Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cool New Group Tour Available on the Salem Trolley

With great thanks to Kate Fox of Destination Salem, I am posting a link to her blog about a new Lace Reader Group Tour that is available on the Salem Trolley, through the House of the Seven Gables:

It really sounds like great fun, so if you are bringing a group to Salem, here is some more information.

This unique tour is approximately 2 ½ hours for groups of 15 – 38. Tickets are $25 per person.
To make reservations, please call The House of the Seven Gables at 978-744-0991 ext. 104.

This tour is not available in October.

They did do it once earlier in September where individuals could sign up, so maybe they will do that again. Let your voice be heard!


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Haunted Happening Parade is this Thursday Night, October 1, 2009

As you can see, the parade passes right in front of the Hawthorne Hotel, after beginning at the bottom of the map on Congress Street. The parade will start at 6:30 pm, and should begin getting here around 6:50 pm. The parade route streets will be closed to traffic, so plan your travel accordingly.

The theme of the parade this year is "A Night at the Museum". The parade is sponsored by the Salem Chamber of Commerce and Salem Main Streets. Please be generous when the bucket team comes by you, since it is costly to put this parade on. If you come and enjoy it, please show your support so this lovely family tradition can continue every year.

Since many streets will be closed, please use public transportation, or walk, or otherwise plan ahead for the extra travel time it will take you to get to your chosen parade-watching spot.

I hope to see you here.

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Help Salem Get a Real Train Station

If you are local, and want to help Salem get an actual real train station (instead of a platform with no protection from the wind whipping off the North River), you might be interested in this email from the Salem Partnership:

The parking garage at the MBTA train station is a top priority for The Salem Partnership. Last week I sent an email about the upcoming public meeting on Tuesday, October 6th. As you are aware, people who approve of such a project do not come to such meetings but those who are opposed do come and this is the only voice that is heard. All voices should be heard as this is the purpose of a public meeting – the MBTA needs to hear all viewpoints and then go back and make this the best possible parking garage for the great city of Salem.

So I am asking you to attend this meeting but also to ask family and friends who ride the train on a regular basis not only to attend with you but to speak up and have their voice heard. If you know someone who goes to Boston on a regular basis or have a co-worker who comes to Salem every day to work by train, please ask them to join you. Public transportation is the alternative to traffic and parking issues – but – riders need a place to park and they need a place to come out of the cold, rain, wind and snow – a true train station.

Please get the word out and join us at the

Public Meeting on the proposed MBTA parking garage.
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
Carlton School
7PM – 9PM

Patricia Zaido
Executive Director
The Salem Partnership


Thanks for your help!


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Hawthorne Hotel's Flags of the Week ~~ Septemberf 28 through October 4, 2009

Here are this week's flags.

Monday , September 28 ~~ Austria and Vermont
Tuesday , September 29 ~~ Azerbaijan and Virginia
Wednesday , September 30 ~~ Japan and Virgin Islands ~~ Japan by special request
Thursday , October 1 ~~ Japan and Washington ~~ Japan by special request
Friday , October 2 ~~ Bahamas and West Virginia
Saturday , October 3 ~~ Bahrain and Wisconsin
Sunday , October 4 ~~ Bangladesh and Wyoming

If you have a special request, call us at 978-825-4322.

We hope to see you here.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

Very Cool Vintage Cars Come to the Hawthorne Hotel

I never really know who or what is going to pop into my day, just begging to be blogged. I guess that's why I never run out of things to post here, despite posting every single day without fail for nearly 4-1/2 years!

This week, it was these cool cars and their very nice owners, who drove here from their homes in Newark, OHIO! They belong to an antique automobile club, and do one of these long drives together at least once a year. They found out about the Hawthorne Hotel through our rating in AAA.

I hope you enjoy seeing these cars, too.


1968 Pontiac LeMans Convertible, owned by Ray and Ruth Ann

1936 4-Door Ford Sedan, owned by Frank & Deb

1940 Chevy Convertible, owned by Al & Connie

1941 Plymouth 4-Door, Special Deluxe, with "suicide door",
owned by Tom & Jayne

The interior upholstery work was all done by Jayne. I love the detail work on the door, in the photo below.

The back door was called a 'suicide door' because if you opened it while the car was in motion, it would certainly mean you were trying to commit suicide, since it opens 'backwards'.

I love the detail on the back of the Red Ford. It says "My Little Runaway"

This week we had the pleasure of welcoming four couples from Newark, Ohio who are members of the Weekend Wanderers automobile club. All four of their cars were parked in front of the hotel as they arrived, and I went out to talk to them and take their photos.

Friday, September 25, 2009

A Fan of the Pet-Friendly Hawthorne Hotel

This is Angel. She posted her picture on our Facebook page, with a little help from her owner, Bert. She says she loves the Hawthorne Hotel, and stays here at least once a year. Isn't she sweet?

Are you a Fan of the Hawthorne Hotel on Facebook? If you are not yet, and want to be, go to

We would love to see your photos and videos of your visit to the Hawthorne Hotel posted there.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Sophia's Gifts of Artistry and Elegance

Rosemary Doorly, a good friend of the Hawthorne was at the Hawthorne Hotel this week to attend the birthday celebration for Sophia Peabody Hawthorne. I know Rosemary because we were mutual friends of Nina Vickers (who left us far too soon several years ago.) Rosemary is also a fabulous harp player.

I could not help noticing Rosemary's beautiful necklace, and she happily told me that she had just purchased it in Sophia's Gifts, right across the street from the Hawthorne. I asked her if I could take a photo, and she happily agreed.

That inspired me to stop over in Sophia's, to take some photos for this blog. I featured this charming neighborhood shop several years ago on this blog, but have not done so recently.

I hope you enjoy seeing photos of the lovely shop, and the things for sale there.

Beautiful scarves which have just recently arrived at Sophia's are a bargain at under $30 each! I'm going back with my wallet.

Rosemary Cardillo, proprietress of Sophia's Gifts.

I hope you have a chance to stop in to this terrific little shop, to buy something for yourself, or for someone you love.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Jonah Pringle Receives Ninth Employee of the Month Award

This week we gave Jonah Pringle his ninth award recognizing his very special accomplishments here at the Hawthorne Hotel. While we haven't kept records, we would guess this might be a record number of recognitions for one single staff member.

Donna Daly and Jonah

Jonah has worked here for nine years, and has held a number of different positions. He is currently our receiver in the Purchasing and Receiving Department. However, Jonah knows no boundaries when it comes to work. He is always paying attention to the entire operation, and will ALWAYS offer to help out WHEREVER he is needed. That is exactly the kind of can-do spirit that makes the Hawthorne Hotel such a special place to work, and visit.

Thanks so much for ALL that you do, Jonah!

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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sophia Peabody Hawthorne's Childhood Home is Dedicated

This past weekend, the Brown Building received a bronze plaque, courtesy of one of the current occupants of the building, Marie Cardillo, who owns the gift shop known as Sophia's, located in the building. Both the Mayor and our State Representative, John Keenan, came for the dedication.
Here is Sophia's, complete with the wonderful window boxes that Marie does every year.

Marie, standing proudly by the bronze plaque.
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Monday, September 21, 2009

Sophia Peabody Hawthorne's 200th Birthday Cake

The Hawthorne Hotel invited the public into the hotel today to enjoy cake, and celebrate the 200th birthday of Sophia Peabody Hawthorne. After all, she was married to our namesake, Nathaniel Hawthorne, so we felt that was the proper thing to do.

Here is Emily Murphy, who works for the National Park Service in Salem. She plays Sophia Peabody as part of her work as the Park Historian for the Salem Maritime Historic Site. In fact, she will be leading a walking tour of Sophia's Salem next Saturday, September 26, at both 10 am and 2 pm. Check in with the Historic Site for more information.

Sophia and Salem's Mayor, Kimberley Driscoll (the first woman mayor of Salem) cut the cake together after the Mayor made remarks about the way various women, including Sophia Peabody Hawthorne, have influenced the history of our fair City of Salem.

I hope you got to enjoy a piece of birthday cake, and I do hope to see you here.

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Our VIP Passport Guest of the Week

Mr. Robert Cross has been staying with us for many years. He was so happy to be recognized as our guest of the week, that he allowed us to take his photo not once, but twice. In the photo above you see him with Thomas MacDonald, our Passport program manager. (Thomas is the one to call if you think you and your company might qualify for Passport status here at the Hawthorne Hotel. His direct line is 978-825-4361.)

In this photo you see Mr. Cross with Lucie Ogeron, our Evening and Front Desk Manager.

I hope to see you here.

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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Hawthorne Hotel's Flags of the Week ~~ September 21 through 27, 2009

Every day we fly a different country flag and a different state flag on the front of the Hawthorne Hotel. We fly them in alphabetical order, unless we have a special request.

Monday , September 21 ~~ Algeria and Pennsylvania
Tuesday , September 22 ~~ Angola and Rhode Island
Wednesday , September 23 ~~ Antigua and Barbuda and South Carolina
Thursday , September 24 ~~ Argentina and South Dakota
Friday , September 25 ~~ Armenia and Tennessee
Saturday , September 26 ~~ Australia and Texas
Sunday , September 27 ~~ Austria and Utah

So far, we do not have any special requests for flags this week.

I hope to see you here.


Saturday, September 19, 2009

Sophia Peabody's Birthday Lunch -- Celebrating the big 200!!!

What does a Grande Dame of Salem eat for lunch on her 200th birthday? Maybe these dishes -- Lobster, corn and herb salad in a beefsteak tomato-of-the-season.

Or a beet, arugula and goat cheese salad.

Certainly a warm apple crisp with ice cream for dessert.

These and several other specialties of both the season and the age of Sophia Peabody Hawthorne are being served at the Hawthorne Hotel today.

I hope to see you here, enjoying these lovely dishes, and helping to celebrate Sophia's 200th!

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Hawthorne Hotel names Josh Tardiff July Employee of the Month

Sometimes it takes us a little while to match our schedules with the schedules of the part-time employees of the month. That was the case with Josh, who you see us surprising here. Mark Hardin is in the background.

Josh was nominated by the culinary team managers, Brooke O'Keefe, Ken O'Keefe and Steve Nelson. They want the world to know about how hard Josh works, and what a delightful person he is as well. They spoke of his flexibility, loyalty and dedication, as well as the high quality of his work.

Ken O'Keefe, Josh Tardiff, Juli Lederhaus. These photos were all taken at the Peabody Essex Museum. We are the preferred caterer there, and we run both restaurants, the Atrium Cafe and the Garden Restaurant. Josh works primarily in that venue, so all of the managers walked over from the Hawthorne Hotel to PEM to present Josh with this award.

Congratulations, Josh! Thank you so much for all the work you do for us all.

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Friday, September 18, 2009

If You Are Another Hotelier. . .

. . . and curious about me and the Hawthorne Hotel blog, here is a video interview that I recently did with O'Rourke Marketing, a company that specializes in hospitality marketing. Tom O'Rourke and I have a wonderful, collaborative relationship that continues to evolve as we both learn from each other.'Rourke&utm_medium=Email&utm_term=View+this+message+online&

After four and a half years of blogging, I guess I have become something of an expert. (You know what an expert is, of course? An 'ex' is a has-been, and a 'spurt' is a drip under pressure! ) :-)

If you are another hotelier, I am happy to share my knowledge with you. And of course, I would welcome you to come stay at the Hawthorne Hotel. Maybe I'll even blog about you!!


Thursday, September 17, 2009

So Much to Do This Coming Weekend in Salem, MA!

In addition to the Trails and Sails events that are taking place this weekend and next weekend in Essex County (for more information go to this weekend, Salem will celebrate the 200th birthday of Sophia Peabody Hawthorne — artist, travel writer and wife of Nathaniel Hawthorne. Sophia was born in Salem on Sept. 21, 1809.

From a plaque dedication at her childhood home to a historic trolley ride to a surprise party and birthday cake, a variety of activities are planned to celebrate Sophia.

Here's a rundown of the events planned:

Saturday, Sept. 19
10 a.m.: National Park Service Historian Emily Murphy portrays Nathaniel Hawthorne's wife, Sophia, on a 90-minute walking tour of historic Salem to celebrate Sophia's 200th birthday.

10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Visit the Barbara Weld Putnam Gallery on the first floor of the Peabody Essex Museum to see the "World of Women" exhibit featuring two works of art by Sophia. The works were painted as engagement gifts to Nathaniel Hawthorne, according to the museum.

11 a.m.: Join the Salem Athenaeum for a children's program featuring a story about Sophia and an art project celebrating her life. Salem Athenaeum, 337 Essex St. Free.

11:45 a.m.: Dedication of a plaque to honor Sophia Peabody at Sophia's: Gifts of Artistry & Elegance, at 105 Essex St., a boutique housed in her childhood home.

Noon to 2 p.m.: Reading and book signing by "Peabody Sisters" biographer Megan Marshall at the Hawthorne Hotel, with themed menu for lunch. (Space is limited and cost depends on what you order -- the menu is posted on our blog here yesterday, so just scroll down.)

2 p.m.: National Park Service Historian Emily Murphy portrays Nathaniel Hawthorne's wife Sophia on a 90-minute walking tour.

4:30 p.m.: Lecture titled "Celebrating Sophia Peabody Hawthorne's Two Hundredth Birthday: Her Art, Her Writing, Her Influence" at The House of the Seven Gables, 115 Derby St. Patricia Dunlavy Valenti is a professor at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Tickets $15. RSVP to Heidi Webb at 978-744-0991, ext. 104.

7 p.m.: A surprise 200th birthday party in Old Town Hall, Derby Square. Hosted by her husband, Nathaniel Hawthorne, guests will step into the past to assist him in surprising Sophia when she arrives with her sisters in a horse-drawn carriage. Cost is friends $18.09, contributing friends $50, sponsors $200.

Sunday, Sept. 20
10 a.m. to 5 p.m.: Visit the the Barbara Weld Putnam Gallery on the first floor of the Peabody Essex Museum to see the "World of Women" exhibit featuring two works of art by Sophia Peabody Hawthorne.

10:30 a.m.: "Choosing Happiness: A Remembrance of the Life of Sophia Amelia Peabody Hawthorne," a sermon delivered by Bonnie Hurd Smith at the First Church in Salem, Unitarian at 316 Essex St.

2 p.m.: The House of the Seven Gables, 115 Derby St., invites you to a special production celebrating the legendary love between Nathaniel and Sophia Hawthorne. "Dearest Dove: The Courtship of Nathaniel and Sophia Hawthorne." This event is free, but space is limited and reservations are required. Contact Heidi Webb at 978-744-0991.

3 p.m.: Local author Bonnie Hurd Smith and Irene Axelrod, local historian, lead a special trolley tour of women's history sites in Salem, including the homes of Sophia Peabody Hawthorne, her sisters and friends. Tour leaves from and returns to The House of the Seven Gables, 115 Derby St. Seating is limited to 32, tickets $15 collected on the tour. Reservations accepted on a first come, first served basis by e-mailing

Monday, Sept. 21
Noon: Come celebrate Sophia Peabody Hawthorne's 200th birthday with free birthday cake at the Hawthorne Hotel.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Unique, Historic Menu to Celebrate Sophia Peabody's 200th Birthday

Where else but the Hawthorne Hotel would Sophia Peabody be celebrating her 200th birthday?
In her honor, our chef's have looked back to the time she was alive, and have put together a menu of items that would have possibly been served, or would have been generally eaten. They did give the menu a bit of a contemporary twist, to accommodate our tastes today. This menu sounds particularly lovely, and I can't wait to try it!
Hope to see you here.
Sophia Hawthorne’s 200th Birthday Lunch


Baked Oysters
native Swiss chard, mustard cream
Nine Ninety-Five

Garden Tomato Salad
basil, sea salt, walnut oil, cider vinegar
Eight Ninety-Five

Beet and Goat Cheese Salad
local beets, farm fresh goat cheese, warm bacon dressing
Eight Ninety-Five
Free-Range Potted Chicken
locally grown onions, carrots, white turnips
Eleven Ninety-Five

Lobster Salad-Stuffed Tomato
Native lobster, roasted corn and herb salad, in a Beefsteak tomato
Thirteen Ninety-Five

Traditional Baked Stuffed Clams
served with a small cup of tomato soup and a side salad
Nine Ninety-Five
Apple Crunch
local apples, layered with oats, sugar and butter,
served warm with vanilla ice cream
Five Ninety-Five

Traditional Indian Pudding
served with fresh whipped cream
Five Ninety-Five

This special menu, in honor of Sophia Peabody’s 200th Birthday
Will be served for lunch on Saturday September 19, in both
Nathaniel’s and the Tavern

Hawthorne Hotel, 18 Washington Square W., Salem, MA 01970

Not Everything Is Sweet and Polite in the Hotel Business World

This past weekend, one of our rooms was damaged by the guests who were staying in it. Here is the proof.

It is so annoying to experience things like this, when we work so hard to keep a building looking nice. This was obviously no accident! Not only that, no one staying in the room said anything to us about it, perhaps even to issue an apology.

We did manage, after much trial and error, to get this mark off of the new wallpaper. But really, people! You know who you are! Are you not the least bit ashamed of yourselves? If by some stretch of the imagination this was an accident, could you not have apologized and let us know you did this? What if the mark had not come off the wallpaper and we had to have it re-papered?

Have you, fair blog reader, ever done anything like this? What would you have done? Should we charge this guest for the extra effort we had to put in to make this room habitable again?

Grrrr! I hope to see (most of) you here soon!


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