Discover Concord Spring 2024

Page 12

CONCORD Discover

Patriots’ Day 2024


Mystery of The Old Manse

Local Patriots of Color


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Spring Returns to Concord

WWelcome to the spring 2024 issue of Discover Concord Patriots’ Day is right around the corner, and we have it covered for you. In fact, the 250th anniversary of the “shot heard ‘round the world” is just one year away and planning for this momentous celebration has already been underway for some time, as Concord and surrounding towns prepare to welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors from around the globe. The hundreds of historic reenactors who make these events possible are also hard at work – training, practicing, and ensuring every detail is ready. Learn what it takes to be an historic reenactor in “Many Voices, One Revolution” on p. 18.

Patriots’ Day commemorations and celebrations are a special time every spring, and we have everything you need to stay in the know for the 2024 events. Turn to p. 12 for a roundup of Patriots’ Day activities this April. Looking to brush up on your history? Go to p. 14 for our “Illustrated Timeline of April 19, 1775,” to follow the events of the fateful day hour-by-hour.

Did you know that on April 19, 1775, an estimated twenty to forty colonists of African or Native American descent fought along the Battle Road? In fact, men of color and Indigenous peoples have a storied history when it comes to fighting for our nation. “Local Patriots of Color in the American Revolution” (p. 26) looks at the contributions of those men who served at the very start of the revolution.

The engravings of Amos Doolittle document some of the turning points in our nation’s history. They represent some of the only images we have as a reference of the battles of Concord and Lexington. Discover more in “Amos Doolittle: Picturing the Birth of America” on p. 22.

Margaret Fuller was a leading voice in the Transcendentalist, anti-slavery, and women’s rights movements, and a deep influence to many of her peers in Concord. In July 1850, Margaret died, along with her husband and son, in a shipwreck off the coast of New York. She was only 40 years old. Margaret’s voice still resonates today, though, as you’ll learn in “Safely Sailing On: Margaret Fuller’s Spirit in Concord.”

Concord comes alive in spring – with everything from the Concord Museum’s Garden Tour to a rich array of arts and cultural activities. As always, you’ll find dozens of things to do, as well as walking maps, and even an article on kidfriendly gardening activities for the spring. There is so much to discover in and around Concord this spring!

Whatever your plans, we wish you a springtime filled with sunshine, flowers, and friends.

2 Discover CONCORD | Spring 2024
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10 Things to See & Do this Spring

12 Patriots’ Day 2024: The American Revolution Begins

16 An Illustrated Timeline of April 19, 1775

18 Many Voices, One Revolution



20 Sharing a Piece of History in Concord Center


22 Amos Doolittle: Picturing the Birth of America


26 Local Patriots of Color in the American Revolution


28 Their War: Ezekiel Davis


32 Gathering Before the Storm: Concord, the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia, and the Encampment of 1859

34 Leaving it to the Fate of Time: Samuel Melvin’s Civil War

4 Discover CONCORD | Spring 2024
Page 6
Contents Continued on
p. 22
Guest Rooms – Restaurant and Tavern – Outdoor Patio Dining — Groups & Events All in the Heart of Historic Concord Perfectly situated just a short walk from the Minute Man National Historic Park, the Old North Bridge, Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House, and the Concord Museum! Walk to Concord Center’s charming sights and shops. Then come home to a cocktail on the patio and a delicious meal. Welcome to Concord’s Colonial Inn! We look forward to your visit. 48 Monument Square - Concord, MA 01742 Hotel: 978.369.9200 Restaurants: 978.369.2373 Groups & Events: 978.341.8201
6 Discover CONCORD | Spring 2024 Contents Continued on Page 8 contents
A Patriot’s Pilgrimage BY RUTH ANN MURRAY
Where to Stay, Shop, and Eat in Concord
Walking Maps of Concord
Safely Sailing On: Margaret Fuller’s Spirit in Concord BY KRISTI LYNN MARTIN
Thoreau and Concord’s Birds BY REBECCA MIGDAL
Go, Speed the Stars BY JAIMEE JOROFF
The Thrill of the Hunt in Consignment Shopping: Marimekko Returns to West Concord BY JENNIFER C. SCHÜNEMANN
Concord Kids: Kid Friendly Gardening Opportunities BY BAREFOOT BOOKS
Historic Concord: Plan Your Visit BY CYNTHIA L. BAUDENDISTEL
38 p. 46
ANDERSON H OR T ICUL T UR E PR E S E RV AT IO N ANDERSON L A N D SC A P E CONSTRUC T IO N L A N D SC A P E CONSTRUC T IO N ANDERSON L A N D SC A P E CONSTRUC T IO N Connecting People HORTICULTURE PRESERVATION n Fine gardening concierge care n Year-long individualized all-season programs n Landscape design and planting installation LANDSCAPE CONSTRUCTION n Architect, landscape design and build with supervised project management n Pool and spa, outdoor kitchens, masonry walls, walkways & patios, fireplace & fire pits Connect with us to schedule a no obligation free consultation 978-422-6500 or on our website @


Cynthia L. Baudendistel


Jennifer C. Schünemann


Beth Pruett


Wilson S. Schünemann


Kathi Anderson THE WALDEN

Bobbi Benson BOBBIE

Patricia Clarke SARA CAMPBELL


Marie Foley

Marie Gordinier RALPH WALDO

Robert A. Gross

Helen Halloran


Rob Munro CONCORD250




Steve Verrill VERRILL FARM


Jerry Wedge



COVER PHOTO: Reenactor




Katie Baum

Pierre Chiha

Victor Curran

Beth van Duzer

Jarrad Fuoss

Jim Hollister

Jaimee Joroff

Marybeth Kelly

Erica Lome

Kristi Lynn Martin

Rebecca Migdal

Ruth Ann Murray

Jennifer C. Schünemann

Richard Smith

Dave Witherbee


8 Discover CONCORD | Spring 2024 CONCORD Discover
Robert Sigmon keeps the beat for his fellow minute men as they prepare to march towards the North Bridge in Concord, MA. © Pierre Chiha Photographers
L. Baudendistel
© 2024 Voyager Publishing, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed, or transmitted in any form by any means without the prior written permission of the publisher. ISSN 2688-5204 (Print) ISSN 2688-5212 (Online) For reprint and permission requests, please contact | 314.308.6611 FOR ADVERTISING INFORMATION: Jennifer C. Schünemann at | 978.435.2266 62 The Mystery of The Old Manse BY
Telling Their Stories
64 From Walden Pond to The Wayside: A Transcendental Amble
Artist Spotlight BY KATIE
70 Arts Around Town BY CYNTHIA L. BAUDENDISTEL 72 Concord Trivia BY BARROW BOOKSTORE 76 Images of Spring: From Wood Ducks to Patriots’ Day BY DAVE WITHERBEE
Advertiser Index contents

1 Visit Concord Museum’s new exhibition, “What Makes History: New Stories from the Collections.” Tour the new exhibition with the curators at 11:00 am and 2:00 pm. Visit for more information and additional dates of curator-led tours. Opening day, March 22.

2“Radical Spirits: The Material Culture of Drinking at Minute Man National Historical Park” Punch bowls, and tankards, and bottles, oh my! Join Minute Man National Historical Park’s museum curator Nikki Walsh for a lecture focusing on the park’s collection related to eighteenth-century

19 Things to See & Do in Concord this Spring

drinking culture, including aspects of drink in earlier and later periods of history. March 24

3Enjoy the Arts in Concord! From live music to visual arts, to theatre and more, the Concord arts scene springs to life this season! See our “Arts Around Town” article on p. 70 for a rich roster of live events. And for an up-close view of some of our area’s finest artists, see our “Artist Spotlight” on p. 68.

4 Bundle up and join the fun for the Annual Egg Hunt on March 29 at Emerson Soccer Field. Search for candy and prize-filled plastic eggs, get your photo with the Bunny, enjoy the petting zoo, and more!

5Celebrate Patriots’ Day as Minute Man National Historical Park presents events honoring the men and women who fought for a new nation on April 19, 1775. See our article on p. 12 for activities and events in and around Concord, planned April 6 – 19.

6Celebrate Ellen Garrison Day and honor the contributions of Concord resident Ellen Garrison. Ellen was born on April 14, 1823, in Concord, the granddaughter of Revolutionary War veteran, Caesar

Robbins. Ellen lived a life dedicated to the struggle for civil rights from Concord to California. Head to 12 Monument Square on April 14 at 6:00 pm to honor this remarkable woman. There will be music, living history presentations, and more.

7 On April 15, enjoy free admission to the Concord Museum and visit the immersive April 19, 1775, gallery to see the “One if by land, two if by sea” lantern hung in the North Church to signal Paul Revere on his midnight ride. During your visit, participate in drop-in activities to learn about life and craft in the colonies. Witness the brave Acton Minutemen company in an encampment outside the Museum as they drill with muskets to prepare for battle, cook over a firepit, and demonstrate colonial spinning and sewing. Beware of a Redcoat from the British Army roaming the galleries looking for Provincial rebels. Talk with him about the experiences of the Redcoats on April 19, 1775.

8The Walden Woods Project presents Thoreau and The Miracle of Poetry: An Earth Day, Birthday, and National Poetry Month Celebration. “A poem is one undivided, unimpeded expression fallen ripe into literature,” Thoreau wrote in A Week on

10 Discover CONCORD | Spring 2024
Courtesy of Friends of Minute Man National Park Radical Spirits Courtesy of the Concord Museum Patriots’ Day

the Concord and Merrimack Rivers. Join three contemporary poets who will read from their work in the spirit of Thoreau. A wine and cheese reception with the poets will precede the reading. April 23

9Thoreau’s Pencil: Annual Earth Day Forum Join historian Augustine Sedgewick for a deep dive into the history of the Thoreau family’s pencil manufacturing business. A story of environmental history and material culture, Thoreau’s pencils bring us to Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida where enslaved people harvested red cedar and to Concord where Thoreau worked to improve his family’s business. What do these pencils reveal to us about the Thoreau we know so well? April 25


Join The Walden Woods Project for a Vernal Pool Exploration as Matt Burne and Will Leona return to lead an in-person exploration of one of Lincoln’s vernal pools. Learn about the special ecology of these ponds and search for frogs, salamanders, fairy shrimp, and more! April 27


A Portrait of Ralph Waldo Emerson

More than two centuries after his birth, Ralph Waldo Emerson remains one of the presiding spirits in American culture. Yet his reputation as the starry-eyed prophet of

self-reliance has obscured a much more complicated figure who spent a lifetime wrestling with injustice, philosophy, art, desire, and suffering. James Marcus introduces us to this Emerson, a writer of self-interrogating genius whose visionary flights are always grounded in Yankee shrewdness. May 1

12 An

Exploration of The

Golden Ratio in Nature and Architecture Join the Louisa May Alcott Orchard House and the French Heritage Society, with guest Christopher Kelly, for an exploration of the mysterious Basilica of Vézelay (France). Built in the 1100s, this World UNESCO Heritage site demonstrates a stunning display of mathematical accuracy, together with a profound connection to nature and the stars. Architects and Transcendental philosophers alike will appreciate the phenomenon known as the architecture of light on regal display each season of each year. May 11 at 6pm. Champagne and charcuterie included with this fascinating lecture at the Concord School of Philosophy. Tickets and more information at

13 Kite Festival – grab the kids and head to Rideout Field in West Concord on May 4 from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm

for a fun afternoon with professional kite flyers and an ice cream truck! This free family event is sure to bring out the kid in all of us.

14 Mothers’ Day Brunch at Verrill Farm This beloved tradition returns after a three-year hiatus. Treat mom to a special day with an outdoor brunch at Verrill Farm. Fresh, delicious, and festive, this cherished event is sure to make mom feel loved! Reservations required in advance. May 12

15 Appraisal Day with Bonhams Skinner Do you have a family heirloom passed down through generations? Maybe a great yard sale item or flea market find that might be a treasure? Would you like to know what it is worth? Bring your special items to Bonhams Skinner appraisers

Karen Keane, CEO, and Christopher Fox, Vice President, at the Concord Museum for a verbal appraisal. May 15

16Half American: A Memorial Day Forum Join Dartmouth College Historian Matthew F. Delmont for a forum on his award-winning new book Half American: The Heroic Story of African Americans Fighting World War II at Home and Abroad More than one million Black soldiers served in World War II in segregated units while waging a dual battle against inequality in the very country for which they were laying down their lives. May 21

17Emerson-Thoreau Amble Walking

Tour Celebrate Emerson’s birthday and follow the footsteps of writers Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau! Enjoy the spring weather and learn about the friendship of two notable observers of nature from a museum interpreter. May 25


Don’t miss the 35th Annual Garden Tour! Join the Concord Museum Guild of Volunteers and visit six stunning private gardens in beautiful Concord. It’s the perfect way to welcome summer. June 7 – 8

19 You know summer is just around the corner when it’s time for the Strawberry Festival at Verrill Farm! Join friends and bring the kids to this festive (and delicious) tradition on June 15.

Courtesy of the Concord Museum
Emerson-Thoreau Amble 11
Ralph Waldo Emerson

PATRIOTS’ DAY 2024 The American Revolution Begins

Each year in Concord, Lexington, and other nearby towns, thousands of people from around the world gather to commemorate the events that led to the American Revolution. Reenactors, historians, tour guides, park rangers, and others plan events that capture the spirit and sacrifice of those early days of revolution. Here are a few of the highlights of this year’s events.


11:00 am - 2:00 pm

Open House at Meriam’s Corner Nathan Meriam House

Visit the Nathan Meriam witness house and talk with costumed park staff about the Meriam family and the importance of the crossroad near their home on April 19, 1775. In the early afternoon of that fateful day, militia soldiers arriving from Reading, Chelmsford, and Billerica attacked retreating British soldiers near this home. From Meriam’s Corner to Charlestown, the fighting raged continuously for eight hours and roughly 16 miles. Today, this important home marks the beginning of the “Battle Road.”


1:30 pm - 4:30 pm

The Search of the Barrett Farm Colonel James Barrett House

On April 19, 1775, a contingent of about 120 British soldiers marched over the North Bridge to Barrett’s farm in search of military arms and supplies. During this open house program, you can explore the interior of this 319-year-old home, talk with costumed park staff about military preparations in 1775, and learn the story of Rebeckah Barrett, who went toe to toe with the British Soldiers searching her home.


Battle Road Tactical Demonstration Events happening across Minute Man National Historical Park

This is the signature living history event at Minute Man National Historical Park, featuring hundreds of volunteer reenactors. Throughout the day learn about the events

of April 19, 1775, from many points of view. Enjoy a full schedule of living history programs and demonstrations, including a fast-paced tactical demonstration along a restored stretch of the original Battle Road! Talk with volunteers portraying colonial civilians forced to leave their homes, minutemen who answered the sudden call to arms, British soldiers fighting for king and country, and Loyalists who saw the struggle differently from their neighbors.

9:30 am - 11:30 am

Hartwell Tavern Open House

Explore the interior of Hartwell Tavern and talk with living history interpreters dressed in eighteenth century attire. Learn about the experiences of the Hartwell Family on April 19, 1775, or talk about the civilian evacuation that preceded fighting along the Battle Road!

9:30 am- 11:30 am

Time TBD - Caught in the Storm of War: The Civilian Evacuation

Learn about the experiences of noncombatants on April 19, 1775.

1:00 pm

Parkers Revenge Tactical Demonstration

Smith House Open House

Explore the interior of the William Smith House and talk with living history interpreters dressed in eighteenth century attire. Learn about the experiences of civilians caught in the storm of war on April 19, 1775!

Parkers Revenge Battle Site

(Near Minute Man Visitor Center)

Watch as hundreds of volunteer reenactors demonstrate the complex tactics used by militia soldiers and British Regulars along the Battle Road on April 19, 1775.

12 Discover CONCORD | Spring 2024
All photos © Pierre Chiha Photographers


8:30 am - North Bridge Fight Commemoration

North Bridge, Concord Commemorate Patriots’ Day with a dramatic tactical demonstration involving colonial minutemen, British Regulars, and musket fire, marking the “shot heard ‘round the world.”

12:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Battle Road Anniversary Hike

Join National Park Rangers for an immersive four-mile guided Battle Road trail hike to Friske Hill and follow in the footsteps of the ill-fated British column during the Concord expedition. This experiential program will bring the stories of the battle road to life through guided interpretation and immersive living history elements. Learn about the trials and triumphs of those who experienced the bloody events of April 19, 1775. Pre-registration is required for this limited attendance event.


Ceremony 7:45 pm - 8:30 pm

Luminaria 7:30 pm- 9:00 pm

Patriot Vigil

North Bridge, Concord

As darkness descends upon the North Bridge battlefield, come and reflect on the events of April 19, 1775, and the meaning of liberty. The evening ceremony will feature a lantern-light procession, poetry, music, and a recitation of the names of the soldiers who gave their lives on that “evermemorable” 19th of April. The path from the North Bridge Visitor Center to the North Bridge will be lit

with 122 luminaries to honor those who lost their lives in the battle.


10:00 am - 4:30 pm

Hartwell Tavern Open House

This is your chance to explore the interior of Hartwell Tavern and talk with interpreters dressed in eighteenth century attire. Learn about the experiences of the Hartwell Family on April 19, 1775, or talk about popular drinks consumed in the eighteenth century tavern room!

11:00 am

The Minute Men: Neighbors In Arms Hartwell Tavern

What did it mean to be a minuteman in 1775? How were they trained and armed? Join a park ranger at the historic Hartwell Tavern in Lincoln, MA, where John and Isaac Hartwell, two minutemen from the town of Lincoln, lived. Discover the motivations and realities faced by those who volunteered to be “ready at a minute’s warning.”

2:00 pm

The Aftermath of Battle

When the fighting ended on April 19, 1775, a road of carnage stretched over 16 miles from Concord to Boston. On the 249th Anniversary of the battle, join a park ranger at the historic Hartwell Tavern in Lincoln, MA, to learn the harrowing stories of those who buried the dead, cared for the wounded, and faced an uncertain world in the days following.

For more information and timely updates, visit

National Park Service staff will be on hand to help guide you to parking, but please plan well ahead for these enormously popular events.

Dress in layers, wear comfortable shoes, and bring water. Restrooms are available, but could be spaced far apart.

Please stay behind the rope lines. While all reenactors are firing blanks, it is still dangerous to step into an active reenactment site.

If park staff see a person cross the ropes, they will stop the entire scene to keep people safe. Please respect the hard work that goes into preparing these events, and abide by the rules.

Muskets and cannon fire are loud. Those with sensitive hearing and small children may be more comfortable watching from a distance. And while your trusted furry friend may THINK he wants to come along, many dogs are frightened by loud noises. They might be more comfortable at home.

The Patriot Vigil allows candle lanterns only. No flashlights or LED lighting please, out of respect for those who passed on this important day in our nation’s history.

For updates on events – including what to do in the event of inclement weather – visit the National Park Service website at mima/planyourvisit/ special-event.htm.

Discover CONCORD 13
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What happened on April 19, 1775? Explore this illustrated timeline for the full story.

10:30 pm APRIL 18, 1775

On the evening of April 18, 1775, Provincial leaders in Boston learn that General Gage is sending 700 British Regulars to raid a stockpile of military supplies in Concord.

Paul Revere arranges for two lanterns to be lit in the belfry of North Church, signaling that the Regulars are heading out by water.

10:30 pm - 12:00 am

Revere and William Dawes, another alarm rider, set out, while British Regulars cross the Charles River. Both the lantern signal and additional riders serve to spread the alarm in all directions. Provincial forces begin to mobilize around the countryside.

12:00 am

Provincial leaders Samuel Adams and John Hancock receive the news and leave Lexington to avoid the Regulars. Revere and Dawes then race toward Concord but are captured by a British patrol. A new rider, Samuel Prescott, carries on and alarms the people of Concord.

2:00 am - 4:30 am

The Regulars, still on the banks of the Charles River, have lost the element of surprise. They begin their march to Concord, which will take them through Lexington. Meanwhile, Lexington’s militia await their arrival at Buckman’s Tavern.

16 Discover CONCORD | Spring 2024
1 2 3
1 Lantern, about 1775. Concord Museum Collection, Gift of Cummings E. Davis (1886); M400a1 2,5,7 Still images from the April 19, 1775 animation at the Concord Museum. Produced by RLMG. 3 Clock movement and dial, 1769. Concord Museum Collection, Gift of the Decorative Arts Fund with assistance of Malcolm R. Mahan (1975); F2512. Reproduction case made by William Huyett, 2020. Gift of William and Lauren Huyett. 4 Silver-hilted Sword, about 1760. Concord Museum Collection, Gift of Mrs. Chandler; A2060.1 6 Beam from the North Bridge, Concord, Massachusetts. Concord Museum Collection, Gift of the Town of Concord (1956); M2130
“Here once the embattled farmers stood and fired the shot heard round the world”
— RALPH WALDO EMERSON, Concord Hymn, 1837

5:00 am

Drumbeats summon Lexington militia to gather on the Lexington Common as the British approach. Major John Pitcairn’s advance companies of 100 Regulars encounter Captain John Parker and his 60 men. Despite orders on both sides not to engage, a shot rings out. In response, the Regulars open fire. Seconds later, eight Provincials lay dead and ten more wounded.

The advance companies regroup and rejoin the main column of Regulars. Together, the soldiers resume the march to Concord.

9:00 am

The Provincials stationed above the North Bridge are alarmed to see smoke rising from the center of Concord. Believing that Regulars are ransacking the town, they ready for combat and march toward the bridge.

The 100 British Regulars at the bridge open fire, killing two Provincials: Isaac Davis and Abner Hosmer. Major John Buttrick orders his men to return fire – the famous “shot heard round the world.” Three minutes later, three Regulars are dead and several more wounded.

12:00 pm

Having accomplished their mission, the Regulars begin marching back to Boston. However, their path is impeded by Provincial forces who keep up an encircling fire on the main column. The march turns into a 15-mile long battle.

7:30 am

The British Regulars arrive in Concord. By then, 450 Provincial militia and minutemen have assembled near the North Bridge. The Regulars split up to secure the town’s bridges and destroy military supplies. Luckily, the Provincials had relocated most of the stockpile shortly before the raid. The Regulars set on fire or throw in the mill pond what little they find.

4:30 pm

Eventually, outnumbered two to one, the British face some of the harshest fighting of the day near present-day Arlington. Many Regulars abandon their arms to lighten their load on the return to Boston. By now, Provincial forces total 3600 men.

2:00 pm

In Lexington, the returning Regulars are joined by a relief column of 1000 Regulars. By this point, the Provincial forces have grown to over 1500 men, a number that continues to increase as militiamen from all over Massachusetts join the fray.

7:30 pm

With 243 men killed, wounded, and missing, the Regulars barely make it back to Boston by sundown. The Siege of Boston begins.

An alarm system that began with two lit lanterns summoned 20,000 Provincials from across the region. This massive force confined the British Army to Boston for 11 months, a siege that ended with George Washington’s capture of Dorchester Heights. The occupying British troops left Massachusetts in March of 1776, never to return.

See the events of April 19, 1775 unfold at the Concord Museum online and in person! The new permanent galleries tell the story of that fateful day as never before, guided by artifacts and multi-media animations. The exhibition continues online with the Museum’s ‘Shot Heard Round the World’ microsite which was officially recognized by the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission. and

Erica Lome was the Peggy N. Gerry Curatorial Associate at the Concord Museum.

Discover CONCORD | 17
4 5 7 6 Reprinted from the Spring 2022 issue of Discover Concord Reprinted from the Spring 2023 issue of Discover Concord

One Revolution Many Voices

EEach year, hundreds of thousands of visitors from across the globe come to Concord, Lexington, and the surrounding towns to witness the time-honored traditions, tactical demonstrations, and festive commemorations that pay tribute to the first battle of the American Revolution. These amazing living history moments are only possible with the dedication and support of hundreds of passionate historical reenactors who work year-round to ensure the stories of our nation stay alive in the hearts and minds of visitors to our national parks.

On April 19, 1775, the world startled awake when ordinary citizens in the far away colonies of the Americas took up arms against the king’s troops and forever changed history with the “Shot Heard Round the World.” Those events would eventually give birth to a new nation. But the fight for freedom and independence was not won in a straight line. There were victories and defeats along the way, and many here struggled with where their hearts were – aligned with the

birth of a new nation or loyal to the King and country they had known for generations? What about the perspectives of Indigenous people, women, African Americans, children, and others who lived here at that time? How did their experiences and participation shape the outcome of those early days?

Right here in our area, there are more than 30 sites associated with the American Revolution – preserved and managed by the U.S. National Park Service and other state and local organizations and agencies. These historic sites bring to life the struggles and perspectives of those who lived in a very different time from our modern day. They allow visitors to walk the same grounds and experience the same sights, smells, and sounds as those who lived the events of the American Revolution. The opportunity to meet and interact with historic reenactors helps the more than one million visitors who come to the Minute Man National Historical Park (MMNHP) each year learn more about the story of our nation’s history.

These amazing volunteers bring history alive through a personal touch that introduces the thoughts, personas, and emotions that were a very real part of the eight years of warfare that would ensue after those first shots in Concord and Lexington.

The living history events that will take place up and down the Battle Road (a stretch of land that encompasses the Minute Man National Historical Park and several surrounding communities) is an awe-inspiring experience for anyone lucky enough to witness it each year around April 19. But 2025 promises to be truly momentous. The United States will celebrate the Semiquincentennial (250th) anniversary of those first battles in the American Revolution. In the past, Concord and Lexington have received sitting presidents on important anniversaries (President Grant was here in 1875, and President Ford in 1975). We can likely expect important dignitaries from the U.S. and even from other countries to be in attendance in 2025. The volunteers who

18 Discover CONCORD | Spring 2024
Living History

make up these celebrations each year are truly stepping up to ensure that everything will be extra special for next year.

Many people don’t realize the intense commitment of the volunteers who step into these historic roles each year to bring history alive for people and to keep the stories of independence and freedom in our collective memory.

“The Friends of Minute Man and Minute Man National Historical Park are fortunate to work with such talented living history reenactors and interpreters,” said Kathleen Fahey, Executive Director at Friends of Minute Man National Park. “These are the folks who bring history to life at the park and at historical sites around New England. By providing a full view of life during the American Revolution, from civilians to soldiers, these dedicated volunteers are crucial to Patriots’ Day and other living history events at Minute Man National Historical Park.”

In preparation for the upcoming 250th celebrations, Minute Man National Historical Park (MMNHP), the Friends of Minute Man National Park, Revolution250, Freedom’s Way National Heritage Area, and the Massachusetts Army National Guard sponsored a two-day symposium for living history interpreters, called “The Hive.” More than 100 people gathered to learn about the MMNHP plans for lectures, educational

activities, and living history events as the nation honors the 250th anniversary of the first battles of the American Revolution in 2025 and then celebrates the 250th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence in 2026.

“The valued work of dedicated volunteers provides opportunities for visitors to experience this history with all their senses and think deeper about the decisions and courage of individuals who witnessed the events of April 19, 1775,” said Jennifer Pierce, Visitor Service Manager at MMNHP.

Preparations included practice drills for minute man and militia reenactors. Much like the minute men of the 1700s, historic reenactors each spend hundreds of hours each year practicing drills, inspecting their weaponry, crafting historically accurate clothing, and learning the background of their role for each living history event or demonstration. Their dedication and perseverance results in an incredible experience for the public.

The dedication of these historic reenactors goes all the way down to their buttons, literally. Sewing and tailoring consultations honed the skills of the many talented artisans who create their own historically accurate outfits. Historical costumer Henry Cooke was on hand to point out the importance of fabric choice, hem length, waistcoat design, and much more. Sewing circles shared learning

and helped ensure accuracy for everything from buckles to bonnets. And a display of replicas of muskets, powder horns, and an exhibit of authentic eighteenth-century ephemera further inspired the attendees to strive for perfection.

We hope you will take the time to experience a tactical demonstration or live event during a Patriots’ Day celebration in historic Concord and Lexington. It is certain to be an experience of a lifetime!

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Interested in being a part of history? Contact the park at MIMA
This article made possible through the support of an anonymous lover of Concord Stories. A consultation with historical costumer Henry Cooke © Voyager Publishing Drills at The HIVE © National Park Service Crafting history © National Park Service

Sharing a Piece of History in Concord Center

AAntique treasure hunters are in for a treat with the arrival of Bobbi Benson Antiques and Estate Jewelry in Concord Center. A Concord resident of more than 25 years, Bobbi Benson is a talented generalist in the field of antiques. Drawing on more than 35 years of experience, Bobbi has curated a stunning collection of Staffordshire transferware, estate jewelry, nineteenth and twentieth-century ceramics, and sterling silver pieces.

Bobbi recently decided to open a new space for Bobbi Benson Antiques and Estate Jewelry within the well-known Thoreauly Antiques shop on Walden Street in Concord Center, as she found herself shifting and expanding the scope of her business and services to include informal appraisals,

estate sales, and consultations on whole house clean outs.

Bobbi’s new space combines design esthetic, antique and estate jewelry, ceramics, and one-of-a-kind treasures.

“There are so many pieces of fascinating history in Concord, and antiques are a wonderful way to connect that history with people,” said Bobbi. “I decided to move my business to historic Concord Center because I enjoy meeting people who visit here from all around the world. It’s such a magical moment when I can connect someone with that perfect antique gem or piece of estate jewelry that will remind them of their visit to this special town for years – even decades – to come.”

Bobbi looks forward to welcoming you to her space at Thoreauly Antiques, located at

25 Walden Street in Concord Center.

The shop is open Monday – Friday from 10 am to 5:30 pm, Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm, and Sunday from 11 am to 5 pm. Be sure to visit Bobbi at her Instagram site, @bobbibensonantiques, for information about new finds and special events.

20 Discover CONCORD | Spring 2024
This article made possible through the support of Bobbi Benson Antiques.
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Amos Doolittle

Picturing the Birth of America

OOne May morning in 1775, two men set out from Cambridge, bound for Lexington and Concord. The older one, Ralph Earl, was just shy of his twenty-fourth birthday, but was already an artist of some note. He lived in New Haven, Connecticut, but he had come to Boston to paint portraits.

His companion, Amos Doolittle, had recently finished his apprenticeship to a silversmith in Cheshire, Connecticut, and had set up shop as a bookseller in New Haven, trying to generate a little income while he established himself as an engraver and printer. His career was sidelined on April 21, 1775, when a messenger arrived in New Haven with the news that war had begun between the American colonies and Britain.

Doolittle was a patriot and a militiaman, so when his captain—a prosperous sea trader named Benedict Arnold—ordered his unit to join the provincials besieging the British troops in Boston, he shouldered his musket and joined the march. Arriving there on April 29, he learned that like most sieges, this one involved a lot of waiting. But he did encounter Ralph Earl—they had probably met in New Haven—and together they planned their expedition to Lexington and Concord.

The battles here on April 19 were electrifying news, and Doolittle knew that being the first to market pictures of the conflict would get his fledgling engraving business off the ground (and at the same time, rally support for the patriot cause, as Paul Revere’s 1770 engraving of the Boston Massacre had done).

Doolittle was a skilled craftsman, but had no training as an artist. That’s where Ralph Earl came in. Earl would sketch the battle sites, and Doolittle would copy Earl’s drawings onto engraving plates. According to Doolittle’s colleague John Warner Barber1,

Doolittle acted as Earl’s model, assuming various martial stances as Earl added figures to his battlefield scenes. Warner affirmed that “These plates, though crude in execution . . . give a faithful representation of the houses, etc., as they appeared at that time.”2

Doolittle published his set of four engravings (two of Lexington, two of Concord) later that year, priced at six shillings plain, eight shillings hand-colored. As printing historian Donald C. O’Brien wrote, “people pasted [Doolittle’s prints] to their parlor or outhouse walls; shop owners used them as posters, and town selectmen tacked them up on public billboards. Such ephemeral usage could account for their scarcity today. Once their message was no longer a priority, they were taken down and the paper used for other purposes.”3

In time, people realized the importance of the visual record that Doolittle created, and new limited-edition versions of the prints were produced in 1885, 1902, 1960, and 1975. The 1902 edition, published by Boston bookseller Charles Eliot Goodspeed, is often seen in modern museums and private collections.

Returning to civilian life in New Haven, Doolittle kept a shop on the corner of the Yale College yard. The war with England had caused a shortage of money and goods, so he cobbled together a living by doing a little bit of everything. He printed designs on fabric, painted signs, worked in silver, and even made metal buttons.

His proximity to Yale brought him a steady flow of small printing jobs. He began engraving Yale diplomas in the 1780s and continued to do so for at least thirty years. His work brought him to the attention of Benjamin Silliman, Yale’s first professor of

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Amos Doolittle, lithograph by Samuel Perkins Gilmore “A View of the Town of Concord,” engraved by Amos Doolittle, 1775

chemistry, and when Silliman launched The American Journal of Science in 1818, he turned to Doolittle to provide maps as well as images to illustrate concepts in mechanics, geology, and astronomy. Over the next decade he would provide at least sixty plates for Silliman’s Journal. (As with his Lexington and Concord prints, Doolittle transferred to printing plates images that had been drawn by Silliman or others.)

In the early years of American independence, the new nation had to learn how to manage things like currency and defense on its own. After 1793, coins were minted by the federal government, but paper money was issued by banks. The Washington Bank of Westerly, Rhode Island had Doolittle engrave plates for bank notes in various denominations. Of course, to get a contract to print money, Doolittle had to be “above suspicion,” and it seems he was, as in 1797 New Haven entrusted him with the job of tax assessor.4

When the U.S. Congress passed the Militia Act in 1792, states needed training manuals for their militias. Publisher Isaiah Thomas adapted the manual written by Baron Friedrich von Steuben during the American Revolution and published a new edition in 1797 with illustrations engraved by Doolittle.

As the new nation of America grew, its citizens wanted to examine how it was growing. Yale President Ezra Stiles observed in 1794 that most New Englanders “read Geography with avidity and Improvement,”5 and many of them were buying maps produced by Amos Doolittle. In 1789, he engraved “A Map of the Northern and Middle

States” for The American Geography by Jedediah Morse. Over the next seven years, he would engrave twenty-five more plates for editions of Morse’s Geography Made Easy 148 Doolittle maps have been documented in dozens of books from the period.

Under British rule, Americans had to import Bibles from England, as colonial printers were forbidden to produce them. Once American publishers were free to issue Bibles, Doolittle’s services were in demand. He engraved fifty or more plates of religious subjects. He and a partner, Simeon Jocelin, also published a hymn book, The Chorister’s Companion. A few years later, he branched out into secular music, engraving pages for The Select Songster


Through his prolific and varied career, Amos Doolittle never stopped using his professional skills to stir patriotic sentiments in

his fellow citizens, as he had done with his Lexington and Concord prints. During the War of 1812, he produced broadsides celebrating American victories over the British Navy, notably “Brother Jonathan Administering a Salutory Cordial to John Bull,” showing American Captain Oliver Hazard Perry forcing his British opponent, Captain Robert Barclay, to drink from a tankard of perry, the name of a liqueur but also a pun on Perry’s name.

Although not himself a statesman or a scholar, Doolittle made the work of statemen and scholars available to thousands of Americans. When he died in 1832 at age seventy-seven, Benjamin Silliman wrote in The American Journal of Science, “Our venerable old engraver, Mr. Doolittle, has descended to the tomb, nor are we willing that his name should float away on the tide of time . . . [He] was the American patriarch of the art; an amiable and worthy man.”6

Victor Curran writes and leads tours of historic Concord and is an interpreter at the Concord Museum and the Old Manse. He teaches courses and writes articles about the men and women who made Concord the home of American independence and imagination.

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1 A copy of John Warner Barber’s 1839 engraving Central Part of Concord, Mass. is in the William Munroe Special Collections at the Concord Free Public Library, and reproductions of it can be seen at many locations around town. 2 Barber, J. W. (1839). Massachusetts Historical Collections . . . Door, Howland & Co. 3 O’Brien, Donald C. (2008). Amos Doolittle: Engraver of the New Republic. Oak Knoll Press. 4 Ibid 5 Dexter, F.B. (1901). The Literary Diary of Ezra Stiles. Charles Scribner’s Sons. 6 Silliman, B. (1832). The American Journal of Science, Vol. 22. Hezekiah Howe & Co. “A Map of the Northern and Middle States” engraved by Amos Doolittle, 1789 “Brother Jonathan Administering a Salutory Cordial to John Bull” by Amos Doolittle, 1813
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Local Patriots of Color in the American Revolution

OOn April 19, 1775, an estimated twenty to forty colonists of African or Native American descent fought in the first battle of the American Revolution. On that historic day, those men, often termed “Patriots of Color,” joined approximately 4,000 other men fighting British Regular soldiers along the “Battle Road” from Concord to Boston. Over the last 250 years, racism and historical bias have effectively ignored or trivialized the contributions of those men and many other people of color in the historic struggle that produced the United States. To understand who the Patriots of Color were, how they contributed to the American Revolution, and why they chose to do so, we must examine their social context.

During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, slavery and racism were integral parts of colonial American society, relegating people of color to the lowest social classes. While the powerful were able to exert control over others, especially the enslaved, those at the bottom of the social order were forced into dependency, making life outside established institutions incredibly difficult. Slavery formed the backbone of the Massachusetts economy. From their tableware to their rum, the wealth and commodities of the slave trade touched every person in Concord.

By 1775, military service was also a routine aspect of life in Massachusetts. Since the seventeenth-century, militia laws required men meeting certain criteria to train for and turn out during times of war. By 1775, however, those militia laws barred Black and Indigenous men from training in town militia

companies. While only white male citizens between the ages of 16 and 60 were required to participate in militia training, the law stated that all men between the ages of 16 and 60 must turn out during an alarm. Thus, when news spread on the evening of April 18, 1775, warning that British Regular soldiers were marching toward stockpiles of military supplies in Concord, many men of color turned out with Provincial (Patriot) forces to oppose the raid. Muster rolls do not record the names of any men of color who served for Concord on April 19, 1775, but some Black men likely volunteered, turned out by law, or were forced into service by their enslavers.

between 1775 and 1783. By the end of the Revolution, an estimated 6,600 African and Native American men served with Patriot forces while many more served with the British. Why would some men of color willingly choose to fight for a society that treated them as inferior? Some individuals saw the war as an opportunity to affirm their cultural agency or gain further influence with Anglo-American society. Some likely served due to fear of reprisal by those who favored separating from Britain. Still others considered life, liberty, and property to be a birthright of all British subjects. During this tumultuous period filled with talk of liberty and freedom, many questioned whether the practice of human enslavement was consistent with the ideals preached by Patriot leaders. African American militiaman Lemuel Haynes wrote in 1776, “I query, whether Liberty is so contracted a principle as to be Confin’d to any nation under Heaven; nay, I think it not hyperbolical to affirm, that Even an Affrican, has Equally as good a right to his Liberty in common with Englishmen.” Although Haynes did not witness combat on April 19, 1775, many others did. Men from communities like Framingham, Lexington, and Beford turned outboth willingly and unwillingly.

Although barred from previous training, the men of color who fought on April 19, 1775, were the first of many to take up arms

From the first shots on the Lexington Green to the “Shot Heard ’Round the World” in Concord, Black men were on the frontlines of battle. When British Regular soldiers attempted to disperse a small band of Lexington militia early that morning, gunfire erupted from an unknown source. As the Regulars opened fire, an enslaved man named Prince Estabrook received a musket ball wound in his left shoulder. Mere hours later, local

26 Discover CONCORD | Spring 2024

narratives indicate a man named Caesar Jones, enslaved by 2nd Lt. Timothy Jones of Bedford, marched into battle at Concord’s North Bridge. As the British soldiers retreated along the Bay Road toward Boston that afternoon, thousands of militia poured into the battle, including more men of color.

When the fighting reached Lexington for the second time that day, Caesar and John Ferrit, a father and son of Indigenous and African descent, arrived from Natick to join in the urban combat that raged through Menotomy (Arlington). Current estimates indicate approximately 20-40 men of color engaged in combat on April 19, 1775, although the number is likely much higher, as some were never paid for their service, and others marched in the alarm but did not arrive in time to fire their guns.

In the weeks, months, and days following the fighting along the Bay Road, thousands more men of color turned out for service in both the Provincial and British Armies. At Bunker Hill, scores rushed into combat, including many who had participated on April 19. When George Washington arrived from Virginia and created the Continental Army in July 1775, he barred Black and Indigenous Men from enlistment. Following strong petitions from numerous people of color and white soldiers in the Continental Army, together with a desperate need for more men, Washington reversed his decision and allowed free Black and Indigenous men to enlist.

When the war shifted south after the Siege of Boston in 1776, many communities in Massachusetts struggled to fulfill enlistment quotas. During this period, more men of color filled the ranks and acted as substitutes for wealthy white men called out by draft. During the later phases of the war, many men from Concord enlisted, including Philip Barrett, enslaved by Colonel James Barrett, and Brister Freeman enslaved by Dr. John Cuming. Some men of color from other communities enlisted for Concord as well. Sampson Yearney of Medford enlisted to fight for Concord and died in service on March 7, 1779. While some such as Freeman returned to Concord following the war, others like Barrett likely took the opportunity to self-emancipate. Service in the military did not guarantee freedom for those who enlisted while enslaved.

Through the determined work of the community of color, slavery gradually came

to an end in Massachusetts during the 1780s. Unfortunately, the struggle for freedom across the United States continued for many decades. In many cases, the veterans of color who fought during the Revolution and their descendants led movements for the abolition of slavery, including the descendants of Concord resident and Revolutionary War veteran Caesar Robbins. In 1837, Robbins’ daughter, Susan Garrison, helped found the Concord Female Anti-Slavery Society. In 1866, Robbins’ granddaughter, Ellen Garrison, also stood up against racism in the Reconstruction South and worked to educate freed people.

As we approach the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution, dedicated research is restoring the narratives of Black and Indigenous people who participated in the American War for independence. By acknowledging the key roles they played in both its outcome and its aftermath, we form a more holistic view of the past that helps us navigate the present. The stories of those people who risked everything for freedom, equality, and justice help us shape our present views on these same topics.

For a full list of sources, please contact the author at MIMA

Jarrad Fuoss has been a Park Ranger with Minute Man National Historical Park since 2019. He has a master’s degree in Nineteenth-Century American History and a background in anthropology, archaeology, and public history.

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© © National Park Service Living History Volunteer The Robbins House

Their War: Ezekiel Davis

OObjects can sometimes carry meanings beyond their original purpose. For Ezekiel Davis of Acton, a peculiar hole in his old hat told a very big story!

In 1775, Ezekiel Davis was 21 years old. He and his older brother Isaac volunteered to serve in the town of Acton’s newly raised minute man company. Isaac was chosen and commissioned as the company’s captain. On April 19, 1775, the company marched to Concord and fought at the North Bridge. Two members of the company were killed by British musket fire, including Ezekiel’s older brother, Captain Isaac Davis.

Ezekiel himself had a very close call! A ball passed through his hat and grazed his head. Following the North Bridge fight, Ezekiel and the rest of the Acton minute company pursued the British soldiers back towards Boston. Ezekiel was paid for 16 days in camp. He then enlisted in Captain William Smith’s company of Col. John Nixon’s Regiment (5th Massachusetts). On June 17 the company was engaged in the Battle of Bunker/Breeds Hill.

Sometime after the battle, Ezekiel returned home to recuperate from an illness. He then returned to his regiment’s encampment on the fortified Winter Hill in Charlestown, where

he remained until the end of the year when his enlistment was up.

Ezekiel was called up again on March 4, 1776. General Washington fortified Dorchester Heights, and a general action was expected. However, the British did not attack, and the militia were sent home after a few days.

Ezekiel’s next term of service was quite memorable. On September 22, 1777, the

Massachusetts General Court called for “at the least one half of all the Able bodied militia officers, non commissioned officers & soldiers in the Counties of Berkshire, Hampshire, Worcester, & Middlesex & the third and fourth Regiments of the County of Essex”. The men were to join the Northern Army under General Gates. Ezekiel Davis served in Col. John Buttrick’s company (not a typo), Colonel Reed’s Regiment. They

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A man in colonial clothing and military accoutrements takes cover behind a large boulder and aims his musket. © Andrew Rowand

were present at the surrender of General John Burgoyne’s army and helped escort prisoners to Winter Hill in Charlestown, MA. He served for one month and 11 days.

Ezekiel’s final enlistment began on July 27, 1780. He served in Col. Cyprian How’s Regiment and marched to Rhode Island to “reinforce the Continental Army.” They were encamped at a place called “Butt’s Hill” in Portsmouth, Rhode Island; a rather quiet place since the British left it in 1779.

Ezekiel died in 1820. His widow, Susannah, applied for his pension in 1837. Susanna began her testimony by stating that her husband “was at the Concord Battle on the 19th day of April 1775 at which time…my said Husband had a ball shot through his hat ” She went on to say that after his enlistment at Boston had ended, “he wore home the same hat…that was shot through at Concord.” She also remembered that “he kept the same hat for a number of years after we married, I well recolect… I went to

Boston with my Husband and on our way he showed me the place where he stood when the ball was shot through his hat…” Another friend, testifying on Susanna’s behalf, remembered that her late husband, who had died during the war, spoke of Ezekiel and how he was “proud of wearing the same hat he had shot through at Concord ” She herself visited camp to pick up her husband’s effects after he died and met with Ezekiel. Even in that sad moment, he spoke to her “about his hat and showed me how that ball went through it ” Other veterans recounted similar anecdotes. It seems that in the mind of those who knew him, the memory of Ezekiel Davis was forever linked with that of his battlescarred hat.

Jim Hollister is a park ranger at Minute Man National Historical Park.

Reprinted with permission from Minute Man National Historical Park.


NARA Record group 15, NARA M804. Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land Warrant Application Files. Roll: 0752 National Archives NextGen Catalog

Resolves of the General Court #307 22 September, 1777 – Resolve Providing for a Reinforcement to the Northern Army.

Acts and resolves passed by the General Court : Massachusetts : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

Massachusetts Soldiers and Sailors of the Revolutionary War, Volume 4. page 488 ocm12601336-1898-v.4.pdf

Abbass, D.K. Ph.D “Butts Hill Fort, Portsmouth” Butts Hill Fort, Portsmouth | Rhode Tour

Frothingham, Richard. “History of the siege of Boston, and of the battles of Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill. Also an account of the Bunker hill monument, With illustrative documents” Boston, Little, Brown, & co, 1873. Pdf. Retrieved from the Library of Congress, < item/02004522/>.

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Gathering Before the Storm: Concord, the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia, and the Encampment of 1859

IIn 1859, militiamen were a common sight in Concord, having had a presence in the town for over two centuries. Uncommon, however, was the entirety of the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia descending on the town in early September 1859. Unlike April 19, 1775, the last time the militia flocked to Concord, this was not for a fight. Rather, militiamen were brought together to test and demonstrate their preparedness in the face of a potential rebellion that the political and military leaders of Massachusetts feared was inevitable. Choosing Concord was no accident either. While militia leaders would use this opportunity to inspect the readiness of their soldiers, doing so here at

the flashpoint of the American Revolution was meant to remind these militiamen of the historical importance of their predecessors in securing a nation and that they might just be called on to do the same.

By the 1850s, the Massachusetts militia looked very different from the militia of 1775. Starting in 1840, the Massachusetts Volunteer Militia was established, which, as the name suggests, was made up of all volunteers. Every man 16 to 60 continued to nominally be in the “enrolled” militia, but in reality, the core of over 5,000 all-volunteer militiamen made up the backbone of the Commonwealth’s armed forces. These men trained regularly and were organized into companies with

regiments, brigades, and divisions making up the succeeding levels of command. Already a highly sophisticated army, soldiers here were no stranger to encampments carried out at the regimental or brigade level, but never before (in Massachusetts or anywhere else in the nation) had a statewide encampment been conducted.

First proposed back in 1853, rising political and factional tensions over the 1850s encouraged the necessity of an encampment of this scale so militia discipline and equipment could be inspected and competency of leadership at various levels evaluated. In April of 1859, the general officers of Massachusetts set out to find a suitable

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September 24, 1859
Homer, The Grand Review at Camp Massachusetts, Near Concord, September 9, 1859, from Harper’s Weekly,
© Smithsonian American Art Museum

location to host a force this size. Before long, Concord was chosen, not only for its central location in the state but also due to its historic association with the start of the American Revolution. The generals chose Loring’s Crossing, an unoccupied piece of land bordered on three sides by the Assabet River, Nashoba Brook, and Warner’s Pond. Here Camp Massachusetts was established and preparations to host the entirety of the volunteer militia for the 3-day encampment were made.

Militiamen trekked from all corners of the Commonwealth to Concord and reported for duty at Camp Massachusetts by the early

were allowed in the camp, and, likewise, soldiers were restricted from going into town. If a soldier was found sneaking out of camp, all traveling expenses that the state promised to cover for them would not be reimbursed. Additionally, absolutely no alcohol was allowed within the camp. Over the entire period of the encampment, there were 11 reported arrests of soldiers, with all but one being released soon thereafter. The state was exceedingly happy with these numbers in their official reports.

Day two began with reveille at 5:30 am and roll call soon thereafter. Breakfast was then followed by a long day of drilling for the

morning of September 7, 1859. Following a dinner of roast beef at 12:30 p.m., the militia organized by division and started their ceremonial march in a column over two miles long to the site of the Old North Bridge. Though the bridge had since been torn down, the 1836 Battle Monument stood tall and served as a rallying point for the militia. Gathered at the monument, the militia gave three cheers to the minutemen of 1775 and the band played “Hail Columbia” and “Yankee Doodle.” They then circled back to finish their seven-mile trek and return to Camp Massachusetts for some much-needed rest.

With over 5,000 soldiers present and curious local spectators taking an interest in the encampment, militia leaders put in place several restrictions to preemptively cut down on rowdiness. First, only uniformed persons

soldiers. With numerous spectators present, brigadier generals observed battalionlevel drills throughout the morning. This was followed by brigade drills where the previously observing brigadier generals were now being inspected by the major generals of the Commonwealth. Finally, Commanderin-Chief, Governor Nathaniel P. Banks, conducted his first review of the divisions led by his major generals. Along with Governor Banks was special guest US Army MajorGeneral John E. Wool, a nearly 50-year army veteran who was brought to provide recommendations to the state militia based on his observations.

The review completed, the state’s 18 militia bands put on a concert that evening that not only included familiar American tunes such as “Hail to the Chief” and “Star Spangled

Banner” but foreign songs like “God Save the Queen” and “German Fatherland.” The next day, Governor Banks and Major-General Wool conducted a final review, but this time they were accompanied by 50,000 spectators including governors and officers from Rhode Island and New Hampshire.

At the close of the review, Governor Banks spoke on the merits and importance of citizen soldiery and its necessity to the maintenance of a free government. He would end his speech equal parts reflective and prophetic: “Remember, soldiers, that here was the first blood of the Revolution shed, and I do not doubt that if you are ever called on to defend the country and its interests, you will be ready at a moment’s call.”

In response, the over 5,000 soldiers shouted, “We will!”

This call would occur sooner rather than later. In less than two years, South Carolinian rebels bombarded US Fort Sumter on April 12, 1861. Massachusetts’ response was overwhelming with five regiments answering Lincoln’s call for troops mere days after the attack. By months’ end, Massachusetts men had already shed blood at Baltimore and were poised to defend the Capitol against Confederate rebels. The encampment made this swift action possible as it demonstrated weak points in militia leadership and deficiencies in equipment that were handled over the following year. These Massachusetts soldiers, prepared and inspired by the 1859 encampment, would forever after be known as the minutemen of 1861 and heirs to their 1775 predecessors.

Matthew Ahern is the collections specialist historian at the Massachusetts National Guard Museum and serves as a sergeant with the 126th Military History Detachment, Massachusetts Army National Guard. He holds a B.A. in history and English from the University of Massachusetts Lowell and a graduate certificate in public history from Salem State University where he is currently pursuing a M.A. in history. A lover of all things Concord, Matthew has worked at various town historic sites such as The Old Manse and The Robbins House since 2017 and became a licensed town guide in 2019.

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© Library of Congress Review of the Mass. volunteer militia, at Concord, Sept. 9, 1859, by His Excellency (Commander-in-Chief) Nathaniel P. Banks


Samuel Melvin’s Civil War

TThis spring marks the 180th anniversary of Samuel Melvin’s birth on April 9, 1844. While the entire family would be deeply and tragically affected by the Civil War, Samuel, the fourth child and third son, went through a particularly hard time while serving in the Union Army. This is the story of his Civil War.

Asa and Caroline Heald Melvin raised four boys and one daughter in Concord. When the war began in April 1861, the oldest son, Asa (named after his father), was the first to volunteer his services to the Union Army. After his three-month term of enlistment ended, he re-enlisted and was joined by two of his younger brothers, John and Samuel. A fourth brother, James, was too young to join the army in 1861 but would enlist in 1864.

Although Samuel was born and raised in Concord, as a teenager he moved to Lawrence, MA, to work as an operative in a textile factory. He was 17 years old when he followed in his brothers’ footsteps and enlisted as a private in Company K, 1st Massachusetts Heavy Artillery.

The 1st Massachusetts spent the first three years of the war stationed in the forts around Washington, D.C. But as the spring 1864 campaign against Robert E. Lee began, the need for manpower in the field led to the transfer of many units to the front, including the Melvins and the 1st Massachusetts. Pulled out of the relative safety of the fortifications, the “heavies” soon found themselves on the battle lines in the thickest of the fighting. The battles in Virginia in 1864 would be particularly horrific as General Grant would constantly attack the Confederate army for months on end without letting up.

Samuel had a diary, but it seems that he wasn’t very good at writing things down. With 1863 ending and a new year about to commence, he made a resolution to get better at recording his thoughts: “I have not put many things down, but next year I shall

be very punctilious and note [everything]... Perhaps in some future day, after I shall have passed to the spirit life, someone may take much pleasure in looking over this. Who can tell? But if I shall pass away ‘ere another year, ‘tis all for the best. With this little remark I close my diary for 1863, leaving it to the fate of time.”

As the Melvins’ regiment headed into Northern Virginia, Samuel noted in his diary the horrors all around him, including “lots of wounded” with “Drs. cutting them up”. The scenes of total war looked “mighty rough” to the 20-year-old. Bad food, rainy weather, sickness, Rebel shells flying overhead, unburied corpses, sleeping on the ground –Samuel reported on it all, and did his best to put on a brave face: “This is a rough life, and one that I do not like, but I shall stand it like a man.” And it was about to get a lot rougher for him.

On May 12, 1864, the Battle of Spotsylvania would begin, and the fighting would continue unabated for the next 12 days. Fighting at the Harris Farm on May 19 found the 1st Massachusetts in action for the first time. The battle was small but bloody: the Massachusetts regiment had 55 men killed, 312 wounded, and 27 missing or captured. Samuel reported that his “battalion went after the Rebs” and that “the fire was awful.” It was while helping a wounded comrade to the rear that Samuel was surrounded by Confederate

Andersonville Prison

34 Discover CONCORD | Spring 2024
© Library of Congress

troops, and the unthinkable happened; almost nonchalantly he would write in his diary, “I surrendered.”

From then on Samuel would keep a daily record of his life as a prisoner of war. The transfer from Virginia to a Georgia prisonerof-war (POW) camp wasn’t easy, and it got off to a rough start for Samuel and the other prisoners. “Marched all day. No rations all day. It was indeed truly painful,” Samuel recorded. Still, he kept up hope that things would get better, adding, “the time is not far distant, I hope & trust, when we can reap the rewards of life” with a continued faith in “ourselves, our country, and our God.”

Herded like cattle, marching in the heat (and sometimes pouring rain), and traveling by railroad in over-crowded boxcars with little or no food and water, Samuel and the other POWs finally arrived at Andersonville prison on June 3, 1864. Almost immediately Samuel noted the “deplorable condition” of the Union

“If I die here, I am sure we shall die in a good cause although in a brutal way.”

prisoners. Andersonville would become notorious as the worst POW camp of the Civil War.

The prison was a large open pen surrounded by a stockade fence. The thousands of Union prisoners kept there were subjected to the elements and did their best to shelter themselves from the scorching Southern sun. Due to overcrowding, rations were scarce and sometimes non-existent. A single creek ran through the prison yard, used by the men for their drinking water, as well as for washing up and relieving themselves. Rats and lice were rampant, as were starvation and disease; dysentery, hepatitis, pleurisy, scurvy, smallpox, and typhoid ravaged the prison population.

Samuel had no misconceptions about the fix he was in. After only two days in the camp he wrote in his diary, “If I die here, I am sure we shall die in a good cause although in a brutal way.”

He had good reason to be pessimistic. By the time he’d arrived at the prison it was just over 26 acres, and some 33,000 prisoners were crammed into the pen. Death was a daily occurrence, and from February 1864 to May 1865, thirteen thousand Union soldiers would die and be buried there.

Samuel did his best to keep his hopes up, but his diary shows the emotional rollercoaster that he (and no doubt the other prisoners) went through daily. Monotony and boredom were the order of the day. “There is no difference here, one day from another,” he commented. “All is sadness and sorrow,” he wrote another time. “I am discouraged.” “Why do I keep sighing? Because I can’t help it.” Each day was one of despair and sadness for the young man trapped in “this pen of insatiate misery.”

By the middle of the summer, Samuel was suffering from dysentery. It was so bad

that he was unable to write in his diary. To be deathly ill (without any sort of medical treatment available) with men dying all around him must have been frightening. Still, when he was well enough to write he would give himself pep talks; “I am bound to try my best to live until I can get out of this bull-pen, for I want to see my folks at home I am sorry to die here, or stay here longer”. Seeing a comrade die, he noted, “Fairman died this morning. Last evening he was quite smart. I never saw men slip off so easy as they do here. They die as easy as can be.”

Summer into autumn saw Samuel getting worse. For 11 days his diary was blank, but on Thursday, September 15, 1864, he wrote:

“Laid on my back all day. Eat not much, can’t eat much I am lying in a tent on my rubber blanket the tent and blankets are just as full of lice and fleas as ever can be. As things look now, I stand a good chance to lay my bones in old Ga., but I’d hate to [sic] as bad as one can, for I want to go home.”

That would be Samuel’s last entry. He died ten days later, on September 25, 1864. He was buried in Lot 9735 at the prison, where he remains to this day. But he is not forgotten. A memorial to Samuel and his brothers, Asa and John, sits in Concord’s Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. His diary is in the collection of the Andersonville National Historic Site. He would be pleased to know that since his death in 1864 many researchers of a “future day” have taken “much pleasure in looking over” his diary and telling the story of this Concord hero.

Richard Smith has lectured on and written about antebellum United States history and 19th century American literature since 1995. He has worked in Concord as a public historian and Living History Interpreter for 25 years. He has written eight books for Applewood Books and is a regular contributor to Discover Concord.

Discover CONCORD | 35
Page of Samuel Melvin’s diary Andersonville NHS

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36 Discover CONCORD | Spring 2024
Visit our Farm stand for a wide variety of fresh produce, baked goods and take away foods to enjoy at home, New England specialty foods and local cheeses

A walking tour with a Certified Interpretive Guide is a great way to go deeper into the fascinating history of Concord.

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Discover CONCORD | 37 | 978.257.4364
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A Patriot’s Pilgrimage

EEach year in April, scores of marchers, many dressed in colonial garb, make their way on foot from several towns in central Massachusetts to the Old North Bridge in Concord. These men, women, and children walk in the footsteps of the American colonists who made this journey on the same morning in April over two centuries ago. These “minutemen,” so called because they pledged to be ready for military duty at a minute’s warning, were local farmers, merchants, and laborers who were ready to risk lives for the noblest of causes: liberty.

I have taken part in this ten-mile walk for about thirty years, starting from my former home in Acton. The journey can be both an assault on and a feast for the senses. When I make my way to the assembly point at the town green, I jump at the sound of muskets punctuating the quiet morning. A little closer and I can pick out the light notes of fifes and the heavier beat of drums. My heart quickens in anticipation of the events to follow and also in fear that I may be arriving too late. As I take my place alongside my neighbors the pungent smell of gunpowder peppers my nostrils.

I have learned that dressing in warm layers of absorbent clothing is necessary as there can be a fifty-degree range in temperature on this spring day in New England. Except for short stretches of a wooded area, most of the walk is on a hard, paved surface. My choice of inappropriate footwear on my first march left me limping like a wounded soldier. The bare trees provide no leaf cover and so forgetting a hat or sunblock will remind you how merciless the bright sun can be.

My great delight in this event is experiencing early spring in New England. The path of the Minutemen meanders through fields, farms, and clusters of homes.

I take in the miracle of the transformation that happens each year at this time. Spring works its way from bottom up, turning brown fields to green and patches of weeds into brilliant yellow daffodils. Although the trees are still brown and bare, one can almost sense life ready to spring forth.

I carry a mental checklist of all the things I am accustomed to seeing and tick them off as I encounter them. Somehow the day will be marred if each of these landmarks are not taken in and acknowledged: paddocks of grazing horses spooked by the musket volleys and children wearing small tri-cornered hats and waving flags. I seek out Barrett’s Mill Farm and their recently plowed fields, where on this day in 1775 a cache of colonial weapons was hidden in the fresh earth.

As we reach the Old North Bridge, I hear the fife and drums of other groups who are arriving. At the signal, the reenactment of the battle commences, and we recoil from the sound of the muskets, cheer our compatriots, and jeer at the redcoats who eventually retreat.

From there it is a quarter of a mile walk to the Colonial Inn at Concord Center, where I would meet my husband who patiently awaited me each year. His face always expressed pride that I had completed this walk which he could not take himself, and he would listen with interest to my story of the sights and sounds along the way. The Inn has been standing since before the Revolution

where we address our hunger, feasting there as though I have walked a hundred miles and not ten. We have always timed it perfectly so that we finish our sumptuous breakfast in time to catch the parade as it passes around Concord’s town green. I know which marching bands I will see and what they will play; I seek out my favorite fife and drum corps and feel as though I should salute the parade of soldiers representing each subsequent war.

I return home, wishing the day would not end and regretting that I have to wait another year for it to come again. I am grateful to have legs that will take me there, friends and neighbors who will accompany me, the man I so loved who would meet me at its conclusion. Most of all I consider myself blessed to live in and near such beautiful and historic New England towns.

Ruth Ann Murray, PhD, is an American Historian and higher education administrator who has held administrative positions at Boston University, Northeastern University, and Tufts University. She currently teaches history part-time for Southern New Hampshire University.

38 Discover CONCORD | Spring 2024
© Jennifer C. Schünemann
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Discover CONCORD | 41
Acton The Bee’s Knees British Imports 566 Massachusetts Ave First Rugs 13 Great Rd Powers Gallery 144 Great Rd Concord Center Albright Art Supply 32 Main St Artinian Jewelry 39 Main St Artisans Way 18 Walden St Barrow Bookstore 79 Main St Best of British 29 Main St Blue Dry Goods 16 Walden St Bobbi Benson Antiques 25 Walden St Brine Sporting Goods 69 Main St The Cheese Shop 29 Walden St Comina 9 Walden St Concord Bookshop 65 Main St Concord Lamp and Shade 21 Walden St Concord Market 77 Lowell Rd The Concord Toy Box 32 Main St Concord Walking Tours 79 Main St Copper Penny Flowers 9 Independence Court The Dotted i 1 Walden St Fairbank & Perry Goldsmiths 32 Main St FatFace 4 Walden St Footstock 46 Main St Fritz & Gigi 79 Main St French Lessons 8 Walden St George Vassel Jewelry 40 Main St Gräem Nuts and Chocolate 49 Main St Grasshopper Shop 36 Main St Irresistibles 16 Walden St J McLaughlin 14 Walden St Jack + Toba 10 Walden St Lucy Lacoste Gallery 25 Main St Nesting 44 Main St North Bridge Antiques 28 Walden St Patina Green 59 Main St Priscilla Candy Shop 19 Walden St Revolutionary Concord 32 Main St Rewind Estate Watches 38 Main St Sara Campbell Ltd 41 Main St Tess & Carlos 81 Main St Thistle Hill 13 Walden St Thoreauly Antiques 25 Walden St Three Stones Gallery 32 Main St Vanderhoof Hardware 28 Main St Walden Liquors 18 Walden St Walden Street Antiques 23 Walden St Nine Acre Corner Colonial Gardens 442 Fitchburg Tpke Verrill Farm 11 Wheeler Rd Thoreau Depot ATA Cycles 93 Thoreau St Concord Provisions 75 Thoreau St Frame-ables 111 Thoreau St Juju 82 Thoreau St Period Furniture Hardware 113 Thoreau St West Concord A New Leaf 74 Commonwealth Ave Barefoot Books 23 Bradford St Belle on Heels 23 Commonwealth Ave Bloom Floral Studio 10 Commonwealth Ave Clay Art + Concept 114 Commonwealth Ave Concord Firefly 33 Commonwealth Ave Concord Flower Shop 135 Commonwealth Ave Concord Outfitters 113 Commonwealth Ave Debra’s Natural Gourmet 98 Commonwealth Ave Doe + Fawn 105 Commonwealth Ave Joy Street Life + Home 49 Commonwealth Ave Lawless Upholstery 119 Commonwealth Ave Loveday 115 Commonwealth Ave Potager Soap Company 152 Commonwealth Ave Puck and Abby 84a Commonwealth Ave Reflections 101 Commonwealth Ave Vintages 53 Commonwealth Ave West Concord Wine & Spirits 1215 Main St Concord Center Caffè Nero 55 Main St Comella’s 33 Main St Concord’s Colonial Inn 48 Monument Square Fiorella’s Cucina 24 Walden St Haute Coffee 12 Walden St Helen’s Restaurant 17 Main St Main Streets Market & Café 42 Main St Sally Ann’s Bakery & Food Shop 73 Main St Thoreau Depot 80 Thoreau 80 Thoreau St Bedford Farms Ice Cream 68 Thoreau St Dunkin’ 117 Thoreau St Farfalle Italian Market Café 26 Concord Crossing Karma Concord Asian Fusion 105 Thoreau St New London Style Pizza 71 Thoreau St Sorrento’s Brick Oven Pizzeria 58 Thoreau St Starbucks 159 Sudbury Rd West Concord Adelita 1200 Main St Club Car Café 20 Commonwealth Ave Concord Teacakes 59 Commonwealth Ave Dino’s Kouzina & Pizzeria 1135 Main St Dunkin’ 1191 Main St Nashoba Brook Bakery 152 Commonwealth Ave Reasons to Be Cheerful 110 Commonwealth Ave Saltbox Kitchen 84 Commonwealth Ave Walden Italian Kitchen 92 Commonwealth Ave West Village Tavern 13 Commonwealth Ave Woods Hill Table 24 Commonwealth Ave
STAY Concord Center Concord’s Colonial Inn 48 Monument Sq North Bridge Inn 21 Monument Sq West Concord Residence Inn by Marriott 320 Baker Ave

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WaldenSt. StowSt


42 Discover CONCORD | Spring 2024
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8 12 23 4 2 14 18 6 3 21 1 17 13 16 15 11 20 21 7 19 9 22 10 5 20 22 23

The Attias Group

Barefoot Books

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Discover CONCORD | 43
DEPOT A B 14 1 A B 13 3 2 8 8 11 5 6 4 Points of Interest Concord Train Station West Concord Train Station Featured Businesses 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 Adelita
Design Group
Natural Gourmet
Farm Vintages West Concord Wine & Spirits Woods Hill Table 12 12 13 14 7 10 9
44 Discover CONCORD | Spring 2024 62 62 MonumentSt Lang St 62 Grea t Mdae o w s Rd Bltra e t t H i l dRl M ar tin R d Grea t M e a d o sw dR _ Peter SpringRd PrescottRd Monsen Rd AshSt Birch Dr NancyRd I dnecnednepe dR dRttoclA Lixe n g t o n R d tnemunoM tS woB tS LowellRd KeyesRd WaldenSt tSdrabbuH StowSt tStterevE tSleruaL Cambridge Turnpike Lex ing t o n R d W a l n u t S t AuthorsRd WaysideRd Ridge Rd tCsivaD tCdrofdeB nLegdirtraP HISTORIC CONCORD G F I K M H J B L D O E Concord Center — See detailed map on earlier page A Concord Free Public Library 129 Main St Concord Museum 53 Cambridge Turnpike Concord Visitor Center 58 Main St Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House 399 Lexington Rd Minute Man National Historical Park 250 N. Great Rd (Lincoln) The North Bridge North Bridge Visitor Center 174 Liberty St Old Hill Burying Ground 2-12 Monument Sq The Old Manse 269 Monument St Ralph Waldo Emerson House 28 Cambridge Turnpike The Robbins House 320 Monument St Sleepy Hollow Cemetery & Authors Ridge 120 Bedford St South Burying Ground Main St & Keyes Rd Walden Pond State Reservation 915 Walden St The Wayside 455 Lexington Rd Points of Interest B D E F G H I J K L M N O N H C Concord Visitor Center H C A A

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Safely Sailing On: Margaret Fuller’s S pirit in Concord

IIt was nearly twelve hours since the Elizabeth ran aground on a sandbar in a raging hurricane. Returning home from Italy in July 1850, after years abroad as a foreign correspondent, Margaret Fuller huddled before the ship’s mast, clutching her two-year-old son, as waves violently washed over the deck. Fuller had given her life preserver to a sailor, who swam to shore for help. Others floated on planks. Terrified by water and unable to swim, Fuller waited for help, as a rescue boat sat on Fire Island beach, approximately three hundred yards away. Scavengers recovered wreckage, plundering washed up trunks and cargo before attempting rescue. Those who made it

to shore saved themselves. Desperate, Fuller gave her son to the ship’s steward to swim. A wave swept them into the sea; another swell taking Fuller’s husband and their traveling companion, before the ship broke apart in the swelling tide, and Margaret, too, vanished into the waves.

Two days later, in Boston, Bronson Alcott read the news in the New York Tribune — Margaret Fuller, her husband Giovanni Ossoli, and their son, Nino, were among ten people drowned; nine survived. For Alcott, Fuller’s death created an unfillable void.

Fuller — teacher, editor, and leading voice in the Transcendentalist Club — was a central vortex in Transcendentalist social

and intellectual life. Ralph Waldo Emerson lamented he had lost his audience, as if this particular collaborator and friend were the sole recipient of Emerson’s musing, writings, and orations. Indeed, some scholars end date Transcendentalism with Fuller’s death in July 1850, as if she were the movement’s embodied spirit, and its impetus could not continue without her.1

Emerson entrusted Henry Thoreau to go to Fire Island. Fuller’s friend William Channing, her brother in-law, Ellery Channing, and her brother Arthur also converged on the wreck-strewn sand, searching for intelligence and hoping to claim the Ossolis’ bodies and property. Emerson sought to recover

46 Discover CONCORD | Spring 2024
Courtesy of The New York Public Library Digital Collections. Myles Bricket Foster [illustrator], “The Death of Margaret Fuller” from Memorable Women: The Stories of Their Lives (1854).

Fuller’s intellectual remains — her last work, the fabled lost manuscript on the Italian Revolution.

Thoreau’s visit to Fire Island was soulstirring. He detached from the violently ravaged material remains he discovered, imagining that the spirit withstood the most forceful earthly gale; that Fuller’s truest life continued. A year later though, he was still haunted by the buttons from the coats of drowned men, such as he found from Ossoli’s coat. Thoreau’s Fire Island experiences shaped his imagery and reflections on life and death in Cape Cod (1865).

In his essay “Fate,” Emerson reckoned with Fuller’s tragedy, and her predestined fear that she would never reach shore. He determined to meet limiting circumstances and natural disaster — as when a man or woman is

maiden name, her marriage, her motherhood, and her family perishing together at nature’s hands, subdued Fuller’s revolutionary feminism and neutralized her agency had she lived. Nathaniel Hawthorne later privately

Fuller’s memory empowered feminist reformers into the decades beyond the Civil War.

indifferently drown; as if writing directly to Fuller, “your ship swallowed like a grain of dust” — with the individual’s overcoming capacity for willful resistance. 2

Fuller’s manuscript was never found. Nor were her or Giovanni’s remains ever claimed.3 There was no funeral service to honor Fuller, but her friends quickly set to work on assembling a literary memoir. Hesitant to criticize the dead and to balance sanctifying reverence, Fuller’s survivors contended with a contested memory, and, ultimately, desires to domesticate her radical reputation.

Fuller’s posthumous image leveraged her as a tamed feminist model. While Fuller continues to primarily be known by her

Caroline Dall connected Fuller’s

mused that her human fallibility made her a truer woman than her purported ideal. Two years after Fuller’s death, he published The Blithedale Romance, overtly reflecting Fuller in his heroine “Zenobia,” and “Miriam” in the Marble Faun (1860).

Intellectual interest in Fuller continually returns in tides, ripples, and waves, primarily as a feminist icon. Fuller’s memory empowered feminist reformers into the decades beyond the Civil War. Fuller served as an inspiration to the burgeoning women’s rights movement. She was even resurrected by spiritualist reformers as a spectral voice. Henry James marveled at “the Margaretghost” and her persistent afterlife.4 Bronson

Transcendentalism’s demise; “Transcendentalism

New England”

Alcott devotedly promoted Fuller as the ideal woman, hosting conversations about her until his final illness. In 1901, suffragettes memorialized Fuller with a pavilion overlooking the Fire Island shore where she perished. (The memorial structure and plaque were also lost to the sea in a hurricane).

Margaret Fuller never called Concord ‘home.’ You won’t find her grave in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. Yet Fuller’s memory is alive in Concord. In 2010, Fuller’s bicentennial was celebrated, and, earlier this year, she was nominated as a namesake for Concord’s new middle school.5 Transcendentalism and Fuller continue to inspire; their ideas carrying on with modern resonances.

Dr. Kristi Lynn Martin is an independent interdisciplinary scholar specializing in Concord’s nineteenth-century literary circle. She has worked with Concord’s many literary-historic sites, including portraying Margaret Fuller for living history programming during and following Fuller’s bicentennial celebration.

(2006), 547, 553. Various scholars, notably, Anne Rose (Transcendentalism as a Social Movement, 1981), Phillip Gura (American Transcendentalist, A History, 2007) date Transcendentalism’s end or decline to 1850; Lawrence Buell, explicitly to Fuller’s death, “1850, July 19 ” A New Literary History of America, Eds. Marcus & Sollors (2009), 273-277. 2 Emerson, The Conduct of Life (1860). 3 Fuller and Ossoli’s bodies were purportedly never found. Recent scholarship considers evidence that their remains were later found, but not claimed. Albert J..Von Frank, “Margaret Fuller’s Burial at Coney Island,” South Central Review (Fall 2018), 103-112. 4 Phyllis Cole, “The Nineteenth–Century Women’s Rights Movement and the Canonization of Margaret Fuller,” ESQ, (#27, 1998), 1-28. Von Frank, Cole, “Margaret Fuller: How She Haunts,” ESQ (64:1, 2018), 66-131. William Wetmore Story and His Friends (1903), Vol 1, 127. 5 Kelly Walters, “Concord residents weigh in on name for new middle school,” The Concord Bridge, January 25, 2024.

Discover CONCORD | 47
Courtesy of the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. 1 death to in (1895), in Myerson, Transcendentalism: a Reader (2000), 675; “Transcendentalism as Feminist Heresy” (1905) in Buell, The American Transcendentalists
Engraved portrait of Margaret Fuller, with signature.

What Makes History? New Stories from the Collection

Opening March 22

Visit us at the Concord Museum through March Thu–Sun: 10am–4pm from April Tue–Sun: 10am–4pm

The 35th Annual Garden Tour

Friday, June 7 and Saturday June 8, 2024

Join us for a day of beauty, nature, and discovery as you visit six private gardens throughout Concord. All proceeds support the Concord Museum’s visionary education initiatives, which bring the past to life for thousands of students, visitors, and families every year.

Presented by the Concord Museum’s Guild of Volunteers.

Tickets on sale soon at

Discover CONCORD | 49 colorful • brillian� • auten�ic �ade for everyday deligh� FAIRBANK & PERRY GOLDSMITHS custom and original fine jewelry 32 main street, concord center •

Thoreau and Concord’s Birds

RReaders of Walden will remember Thoreau’s account of chasing a loon across the surface of Walden Pond and his observation, “I rejoice that there are owls. Let them do the idiotic and maniacal hooting for men.”

Those passages grew from the close observations of birds he made in his Journal from 1837 to 1861. Thoreau once said his Journal could be called “Field Notes,” and most of it is devoted to descriptions of his daily walks in Concord, including descriptions of dozens of species of birds.

A Year of Birds: Writings on Birds from the Journal of Henry David Thoreau, published by Mercer University Press, showcases this work. Edited by Geoff Wisner, illustrated by Massachusetts nature artist Barry Van Dusen,

with a foreword by Concord native Peter Alden, A Year of Birds underlines the fact that Thoreau was not just a naturalist but a Transcendentalist, finding spiritual meaning in birds and their lives.

Unlike previous works on Thoreau and birds, the meticulously curated A Year of Birds explores Thoreau’s writings on birds by the day of the year, offering an exploration of the relationship between birds, their environment, and the essence of the changing seasons.

In addition to its personal value to Thoreau, his Journal serves as a vital historical record of bird activity, offering valuable insights into ecological changes over time and providing today’s scientists with a valuable resource for

understanding the impact of environmental shifts on avian populations.

Geoff Wisner, the editor of A Year of Birds, is an author, editor, book reviewer, and board member of the Thoreau Society. His previous two books, Thoreau’s Wildflowers and Thoreau’s Animals, also drawn from Thoreau’s Journal, were published by Yale University Press.

“I first read Thoreau’s Journal in college, and I continue to dip into it every day,” Wisner says. “I love that it’s not only an enormous work of literature in itself, but that readers like me can still create new and interesting works from it, just as Thoreau drew from it to write A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers, Walden, and his essays and lectures.”

50 Discover CONCORD | Spring 2024
All photos courtesy of the author

The book includes the best of Thoreau’s descriptions of birds, from the red-tailed hawk to the Blackburnian warbler, as well as descriptions of bird hunting, birds in museums, and birds as metaphor. Special sections are devoted to the now-vanished passenger pigeon and to Thoreau’s mysterious “night warbler.”

As Peter Alden notes in his foreword, the birds Thoreau saw were not all the same as those that Concordians see today. Alden, who grew up in Concord and spent much of his life reflecting on Thoreau, has written fifteen books on birds, nature, and travel. He is a world-renowned naturalist and has always been, in his own words, “hooked on birds like my hometown hero Henry.” Alden’s Great Walden Bioblitzes have found 3,600 species of flora and fauna within five miles of Walden Pond. He is also a board member of the Thoreau Farm Trust, the organization that preserves Thoreau’s birthplace, and works at the Thoreau Society’s Shop at Walden Pond.

Alden comments that the whippoorwills have vanished, olive-sided flycatchers and purple finches no longer breed in Concord, and hermit thrushes and wood thrushes have become rare. On the other hand, bald eagles and ospreys nest in Concord, and formerly southern birds like the Carolina wren and red-bellied woodpecker can now be seen.

Thoreau’s observations come to life in A Year of Birds, reminding us of the profound connection between nature, literature, and the human spirit—the birds may have changed, but the powerful effect of closely observing nature has not. As Thoreau once said, “Even as the birds sing tumultuously and glance by with fresh and brilliant

plumage, so now is Nature’s grandest voice heard, and her sharpest flashes seen.”

The celebration of this new book is not merely confined to its pages. Thoreau Farm, the birthplace of Henry David Thoreau, and the Walden Pond State Reservation Visitor Center, with support from the Walden Woods Project, will host an exhibition of original watercolors and sketches by Barry Van Dusen, the talented artist behind the book’s illustrations. The exhibition at Thoreau Farm and Walden Pond is an invitation to listen to “Nature’s grandest voice” and witness the flashes of brilliance that unfold when art and nature converge.

“Birds & Beyond: A Journey Through Thoreau’s Landscape with Barry Van Dusen”

Exhibition on view May through July 2024

For more details about the exhibition and related events, please visit Thoreau Farm’s website: Additional details can be found at the website for the Walden Pond State Reservation Visitor Center: locations/walden-pond-state-reservation

A Day of Birds at Thoreau Farm

Saturday, May 11

3:00 pm: Artist Talk at Thoreau Farm. Free to the public. Pre-registration suggested. 4:00 - 6:00 pm: Birding Saunter with Peter Alden. $30/person. Registration required.

6:00 pm: Thoreau and the Birds of Concord: A book launch with Geoff Wisner. $15/ person to attend in-person at Thoreau Farm OR $10/person to attend online. Registration required.

Van Dusen is a Massachusetts-based artist and the author of Finding Sanctuary, in which he describes and illustrates sixtyone of Mass Audubon’s wildlife sanctuaries, nature centers, and museums. He is known for working directly from life, even when sketching difficult subjects like wild birds.

“When Geoff Wisner approached me with this project,” Van Dusen says, “we both agreed that Thoreau’s vivid descriptions of birdlife would live nicely alongside my directfrom-life approach to recording birds with pencil and watercolor.”

Thoreau believed in the transformative power of observing nature, asserting that it was through such contemplation that individuals could attain a deeper understanding of themselves and the interconnectedness of all living things. Van Dusen’s artwork demonstrates that deep understanding and invites viewers to see nature anew.

From May to July, visitors to Concord can explore Van Dusen’s beautiful nature sketches displayed at both Thoreau Farm and at the Walden Pond State Reservation Visitor Center. At Thoreau Farm, the exhibition focuses on the birds of Concord that are chronicled in Thoreau’s Journal. Each piece on display will be an original illustration from A Year of Birds. At Walden Pond, the exhibition will expand to include a wide variety of nature subjects from Concord.

Rebecca Migdal is the Executive Director of the Thoreau Farm Trust, the organization that preserves the birthplace of Henry David Thoreau and promotes his ideas about nature, society, and living deliberately.

Discover CONCORD | 51
Go, speed the stars… On to their shining goals; — The wheat thou strew’st be souls.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson, “Intellect”

Go, Speed the Stars

HHow do you remember heroic souls who have died? In the second century, Greek astronomer Ptolemy did so by taking the memories of those who (to paraphrase Ralph Waldo Emerson) had “shuffled off their corporeal jackets” and slipped them into the stars. Ptolemy named stars and connected them with invisible lines to form the storied constellations known to many in the past and today.

On May 11, 2024, the “spring triangle” will shine in the sky above Concord, Massachusetts. Connecting the brightest stars of three separate constellations, Leo (the Lion), Boötes (the Shepherd), and Virgo (the Goddess of Justice), the triangle will illuminate the Concord School of Philosophy at Orchard House where Christopher Kelly, a heritage guide at la Maison du Visiteur in Vézelay, France, will present a lecture about the history, architecture, and spiritualism of the mysterious Abbey Vézelay. Originally built in the ninth century and expanded in the twelfth, the abbey’s construction was built upon the Euclidean geometryinspired principle of the “Golden Ratio,” a mathematical formula that is described as near perfection for design.

But, like the “spring triangle” in the sky, a talk about the Abbey Vézelay at the School of Philosophy in the United States of America might not have been possible without the following three stories.


Following the stars and rotation of the earth over one thousand years back in time, we

arrive at the Abbey Vézelay in France where we find Richard the Lionheart on horseback surrounded by fellow crusaders, preparing to head to the Holy land. Once believed to house the relics of Mary Magdalene, the abbey was a place of pilgrimage and gathering point for Crusaders whose ranks included Simon de Montford and Godfrey de Bouillon, who became the ancestors of Concord’s first minister/town founder Peter Bulkley, and Concord’s “Patriot Minister” William Emerson, the grandfather of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Peter Bulkley in turn would help found Concord in 1635, William Emerson would use his pulpit to encourage his flock to rebel against Great Britain, and Ralph Waldo Emerson would help his friends

the Alcotts buy Orchard House, future home of the Concord School of Philosophy.


In 1779, Massachusetts native John Adams, (a cousin of Abigail Alcott), was sent by the Second Continental Congress to France to try and negotiate a peace treaty with Great Britain and secure independence for the colonies. But, as Adams noted in his autobiography, “a leak was soon discovered in the ship” advancing to “seven to eight feet an hour,” forcing the ship to put in off the coast of Spain near Cape Finisterre (“The End of the World”), one of the end points of the ancient pilgrimage trail El Camino de Santiago (the Way of Saint James).

While Adams had not intended to walk a pilgrimage trail, locals told him that without a ship there was no other way to get to France except on foot. Walking in the steps of a shepherd who was guided by the Milky Way, Adams traversed the Camino Frances route for 500 miles—in December—across Spain, walking beneath the “Compostela” (field of stars).

Climbing the Pyrenees, Adams crossed from Spain into France. If he had continued along the Camino, he would have arrived at Vézelay Abbey; instead, he headed North to Paris.

The abbey would have been familiar to Adams, and later to Ralph Waldo Emerson, given their studies at Harvard College at a time when the standard curriculum included Euclid’s geometry. And Emerson read Richard of Devizes’ Chronicles of Richard

52 Discover CONCORD | Spring 2024
Public domain

the I, which mentions Vézelay and Richard the Lionheart’s despair as he taunts God shouting, “O God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

This sense of despair and abandonment could have been felt by many in France during WWI when the skies overhead lit up with a different type of stars. Far from the constellations, these were star shells— flares shot into the night to illuminate the no-man’s lands between the miles of trenches.


When America entered WWI in 1917, Americans following John Adams’ intended sea voyage to France included Concord-born Margaret Lothrop, whose mother preserved the Alcotts’ legacy by buying Orchard House and the School of Philosophy when they faced possible demolition.

Margaret was the daughter of publisher Daniel Lothrop and his wife Harriet Stone who wrote children’s books under the penname Margaret Sidney. (Her best known work is The Five Little Peppers series).

Just before Margaret was born, the Lothrops purchased the Wayside House in Concord due to its once being the childhood home of Louisa May Alcott and the final home of Nathaniel Hawthorne. After attending Smith College and Stanford, Margaret became a criminal justice lecturer at Stanford University.

During World War I, Margaret volunteered for the Stanford’s Women’s Unit of the Red Cross and was deployed to France where she worked as a casualty searcher. With artillery firing around her, and fighter planes overhead, Margaret’s job was to find and record the names of dead and dying soldiers, and to help identify soldiers who had lost their memories due to trauma or shock. At times, the job could include lying on the ground next to the dying, trying to hear their names, and jot down a few last words to pass on to loved ones waiting at home. As described by H.P. Davidson in The American Red Cross in the Great War,

Margaret and other casualty searchers had, perhaps, one of “the saddest [tasks] of all . [to] watch over the brave souls who had given all for their country and for humanity; to stand by them to the brink; and to soften, in whatever way possible, the sorrow of those who mourned.”

When WWI ended, Margaret resumed teaching at Stanford and worked for the prevention of cruelty to children. In 1924, she returned to the Wayside, opening the house as a museum, which today is run by the U.S. Park Service.

Margaret died in Concord on May 14, 1970, when the “spring triangle” was in the sky. She is buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery

on Authors Ridge. Next to her, marked with stones engraved with their names, lie her parents, Daniel and Harriet Lothrop.

And thanks to people like Margaret, the names of thousands of soldiers who died in World War I are also engraved on headstones and monuments like the World War I Memorial in Concord Center, whose bronze plaque closes with this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson: “So nigh is grandeur to our dust, So near is God to man, When duty whispers low, thou must, The youth replies, I can.”

Should you join Christopher Kelly in the School of Philosophy on May 11, think of the trail of events that led you there. From the crusaders at the Vézelay Abbey whose descendants founded Concord, to the Revolutionary War events that spanned continents and led to the founding of America, to the Lothrop family’s preservation of our memories and historic buildings, the stars have aligned to shepherd you here.

For more details about the Christopher Kelly’s May 11, 2024, “Basilica of Vézelay” talk in Concord, please visit event/vezelay/

For source list, email

A Concord native, Jaimee Joroff is manager of the Barrow Bookstore in Concord Center, which specializes in Concord history, transcendentalism, and literary figures. She has been an interpreter at most of Concord’s historic sites and is a licensed town guide.

Discover CONCORD | 53
Public domain Margaret Lothrop in WWI Saint Mary Magdalene Abbey

The Thrill of the Hunt in Consignment Shopping

Marimekko Returns to West Concord

FFans of Marimekko fabrics and clothing will remember that Design Research in Cambridge brought these midcentury designs to the US in the late 1950s. Founded in Helsinki, Finland, the loose, colorful, and whimsical graphics of these unique pieces were made famous when future first lady Jacqueline Kennedy bought eight Marimekko dresses and wore them throughout the 1960 US presidential campaign.

Sixty years later, Marimekko is celebrating the launch of its iconic Unikko (poppy) pattern. Unfortunately for fans of the brand, stores like the Gatehouse in West Concord (closed in 2010), and Marimekko stores in Cambridge and Boston are gone. “We were very lucky to come across a stunning collection from the original Design Research

store in Cambridge that closed in 1979,” said Kim Edgar, owner of Reflections consignment boutique in West Concord. “The response to our showcase evening was so much fun! People came dressed in Marimekko. They were delighted to discover authentic vintage and modern pieces to add to their collection.”

This is a perfect example of what makes Reflections a gem for lovers of clothing design. Treasures from iconic brands like Prada, Chloé, Ralph Lauren, Cole Haan, Eileen Fisher, Lilly Pulitzer, and more await eager shoppers. New collections are constantly being curated and a new discovery awaits each visit.

vintage collections, each piece is unique and irreplaceable once sold. Kim would love to see you soon at the shop at 101 Commonwealth Ave. in West Concord and is delighted to help match you with a new treasure of your own. Hours and online shopping at

Select Marimekko pieces are still available at Reflections. But as is the way with

54 Discover CONCORD | Spring 2024
Courtesy of Reflections This article made possible through the support of Reflections
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Kim Edgar and Marimekko fan Judith Lyon at the launch party for the collection
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Head outside and explore Concord in the springtime with these kid-friendly gardening activities



• spade or fork

• watering can

• bucket of finished, finely sifted compost

• sweet corn seeds

• runner bean seeds

• squash seeds


Plants, like people, often help one another out. Sometimes known as the “three sisters,” Indigenous peoples in the Concord area and North America discovered that sweet corn, beans, and squash work well when planted together. Let’s plant our own Three Sisters Garden!


1. Clear a circular space about 6 feet in diameter in a part of your garden that gets plenty of direct sunlight.

2. Prepare the soil in this area by watering, digging, and adding finished, finely sifted compost until the soil is loose and crumbly.

3. Create a mound of soil about 12 inches high and 5 feet across.

4. Plant 6 sweet corn seeds in the middle of the mound, about 12 inches apart.

5. Water your sweet corn regularly and watch it grow.

6. Approximately 4 – 8 weeks later when the sweet corn is about 8 inches tall, plant the bean seeds

in a circle around it about 4 inches away from the sweet corn.

7. At the same time, plant 4 squash seeds spaced evenly around the outer edges of the mound.

8. Watch your Three Sisters work together to grow tall and strong.

When the plants start producing their fruits and seeds, make a soup or stew and enjoy the harvest!

56 Discover CONCORD | Spring 2024
How Starling Got His Speckles (Barefoot Books), written by Keely Parrack and illustrated by Antonio Boffa
adapted from Kids’ Garden (Barefoot Books), written by Whitney Cohen, Life Lab and illustrated by Roberta Arenson


Text adapted from Kids’ Garden (Barefoot Books), written by Whitney Cohen, Life Lab and illustrated by Roberta Arenson


• spade or fork

• watering can

• bucket of finished, finely sifted compost

• string

• seeds for flowers of every shade of the rainbow

When people traveled to Concord from England in the late 1700s, they would often bring seeds of their favorite flowers to plant a garden. Use seeds from your favorite colorful flowers to grow a rainbow in your garden!


1. Clear a space at least 3½ x 3½ feet in a part of your garden that gets plenty of direct sunlight. You can make your rainbow in an arc or choose another shape that fits well in your garden.

2. Prepare the area by watering, digging, and adding finished, finely sifted compost until the soil is loose and crumbly.

3. Lay string down to divide your bed into 7 sections, one for each section of the rainbow.

the seed packet directions.

5. Place different seeds in each section: orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet. For the green section, you can plant something with small flowers,

4. Scatter the seeds for red flowers in the first section, following



• 20 flowers

• 20 green leaves

• scissors

• basket

• string

• sharp pencil (for an adult helper)

like a grass or an herb, to make the green leaves and stems stand out.

6. Cover all of the seeds with soil.

7. Water regularly and watch your rainbow grow!


You can make a rainbow fruit and vegetable garden too! For example, plant red strawberries, orange cherry tomatoes, yellow bell peppers, green cucumbers, and purple cabbage all in one bed to grow a rainbow of edible foods!

Text adapted from Kids’ Garden (Barefoot Books), written by Whitney Cohen, Life Lab and illustrated by Roberta Arenson

Adult Helper Needed!

Flowers use their sweet smells and bright petals to attract pollinators — animals that move pollen from place to place, which helps plants product fruits and seeds. Let’s make a Flower Crown!


1. Walk around the garden and look for about 20 flowers and 20 green leaves that you’d like to include on a crown. Flowers with a thick and sturdy middle, such as zinnias or daisies, are ideal.

2. Use your scissors to cut the flowers and leaves at the bases of their stems, collecting them in your basket.

3. Now cut the entire stem off each flower and leaf. If possible, throw your stems in a compost pile.

4. Wrap the string around the top of your head to measure the right length. Add about 4 inches to the end and then cut it.

5. Place your flowers and leaves in the order you want them on your crown.

6. With the help of an adult, use your sharp pencil to make a hole in the middle of each flower and leaf.

7. Now thread your string through

the holes until all the flowers and leaves are in a line.

8. Use the extra bit of string to tie the ends together in a knot.

9. You’ve now made a Flower

Barefoot Books is an award-winning, 30-year-old independent children’s book publisher based in Concord, MA. Learn more by visiting

Discover CONCORD
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Discover CONCORD | 59
Decor Jewelry Apothecary Puzzles Paper Accessories Kitchen Garden

Historic Concord: Plan Your Visit

Concord has many historic sites of interest. Below is contact information for each, along with their hours of operation. Please check the website before visiting, as sites may be closed on holidays or for private events.


Main Branch: 129 Main Street (978) 318-3300

Monday: 10 am – 8 pm

Tuesday through Thursday: 9 am – 8 pm

Friday and Saturday: 9 am – 5 pm

Sunday: 1 pm - 5 pm

Special Collections: 129 Main Street (978) 318-3342

Monday: 10 am – 6 pm

Tuesday through Friday: 9 am – 5 pm

Fowler Branch: 1322 Main Street (978) 318-3350

Monday through Friday: 10 am - 6 pm

Saturday: 10 am - 5 pm


53 Cambridge Turnpike (978) 369-9763

Through March 31

Thursday - Sunday: 10 am - 4 pm

Starting April 1

Tuesday - Sunday: 10 am - 4 pm


58 Main Street (978) 318-3061

March: Open for private tours only

Opening April 1.

Every day: 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Check the website for more information.


399 Lexington Road (978) 369-4118

Effective April 1

Monday through Saturday: 10 am - 5 pm Sunday: 11 am - 5 pm

MINUTE MAN NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK minute-man-visitor-center.htm

250 N. Great Road (Lincoln) (781) 674-1920

Grounds are open year-round from sunrise to sunset. The Visitor Center opens May 18.

THE NORTH BRIDGE AND VISITOR CENTER north-bridge-visitor-center.htm 174 Liberty Street (978) 369-6993

Grounds are open year-round from sunrise to sunset. The Visitor Center opens May 5.

OLD HILL BURYING GROUND old-hill-burial-ground 2-12 Monument Square

Open daily: 7 am – 5 pm

THE OLD MANSE 269 Monument Street (978) 369-3909

Check the website or call for hours.


28 Cambridge Turnpike (978) 369-2236

Opens April 18

Thursday - Saturday: 10 am - 4:30 pm

Sunday: 1 pm - 4:30 pm


320 Monument Street (978) 254-1745

Open April 15 for Patriots’ Day

Opens for the season May 25

Wednesday - Monday: 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Closed on Tuesdays


120 Bedford Street (978) 318-3233

Open daily: 7 am – 7 pm


Main Street and Keyes Road


915 Walden Street (978) 369-3254

Open daily – see website for hours


455 Lexington Road (978) 369-6993

Call for hours and events

60 Discover CONCORD | Spring 2024

Be in the KNOW

Concord Preparations are Underway to Celebrate the 250th Anniversary of the First Battles of the American Revolution

Patriot’s Day 2024 is an exciting leadup to the big 250th commemoration which will take place in April 2025. Concord is proud of its role in the birth of the United States, and the town is abuzz with activity as preparations take place across many parts of the community. The town’s select board has put together a Concord 2025 Executive Committee to oversee the preparations for this momentous occasion.

To tap into the many talents of our town’s citizenry, eleven sub-committees have also been assembled to address:

• Arts, literature, and music

• History and education

• Community participation

• Hospitality and invitations

• Communications and publicity

• Parade planning

• Concord 250 memorial

• Public ceremonies and celebrations

• Diversity, equity, and inclusion

• Public safety

• Finance

Volunteers are eagerly sought – so please reach out if you would like to lend your time and talent to making this celebration truly special. Please contact

In addition, Concord is closely collaborating with neighboring towns along the Battle Road, as well as the Minute Man National Historical Park, Hanscom Air Force Base, the Massachusetts National Guard, local, state, regional, and federal agencies, and a myriad of musical, performing, and historical reenactment groups to ensure careful coordination of events across the region.

Watch this spot in each edition of Discover Concord for new developments in the leadup to the 250 Celebrations. Meanwhile, we invite you to explore more of our local history and to learn about plans for the living history events, commemorations, and celebrations of our American History here:

CONCORD250 EVENTS Concord250-Events Discover Concord’s Revolutionary History articles Minute Man National Historical Park Concord Stories Free Access to Podcasts, including: Musketaquid Manitou’s Gift God’s Promised Land English Settlers Indigenous People

The Mystery of The Old Manse

There’s nothing like getting wrapped up in a good cozy mystery. For the Agatha Christie lover, true crimes close to home are particularly enlivening. At Concord’s Old Manse Museum, home of the famous Emerson family and witness house to two revolutions, there lurks an unsolved puzzler.

TThousands of people come from around the world each year to visit The Old Manse. Guided tours offer visitors an opportunity to learn the history of the 253-year-old Gambrel Colonial-style home and get an up-close look at the original heirlooms and artifacts used by its historic occupants. Every teacup sipped in, every bed slept on. Family portraits hang above mundane objects that sit upon priceless tables. A seventeenth century grandfather clock, the heartbeat of the house, has continued to chime away the hours since 1770, when the Rev. William Emerson, the Patriot Minister of the American Revolution, placed it in his new study. Sophia Peabody Hawthorne engraved an ode to her husband, Nathaniel, in the same room where Ralph Waldo Emerson sketched out his famous writing, Nature. Down through the ages, the families dwelled until they finally sold the historic home to The Trustees of Reservations in 1939.

On September 2, 1968, the Old Manse received unwelcome visitors. In the dark of night, vandals parked a truck yards away at the rear of the homestead and went on foot over the famous stone walls that border the North Bridge. By climbing the roof of a shed attached to the home, they entered a second-floor window. Before dawn, they left through a side door with about thirty historic antiques of irreplaceable worth – a mahogany Sheraton writing desk, a clawand-ball-foot Chippendale corner chair, several Queen Anne dining chairs, and a block-front mahogany desk valued that year at $15,000. Room to room they crept with

deliberation, taking the most exclusive pieces and leaving without a trace.

The break was discovered the next morning by a part-time employee who alerted the Concord police. As reported by The Concord Journal in October of 1968, “The clues were slim, the trail cold. Inspectors W. Robert Nutter and Salvatore C. Silvio were assigned to the case.”

“We knew nothing about antiques,” Inspector Nutter acknowledged, “and we didn’t have a lot of time to learn. All we knew for sure was that we were not up against ordinary burglars. Those guys knew what they were doing.” While puffing on his pipe, Inspector Silvio added, “We were told it would be next to impossible for us to make a recovery.”

With no leads and nothing but a few photographs from Old Manse records, the two set out in an aging truck in search of clues. Over the next thirty days and more than five hundred hours of overtime for which they did not seek compensation, the sleuths stopped at nearly every dusty antique shop and auction house throughout New England. At one point, they were even taken as hold-up men by a guard at an exclusive auction in Connecticut. “He knew there was something different about us. Sharp fellow,” Silvio commented. As the weeks went by, the men knew their chances were slim. Antiques then, as now, can move fast from dealer to dealer, particularly when their provenance is in question. The inspectors were told that once sold into private homes, pieces would be nearly impossible to retrieve.

In a small town in western Massachusetts, their efforts were rewarded. After showing a photograph of a corner chair, the dealer responded that he had seen it. “He made immediate arrangements for us to meet a couple of other dealers,” said Nutter

62 Discover CONCORD | Spring 2024
All images courtesy of the author

in a moment of what must have been pure pleasure. By back-tracking on sales, travelling from shop to shop, the officers were able to recover most of the pieces, including a chest of drawers that was within hours of being loaded onto a truck headed for Ohio. They discovered the corner chair that had been sold three times within two weeks in two states. According to their report, they encountered, for the most part, antique dealers who were eager to help. They came to understand that there was a strong sense of history and a keen interest in having relics returned to their proper places. Although some dealers were knowingly handling stolen goods, the officers lacked the necessary and substantial proof to press charges.

An eighteenth-century Sheraton mahogany chest is still missing, as well as some smaller household items, leaving Nutter and Silvio with some regret. Silvio stated, “After so much work, I would have gone to China to get that chest.” Emerging with a vast knowledge of the underground

antique trade, the two Concord police officers earned glowing reputations. “We got requests from all over,” Silvio said. “Police departments from many states have called us I used to think jewelry thefts were big stuff. They can’t compare with what goes on with antiques.”

Without a doubt, these detectives turned out an astonishing performance in the mystery of The Old Manse. The stunning pieces are back where they belong, in a home that silently speaks of our nation’s great past. Wherever the missing chest resides, here’s hoping the will and determination of Officers Nutting and Silvio inspire a twenty-first century sleuth to assist in its return.


Concord Journal, Thursday, October 7, 1968

Yankee magazine, May 1969

Marybeth Kelly is an historic interpreter for The Trustees of Reservations at The Old Manse Museum. She lives and works in her beloved Concord.

Telling Their Stories

AApril 2025 marks the 250th anniversary of the start of the American Revolution, and you can be a part of this historic moment. Historians, archivists, scholars, and others rely on the availability and accuracy of historical documents. Transcribing those documents is a vital step in ensuring that information is readily available. This is your chance to help by transcribing those records. You may even be the first person in 200 years to learn the stories of the men and women who helped found our nation! The National Park Service (NPS) and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) are launching an extraordinary project to transcribe the pension records of more than 80,000 of America’s first veterans and their widows. The project will make a permanent contribution to the historical record for the 250th anniversary of the American Revolution.

Discover CONCORD | 63
Visit and become a Citizen Archivist!

From Walden Pond to The Wayside: A Transcendental Amble

SSome folks visit Concord for its role in the American Revolution, while others are on a mission to see a favorite author’s home. If you are eager to visit sites related to Concordians who influenced American culture thanks to their connection to Transcendentalism, here is a nice way to turn that interest into a pleasant walk in Concord, Massachusetts.

Transcendentalism is basically a spiritual, literary, and philosophical movement centered on the goodness of man, the importance of nature, and individualism. The movement started in Concord with Ralph Waldo Emerson, the father of Transcendentalism. Friends of his who were also part of this calling here in Concord include Henry David Thoreau and Bronson Alcott.

One aspect of Transcendentalism is a person’s connection to nature. Thoreau not only preached this in his writings and lectures but practiced it in his daily life. In his book Walden, or Life in the Woods, written after living two years, two months, and two days at Walden Pond, Thoreau urged others to simplify life as he had.

Bonson Alcott wholeheartedly embraced Transcendentalism, moving his family (which included the young Louisa May Alcott) to the Fruitlands community in the early 1840s. Alas, the experimental community did not last – having begun in the fall with no plan for ensuring proper food for winter! Despite the failure of his communal living experiment, Alcott kept his Transcendentalist ways throughout his long life. He even started a School of Philosophy, which still stands on the grounds of the Louisa May Alcott Orchard House today.

Although a well-known author and figure of Concord, Nathaniel Hawthorne was not a fan of Transcendentalism. After leaving a job at the Custom House in Salem, he moved to a Transcendentalist community at Brook Farm in 1841. Hawthorne was disappointed

by communal living and chose to leave after a short time. The experience did provide him with material for The Blithedale Romance – a novel which dramatized the conflict between the ideals of a commune and the private desires and romantic rivalries of its members.

Now that you have met the cast of characters and learned a little about how they are related to the Transcendental movement in Concord, you can practice walking in nature, just as Emerson and Thoreau did almost daily, and discover more!

Walden Pond is a must-visit destination for a Transcendental day trip. It is here that Henry David Thoreau famously spent two years, two months, and two days living away from society and reveling in nature (on his good friend Emerson’s property!) and a replica of his cabin is a great place to begin your exploration of the life of one of Concord’s most famous authors. Today, the pond is a Massachusetts State Reservation. The park frequently closes in summer when

the parking lot is full. Starting your visit here earlier in the day may keep you from being turned away if the park has reached capacity.

After leaving Walden Pond, enjoy breakfast in one of Concord’s restaurants or coffee shops. Then, drive or walk down Lexington Road near Concord Center. Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House is where Bronson Alcott, the father of renowned author Louisa May Alcott, hosted summer adult education at the School of Philosophy. This inspirational building, along with the beautiful grounds, are part of the tour at Orchard House.

After you leave Orchard House, a short stroll along Lexington Road will bring you next door to The Wayside, home (at different times) to Nathaniel Hawthorne, as well as the Alcott family. The Wayside is part of Minute Man National Historical Park. Even if public tours are not scheduled, you can still walk around the outside of the historic home.

As you turn back towards Concord Center, you will see your next stop - the Concord

64 Discover CONCORD | Spring 2024
Walden Pond

Museum – a great place to see objects owned by some of your Transcendental heroes. Newly renovated galleries span the arc of Concord’s history from the Indigenous peoples of this land to Concord’s role in the American Revolution and the Transcendentalist movement. Here, you will find furnishings from the original study of Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Thoreau’s desk, bed, and chair that were in his cabin at Walden Pond.

Across the street from the Concord Museum is The Home of Ralph Waldo Emerson, which he nicknamed Bush. Inside the home is the location of the original study (furnishings are now at the Concord Museum), along with a myriad of items that belonged to Emerson and his family.

If you wish to spend time walking in Concord, as many of the Transcendentalists did, near the home of Ralph Waldo Emerson is the entrance to the Emerson-Thoreau Amble. This Transcendental Trail winds through wetlands and woods on its way to Walden Pond. If you want to walk the entire trail to Walden Pond from the beginning of the Amble, plan for it to take about 40 – 60 minutes, as the trail is about 1.7 miles each way. And, if you walk all the way around the pond, triple your mileage and time. Walking a portion of the Emerson-Thoreau Amble may be the best choice if you are trying to visit

other locations on the same day. A perfect place to end your Transcendental trip is Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Bronson Alcott, and Ralph Waldo Emerson are all buried along Authors Ridge. As they were neighbors in life, they are neighbors in death. Just remember, Emerson’s house was a little further down the road from the others during his life; therefore, his grave in death is also just a little further down the ridge from his friends.

Bonus Location! If you are visiting on the weekend, Thoreau Farm, the birthplace of Henry David Thoreau, has free tours led by docents. On the tour, you will see the

room where Thoreau was born and learn how anyone can rent the birth room as a writer’s retreat.

Hopefully, this brief guide will give you an idea of how to spend your day exploring a fascinating part of Concord’s history. Turn to “Historic Concord: Plan Your Visit” in this issue to find open dates/times to visit each of these beautiful places. You can also learn more about Transcendentalism, Transcendentalists, and Concord in The Transcendentalists and Their World by the bestselling author of The Minutemen and Their World and winner of the Bancroft Prize, Robert A. Gross.

Beth van Duzer is a public historian, owner of Concord Walking Tours, and the clerk for the Concord250 History & Education Subcommittee.

Discover CONCORD | 65
All photos © Beth van Duzer Ralph Waldo Emerson House School of Philosophy
66 Discover CONCORD | Spring 2024 84a Commonwealth Ave., Concord, MA | 1-781-674-6364 | | @shoppuckandabby 207-542-9392 We work both nationally and internationally Camden • ME Marblehead • MA Writers C W Camden Preserving family, corporate & organization histories since 1997 Stories bring history to life. There is a significant story to be written for all of us. Let us help you tell yours. References available
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Artist Spotlight

IIn this series, we highlight two of the many artists who contribute to the deep creative culture of Concord. Across town, many organizations are dedicated to uplifting the visual arts and artists through exhibitions, educational programs, performances, and workspace.


For Carole Rabe, painting is a dialogue between the artist and the “spaces, shapes, colors, and light observed.” She finds inspiration in the interactions between interior environments and the exterior world, like light pouring through a window or reflecting on a wood floor. As the light shifts throughout the day and the seasons, Rabe’s subjects are ever changing. Rabe’s childhood making art, reading, and playing in the woods laid the path for her current art practice. As Rabe explains, “the storytelling, nature’s light, and the mark-making coalesced.” It makes sense, then, that Rabe’s subjects are personal. The time she spends getting to know the spaces she paints is essential to her process, and it is in these moments of close looking that Rabe discovers the tensions that inform her work.

Recently, though, Rabe has expanded her painting process to include working not only from direct observation, but also from sketches, photos, and her imagination. This shift has both “stimulated and confounded” her in the endless options it creates. Rabe lets the painting itself inform her as she works through this process, always focusing on what is most important as the full image forms.

See more of Rabe’s work in Chasing Color: Christiane Corcelle + Carole Rabe at Concord Art and at


“Remarkably,” says Christiane Corcelle, “the way I create my artwork mirrors how I live—a potpourri of diverse elements that may seem unrelated but come together harmoniously.” With Corcelle’s background in landscape architecture and printmaking, her passion for acrylic painting came about in an unconventional way. When Corcelle’s studio was forced to close in 2021 to make way for condominiums, she moved her art practice to the dining room of her home. It was here that her explorations changed into a “spontaneous and intuitive process that involves painting, collage, de-collage, scraping, sanding, and layering.”

“I remain curious,” says Corcelle of her inspiration. This curiosity has brought Corcelle across continents, collecting a broad array of influences along the way. Corcelle’s art has been shown globally, from Peru to Vietnam, and can be found in both private and public collections.

While her inspiration may be found outside of her studio—witnessing the beauty of everyday life and walking daily in the woods—Corcelle’s studio space is not to be overlooked. She describes her studio at the Umbrella Arts Center as a site of “controlled chaos” where she is free to fully embrace the spontaneity and energy of her process.

See more of Corcelle’s work in Chasing Color: Christiane Corcelle + Carole Rabe at Concord Art and at

Katie Baum is an intern at Concord Art. Baum is an artist and student at Oberlin College in Oberlin, OH. Learn more about internship opportunities at

Beginning February 22, Concord Art presents Chasing Color: Christiane Corcelle + Carole Rabe in its Members Gallery. The exhibition will be on view through March 22.

68 Discover CONCORD | Spring 2024
© Steve Briggs Carole Rabe, Red Wall, 2023, oil on canvas, 30 x 24 inches Christiane Corcelle, Flirting with Red, mixed media, 24 x 24 inches
Discover CONCORD | 69 Rede ning Retirement Vibrant, engaging, and maintenance-free lifestyle on a beautifully wooded campus Trustworthy services and programs that enhance your life while you stay in your own home CONTACT US TODAY TO LEARN MORE 781.275.8700 or Bedford, MA Carleton-Willard is a not-for-profit continuing care retirement community. SCAN TO INQUIRE 978-371-1442 | 28 Walden St. | Concord, MA 01742 Celebrating 30 Years in Concord Center Monday-Saturday 10-5 | Sunday 12-5

Arts Around Town



51 Walden |


Don’t miss this year’s Spring Pops Concert. An annual tradition! April 13


1317 Main Street |


Appealing to traditional and progressive acoustic music fans alike, The Ruta Beggars combine bluegrass and early swing to create a timeless act filled with intricate vocal harmonies, fiery instrumentals, and plenty of fun. April 27


129 Main Street |


Duo guitarists Robert Ward and Alexander Dunn perform works of Haydn, Beethoven, J.K. Mertz, and Antoine l’Hoyer. April 20


53 Cambridge Tpke |


Join Concord Museum for a musical journey through the landscape with musician Ben Cosgrove. Straddling a line between folk and classical music, Ben performs as described by The Boston Globe “like a sonic plein-air painter.” April 11

Fan Making Workshop

51 Walden |


Join The Concord Orchestra for two evenings of stunning musical performances of “This Midnight Hour”, “Violin Concerto Op.14”, and Symphonic Metamorphosis of Themes by Carl Maria von Weber. March 23 (with a pre-concert conductor talk) and March 24


This spring, immerse yourself in music with The Concord Orchestra as they present works by Johannes Brahms, Ludwig August Lebrun, and Dimitri Shostakovich. May 18 (with a pre-concert conductor talk) and May 19.


81 Elm Street |


Concord Women’s Chorus presents some of the best new music for women’s voices. The program tracks the twists and turns of our life stories: the joys, the disappointments, the stumbles, and the redemption along the journey. This program serves to uplift and to delight, to overcome, and to ultimately sing with joy! May 4



53 Cambridge Tpke |


Try your hand at fan making with an experienced teaching artist from the Umbrella Arts Center. Visit the special exhibition “What Makes History” to see an exquisite sample of the Concord Museum’s vast collection of fans from around the world. Then, learn common fan making techniques and create your own fan to take home. May 8


32 Main Street |


Lose yourself this spring in gorgeous coastal watercolors by Jillian Demeri, mixed media figures by Cynthia Brody, and landscapes by Avery S. Bramhall. March 27 - May 5 (reception April 6)

70 Discover CONCORD | Spring 2024
Hand Fan, Edith A. Buck, about 1900. Concord Museum Collection, Gift of Mrs. Joanna Ballou Savery; 1995.20.7.


Celebrate nature with landscapes by Bethany Noël, botanicals by Alice Rosa, and abstract photography by Nick Johnson. May 8 - June 16 (reception May 18)


40 Stow Street |


Celebrate the talented Umbrella Studio Artists at this special exhibition. Through March 20


Encounter the extraoardinary work of artist Nayana LaFond as she turns a spotlight on the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous people. Through March 24


An annual tradition that you won’t want to miss! See the best work of regional artists and take home your favorite piece at The Umbrella’s Artrageous auction. March 29 - April 5


Artwork by painter and printmaker Jane Goldman brings the issue of global warming to life. April 2 - May 5


Climate change-themed exhibition pairing noted artists and scientists curated by Stephanie Marlin-Curiel and Dr. Linda Booth Sweeney. April 10 - June 8


68 Quarry Road, Acton |

Revel in the beautiful spring weather while exploring this modern art outdoor sculpture park. Meet the working artists and watch as they transform a former quarry into a series of enchanting art pieces.


51 Walden Street |


Join the Concord Players as they present selections from The Music Man in this special performance of “20-Minute Music Man.” Presented at Concord Free Public Library. April 6


This beloved musical classic tells the tale of the fast-talking salesman Harold Hill as he arrives in River City with plans to charm the town and make a quick buck. What happens next takes the entire town by surprise, especially himself and Marian, the town’s uptight librarian. Join the Concord Players as they travel back to 1912 Iowa on this wonderful musical adventure, suitable for all ages, including the memorable production numbers “Till There was You,” “Marian the Librarian,” “Wells Fargo Wagon,” and “Seventy-Six Trombones.” April 26 – May 11


40 Stow Street |


The Greater Boston Premiere of awardwinning playwright Tracy Letts’ (August: Osage County) new play is part biting comedy, part Hitchockian mystery, and at its dark heart an unflinching allegory about small-town politics and real-world power. March 1 - 24


This Broadway hit musical tells a story that’s full of heart. You’ll be rooting for these down-on-their-luck pals from Buffalo and wondering up until the very end if the strength that they find in each other gives them the individual courage to bare it all. April 26 - May 19

Discover CONCORD | 71
Courtesy of YV Art Museum 20-Minute Music Man


1 Complete the mission! Henry David Thoreau went to the woods by Walden Pond because he wished to live [how]?

A. Archaically

B. Contrarily

QC. Deliberately

D. Exorbitantly

E. Simply


In his famed book Walden, Concord author Henry David Thoreau wrote, “I rejoice that there are owls. Let them do the maniacal hooting for men.” Not all Thoreau’s contemporaries shared his owl rejoicing. An apocryphal tale passed down through time shares that writer Nathaniel Hawthorne and his wife, Sophia, moved into a Concord home where a taxidermied owl was perched in a room and constantly stared at them, its eyes seemingly following them wherever they moved. Legend says Sophia found the owl creepy and placed it in the home’s attic. The home has since become a museum open to the public and the owl has been moved back downstairs into a prime location for staring at you as you visit. Where can you subject yourself to its gaze?

A. The Concord Museum

B. Thoreau’s Cabin replica by the Walden Pond State Reservation Visitor Center

C. The Wayside: Home of Authors

D. The Old Manse

E. Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House

3 You may have heard an old folk song called “There’s a Hole in the Bucket, Dear Liza.” The lyrics focus on Liza and Henry, a bickering couple who are trying to fetch water, but there’s a hole in the bucket and Henry is too dense to fix it. In 1880, if Liza and Henry moved to a Main Street house in Concord, Massachusetts, their water fetching problem might be solved. Could this be because:

A. By the 1880s, buckets were made of synthetic fibers and never leaked.

B. Two-family houses were being built and Liza and Henry could live separately and not have to interact over water bucket issues.

C. A water supply system brought water directly into houses.

D. After nearly two centuries stuck in the same song, Liza and Henry had turned away from water to something stronger.

4 Concord’s original municipal water supply source came from:

A. The Concord River

B. Walden Pond

C. The Milldam

D. Sandy Pond

5 Which famous author described Concord, Massachusetts, as “The biggest little town in America.”

A. Henry Adams

B. Henry James

C. Henry David Thoreau

D. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

6The famous Battles of Lexington and Concord occurred on what date?

A. June 17, 1775

B. May 10, 1775

C. April 23, 1775

D. April 19, 1775

7The American Revolutionary War officially began after the Battles of Lexington and Concord. More Royal Navy Ships left England and headed to America. True or False: The Royal Navy was commanded by King George III’s younger brother, Prince Henry, Duke of Cumberland.

8True or False: The April 19, 1775, battle at Concord’s North Bridge was fought between the British and the American Continental Armies.

9During the American Revolutionary War, the King’s troops wore red uniform coats. The color inspired many nicknames and myths. What is the most likely reason their jackets were red?

A. They could see each other better in the fog.

B. The red camouflaged blood stains.

C. The red dye was cheap and proven to hold fast when wet.

D. The brightly dyed color represented fiery resolve.

10Anna Alcott (Louisa May Alcott’s older sister and model for Meg in Little Women) and her husband John Bridge Pratt were both great-grandchildren of American Revolutionary War soldiers. They married at the Alcott family’s Orchard House on May 23, 1860. What color was Anna’s wedding dress?

A. Gray

B. Green

C. White

D. Brown

72 Discover CONCORD | Spring 2024
© Barrow Bookstore Presents:

A1. C. Deliberately. In the concluding chapter of Walden (a book about his experiences living for two years, two months, and two days by Walden Pond), Thoreau wrote: “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.”

(If you guessed “E. Simply”, you get half a point for recognizing Thoreau’s call in Walden to “Simplify, simplify.”)

2. D. The Old Manse. Now a museum, The Old Manse was built in 1770 for Ralph Waldo Emerson’s grandfather, the Reverend William Emerson. Moving in on their wedding day, Nathaniel and Sophia Hawthorne rented the Old Manse from 1842 to 1845. The house came furnished and included the taxidermied owl which the museum dates to pre-Revolutionary War Era. You can visit the owl, and The Old Manse, at 269 Monument Street, Concord, MA.

3. C. A water supply system brought water directly into houses. In 1872, Massachusetts General Law Chapter 188 authorized Concord to establish a water supply system to “supply itself and its inhabitants with pure water to extinguish fires, generate steam, and for domestic and other uses.” By 1874, a water delivery system began to be installed throughout the town delivering water directly to some houses and expanding over time.

4. D. Sandy Pond. The town of Concord was further allowed to “take and hold, by purchase or otherwise, all necessary lands” for collecting water and establishing a piping infrastructure.

5. B. Henry James. Between 1904-1905, writer Henry James traveled throughout the East Coast of America writing essays about the places he visited, including Concord. James described Concord as “the biggest little town in America,” and, tongue-incheek, criticized Concord for its constant “tendency to improve.” James’ collected essays may be read in his 1907 book The American Scene, published by Chapman and Hall, London.

6. D. April 19, 1775.

7. False. Although he was an appointed Vice-Admiral in the Royal Navy, Prince Henry, Duke of Cumberland, did not assume active command. Instead, he became founder and patron of the Cumberland Fleet which stayed in England and competed in races against each other, eventually becoming a yacht club.

8. False. The colonists who faced the British Army on April 19, 1775, were militia members. The Continental Army was officially established about two months later on June 14, 1775.

9. C. The red dye was cheap and proven to hold fast when wet.

10. A. Gray. Visit the parlor where Anna was married at Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House, 399 Lexington Road, Concord, MA.

Contact Barrow Bookstore for a list of sources.

For more than 50 years, Barrow Bookstore has been a favorite of residents and visitors alike, specializing in Concord authors and history, children’s books and literature. The shop also provides a wide array of gently read and rare titles ranging from paperbacks to first editions and original manuscripts. Staff members have all worked as tour guides and reenactors in Concord and are happy to share their knowledge about the town and its history. Discover more at

Discover CONCORD | 73
Image of the frontis page in a 1910 edition of Comic Tragedies by Louisa May Alcott. © Barrow Bookstore



Serving Concord, Carlisle, Mathas Vineyard, Nantucket & Beyond Since 1978 Call Us To Discuss Your Project 978/852-9656



you help us welcome our guests in 2025?

Next year marks the 250th anniversary of the first battles of the American Revolution. We expect a 50% increase in the number of visitors to Concord, Lexington, and along the Battle Road in April of 2025. That means hundreds of thousands more copies of Discover Concord will be needed!

Did you know that there are just two full-time people behind this publication? We are proud to work alongside talented historians and photographers to showcase the very best of Concord and the surrounding area to our guests from around the world but with hundreds of thousands more than usual expected in the next year, we could use a little help in getting ready!

If you would like to help us welcome visitors from around the world, there are a few ways you can help! You can subscribe (and even better, you’ll never miss an issue!), or you can like and share our posts on social media to help spread the word. Your subscription helps us print extra copies to welcome our visitors and help them learn our local history, find their way around, and discover all the wonderful things to see and do in and around Concord!

We are so grateful for this amazing community –thank you so much for being a part of Discover Concord! Discover
Discover CONCORD | 75 “ ‘Tis the good reader that makes the good book.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson Barrow Bookstore 79 Main Street, Concord, MA (behind Fritz and Gigi) | | 978-369-6084 RARE AND GENTLY READ BOOKS Specializing in Concord Authors and History; Transcendentalism; Revolutionary War, American, and Military History; Children’s Literature; and a wide selection for the eclectic reader. Literary-themed gifts, postcards, and beeswax candles. 135 Commonwealth Ave. in West Concord | | 978-369-2404 Stop by for beautiful spring flowers or shop online at Mon-Fri 9-5 and Sat 9-3 Delivery or Curbside Pickup Available. Concord Bookshop 65 Main St. | 978.369.2405 | 65 Main St. | 978.369.2405 | PEGGY DAWSON RIVER CRUISE SPECIALIST (978) 460-5642 FLST# 39068 • CST# 2034468-50 • HST# TAR-7058 • WAST# 603-399-504 JOURNEYS INTO THE HEART OF

This mink is busily preparing for a new family.

From Wood Ducks to Patriots’ Day Images of Spring:

We are very fortunate to be in Concord! Especially in spring.

Birds, like this tree swallow, return to Concord from the south and new animal life and plant life spring forth.

The majestic and symbolic eagles are repopulating in town. This eagle nests in Fairhaven Bay.

76 Discover CONCORD | Spring 2024
Apple blossoms not only look good but smell wonderful as well.

The very cute fox kit is inspecting its new world.

The wood ducks certainly add color to the waterways and can be found in Great Meadows and on our Wild & Scenic Rivers.

Reenactors add their own colorful display on Patriots’ Day.

Discover CONCORD | 77
Get out and enjoy the many wonders of Concord!
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Discover CONCORD | 79 ANTIQUES 20 Bobbi Benson Antiques 69 North Bridge Antiques ARCHITECTURE, CUSTOM BUILDING AND INTERIOR DESIGN 7 Anderson Landscape Construction and Horticulture Preservation 1 Appleton Design Group 15 CS Bailey Landscaping 21 Driscoll Contracting 74 The Domus Group 9 Inkstone Architects C3 Platt Builders ART AND GUITARS 67 Minuteman Guitars 54 Powers Gallery 31 Three Stones Gallery BOOKS AND OTHER MEDIA 25 Barefoot Books 75 Barrow Bookstore 75 The Concord Bookshop 39 The Concord Bridge 74 Discover Concord CATERING, RESTAURANTS, AND SPECIALTY FOOD AND WINE SHOPS 24 Adelita 14 The Cheese Shop 31 Concord Teacakes 5 Concord’s Colonial Inn 58 Debra’s Natural Gourmet 54 Dunkin’ 40 Fiorella’s Cucina 36 Verrill Farm 78 Vintages 58 West Concord Wine & Spirits 37 Woods Hill Pier 4 14 Woods Hill Table CHARITABLE GIVING 66 Concord-Carlisle Community Chest CLOTHING 78 Doe + Fawn 59 Loveday 54 Reflections 78 Sara Campbell EXPERIENTIAL 48 Concord Museum 24 Concord Players 37 Concord Walking Tours 49 The Umbrella Stage Co. 78 YV Art Museum FLORISTS 75 Concord Flower Shop HOME FURNISHINGS, DÉCOR, AND UNIQUE GIFTS 36 Artisans Way 39 The Bee’s Knees British Imports 36 Clay Art + Concept 78 First Rugs 69 Nesting 59 Patina Green 66 Puck and Abby 31 Revolutionary Concord JEWELERS 59 Artinian Jewelry 49 Fairbank & Perry Goldsmiths 78 Merlin’s Silver Star LODGING 5 Concord’s Colonial Inn PROFESSIONAL SERVICES 66 Camden Writers 75 Cruise Planners 30 Pierre Chiha Photographers REAL ESTATE 3 The Attias Group C2, 80 Barrett Sotheby’s Int’l Realty 69 Carleton-Willard Village 45 Coldwell Banker C4 Compass 55 Landvest TOYS 31 Concord Toy Box 78 Doe + Fawn VISITOR RESOURCES 39 Concord Visitor Center ©
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Articles inside

Patriots' Day 2024: The American Revolution Begins

pages 14-15

Amos Doolittle: Picturing the Birth of America

pages 24-25

Images of Spring: From Wood Ducks to Patriots' Day

pages 78-79

Concord Trivia

pages 74-75

Discover Concord Spring 2024

pages 72-73

Artist Spotlight

page 70

From Walden Pond to The Wayside: A Transcendental Amble

pages 66-67

Telling Their Stories

page 65

Discover Concord Spring 2024

pages 64-65

Hisoric Concord: Plan Your Visit

page 62

Concord Kids: Kid Friendly Gardening Opportunities

pages 58-59

The Thrill of the Hunt in Consignment Shopping

page 56

Go, Speed the Stars

pages 54-55

Thoreau and Concord's Birds

pages 52-53

Safely Sailing On: Margaret Fuller's Spirit in Concord

pages 48-49

A Patriot's Pilgrimage

page 40

Discover Concord Spring 2024

pages 36-37

Gathering Before the Storm:

pages 34-35

Their War: Ezekiel Davis

pages 30-31

Local Patriots of Color in the American Revolution

pages 28-29

Sharing a Piece of History in Concord Center

page 22

Many Voices One Revolution

pages 20-21


pages 18-20

19 Things to See & Do in Concord this Spring

pages 12-13

Spring Returns to Concord

pages 4-12
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