Reliving the American Revolution
Trip Start Jul 24, 2007
43Trip End Aug 24, 2007
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After sheepishly buying new underwear (as a family, which is weird let me tell you) we drove towards Concord. I love the outskirts of Boston, there is so much history there and it is so pretty. I had the privilege of going to Boston last summer with a friend and got to see a lot of things in the city and in the country, I loved it, it was one of my best vacations ever
First, we stopped at a house called "The Wayside," it had been owned first by a some random people, then the Alcott family (as in Louisa May Alcott i.e. "Little Women") and then Nathanael Hawthorne ("The Scarlet Letter") and the the Lothrop family ("The Five Little Peppers"). All of which were influential writers of their time and are still even now. We could not go inside the house because we didn't have time for a tour, but we did go inside the museum/barn next to the house. It had a very nice exhibit detailing the lives of the authors who had lived in the house as well as their relationship to each other, and other authors in that period such as Emerson and Thoreau. Next, we went next door/down the road to "The Orchard House" which was also owned by Bronson Alcott and his family. All the Alcott girls lived there and no doubt that was the inspiration for Louisa May to later write "Little Women" based on her life in Concord. I should also note that the road we were driving on had been the same road the the Bedford/Lexington/Concord minutemen had marched down in the Revolutionary War, very exciting!
At this point we were getting a little hungry (or I was at least, as usual) so we drove into town. There we stopped at the information center to pick up some maps and then window shopped down the street on our way to find "Helen's Restaurant" which had been recommended to us by the info center guide. Apparently, he had referred a lot of people to the restaurant because it was packed with people, but eventually we got a seat, and the food was yummy so that made up for the wait
After eating we walked off our meal by walking the mile or so down to the Old North Bridge. Now if you can remember your American history then you will know that this is where the American's and the British first faced off and the first shot or "the shot heard 'round the world" was fired. Now the bridge has been rebuilt and there is a nice statue on each side of the bridge to remind people of the history that occurred there. An obelisk statue was on one side of the bridge paid for by the people of Concord and on the other (or the side the American's were on) had a statue of a minute man sculpted by William Chester French. Both were very nice, also on the obelisk side was a memorial to the British soldiers who died there.
On our way back to town we checked out the "Old Manse" house owned by Ralph Waldo Emerson's father, Rev. Emerson. His house was literally right next door to the Old North Bridge, so he could have seen the beginning of the Revolution from only a few feet away. That must have been something.
We trekked back into town to our car and drove to the Sleepy Hollow Cemetery (no connection to the headless horseman or Ichabod Crane)
After the cemetery we drove to Emerson's house and walked around a bit before driving to Waldon Pond. Waldon Pond today looks a little different now then it did when Thoreau built his cabin beside it over a hundred years ago. He lived there for two years in peace in quiet writing and communing with nature. Today, they have created a beach area for people to swim, which was packed. In fact all the way around the pond there were people in the water. To get to the site of Thoreau's cabin you had to go on quite a hike. We decided the walk was worth it so we went half way around the cabin to get there. It was really cool to see because I had an English teacher in high school who was crazy about Thoreau. So it was fun to see what he was talking about, and I am sure he would have loved it. Since we were already half way around the lake, we decided to just finish walking the whole thing. I was quite proud of us for walking the couple miles, plus it was a nice change from being in the car so much. That pretty much concluded our day and we drove on to our next hotel.