Thursday, August 14, 2014

Massachusetts: The Old Manse Concord

The Old Manse is a historic house located in the town of Concord, Mass. It was the home of literary greats Nathaniel Hawthorne and Ralph Waldo Emerson. Many of the famous Transcendental philosophers of the time would have gathered here to discuss the issues of the day. The house is located just a short distance from the Old North Bridge where the Revolutionary War began.

We visited here with our son Jason and daughter-in-law Jen. It was not our first visit to the area but it was our first with them and we had never been inside The Old Manse. We arrived in time to take the last tour of the day. The house must be visited on a guided tour. You need to be able to climb stairs to visit here. 
You get to visit both the first floor and the upper floor of the home. On the window upstairs you will find a poem that the Sophia Hawthorn wrote to her husband etched into the window panes. Our guide was very well informed and we came away knowing a lot about not only the building but its rather famous residents. 
 The Old Manse was built by Reverend William Emerson who was the grandfather of Ralph Waldo Emerson in 1770. William was a Unitarian minister and also a patriot. When you consider that the Old North Bridge can be viewed from the upstairs windows of the house, you realize just how strategic its location was at the time of the American Revolution. 

Most of the tour however, centers on the famous writers who found their muse while living here. You will see the desk where Emerson wrote his essay “Nature” and learn about the great love of Nathaniel and Sophia Hawthorn. All and all, The Old Manse is a very interesting place to visit and one that should not be missed if you are in the area.

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