Nearby: Old Manse

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Today I ventured to nearby Concord, a place I have visited only once before. 
That visit occurred about ten years past and my memories of the visit are quite fragmented. As such, I arrived to Concord this morning with fresh eyes and a hope to hop from one place to the next-first, I stopped at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery followed by Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House (which I will write about in subsequent posts) and then I headed to Old Manse, pictured above. Concord is such an exhilarating place to visit because of it's significance in both 18th century colonial history and 19th century literary tradition. It's like a playground for history lovers! 
Old Manse is a National Historic Landmark, and for good reason. Ralph Waldo Emerson AND Nathaniel Hawthorne both resided here for a short time. In fact, today I stood in the very room where Emerson's famous essay "Nature" was penned.  A small, simple room but one full of light, as you might expect. Later, when Nathaniel and his wife Sophia lived there, they etched messages on the windows that you can still read today-entertaining, sweet messages.  I wonder if they imagined they would last. But that was not the sum of Hawthorne's production in the house-he did in fact write a short story collection entitled Mosses from an Old Manse that serves as a tribute to the home. 
 The house was originally built in 1770 for a minister and is in a typical Georgian style of the period. Unfortunately, no pictures were allowed within the interior of the house, but I actually found the grounds and surrounding area more interesting-mainly because the location of the shot heard around the world is only just a 5 minute walk away, if that. So it was here, in April of 1775, that the American Revolution officially began. How wonderful it must have been for Emerson and Hawthorne to have a view of the very spot as they wrote in Old Manse. 


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