The House of the Seven Gables is an American icon. It is one of the nation's oldest homes and one of its first historic house museums. Built in 1668, it is a unique and well-restored first period house displaying many preserved 17th- and 18th-century architectural features. Three generations of the seafaring Turner family lived in the home before the American Revolution. In the 19th century, the author Nathaniel Hawthorne was hosted in the house by his cousin, and the setting encouraged his literary genius. After this famous association, the house attracted tourists even before it opened to the public when the artistic Upton family called the mansion home. In 1910, Caroline Emmerton, an enterprising philanthropist, opened the home to raise money to help local immigrants. She restored the structure and brought other historic houses from Salem to the property.