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.