Venture Out: A Literary, Historical Gem Just 30 Minutes Away
About 30 miles away, The Old Manse stands as a witness to social, cultural and political history.
You can't deny the historical significance of Concord, Mass. With its famous residents (Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, to name a couple), famous battlefield (Old North Bridge where the first day of the battle in the Revolutionary War took place) and, of course, famous Concord grape (responsible for the juice in countless sippy cups), history is nearly tangible in this quaint town outside Boston.
One home in Concord, however, has enough history of its own to merit a visit even though that home is also tied to so many other events for which Concord is famous.
The Old Manse, built in 1770 as a home for minister William Emerson, has seen the likes of Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Bronson Alcott and so many other literary, cultural and political greats walk through its doors.
Click the video above to take a look around The Old Manse.
Today the home holds original pieces from the time of its past residents and visitors. According to tour guide Heather Martino, only the paint and wallpaper have been recreated; everything else is original to its time.
More uniquely still is the access visitors are granted. There are no ropes or glass display cases in this home. As tour guests walk through the minister's parlor, the office, bedrooms and more, they are met with a home and furnishings that look as though someone could still be living there.
But, if the walls could talk, as the saying goes, they would tell tales of the love poems whispered between Hawthorne and his bride Sophia -- poems the pair etched in the window panes of an upstairs writing chamber (yes, the words are still readable).
The walls would tell of the day the home's residents watched out the windows as the Revolutionary War began in earnest right in The Old Manse's backyard.
They would talk of Phebe Bliss Ripley, who skillfully played the beautiful parlor grand piano still in the home (which tour guests are invited to play).
And the walls would, of course, recount the conversations and debates between the great minds who talked and wrote at The Old Manse over the years. They might even quote lines from Ralph Waldo Emerson's essay "Nature" and Nathaniel Hawthorne's, "Mosses from an Old Manse," both of which were written there.
As if the home itself weren't reason enough to visit, it sits on beautiful grounds, complete with boating access to the Concord River, a recreation of the heritage garden originally planted by Thoreau, and numerous talk and events designed to make The Old Manse a nearby destination sure to please everyone in the car.