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The Old Manse

Phone: 
(978) 369-3909
Type: Historical Site

Built in 1770 for patriot minister William Emerson, The Old Manse, a National Historic Landmark, became the center of Concord’s political, literary, and social revolutions over the course of the next century. In the mid-nineteenth-century, leading Transcendentalists such as Bronson Alcott, Henry David Thoreau, and Margaret Fuller discussed the issues of the day here, with the Hawthorne and Ripley families.

Authors Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorne both called the Manse home for a time. Emerson drafted his famous essay “Nature” from an upstairs room, and Hawthorne wrote a tribute to the homestead called Mosses from an Old Manse. Hawthorne and his wife, Sophia, started their married life here, and you can still see the poems they wrote to each other, etched on the Manse’s window panes. The heirloom vegetable garden, which has been recreated today, was originally planted by Henry David Thoreau in honor of the Hawthornes’ wedding. 

The Old Manse is open daily for guided, walk-in tours and pre-booked tours year round.

Address: 269 Monument Street
Concord, MA 01742
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More Literary Places Nearby:

28 Cambridge Turnpike
Concord, MA 01742
399 Lexington Road
Concord, MA 01742
915 Walden Street
Concord, MA 01773
City Guide

by Ifeanyi Menkiti

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The city of Emerson, Thoreau, and the Transcendentalists has produced many prominent writers in its past, but it is also a city whose literary history is still in the making. Ifeanyi Menkiti, who was born in Onitsha, Nigeria, and moved to Massachusetts eventually becoming owner of the nation’s oldest poetry bookstore, tours the vast literary landscape of the greater Boston area.

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Magazine Articles

by Staff

July/August 2013

Small Press Points highlights the innovation and can-do spirit of independent presses. This issue features Off the Grid Press, which publishes books exclusively by poets over the age of sixty.

by Alex Dimitrov

May/June 2012

Started by husband-and-wife writers Stona and Ann Fitch, Concord Free Press is using a philanthropic publishing model to successfully distribute limited-edition books at no cost, upon request.

by John Stazinski

January/February 2012

The Grub Street literary center has created a long-form fiction class that might offer a cure for the novel-writing anxiety that the traditionally story-centric MFA workshop isn’t equipped to resolve.

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