Hello SK fans!
I realize I have been blogging for 18 months now and have never highlighted The Orchard House, the home I lived in in Concord where I wrote and set ‘Little Women.’
That was quite remiss of me. Perhaps because my family moved 25 times in 27 years I didn’t think to focus on one home. No, we did not like packing, we just did not like being chased by bill collectors, thus the frequent changes of address.
Orchard House is probably the most comfortable home we had. Anna, Meg in Little Women, and I were in our 20s when we moved in and May, Amy in LW, was about 18. Sadly, Lizzie, Beth in LW, died 4 months before we moved in at the age of 23.
Here is a street image of Orchard House at 399 Lexington Road, Concord, Mass. My Pub did a pretty good job of cropping out the very busy street it faces. The street was not so busy when we moved there in 1858, probably because it was not paved.
This is north side of Orchard House. The building in the back is the School of Philosophy, which my father, A. Bronson Alcott, founded for adult education. Did you know that by opening this school, my father is considered the father of adult continuing education? I am so proud of him!
This is a view of the current entrance to Orchard House, which is now a museum. The Orchard House is actually two buildings that my father merged together. The front building, in the first photo, is a traditional early American 2-rooms-up 2-rooms-down center entrance Colonial built in the 1700s. The back building is a tiny cottage, built in the early 1600s, that was positioned further up the hill. One icy day in 1858, my dad and Henry David Thoreau placed logs between both structures and slowly rolled the cottage down to the Colonial. My dad’s excellent carpentry skills ensured a nearly seamless union.
Anyone over 5 feet 8, needs to duck their head to enter this door, which used to lead to our woodshed. It is now the main entrance to the museum. Apparently Americans weren’t too tall in the 1600s. And an FYI, my dad was over 6 feet, and was considered NBA material in our day, which of course did not have an NBA, so he stuck to philosophy.
As I said before, Orchard House is now a museum, and tours are given daily with rare exceptions like Christmas. If you are ever in the area, I hope you consider a visit to my home. It is a 20-minute drive from Boston, and easy to get to. I would be honored to have you as my guest, xo LMA
Follow me on Facebook at Louisa May Alcott.