The Concord Authors
Have you ever toured the home of a famous long-ago author? There are so many interesting stories behind writers and their homes, but I’m going to limit today’s brief visit to Concord, Massachusetts.
In 1834, Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882) went to live in what we now call the Old Manse. He completed the first draft of his first published work, Nature, in the upstairs study. Another famous author who lived there was Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804–1864). He arrived in 1842 with his new bride for what he referred to as three of their happiest years. Hawthorne is the one who named it the Old Manse which means minister’s home.
In 1835 Emerson purchased Bush which is now called the Ralph Waldo Emerson House. He moved in shortly after his second marriage and they raised their family there.
Thoreau (1817–1862) lived there briefly, as well, and was a frequent visitor. He later built his well-known cabin on Emerson’s property.
The Alcott family’s longest permanent residence was Orchard House where they lived from 1858 through 1877. Appropriately named, their land was filled with apple trees. This lovely location is where Louisa May Alcott (1832–1888) wrote Little Women.
Before Orchard House, the Alcotts lived in a home they called Hillside. You can see Louisa’s father’s signature on this sketch of their home. They bought Hillside in 1845 and then sold it to Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1852. Following his tradition of naming his homes, he renamed this one The Wayside and it is still called that to this day. Isn’t it interesting to find two amazing authors who lived in the same house? But wait, there’s one more!