The Lafayette Room
The Lafayette Room is a smaller room to the left of the main staircase and adjoining the ballroom. Its proximity to the ballroom makes it a perfect area for serving guests anything from drinks to bouillon. The latter is traditionally served every Thursday in February and March before the lecture in the Hamilton Hall Series. Guests at a wedding can enjoy beverages selected by their hosts. This is a flexible area that serves the particular needs of an event.
You will find this to be a handsome and cheerful red room with ample sunlight during the day. Over the mantelpiece is a Currier and Ives lithograph of the great French hero of the American Revolution, the Marquis de Lafayette, which was presented to Hamilton Hall by the French government in 1949. This gift commemorates Lafayette’s second triumphal visit to Salem where he was honored at a festive and lengthy dinner attended by three hundred gentlemen.
If you are hosting a smaller event, the Pickering Room and adjacent Brick Hearth Room may be just right for you. The green walls and handsome patterned rug and low ceilings are quietly attractive. There is a replica of the McIntire eagle over the fireplace. The original is the only McIntire eagle still in place flanked by swags high up on the Chestnut Street side of the building. Also on the Chestnut Street side is a small terrace area. In nicer weather, a cocktail hour in the Pickering Room allows guests to spread out onto this terrace area.
The Pickering Room is remembered for its many, many commercial ventures. Enterprises included gifts shops, day schools, antique shops, a photo shop, a barber shop, a dress shop, dance lessons, and catering. It was even a private residence. One has to assume that one or more of these ventures was located in other places on the ground floor and were not always confined to the Pickering Room.
Proceeding up the stairs to the second floor, you arrive at the grand ballroom entering under the Musician’s Gallery. This is a moment when all visitors are very pleasantly surprised by this large and stately room flanked by eight Palladian topped windows. It is an imposing, beautiful, and light-filled room that has seen countless dances, weddings, lectures, exhibits, and musicales for over two hundred years. The two fireplaces have mantels supporting a pair of embellished mirrors imported from Russia with a larger mirror in between. We have mentioned the spring supports to the floor, which are conducive to dancing. The lovely creamy, neutral color of the hall showcases any color palate or flowers used in an event.
The Brick Hearth Room
The Brick Hearth Room is Hamilton Hall’s old kitchen with a great fireplace and the building’s original ovens. Today it can be used as a small meeting room, a bar area for a party in the Pickering Room, or as spillover space for a party that is getting merrier in the Pickering Room.
Of special interest in this room is the Rumford Roaster, which was the most up-to-date means of cooking for a large number of people in a fuel efficient manner. John Remond, originally from the West Indies, was the patriarch of Salem’s most influential free black family. He and his wife, who was an accomplished cake baker and cook, ran catering and hairdressing businesses out of the Hall. They lived in the building with their growing family that eventually reached eight in number.
The Remond Room
The Remond Room is the room on the right as you enter Hamilton Hall. This is a versatile space depending on the nature of your event. Brides tend to spend some quiet time in this parlor-like room with their bridesmaids.
The Supper Room
The Supper Room is another surprising room at Hamilton Hall. Once you mount the second set of stairs, you are treated to a large rectangular room that is bathed in sunlight from a gorgeous Palladian window. This is a space where you can sense the history of the Hall; it evokes the many celebratory dinners held for visiting statesmen and other dignitaries.
Today the Supper Room is a wonderful haven the night of the annual Christmas Dance. It is there that you can sit and carry on a conversation while having coffee or tea and partake of bite-sized desserts. Late in the evening, platters of savory sandwiches appear to keep the party going.
The Supper Room is also used as dinner space, either exclusively or in combination with the ballroom. A recent large wedding seated guests in both the supper and ballrooms – It is an ideal spot for a rehearsal dinner.
People always have good reasons to socialize, reminisce, reacquaint, learn, and celebrate. Please join those who have found so many wonderful and compelling reasons to gather at Number Nine Chestnut Street.