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The first shots of the Revolutionary War were fired nearby – and, less than a century later, Emerson, Hawthorne, and Thoreau spawned a revolution in American philosophy from here.
What makes the Old Manse a special place?
A handsome Georgian clapboard building, The Old Manse sits near the banks of the Concord River among rolling fields edged by centuries-old stone walls and graced by an orchard. From upstairs, you can look out over the North Bridge, where the famous battle of April 19, 1775, took place. Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorne both called the Manse home for a time – and each found inspiration here. Emerson would draft his famous essay “Nature” from an upstairs room, and Hawthorne would write 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 does not have public bathroom facilities; however, bathrooms are available at the National Park Service parking area less than .25 mile from The Old Manse.
The grounds are open year-round, daily, sunrise to sunset. A short network of footpaths connects the Old Manse to the North Bridge and boathouse on the Concord River. Easy walking.
The Old Manse is a National Historic Landmark and a link in the Bay Circuit Trail.
Tours, Programs, and Events at the Old Manse
For Hours and Tour Schedule click the "Planning Your Visit" tab above
For more information on programs and events, click on the "Events" tab above.
The Old Manse Bookstore
This specialty bookstore is open the same hours as the house (see "Planning Your Visit" tab above.)
It sells a variety of books about The Trustees of Reservations, The Old Manse, 19th-century Concord authors, American Transcendentalism, women's history, and the American Revolution. The store is a perfect place to browse, and it also sells assorted souvenirs such as postcards and t-shirts. Trustees members receive a 10% discount on all merchandise.