Last summer I finally made my way to Concord, Mass. After years and years of wanting to go, I finally gathered up the courage and took a two day trip to Massachusetts. I spent an entire day in Concord and my experiences were very similar to the description author Susan Cheever, author of “Louisa May Alcott: A Personal Biography gave. I could visualize her trip as my own. And oddly enough she was able to make me long to go back like I’ve not been there before.
My own trip began early in the morning, I ate a quiet breakfast in the hotel, a little nervous but very excited about my solo adventure into the life of Louisa May Alcott and many other famous authors who coincidently I guess all lived in the same town.
Louisa had the opportunity to live next to Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne and relatives of many other famous literary figures.
I toured it all that day. I, of course began with Orchard House, (Louisa’s home where she wrote
“Little Women”) which is very different than I had expected. I expected it to look exactly like the movie adaptation of “Little Women,” but it doesn’t, only the exterior is the same. The inside and the grounds around the house are different. And like Ms. Cheever says in her introduction, most of the events that occurred in “Little Women” did not occur in Orchard House, but rather next door at the Wayside House when Ms. Alcott was in her teen years. The Alcott family moved to Orchard House when Louisa was a young woman.
I began with a tour of the Orchard house, I was so beyond myself excited about this, after all these years. I couldn’t believe I was there.
The tour began in the kitchen and then traveled on to the other rooms in the house. The tour begins in Alcott’s kitchen and moves on to the dining room and then they move on to the parlor and then up to the bedrooms where visitors will see Louisa’s sister May’s drawing on the walls, her sister was
a talented artist similar to the character of Amy in the book. They see where Louisa slept and worked on what would become the most beloved book in history. (Again, it was nothing like the movie) The tour continued to the parents master bedroom.
After I left Orchard House, not knowing where I’d go next I found the Wayside, and unfortunately that was closed. I then drove myself to Ralph Waldo Emerson’s home then to the grave sites of Nathaniel Hawthorne, the Alcotts and Thoreau.
After walking through the grave site, I went all over town looking for Walden Pond and was saddened by the fact that it was turned into a community beach for residents. I thought that while it was great for residents to have a place to swim, it had lost its historical purpose. I didn’t go in. I also visited the Museum of Concord( I believe that is what it was called) and my final and last stop was a battle ground that was used during the American Revolution where I spent a good hour or so.
That was a memorable trip to Concord that I was happy I did it on my own without any one else. I am continuing with my reading now of the book, it seems good so far, but I am bias.
For more information on Orchard House, visit http://www.louisamayalcott.org.