Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House
399 Lexington Road, Concord, MA, USA
www.louisamayalcott.org - (978) 369-4118
Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House Concord Reviews
Share the life of Louisa May Alcott May 08, 2012
Little Women, A Modern Cinderella, A Long Fatal Love Chase and now The Inheritanceâ€¦more than a few works by Louisa May Alcott have found a home in my bookcase. (And I know Iâ€™m not the only one to have more than one of her books!) So it was with pleasure that I accepted a friendâ€™s offer to take a trip to Concord, MA â€“ a quick 15-20 minutes drive from Boston â€“ to tour Louisa May Alcottâ€™s Orchard House.
Home to the Alcott family from 1858-1877, Orchard House is the most permanent residence they had after moving over 20 times in almost 30 years. Louisaâ€™s father named it after the orchard of apple trees on the property. The home and smaller tenant farmhouse that Mr. Alcott joined together to form the existing structure were both built in the late 17th-early 18th century. No major structural changes have been made to the house since the Alcotts lived there, so even if youâ€™re not a fan of Louisaâ€™s, the tour is still an attraction for anyone interested in early American architecture and/or history. The vast majority of furnishings on display belonged to the Alcotts and as such are true to the time period of the house. I loved the stone sink that Louisa purchased. It could easily find a home in a high-end kitchen of today, with a little modern plumbing of course. The closest the Alcotts came was having a well under the kitchen floor, saving them many a trip into the cold, blustery New England winter.
The tour includes the Louisaâ€™s room and the â€śshelf deskâ€ť built by her father at which she wrote Little Women. According to our guide, the fact that a woman had a desk set people to talking as it wasnâ€™t exactly appropriate for a woman at the time. Another interesting fact that seems somewhat strange today is that a woman couldnâ€™t write a will, so had Louisa died without heirs her estate would have gone to the government. Since she didnâ€™t have children of her own, she officially adopted one of her nephews to keep her wealth in the family. Another highlight for me in addition to the fun facts shared along the way was the great drawings by May â€“ there are dozens of them carefully preserved on the walls. I wonder how much trouble she would have gotten into for drawing on the walls if she hadnâ€™t been such a talented artist.
Tours of the house are by reservation only on a first come, first served basis. Individuals canâ€™t make advance reservations or purchase tickets on any day other than the day they wish to tour the house. However, groups of 10 or more must make advance reservations.
Current Admission Rates: Adults: $9; Seniors & Students: $8; Youths: $5; Children under 6: Free;
Family Rate (2 Adults & up to 4 Youths): $25.00
Coupon for $.50 off regular admission can be found on the website (http://www.louisamayalcott.org/)
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