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Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House, Concord
(4.7/5 based on 320+ reviews on the web)
Orchard House is a historic house museum in Concord, Massachusetts, USA. It was the longtime home of Amos Bronson Alcott (1799–1888) and his family, including his daughter Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888) who wrote and set her novel Little Women (1868-69) there.HistoryThe Alcotts had first moved to Concord in 1840, although they left in 1843 to start Fruitlands, a utopian agrarian commune in nearby Harvard. The family returned in 1845 and purchased a house named "Hillside", but left again in 1852, selling to Nathaniel Hawthorne who renamed it The Wayside.The Alcotts returned to Concord once again in 1857. They moved into Orchard House, which was then two-story clapboard farmhouse, in the spring of 1858. At the time of purchase the site included two early eighteenth-century houses on a 12 acre (49,000m2) apple orchard. Consequently the Alcotts named it Orchard House. "'Tis a pretty retreat", Bronson Alcott wrote soon after moving in, "and ours; a family mansion to take pride in, rescued as it is from deformity and disgrace".Bronson made significant changes to the building. He installed alcoves for busts retrieved from his failed Temple School, repaired the staircase, installed bookcases, constructed a back studio for Anna's painting, and put up a fence around the property. He also moved the smaller house to adjoin the rear of the main house, making a single larger structure. While the home was being renovated, the family rented rooms next door at The Wayside while the Hawthornes were living in England. Later, Lydia Maria Child visited the house and recorded her thoughts: "The result is a house full of queer nooks and corners and all manner of juttings in and out. It seems as if the spirit of some old architect had brought it from the Middle Ages and dropped it down in Concord... The whole house leaves a general impression of harmony, of a medieval sort".
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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • We've visited many historic sites in the Northeast, and I thought that the tour given at Orchard House was one of the better ones. It begins with a 15 minute orientation video and proceeds to the tour...  more »
  • Having read Little Women, or at least seeing the movie, this is a great stop within the Minute Man National Historic Park. The tour was about 40 minutes and it was a really interesting look at the liv...  more »
  • Visiting Orchard House was like walking through the pages of the novel "Little Women". The docents dress in period clothing and stay in character during the tour, which gives the visit an authentic fe...  more »
Google
  • Great even if you haven't read the book or seen the movie "Little Women". Truly passionate tour guides who love their subject. Amazing to learn the influence one family had on American history (Louisa wasn't the only accomplished Alcott), and the influence of Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau not only on spirituality and literature, but how they helped shape and change the destinies of the Alcott family's life.
  • Great tour! Little Women was penned here, the actual desk is upstairs!
  • Informative guided tour
  • I can't get enough of this quaint American treasure called Orchard House. I am quite fond of the story/movies "Little Women", and to tour the very home in which it was written, especially the bedroom of Louisa May Alcott, was so special to me.
  • This is the house where little women took place. It was semi-autobiographical. Very interesting seeing the house 80% as it was when Louisa May Alcott was alive. Intelligent tour guides who are passionate about the history.