.

This photo is framed and hangs over the safe in the wall that contains artifacts of the Hawthorne that were collected in honor of our 75th Birthday celebration. The sign that hangs over it describes our 'time capsule' and our intent to open it on our 100th Birthday.

When we first conceived of this idea back in 1999, 2025 seemed very far away. Now as six years have passed, and we made it into the year 2000 without the forecasted meltdown of the world's computers, 2025 doesn't seem that far away anymore.

If you want to see this photo for yourself, it is located in the foyer of the lobby level restrooms.


Time Capsule at the Hawthorne Hotel Posted by Hello