CONCORD SUMMER 2022
The Homes of Henry David Thoreau J. Drew Lanham on Taking the Wild Path
THINGS TO SEE & DO THIS SUMMER
Nathaniel & Sophia Hawthorne
The Adulteress & The Airman
Nothing Compares. B A R R E T T S I R .C O M
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“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”
With respect to Mr. Emerson, summer days might be just a tiny bit better than the rest. Sunshine, warm breezes, and memories that last a lifetime are all to be had in summer. We took a moment to travel ourselves as we put together this issue (the photo you see of us is actually from Burgundy, France!). Time away with friends is always a joy – and we hope that this issue will inspire YOU to get out and explore Concord with fresh eyes. There is so much to see and do here! Concord is famous for the American Revolution, the Literary Revolution, Transcendentalism, and much more. One standout example is Concord’s Town Meeting. It is one of the few remaining examples of direct democracy and is vitally important both historically and today. Author Sam Copeland explores this unusual form of governance in “Town Meeting: Concord’s Living Wonder” on p. 14. The love story of Nathaniel Hawthorne and Sophia Peabody continues to enchant even today. Find out more in “Our Eden: Commemorating the 180th Anniversary of the Wedding of Nathaniel and Sophia Hawthorne” by Richard Smith on p. 38. We all know Hanscom Airforce Base, but author Jaimee Leigh Joroff has found an unusual, and scandalous, connection to a young woman named Mary Magdalene Bailey Beadle. Find out why so many of Mary’s contemporaries cried out “This is so inappropriate!” in The Adulteress & the Airman: The Tangled Story Behind Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter and Concord’s Hanscom Airforce Base on p. 30. The Thoreau Society will celebrate its 81st Annual Gathering this summer in Concord and they have assembled a stellar lineup of speakers, topics, and events that can be attended live or watched over Zoom. J. Drew Lanham, renowned ornithologist, author, poet, and scientist will present this year’s Dana S. Brigham Memorial Keynote Address. Explore his fascinating view of
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— Ralph Waldo Emerson birds and human nature in “J. Drew Lanham: Taking the Wild Path to Human Understanding” on p. 18. Find out more about the exciting events scheduled for this year’s Gathering in “Concord Welcomes the 81st Annual Gathering of the Thoreau Society” on p. 26. If you’ve been wanting to help the environment, a pollinator garden is a great way to do that. Rebecca Carrillo of Grow Native Massachusetts explains that pollinators are “bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, moths, wasps, flies, beetles, and even a few bats … that move pollen between flowers.” “Native Plants Bee-long Here: How to Create a Pollinator Garden” on p. 48 will show you how to welcome beneficial insects and animals to your garden. So, grab a glass of iced tea, settle into that porch swing, and catch up on all that Concord has to offer with this issue. We wish you a happy, healthy, and sunny summer.
Cynthia L. Baudendistel Co-Founder
Jennifer C. Schünemann Co-Founder
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contents Summer 2022
14 Things to See & Do This Summer Town Meeting: Concord’s Living Wonder BY SAM COPELAND
J. Drew Lanham: Taking the Wild Path to Human Understanding BY JENNIFER C. SCHÜNEMANN
Beyond Words: Louisa May Alcott’s Legacy BY SUSAN BAILEY
Debra’s Natural Gourmet Opens Groundbreaking Space “Next Door” Concord Welcomes The 81st Annual Gathering of The Thoreau Society BY MICHAEL FREDERICK
A New Season at the Emerson House BY KRISTI LYNN MARTIN
The Adulteress & The Airman BY JAIMEE LEIGH JOROFF
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The Homes of Henry David Thoreau BY JOHN ROMAN Contents Continued on Page 6
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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.
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Historic Concord: Plan Your Visit Our Eden: Commemorating the 180th Anniversary of the Wedding of Nathaniel and Sophia Hawthorne BY RICHARD SMITH
List of Shops and Restaurants
Walking Maps of Concord
Elizabeth Freeman: A Free Woman on God’s Earth BY VICTOR CURRAN
Native Plants Bee-long Here: How to Create a Pollinator Garden BY REBECCA CARRILLO
Bear Garden Hill Trail in Walden Woods BY KATHI ANDERSON
Stories from Special Collections: Herbert Wendell Gleason BY ANKE VOSS
Family-Friendly Ways to Unplug in Concord BY CINDY ATOJI KEENE
The Founding of Concord’s Robbins House and a Debt of Gratitude BY MARIA MADISON, Sc.D.
Summer in the Parks BY JENNIFER C. SCHÜNEMANN
Artist Spotlight BY STEWART IKEDA
Exploring Concord in a Morning, A Day, or a Weekend BY BETH VAN DUZER Contents Continued on Page 8
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Teamwork is the Ultimate Competitive Advantage
Independently Owned, Skillfully Operated. C a l l
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Discover CONCORD discoverconcordma.com CO-FOUNDER Cynthia L. Baudendistel CO-FOUNDER Jennifer C. Schünemann ART DIRECTOR Beth Pruett DISTRIBUTION DIRECTOR Wilson S. Schünemann
contents p. 64
ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTOR Olga Gersh ADVISORY BOARD Bobbi Benson Robert Munro
Architectural Phenomenology: The Story of a Thriving Bauhaus Style Home in Concord BY EVE ISENBERG
A Fine Carriage House Becomes a Refined Home BY BARBARA RHINES
Concord Trivia Make Summer Magic with a New Cocktail BY BRIGETTE M.T. SANCHEZ
Arts Around Town BY CYNTHIA BAUDENDISTEL
The Pleasures of Summer BY DAVE WITHERBEE
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IN MEMORIUM: Debra Stark COVER PHOTO: Kayaking on the Concord River, near the North Bridge © Jennifer C. Schünemann AUTHORS/CONTRIBUTORS: Kathi Anderson Susan Bailey Cynthia L. Baudendistel Joel Caldwell Rebecca Carrillo Pierre Chiha Sam Copeland Victor Curran Beth van Duzer Michael Frederick Brian Hanlon Stewart Ikeda Eve Isenberg Jaimee Leigh Joroff Cindy Atoji Keene Maria Madison Kristi Lynn Martin Barbara Rhines John Roman Brigette M.T. Sanchez Jennifer C. Schünemann Richard Smith Anke Voss Dave Witherbee PUBLISHED BY:
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The North Bridge
Spend an afternoon with Charles Dickens. Concord Free Public Library presents Rick Corbo in the persona of Charles Dickens as he reads from the great author’s works. Rick is a living historian whose educational background is in theater. He has performed for the award-winning, Connecticut-based puppet company, Elmwood Productions, and starred in the popular EWTN Network series, Saints Versus Scoundrels. He has also performed as Charles Dickens in the original Christmas special titled Reclaiming the Carol, also by ETWN Network, and at museums and libraries across New England. The event will begin with a brief discussion of Louisa May Alcott’s appreciation of Charles Dickens—and her reaction to seeing him perform in Boston, and will include time for questions and answers. June 25 at 2:00 pm. Visit concordlibrary.org for more information.
Town Meeting: Let Your Voice Be Heard! In January 1774, Concord residents were faced with some difficult decisions. A large quantity of tea was destroyed in Boston Harbor a few weeks before. Do they distance themselves from those “Sons of Liberty” who destroy private property? Or do they stand with them against the British government and accept the consequences? This is your chance to debate revolutionary issues with Concord residents of 1774, portrayed by Minute Man National Historical Park staff and volunteers. The issues to be discussed are taken from an actual Concord meeting warrant from that time. In the spirit of a New England town meeting, we will vote after debating each issue. Afterwards we will compare our votes with how the town voted in 1774. June 25, 3:30 pm at the North Bridge. This event will be repeated on August 20. Learn more about Concord’s historic Town Meeting in “Town Meeting: Concord’s Living Wonder” on p. 14. nps.gov/mima/planyourvisit/special-event.htm
Find out if that old book is valuable. Concord Museum will host Ken Gloss, proprietor of the internationally known Brattle Book Shop in Boston and frequent guest appraiser on PBS’ Antiques Roadshow. Ken will discuss the value of old and rare books, share 12
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some of his favorite finds, and describe the joys of the “hunt” for rare books. Following the forum, Ken will give free verbal appraisals of attendees’ books or will do so at his shop in Boston. June 29 at 7:00 pm. This program will be presented both in-person and online. Visit concordmuseum.org for more information.
Enjoy colonial crafts and games to celebrate Independence Day at the Concord Museum. July 2 -3. concordmuseum.org
Celebrate our nation’s Independence Day at Minute Man National Historical Park. Join park rangers and volunteers as we mark the 245th anniversary of our nation’s independence with a live, in-person reading of the Declaration of Independence at Concord’s North Bridge. Following the reading, reenactors representing the 10th Massachusetts Regiment will fire three musket volleys in honor of American Independence. July 4 at 2:00 pm.
Plan your adventures in Concord to make the most of your time here. See “Exploring Concord in a Morning, a Day, or a Weekend,” on p. 62 for tips on what to see and do. Turn to “Historic Concord: Plan Your Visit” on p. 37 for websites, hours, and more on local historic sites.
Stop by the Old Manse for live outdoor music classes for kids with Rockabye Beats. Spread out on the beautiful and historic grounds of the Old Manse for this 45-minute class for kids. Children develop an appreciation for music and nature while building their vocabulary in English and Spanish, gross motor skills, and social/
Courtesy of Concord Museum
Things to See & Do in Concord
Minute Man National Historical Park is open for the season. Summer is the perfect time to visit the parks historical sites, memorial landscapes, and Visitor Centers. Rangers are ready to answer questions, provide maps, passport stamps, and Junior Ranger materials. North Bridge Visitor Center, 174 Liberty Street, Concord, is open 10:00 am – 5:00 pm daily. Experience the “North Bridge Battlefield Walk” and visit their fascinating array of exhibits. The North Bridge is open dawn till dusk, year-round, of course, and park rangers are on hand to provide interpretation and daily programs including “Concord’s North Bridge: History and Memory.” Minute Man Visitor Center, Rt. 2A, Lexington, is open 9:00 am – 5:00 pm daily. Ranger programs include “Battlefield in a Box” and “Discovering Lexington’s Lost Battlefield.” Don’t miss the exhibits and the Road to Revolution theater! Hartwell Tavern, Rt. 2A, Lincoln, is open 10:00 am – 4:00 pm Wednesday through Sunday. Park rangers are happy to answer questions and provide information on this historic site. Sign up for the ranger program, “The Minute Men: Neighbors in Arms.” Visit these websites for more information: nps.gov/mima/ planyourvisit/ranger-programs-and-tours.htm and nps.gov/mima/ planyourvisit/special-event.htm.
Join a special walk with the Thoreau Sauntering Society. Henry David Thoreau was a great fan of sauntering and now you can saunter with leading naturalists and learn directly from nature as you observe and reflect. Or saunter alongside historians in the footsteps of Henry David Thoreau and study the layers of history evident in our world. There are two walks coming in July: A Saunter with Peter Alden at Great Meadows National Wildlife Refuge (Saturday, July 16, 8:00am) and “My vicinity affords many good walks;” A Saunter Exploring Thoreau Farm’s Biology & History (Saturday, July 23, 11:00 am). Sign up at thoreaufarm.org.
The tour includes the lovingly restored second-floor room where Henry David Thoreau was born in 1817. Visits are by guided tour only. Saturdays & Sundays, through October. Go to thoreaufarm.org for more information.
Pedal around town. The Bike Share program is open once again with two locations: 58 Main Street behind the Visitor Center and the West Concord entrance to the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail. Renting is easy, just download the Movatic App and set up an account. Unlock your bike and off you go! Use the code FREE2 when you order your bike through Movatic and your first two hours are free. visitconcord.org/visit/concord-bike-share
Join Master Cooper Ron Raiselis for a look into the 1700s coopering trade and explore why these highly skilled craftspeople were essential to the commerce and survival of a colony. Ron has served as the resident cooper at Strawbery Banke Museum in Portsmouth, NH, since 1985, where he maintains a traditional cooperage shop. September 3 from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. concordmuseum.org
Discover a world of music at Concord Conservatory of Music’s Discovery Day Open House. Bring the whole family and find out which instrument is right for you during the Instrument Petting Zoo. Learn about adult group classes and introduce your kids to the world of music through singing, dancing, and games. September 10 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm. Go to concordconservatory.org for more information.
Courtesy of Concord Conservatory of Music
See that lovely bluebird in a whole new light as the Concord Museum presents Hitchcock’s terrifying and memorable masterpiece, The Birds. The film exemplifies how birds have made their way into all aspects of the human experience, including art and culture. While the special exhibition Alive with Birds celebrates the species and conservation of their habitat, our avian subjects are cast in a more treacherous light in this 1963 classic film. The film will be shown outdoors, so bring a blanket, lawn chairs, and snacks. July 21. concordmuseum.org
Courtesy of Concord Museum
Courtesy of The Thoreau Farm Trust
emotional skills! Although these classes are open to all, they are recommended for infants, toddlers, preschoolers, and the caregivers who love them. Classes will be offered on Fridays at 10:00am on July 15 through August 5. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up for classes.
Visit the birthplace of Henry David Thoreau. Take an inside look at the restored 1730s house listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Wheeler-Minot Farmhouse/Henry David Thoreau Birth House, locally known as Thoreau Farm.
Concord usually gets attention for its past. Even Louisa May Alcott worried that her town was “degenerating into a museum of revolutionary relics.” She, of course, belonged to an intellectual event that gave a second chapter to Concord’s celebrated history, but the Concordian of today is liable to feel that everything great belongs to the past. There are many wonderful things about the town – wonderful people and places to walk – but what is there that, like the Battle of Lexington and Concord or the Transcendentalists, can be held up against the whole of human history and still shine bright and, furthermore, is available to us in the present? There is town meeting. Town meeting is not unique to Concord – it exists in over 1000 New England towns – but if it were, then uniqueness would be just one more of its remarkable qualities. First and foremost, the Concord town meeting 14
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BY SAM COPELAND
is a direct democracy. Those in attendance of town meeting, which is open to any voter registered in Concord, are simply the legislature of Concord’s town government. Their sovereignty is not mediated by representatives or plebiscites. Political theorists from Alexis de Tocqueville to John Stuart Mill have looked on jealously at the direct democracies of New England. Thoreau asserted that, “When, in some obscure country town, the farmers come together to a special town-meeting, to express their opinion on some subject which is vexing the land, that, I think, is the true Congress, and the most respectable one that is ever assembled in the United States.” Direct democracy makes the Concord town meeting, if not a unique institution, at least a very rare one. Although modern democracy is often traced back to the direct democracy of ancient Athens, direct
democracies are rare in modern societies. Even some formerly direct town meetings have switched to representative models. In fact, the democratic system established in the American Constitution was expressly created in opposition to the direct democracy of New England town meetings. Alexander Hamilton, a favored figure of today, said, “It has been observed that a pure democracy, if it were practicable, would be the most perfect government. Experience has proved that no position is more false than this. Their very character is tyranny; their figure deformity.” But town meeting proves that the drafters of the Constitution are not the sole founders of American democracy. Another remarkable feature of the Concord town meeting is its age. Being as old as Concord itself, it predates the US government by roughly a century and a half. And the relationship
Town Meeting: Concord’s Living Wonder
the town as its shareholders. Town meeting was then, according to Adams, a meeting of shareholders whose will was executed by the selectboard, a kind of board of directors. The historian Susan Kurland argues along similarly “autochthonous” lines that the intensely deliberative nature of town meeting was necessitated by the initial absence of police in towns like Concord; laws could only be enforced through their agreeableness to the townspeople.
meeting vote. Even the structure of services and the rules for admitting new parishioners fell under the meeting’s sovereignty. The gradual disentanglement of town and church affairs is just one change that the Concord town meeting has undergone in its nearly 300-year history. One of its most significant and heartening changes is the expansion of its franchise. At first, only adult male citizens could participate in town meeting, and this at a time when Black and
There are, nonetheless, strong links between town meeting and Calvinism. As Calvinists, the Puritan colonists believed that parishes had a right to elect their own clergymen, rather than have them appointed by bishops or aristocrats. It’s unsurprising, then, how involved the Concord town meeting was in religious as well as secular affairs, to the point where the distinction nearly vanished. The original meeting house for the Concord town meeting was the First Parish Church. Town meeting approved the parish’s choice of minister and raised funds for the minister’s salary. Sometimes First Parish created new offices at the behest of a town
Indigenous people could not become citizens. Even among adult male citizens, certain property-owning or taxpaying thresholds had to be met to participate, as one might expect of a form of government descended from joint-stock companies. It was only in 1811 that any adult male citizen could participate in town meeting so long as he had lived in Concord for a year and was liable to be taxed. Adult female citizens were only granted full participation in town meeting when Massachusetts ratified the 19th Amendment in 1919. Abigail May Alcott was an early woman suffragist who hoped to vote before she died, “even if my daughters have to carry me.” This hope went
Concord Town Meeting Courtesy of the Town of Concord.
between the Concord town meeting and the Battle of Lexington and Concord is not merely geographical. In 1773 the meeting made a declaration on Britain’s “infringements on the rights and privileges of the province,” stating, “As subjects of Great Britain we have a right to personal security, personal liberty, and private property. No power on Earth agreeable to our constitution can take them from us or any part of them without our consent.” The people of Concord were concerned that the rights laid out in the colonial charter of Massachusetts were under threat, rights that included self-governance through town meeting. In 1774 they voted not to “buy, sell, or use any East India Tea or any other tea imported from Great Britain while a duty for raising revenue is affixed thereon by Act of Parliament.” That same year they created a Committee of Safety “to aid all untainted magistrates who had not been aiding and assisting in bringing on a new mode of government in this province.” The Battle of Lexington and Concord happened a few months later. As the statements of town meeting suggest, it is no coincidence that the conflict with Britain was brought to a head by a community with such strong democratic attachments. While we can say that town meeting played a role in the formation of American democracy, the formation of town meeting itself is a matter of controversy. Some historians trace it to an English system in which local parishes decided on municipal questions like the building of roads; others trace it to John Calvin’s Geneva; still others trace it to the Norse Vikings. The historian Charles Francis Adams opposes all of these theories, arguing that the New England town meeting was “autochthonous”, meaning that it sprang from local necessities more than historical influences. The Massachusetts Bay Colony was established by the Massachusetts Bay Company, a joint-stock corporation not unlike the East India Companies of England and the Dutch Republic. Adams therefore conceived of the Massachusetts town as a subsidiary of the company and the property holders of
Concord Town Meeting Courtesy of the Town of Concord.
unrealized, but in 1880 her daughter, Louisa May Alcott, was among the first women to vote at the Concord town meeting. The previous year Massachusetts had allowed women to vote on appointments for school committees, but not anything else. Louisa May Alcott was one of 20 women who appeared at the next town meeting to vote. After her vote was cast, she commented, “No bolt fell on our audacious heads, no earthquake shook the town, but a pleasing surprise greeted a general outbreak of laughter and applause.” Carmin Reiss, the current moderator of the Concord town meeting, is the first woman ever to hold the office. “It was very moving for a lot of people,” says Reiss, “After my first town meeting people came up to me with tears in their eyes to tell me how thrilled they were to be saying ‘Madam Moderator.’” Reiss’ election is especially moving in light of the fact that the office is older than that of the US president. In 1715 Massachusetts required that moderators preside over town meetings in order to prevent “the disorderly carriage of some persons in the said meetings” by which “the 16
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affair and business thereof is very much retarded and obstructed.” Echoing this original law, Reiss says, “Town meeting goes best when we strike a balance between efficiency and a full hearing of the issues. We want every point of view heard, but not heard too many times.” After almost 300 years of history, the Concord town meeting is left as a direct democracy whose franchise and offices are open to all adult citizens regardless of race or gender, and therefore as an almost complete anomaly in human history. But the Concord town meeting is anomalous for another, more melancholy reason. In contrast to national politics, the Concord town meeting is largely unpolluted by partisan venom. At this last town meeting citizens argued their sides passionately, but without personal attacks. The few moments of misconduct were addressed swiftly by Carmin Reiss with the support of the meeting.
On the whole, disagreements were held between people who expected to run into each other at the grocery store the next day. “We have a magnificent sense of community here, but I’m always aware of the fragility of that,” says Reiss, “That has to be nourished.” So long as it is, the Concord town meeting may continue to represent a hope of what American democracy could be. ————————————————————————— Sam Copeland is a Concord native and a writer based on New York.
William Brewster in Concord Roger Tory Peterson
A Special Exhibition at the Concord Museum in Collaboration with
Anthony Elmer Crowell
With thanks to the Exhibition Sponsors
and generous Individual Donors
For hours and associated programs visit
J. Drew Lanham: Taking the Wild Path to Human Understanding BY JENNIFER C. SCHÜNEMANN
“An ornithologist said significantly, ‘If you held the bird in your hand—’; but I would rather hold it in my affections.”
Professor J. Drew Lanham, Alumni Distinguished Professor of Wildlife Ecology, Master Teacher, and Certified Wildlife Biologist at Clemson University, is a renowned ornithologist, an accomplished author, poet, and scientist. He is also the keynote speaker at this year’s Thoreau Society Gathering in Concord. It’s not a surprising link. Henry David Thoreau was a careful observer of nature, as well as an eloquent writer and a social justice warrior. All these traits drew the attention of Prof. Lanham, as we discussed in a recent interview. Hailing from Edgefield, South Carolina, Drew (as he prefers to be called) grew up on a family farm that backed onto protected forest lands. As such, the line between farm animals and wildlife was blurred for a young Drew. Birds, in particular, fascinated him at an early age. “The idea of free flight – the ability to just get up and GO but with air under one’s wings with the land sliding beneath you… the whole idea of escape – birds do it best,” he said. “Living off the land, nature was nurture for us. We depended on the farm for physical sustenance, but my soul was nourished by seeing and hearing bobwhite quail or wild turkeys on a spring morning or hearing barred owls call to one another on a summer evening. These experiences were the wild cherry on top of the jelly cake in my childhood.” While many tried to steer this “bright young black kid” towards math and science, Drew knew in his heart that his true passion was linked to the wild. He found a way to take that expectation from society and create his own outcome. “Passion is the fulcrum on which our lives are levers,” he said. I can leverage this thing I love and have a passion for – starting with a rigorous scientific grounding to build up 18
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truth that goes even further with creative writing, the arts, and literature to not only impact people’s heads but also touch their hearts – which is at the core of action. Until we feel, there is no movement towards some effective action or solution.” Drew has been able to take the scientist role as an ornithologist and to move it to a place not just of facts we can know about, but to inspire people through the unknown. By creating a sense of wonder about what birds are thinking or feeling as they fly and flit above us, he opens a space to inspire people in ways that help them do better by birds, nature, the earth…and therefore, one another. “That little boy who was watching birds and wondering how they flew, how they sang, how they built those nests, where they came from is still here. That pause for awe and wonder led me to other questions that led me to become the scientist that I am. I hope
that I have surpassed the expectations others had of me, by taking my own flight path.” A Sense of Self Through Observation Drew describes his love of observing birds as being closely linked to a discovery of the self. “That interaction with that one individual – the chance to watch that individual just be and then I can just be – it creates a very different fraction of bird or wild beast as numerator and me as denominator. As different as we are, the two of us being ourselves creates a sense of unity.” “Recently, I observed a worm-eating warbler in a southern Appalachian forest singing so fervently that it shook from its beak to its tail! I saw that bird vibrate as if it would come apart. But it didn’t. It vibrated again and again. Each time it did that, I felt like I was seeing it for the first time. It moved me profoundly.”
© Joel Caldwell
—Journal of Henry David Thoreau, 10 May 1854
©Peter Frank Edwards/Redux
“When we are in the presence of other beings, a river of sensibility flows between us. By observing a bird sensing the world as it does, I am free to sense the world as I do. It’s a kind of barter of being free to be who/ what we are as the core of all of this. It’s an acceptance in a very intimate way that allows that bird or animal to be most fully who/what it is – which in turn, allows you to be wholly what or who you are.” Linking Nature to Freedom Drew points out that the first lesson in learning about birds is LISTENING. The beautiful music of their song, or even the silence of the billions of birds who have disappeared in the past half century because of pollution and habitat declination, may inspire us to want to learn more. He states that the science is well in hand, we know that’s happening to us. We must make a hard stop and reconsider our treatment of nature and of one another. “Henry David Thoreau is often considered as ‘that man who lived in a cabin by the pond.’ But his writings, musings, and most especially his actions, exemplified a strong
belief that protecting nature is indelibly linked to insisting on the rights of humans as well as wildlife,” said Drew. “For me that’s always been the attraction to the work of Thoreau. He did not put a barrier between nature and humanity that would have us be separate. Human rights and nature conservancy go hand in hand.” “I find it interesting that we are at ease discussing the importance of biodiversity in nature, but we seem to be afraid to talk about human diversity,” said Drew. “Thoreau was not afraid to talk about the sins of enslavement and the conundrum of being in a space where people were constantly talking about freedom but not looking for everyone’s freedom. Thoreau is an example of how a sensibility for nature and humanity can converge into a larger message. He was a true ally who spoke not just about the beauty of nature but railed against the bitterness of enslavement. He did not parse his words when it came to human rights. I like to think about his trajectory
beyond his premature death to what a great and powerful voice he would have been for liberty for all as the country plunged into civil war beyond his time.” And like Thoreau, Drew Lanham encourages us all to take the binoculars down and speak out for human rights. “Understanding nature in different ways gives us a chance to expand our sensibility to include the human heart. Do not ignore the plight of those in distress. We have a responsibility to help others. This is the core of the message I hope to deliver - and the kindship I hope to share - in Concord.” Professor Lanham will deliver the Dana S. Brigham Memorial Keynote Address at the 2022 Thoreau Gathering on Saturday, July 9. For more information, please visit secure.thoreausociety.org/events/annualgathering-2022
Concord boasts several house museums, but one stands apart as a place of pilgrimage. Filled with authentic Alcott furniture and belongings, Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House, where Little Women was written and set, looks and feels as if the family just stepped out for a moment. The passion exhibited by more than 50,000 people who tour inside the house each year and more than 100,000 who visit the grounds is unsurpassed. Because Little Women has been translated into more than 50 languages, visitors from around the world flock to the site. Orchard House Executive Director, Jan Turnquist, says, “Louisa May Alcott’s legacy is large and powerful because, paradoxically, she so successfully shares the small and vulnerable. She juxtaposes humor and sorrow just as life does. She bares her soul with all its emotion—painful and joyous— and with all its flaws and strengths.” Turnquist continues, “I’ve had the privilege of witnessing the enormous impact of Alcott and her writing on thousands of Orchard House visitors. They share stories that reveal how Alcott’s works have moved their minds and spirits—even how it has changed their lives. When asked, ‘Why does Louisa so deeply touch readers and forge such a powerful bond, transcending time, place,
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Beyond Words: The Depth of Louisa May Alcott’s Legacy BY SUSAN BAILEY culture, and even death?’ I answer, because she so profoundly connects with them. Louisa reaches directly from her heart to that of her reader revealing her authentic self, warts and all. The particulars of her story and of visitors’ stories vary but the common denominator is human connection.” Stories of connection are as numerous and diverse as Alcott enthusiasts themselves, grounded in the present moment as if Louisa and her family were alive today. Biographer John Matteson’s rapport with Louisa and her father Bronson resulted in his Pulitzer prize-winning dual biography, Eden’s Outcasts. “I lived my biography of Louisa,” he said. “This period in my life was the ideal preparation for an Alcott scholar. What better biographer of Bronson, a quixotic, education–obsessed man with a verbally gifted daughter, than another quixotic, education–obsessed man with a verbally gifted daughter? I am convinced that writing Eden’s Outcasts made me a better,
© Trey Powers
Louisa May Alcott
more attentive father. I also know that my experience as a hands-on dad enabled me to understand Bronson and Louisa with a rare kind of intimacy and familiarity.” Author Susan Cheever speaks of Orchard House in her 2010 book, Louisa May Alcott: A Personal Biography: “I was thrilled to be in the presence of the real thing, the place where the writing of Little Women occurred. . . as if some alchemy in the wood might pass into my own restless spirit. I couldn’t wait to get home to the book.” Celebrated photographer, Annie Leibovitz, who was interviewed for Turnquist’s Emmy award-winning documentary, “Orchard
© Maria Powers
Jennie Watters ©Lone Wolf Media
© Amy T. Zielinski
House: Home of Little Women” said, “What surprises me so much about the House is that it is really a living house. I’ve never seen a museum like this that has so much character and life.” Greg Eiselein is President of the Louisa May Alcott Society (founded 2005) which, allied with the American Literature Association (ALA), offers Alcott scholars and others an opportunity to present papers on Alcott at literary conferences. Eiselein cites his particular interest in Louisa’s sense of humor despite a hard life, how she combined high idealism with practicality, and the extraordinary diversification and emotional range of her writing from children’s books to pulp fiction, adult novels, and nonfiction. Founded in 2010 by this author, the Louisa May Alcott is My Passion website makes my own feelings clear. The site fosters a worldwide community of Alcott enthusiasts and has become an online hub for devotees and researchers. Thousands visit each year to learn about Alcott family lives and read commentaries on Louisa’s life and writings. Physician and author Lorraine Tosiello is inspired by Louisa’s “social activism, her devotion to the underdog, and her fight for just causes.” Dr. Tosiello has published two historical fiction novels on Alcott.
© David Mayes
Elizabeth Nolan Connors, Director of Learning Resources and Student Support at Dedham Country Day School, was drawn to Louisa’s feminist themes from an early age. Connors volunteers at Orchard House. Jennie Watters, a tour guide there since 2010, admires how Louisa and her family defended human rights, protected nature, and fostered a love of learning in their community. “They will always be relevant because there will always be a struggle for justice,” she said. Carilyn Calwell-Rains, Director of School Health Services in the Plymouth Public Schools, appreciates Louisa’s commitment to serving others. “It was her exceptional qualities of giving and selflessness—what she did in her life for others,” she said. Louisa May Alcott was a courageous and complex individual who dared to live outside the norm of nineteenth-century womanhood in order to care for her family through her writing. She and her sisters, Anna, Lizzie, and May, were raised on their parents’ progressive spiritual views, translating into what Louisa referred to as “practical Christianity:” that of taking care of one’s neighbor through self-denial. The girls were afforded opportunities usually denied to Victorian women: education, creativity, selfexpression, and the possibility of a career. All
the sisters were avid readers, as evidenced by the 60 or more references to various authors in Little Women. The Alcotts battled chronic poverty until Louisa realized her great success in 1868. In her 55 years, Louisa was a devoted daughter, breadwinner, caretaker, homemaker, actress, army nurse, abolitionist, women’s rights advocate, world traveler, and best-selling author. She was also a single mother, as she legally adopted her sister May’s infant daughter after May died only six weeks after giving birth. It is no wonder that those obsessed with Alcott’s life and work are inspired by this captivating individual. Turnquist beautifully sums up Alcott’s legacy. “In troubled times Alcott’s characters tell one another, ‘Let me help you bear it.’ That generosity is felt by readers. In Louisa, they find someone who ‘gets’ them. Suddenly, they don’t feel alone. They’ve met a soul mate who has offered simple, direct access to the core of her being and, in so doing, offers courage and strength. Humbly, she teaches us to face life, trusting that who we are—flawed as we may be—will be enough.” I wish to thank Jan Turnquist for proposing the idea for this article, and for her enthusiastic collaboration. ———————————————————————— Susan Bailey is the curator of the Louisa May Alcott is My Passion website. She is the author of Louisa May Alcott: Illuminated by The Message (ACTA Publications, 2018), and a contributor to The Forgotten Alcott (Routledge, May 2022).
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Debra’s Natural Gourmet Opens Groundbreaking Space “Next Door”
For more than 30 years, Debra Stark tirelessly led her community towards a healthier lifestyle by making organic and healthy foods available at her “Natural Gourmet” store – first opened in 1989 at a time when most people thought of health food as “tofu and twigs.” Debra’s charm, persistence, and genuine belief in what she was trying to achieve eventually overcame the naysayers and the shop soon became a thriving cornerstone for the West Concord community and beyond. World class speakers gave talks in the crammed aisle of the store on topics ranging fair-trade foods, to how food choice impacts climate changes, to integrating herbs and supplements to optimize health. A television show, speakers circuit, and even a recent book (The Little Shop that Could) spread the word far and wide of Debra’s mission to encourage people to “Eat Well, Be Happy.” In 30+ years, Debra’s Natural Gourmet transformed the concept of ‘healthy eating’ from one of focusing on what you can’t eat to a veritable celebration of all the beautiful, colorful, interesting foods you can eat and are so good for you. And what a difference that has made for so many! In 2016, Debra’s Natural Gourmet was named Retailer of the Year by Whole Foods Magazine (a trade journal with no relation to the grocery chain). Health food stores across the country looked to Debra for guidance in growing their own businesses. And community members across Concord and beyond came to depend on the Natural Gourmet’s constant offering of new, interesting, and healthy products.
© Pierre Chiha
As 2022 began, Debra was in the final stages of realizing a new chapter for her dream – opening “Debra’s Next Door.” She was just weeks away from her goal when she passed quite suddenly – leaving the community in shock and grief. No one more so than her son and business partner, Adam. But Adam is moving the family vision forward, together with his team of highly talented colleagues. In early June, Debra’s Next Door finally opened - transforming the way people shop and eat once again. “My mom’s final victory was a major step forward in reducing waste, eliminating single use plastics, and reducing our collective impact on the planet,” said Adam Stark. Massachusetts’ food code does not normally allow reusable containers to be used for bulk purchases — but Debra did an amazing job of convincing the Town of Concord of the importance of granting a variance. Now — because of her passion and unwavering dedication — people can bring
Adam Stark carries on the business founded by his mother, Debra. Courtesy of Debra’s Natural Gourmet
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in their (clean) mason jars, jugs, old honey jars, or really almost any other containers to purchase bulk products in the new space. Debra’s Natural Gourmet is the first store in the entire state of Massachusetts to be granted this type of variance - and it goes a long way towards reducing single use plastics and making a big impact on our planet. Debra’s Natural Gourmet will continue to offer some 10,000 products. And Debra’s Next Door will feature close to 500 items in bulk – everything from wild picked pecans, to fairly-trade coffees, to shampoo, and even toilet paper. Fans of Debra’s kitchen will be able to access a wider variety of healthy and delicious prepared foods. And the catering kitchen is newly equipped to offer healthy delights to event and party planners, while taking huge strides towards a zero-waste goal. “We are all still left with a hole in our hearts where Debra’s smile, passion, and caring for her community always was,” said Adam. “But her dream is alive and well in Debra’s Next Door. We invite everyone to celebrate her spirit and her vision with us. We need our community to come out and support the new store. So grab your jugs, jars, or other clean container (or we can provide a bag for you), head over to Debra’s Next Door, and discover a whole new way to ‘Eat Well, Be Happy’ – we look forward to seeing you soon!”
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Concord Welcomes The 81st Annual Gathering of The Thoreau Society
T BY MICHAEL FREDERICK
The Thoreau Society was founded in 1941 to stimulate interest in and foster education about Thoreau’s life, works, and legacy and his place in his world and ours; to encourage research on Thoreau’s life and writings; to act as a repository for Thoreauviana and material relevant to Thoreau; and to advocate for the preservation of Thoreau Country. The Annual Gathering is an opportunity to come together and share knowledge, recognize accomplishments, and challenge ourselves to live more deliberately. This year’s Gathering will welcome more than 90 presenters speaking on a variety of topics from “The International Thoreau” to “Thoreau and the Poetry of Life.” Guided tours of Walden Pond, the Concord Museum, and the Special Collections of Concord Free Public Library will take attendees behind the scenes. Here are just a few of the exciting events planned for this year’s Gathering.
Rebecca Solnit, Thoreau Society Medal Honoree “Thoreau: The Politics of Nature and the Nature of Politics” 7:30 - 8:30 pm, July 7, at Masonic Lodge, 58 Monument Square It is a great privilege to honor Rebecca Solnit and Lawrence Buell with the Thoreau Society Medal, the Society’s highest honor, which recognizes “sustained, essential contributions to the legacy and vitality of Thoreauvian studies and ideals through extraordinary scholarship or service.” Solnit is being honored for her urgent and deeply compelling writings about Thoreau and for the manifold ways that her body of work, in general, translates Thoreau’s legacy and commitments into
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new and necessary contexts. Solnit is the author of more than twenty books and has served as a columnist for Harper’s, the Guardian, and other venues. Her writings range widely from environmental, technological, and aesthetic histories to meditations on politics and praxis (with emphases on environmental justice, gender, native sovereignty, and civil disobedience) to memoir. Lawrence Buell, Thoreau Society Medal Honoree Picnic Honoring Lawrence Buell 12:00 – 2:00 pm, July 10, Thoreau Farm, 341 Virginia Road Lawrence Buell is being honored for his distinguished career and body of work devoted to the writings of the New England Transcendentalists, including Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau, and the American Renaissance. Buell’s works include Writing for an Endangered World: Literature, Culture, and Environment in the United States and Beyond (2001), Emerson (2003), and The Future of Environmental Criticism (2005). He is co-editor, with Wai Chee Dimock, of Shades of the Planet: American Literature as World Literature (2007). In 2008, he delivered the Dana S. Brigham Memorial Keynote Address, “The Individual and the State: The Politics of Thoreau in Our Time,” during the Annual Gathering. He serves on the Thoreau Farm Trust Advisory Board. Screening and Film Discussion of Margaret Fuller: Transatlantic Revolutionary 4:00 – 6:00 pm, July 8, at The Umbrella Arts Center, 40 Stow Street When Margaret Fuller died tragically in the wreck of the Elizabeth off Fire
Courtesy of the Jane Goodall Institute, photo by Bill Wallaue. All other photos courtesy of The Thoreau Society.
Island in 1850, she was the most famous woman in the United States, and she was a transatlantic celebrity. Henry David Thoreau went to the wreck site and searched for her papers which would have yielded a history of the short-lived Roman Republic of 1849. She had covered the revolutionary government as a foreign correspondent for Horace Greeley’s Tribune. Her celebrity was founded on Woman In The Nineteenth Century, which had begun as an article for The Dial, the Transcendentalist journal that Emerson had put under her editorship. Emerson, Willam Henry Channing, and James Freeman Clark collaborated on the Memoirs of Margaret Fuller Ossoli as a final tribute to their friendship. Now Margaret Fuller: Transatlantic Revolutionary (64 min) offers a twenty-first century take on this extraordinary woman and her enduring influence as writer and radical. Four scholars discuss her life and times in an engaging interplay highlighted with music and images. Two of the scholars are biographers, one of whom won the Bancroft Prize and the other a Pulitzer. Follow her life from her unique education through her association with the Transcendentalists to her exciting romantic sojourn in Italy and her legacy, which truly makes her a woman of the twenty-first century.
Dr. Jane Goodall will receive the 2022 Thoreau Prize for Literary Excellence in Nature Writing. The prize will be awarded on July 10, 2:30 - 4:30 pm, at the ConcordCarlisle High School.
Jesse Paris Smith in Concert 8:00 – 9:00 pm, July 8, at The Umbrella Arts Center, 40 Stow Street Jesse Paris Smith is a writer, activist, musician, producer, and co-founder of Pathway to Paris. She has been composing, performing, recording, touring, and collaborating with other musicians and artists globally since 2004. In 2014, Jesse and cellist Rebecca Foon founded Pathway Jesse Paris Smith to Paris, a non-profit organization dedicated Homecoming for Brister Freeman to turning the Paris Agreement into reality on the 200th Anniversary of the and offering tangible solutions for combatting Concord Patriot’s Death global climate change, helping cities to design and implement ambitious climate action plans 12:00 – 1:30 pm, July 9 at The Robbins House, 320 Monument Street to go 100% renewable/zero emissions by Brister Freeman (1744 - 1822) was 2040. She is on the Associate Board of Tibet enslaved in Concord for thirty-five years House US, where she has co-curated and before serving three tours in the Continental hosted events and has performed many times Army and thereby taking the freedom he at their annual benefit concert at Carnegie asserted in the surname he chose for himself. Hall. In light of the Himalayan earthquake in After the Revolution, Freeman and his wife April 2015, she founded Everest Awakening, Fenda anchored a small but determined an initiative which leads various projects on community of formerly enslaved people in the ground in Nepal and Tibet.
Walden Woods, for which both were later memorialized by Henry David Thoreau in Walden; or, Life in the Woods. Harvard University has recently acknowledged that Freeman’s stolen labor directly enriched the university in the form of a bequest from his Concord enslaver for the founding of its medical school. Now the Thoreau Society and The Robbins House are co-hosting a homecoming ceremony on the 200th anniversary of Brister Freeman’s death, organized by social justice advocate Steven Flythe and Black Walden author Elise Lemire and presided over by the Reverend Bertram Johnson. There will be a keynote address by Cambridge’s former mayor and current NAACP president Kenneth Reeves, poetry by Danielle Georges, and kora music by John Hughes. This event is free and open to the public. The Annual Gathering will take place July 6 – 10, 2022. All are welcome to attend either in person or via Zoom. Visit thoreausociety.org for more information and to register. ———————————————————————— Michael Frederick is Executive Director of The Thoreau Society.
A New Season at the Emerson House
Emerson’s writing table, adorned with a vase of pear blossoms, flowering almond, and Japanese quince from the house gardens.
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All photos courtesy of the Ralph Waldo Emerson Memorial Association
The Emerson family has been welcoming tourists since the mid-nineteenth century, when writer and lecturer Ralph Waldo Emerson personally greeted visitors in his study. Emerson’s house, at the Lexington Road and Cambridge Turnpike intersection, was convenient to the Boston stagecoach and remains today only a short walk away from the railroad depot. The Emerson family resided in the home from September 1835, when Ralph Waldo married his second wife, Lidian, until their eldest daughter Ellen’s death in 1909. They received an extensive community of progressive reformers and writers, as well as literary fans and curiosity seekers drawn to Emerson’s fame and persona. The family’s cook, Nancy Colesworthy, reportedly threatened to hang a sign on the fence proclaiming, “The House is not a Hotel.”i Ellen was hostess to many of the casual visitors, who came to meet Emerson or glimpse his writing study, and later caretakers gave tours of the house even before it opened as a museum (owned and operated by the Ralph Waldo Emerson Memorial Association) in the early 1930s.
BY KRISTI LYNN MARTIN
Preserved by generations of the Emerson family, the house’s layout is much as it was at the end of Emerson’s life. Original furnishings, art, and artifacts, including clothing, are exhibited; allowing visitors to experience the spaces where Emerson wrote, spent time with his contemporaries, and shared a life with his family and closest friends, such as the Alcotts and Henry David Thoreau, who lived with the family for several years. Tours begin in the recently restored Emerson barn, the site of a school attended by the Emerson and Alcott children, now open to the public through visitor programming. A tour of the house includes the first-floor guest bedroom, frequented by Emerson’s close friend and colleague Margaret Fuller. Visitors to the house are invited to sit in a replica of Emerson’s study (the original is exhibited across the street at the Concord Museum) furnished with family pieces, including objects used by Emerson in earlier periods of his occupancy. In 2022, the museum staff is excited to share newly opened spaces with visitors.
The landscape — with fruit trees, Lidian Emerson’s flower gardens, and an original Concord grape vine — offers opportunities for nature exploring, as does the nearby Emerson-Thoreau amble, which follows the family’s regular route to Walden Pond. Offering an intimate sense of place at the heart of Emerson’s life and work, the house, in its centrality to Concord life and global resonance, evokes interconnected human stories waiting to be discovered. After being closed for two years, the Emerson House is once again welcoming visitors. The house is open for guided tours Thursdays to Sundays through October. For more information, please visit ralphwaldoemersonhouse.org. ———————————————————————— Kristi Lynn Martin, PhD is an Emerson House staff member and an independent scholar specializing in Concord’s nineteenth-century literary circle. She has worked with many of Concord’s historic literary sites and museums.
i Ellen Emerson, The Life of Lidian Emerson. Delores Bird Carpenter., Ed. (Michigan State University Press, 1992), 71.
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The Tangled Story Behind Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlet Letter and Concord’s Hanscom Airforce Base
W BY JAIMEE LEIGH JOROFF
When doing research, you occasionally come across a colossal mess that makes you think, “Wow! This is so inappropriate!” And you can’t wait to share it. This article is the result of one of those moments. Are you ready? We’re going back to the year 1632. Shrieking seagulls and ocean mist surround us as we walk down the swaying gangway of The William and Francis, just arriving from London, England, and docking in Boston Harbor in the newly formed Massachusetts Bay Colony. With us is the Reverend Stephen Bachiler, a Puritan minister who, like Concord’s own founding minister, Peter Bulkeley, was driven out of England for resisting the religious reforms of King Charles the I. Perhaps twelve weeks on the Atlantic washed away some of Reverend Bachiler’s grasp on the ten commandments because he seemed to soon forget about his third wife, Helena, who had arrived on the same ship with him. After a few contentious years serving as a minister throughout Massachusetts and Hampton, New 30
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Hampshire, the reverend settled his eyes – and hands– on another man’s wife. “This is so inappropriate!” shouted his clergy as they removed him from his pulpit and excommunicated him. Any resulting marital strife between the Reverend Bachiler and Helena was short lived, for she soon became ill and died. Widowed again and without a pulpit, the reverend moved across the Piscataqua River to Kittery, Maine (which would soon join the Massachusetts Bay Colony), where he was eventually restored to the church but barred from pastoral duties. Now along came a desperate young widow named Mary Magdalene Bailey Beadle, with her three little children in tow. An arrangement was made between Mary and Reverend Bachiler, and Mary and her children moved into the reverend’s house where Mary acted as the housekeeper. Rumors began to spread of Mary and the reverend‘s shared close attention to domestic activities. Reverend Bachiler was summoned before the black-robed
The Scarlet Letter, painting of Hester Prynne and Pearl by Hughes Merle (1861)
and white-collared clergy. “This is so inappropriate!” they stated, “Explain!” “It’s OK,” the reverend replied, “We’re married.” “By whom?” demanded the surprised clergy. “By me!” answered the reverend. Unlike these quotes, which are based on historical records and not verbatim, the reverend assured everyone that his marriage to Mary was real, and life went on respectably. As time passes, we all know it’s important to stay active. Walking is very good for you, but the rough ground of newly settled Maine would have challenged anyone’s footsteps, and it’s likely that 86-year-old Reverend Bachiler had trouble keeping up with 25-year-old-Mary, who walked down the road and met local (and young) man George Rogers. Say it with Mary: “Hello, George!” Mary and George became quite fond of each other until the two would soon obviously become three. “This is so inappropriate!” screamed the townspeople. In 1651, Mary and George were brought before the Georgeana (York) Court in
All photos public domain
The Adulteress & the Airman
Maine and charged with adultery. George was sentenced to 40 lashes of the whip, and Mary to 39. In an act of Puritan mercy, Mary’s sentence was suspended until after she’d had the baby (a little girl, Mary Rogers), and then it was back on again. The Puritans followed the Breeches Bible in which, after Cain murders his brother Abel, the Lord places a mark on Cain for eternity. Well, if the Lord could do it, surely the Puritans could too. After being whipped in public, Mary was branded with a letter “A” for adulteress. The barbarous punishment was witnessed by the community, which included George Rogers’ neighbor, William Hathorne, who would become the 3rd-great-grandfather of Concord/ Salem writer Nathaniel Hawthorne. Born in 1804, Nathaniel Hawthorne grew up steeped in his family’s history. His great-greatgrandfather, John Hathorne (son of the aforementioned William), became the infamously cruel “Hanging Judge” of the Salem Witch trials, a stain so great that it permanently affected Nathaniel, who added the “w” to his last name in an attempt to distance himself from his ancestral shame. Tales of his ancestors and early New England frequently wound into Hawthorne’s writings, and he would likely have been aware of the controversial Reverend Stephen Bachiler and his young, straying wife Mary with George Roger’s baby on her hip. In 1842, Nathaniel Hawthorne and his wife Sophia moved to Concord, MA, where they rented the Old Manse on Monument Street. Here, Hawthorne compiled short stories into a book, Mosses from An Old Manse. At the same time, beginning to form in his head was a tale parallel to the real-life Mary Magdalene Bachiler: This would become one of his most successful novels, The Scarlet Letter. In it, a shadowy, older husband marries a young Hester Prynne, and moves to New England. Hester falls in love with a youthful minister, the Reverend Dimmesdale, and has his child; a baby girl called Pearl. Hester’s adultery is discovered; she is punished before the community and made to wear a scarlet letter “A” marking her sin. The Scarlet Letter was
and wife, for, after all, as the reverend had assured everyone, they were married. But the reverend, who by now had a permanently dead desire to resurrect anything with his personal Mary Magdalene, said “nope,” filed for divorce and sailed home to England. The divorce was finally granted. The reverend died 17 days later. George Rogers remained whipped out of the picture, and Thomas Hanscom kept away. Within a year, Mary married another man, and here we leave her in history. We return now to Thomas Hanscom, who in 1664 married Ann Downing. We fly along their family tree and pause around 1906, when their direct descendant, Laurence Gerald Hanscom, was born in Massachusetts. Laurence was a skilled aviator and a reporter for the Boston Globe. As World War II loomed, Laurence helped plan the creation of airfields in Massachusetts, including one located on farmland in Bedford, MA, next to Concord. On February 9, 1941, Laurence was instructing another pilot on a training flight over a swamp in Saugus, MA. The men’s plane performed three loops in the air, entered a fourth, and suddenly spiraled straight into the ground. Both pilots died on impact. In Laurence’s honor, the airfield he planned in Bedford was named Hanscom Airfield, becoming Nathaniel Hawthorne painting Hanscom Airforce Base in 1947. by Charles Osgood, 1840 Today, the airfield stretches into part of Concord, MA. So, the next time you are walking through involved in everyone’s business. In addition to judging one another, the Puritans and early Concord in the footsteps of Nathaniel Hawthorne as he dreamed up The Scarlet settlers frequently sued each other. One Letter, and a plane flies overhead, you may resident of Kittery, Maine, who was sued remember you are walking in the centuriesseveral times for disputes involving property connected company of the Adulteress and boundaries and trespassing, was Thomas Hanscom. Speaking of boundaries, say it with the Airman. For source list, email: Mary: “Hello, Thomas!” BarrowBookstore@gmail.com. In 1654, Mary and Thomas were summoned before the Georgeana court, ———————————————————————— fined, and ordered to cease their relationship. A Concord native, Jaimee Joroff is Manager Thomas was warned to avoid the married of the Barrow Bookstore in Concord Center, adulteress, Mary Bachiler! which specializes in Concord history, On pain of imprisonment and fines, Transcendentalism, and literary figures. She the court also ordered Reverend Bachiler has been an interpreter at most of Concord’s and Mary to remain together as husband historic sites and is a licensed town guide. published by Boston publishers Ticknor and Fields in 1850. The novel was scandalous, the content juicy and taboo. The reading public loved it. However, some members of the Boston religious community complained, “This is so inappropriate!” Leaving Hawthorne and his publishers to deal with the critics, we must hop back to 1650s Kittery, Maine, because we’re not done with Mary yet, and she’s not done either. By this point, you may be asking, “Can’t we just leave poor Mary alone?” And the answer is “no” because we’re in Puritan times and
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The Homes of Henry David Thoreau
WRITTEN AND ILLUSTRATED BY JOHN ROMAN
“I have learned that even the smallest house can be a home.”
Henry David Thoreau’s cabin at Walden Pond is his most famous residence, yet historians and scholars also credit several other sites in Massachusetts that served as “home” to this American literary figure. Looking into Thoreau’s past offers a glimpse into how his early years played a role in shaping the artist he would eventually become. Between the years 1812 and 1819, John and Cynthia Thoreau had four children: Helen, John, Henry, and Sofia. The farmhouse in Concord, where Henry was born in 1817, is still standing at 341 Virginia Road, finely restored by the Thoreau Farm Trust in 2010. In 1880, eighteen years after Thoreau died, the house was moved from its original location at 215 Virginia Road to its present site. The first year of Henry’s life was spent in the Virginia Road home before the family relocated eleven miles north to Chelmsford, Massachusetts. There, John and Cynthia rented “The Proctor House” and opened a 34
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—Henry David Thoreau, Walden
dry goods store, both situated near the town meetinghouse. Three years later, when their shop proved unsuccessful, the Thoreaus moved to an apartment in Boston located at 4 Pinckney Street, a brick townhouse still standing on Beacon Hill. Between the ages of four and nine years old, Henry grew up just steps from the State House and Public Garden amid the city’s crowded urban bustle. These are the formative years in any child’s life, and so it was for young Henry. Decades later, Thoreau wrote in his journals that while living in Boston he remembered the family’s frequent visits to Walden Pond in Concord for summer vacations and getaways; not surprising considering they had many relatives in Concord. The contrast of Boston to the rural setting of Walden left a deep and lasting impression on the boy. Reminiscing on his childhood feelings, Henry noted that he preferred Walden Pond’s “… recess among the pines” to the harshness of
city life, and felt Walden was an early oasis for him where, “…sunshine and shadows were the only inhabitants.” The Thoreaus moved back to Concord in 1826 and rented what was referred to locally as “The Brick House” in Concord Village. The following year the family made a temporary move to 166 Main Street, and shortly thereafter made another move across the street to a home at 185 Main Street, settling there for the next eight years. In 1833, at age 16, Henry Thoreau was accepted into Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He dormed in Hollis Hall, one of only six buildings on the grounds of the small college. While Thoreau lived on campus, his family moved in with relatives at a home on Monument Street in Concord, but Henry never resided there. Thoreau had difficulty adjusting to college life and was continually plagued with illnesses during his four years at Harvard. It’s been suggested that early signs
Concord, Massachusetts, circa 1839.
of tuberculosis may have begun, an illness that would plague Henry the remainder of his life, and eventually claim it. One of Thoreau’s classmates, Charles Wheeler, intrigued and impressed Henry when he built a small cabin for himself on the shore of Flint’s Pond in Lincoln, Massachusetts. Henry joyfully visited Wheeler’s hideaway several times during school breaks and holidays, and those experiences planted a seed in his mind that someday he might attempt a similar undertaking. Upon graduation from Harvard in the spring of 1837, Henry moved back to Concord into the family’s new home in the
village. Their “Parkman House” sat in the exact location where the Concord Free Public Library is presently located. During this time John Thoreau started a pencil manufacturing business, a profession that brought financial security to the household. For additional income, Henry’s mother rented rooms in their home. A small, cramped room in the attic of this house is where Thoreau first began his serious writing efforts, penning his early essays and magazine articles. The noise and commotion of a “rooming house” atmosphere eventually proved disruptive to Henry’s writing, and he began
“The Thoreau Birthplace” as it existed at 215 Virginia Road in Concord, Mass., circa 1817. (Now located at 341 Virginia Road.)
seeking a more amicable living situation. No solution could have been better than the opportunity that arose when famous local author and family friend, Ralph Waldo Emerson, offered Henry accommodations in his large Concord home. In return for part-time handyman work around Emerson’s estate, Henry received lodging, meals, and, during off-hours, was tutored by Emerson in the art of writing. From 1841 thru 1844, Thoreau found himself in the permanent company of Emerson, whose mentorship helped mold Henry’s literary “voice.” The two became quite close despite their 15-year age difference. By early 1844, Emerson felt his student was ready to seek work as a professional writer, so he made arrangements for Henry to temporarily reside in New York City in order to canvas the major magazine publishers for possible assignments. In all likelihood, Emerson was aware of Henry’s long-time dream to someday build a small cabin on a pond or lake, and in the solitude of that setting, further explore his writing. This may have prompted Emerson’s purchase of land along the shores of Walden Pond. The timing of the purchase is suspicious. Emerson bought the parcel in the autumn of 1844, and upon Henry’s return to Concord from New York, he offered to rent the property to Henry giving him permission to build a private, live/work cabin on the banks of the pond.
The following spring, 28-year-old Henry David Thoreau constructed his new dwelling at Walden Pond, living there until the end of 1847. During those two years at the pond Henry wrote his first book, A Week on the Concord and Merrimac Rivers, and began taking notes for a second book, Walden, which he wrote several years later. In the mid-1840s, with his pencil company thriving, John Thoreau decided the family needed a new home. He bought land on what is now named Belknap Street, then referred to as Texas Street because it was considered to be the outskirts of town and so far away from the village it might as well have been in Texas! There John built “The Texas House.” Henry occasionally assisted his father building this home and he moved back in with the family when it was completed. Then, in 1850, the Thoreau family sold the “The Texas House” and bought the so-called “Yellow House” at 255 Main Street, a home with a wing at the rear for John Thoreau’s pencil shop where Henry also sometimes worked. By this time, John Thoreau & Co. pencils were winning awards for their high quality. Yet, sadly, it was in this house on May 6th, 1862, Henry David Thoreau, age 44, passed away from his ever-worsening tuberculosis. Henry’s sister Sofia would play the key role in establishing his legacy. Like many artists and writers, Thoreau did not achieve significant fame or recognition during his lifetime. Despite this lack of public and critical acceptance, Sofia safeguarded Henry’s manuscripts after his passing. For the next several years she queried magazines and book publishers and eventually succeeded at getting her brother’s prose and poetry published. Were it not for Sofia’s loyal and determined efforts, it’s doubtful any of us would know who Henry David Thoreau is today. 36
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Henry David Thoreau’s private live/work home at Walden Pond, circa 1846.
“The Yellow House” at 255 Main Street in Concord, circa 1862. (Still in existence. The present wing on the right side of the home was added after the Thoreaus owned it.)
————————————————————————————————————————————————— John Roman is an award-winning illustrator, author of The Art of Illustrated Maps (Simon & Schuster, 2015), an adjunct professor of illustration at Massachusetts College of Art and Design, and a regular feature story writer for Artist’s Magazine. See his art at: johnromanillustration.com. Excerpted and reprinted with permission from Electrum Magazine, an online literary journal. Visit electrummagazine.com/2021/06/the-homes-of-henry-david-thoreau to read the complete essay and see more of the author’s illustrations of Thoreau’s homes.
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.
CONCORD FREE PUBLIC LIBRARY concordlibrary.org Main Branch: 129 Main Street (978) 318-3300 Monday: 10am–8pm Tuesday through Thursday: 9am–8pm Friday and Saturday: 9am–5pm Sunday: Closed Special Collections: 129 Main Street (978) 318-3342 Monday: 10am–6pm Tuesday through Friday: 9am–5pm Saturday and Sunday: Closed CONCORD MUSEUM concordmuseum.org 53 Cambridge Turnpike (978) 369-9763 Monday: Closed Tuesday through Sunday: 10am–4pm CONCORD VISITOR CENTER visitconcord.org 58 Main Street (978) 318-3061 Monday through Sunday: 10am–4pm LOUISA MAY ALCOTT’S ORCHARD HOUSE louisamayalcott.org 399 Lexington Road (978) 369-4118 Monday through Saturday: 10am-5pm Sunday: 11am–5pm MINUTE MAN NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK nps.gov/mima/planyourvisit/minute-manvisitor-center.htm 250 N. Great Road (Lincoln) (781) 674-1920 Grounds are open year-round from sunrise to sunset The Visitor Center is open daily from 9am– 5pm (May 7 through September 3) THE NORTH BRIDGE AND VISITOR CENTER nps.gov/mima/planyourvisit/ north-bridge-visitor-center.htm 174 Liberty Street
(978) 369-6993 Grounds are open year-round from sunrise to sunset The Visitor Center is open daily from 10am-5pm (May 7 through September 3) OLD HILL BURYING GROUND visitconcord.org/listings/old-hillburial-ground 2-12 Monument Square Open daily: 7am–5pm THE OLD MANSE thetrustees.org/place/the-old-manse 269 Monument Street (978) 369.3909 Wednesday through Monday: 11am–5pm THE RALPH WALDO EMERSON HOUSE ralphwaldoemersonhouse.org 28 Cambridge Turnpike (978) 369-2236 Thursday through Sunday Phone for open hours THE ROBBINS HOUSE robbinshouse.org 320 Monument Street (978) 254-1745 June through August
Wednesday through Monday: 11am–4pm Tuesday: Closed September and October Friday through Sunday: 11am–4pm SLEEPY HOLLOW CEMETERY, INCLUDING AUTHORS RIDGE friendsofsleepyhollow.org 120 Bedford Street (978) 318-3233 Open daily: 7am–7pm SOUTH BURYING GROUND concordma.gov/1958/SouthBurying-Ground Main Street and Keyes Road WALDEN POND STATE RESERVATION www.mass.gov/locations/walden-pondstate-reservation 915 Walden Street (978) 369-3254 Open daily: 5am–7:30pm THE WAYSIDE visitconcord.org/listings/the-wayside 455 Lexington Road (978) 318-7863 Monday through Sunday: 9:30am–5:30pm Tuesday and Wednesday: Closed
On July 9, 1842, a small wedding took place at the bookstore of Elizabeth Peabody at 13 West Street in Boston. After a highly secretive three-year engagement, 38-yearold struggling novelist Nathaniel Hawthorne married 33-year-old Sophia Amelia Peabody, the younger sister of the bookstore owner. Officiated by the Reverend James Freeman Clarke, only five people attended the ceremony: Sophia’s mother and two sisters, along with her two best friends, Connie Park and Sarah Clarke, the minister’s sister. The groom’s mother and two sisters were not pleased with the whole “affair” (as they called it) and were not in attendance. However, Hawthorne would write to his family the next day: “The execution took place yesterday. We made a christian end, and came straight to Paradise, where we abide at this present writing. We are as happy as people can be, without making themselves ridiculous, and might be 38
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BY RICHARD SMITH even happier; but, as a matter of taste, we choose to stop short at this point. Sophia is very well, and sends her love.” Immediately after the ceremony the newlyweds took a carriage ride out to Concord. It was there that they would begin their married life, in a 72-year-old house that Hawthorne would soon call The Old Manse. The vacant home, previously owned by the recently deceased Reverend Ezra Ripley, was offered to the Hawthornes through a kinsman of Dr. Ripley, Ralph Waldo Emerson. He showed the couple the house in the spring of 1842; at $100 a year, the place was affordable (even to a struggling writer) and the deal was done. The Hawthornes liked the idea of living in Concord, while Emerson liked the thought of having another writer, albeit a novelist, in Concord; “I like him well” he would write a friend. Indeed, because of Emerson, Concord had become the literary center of the
Universe for all sorts of poets, writers, and Transcendentalists. Henry Thoreau, an Emerson protégé, had lived in Concord his entire life, while the philosopher Bronson Alcott and his family moved to town in 1840. A mutual friend of both Emerson and Hawthorne, Margaret Fuller (herself a frequent visitor to Concord) thought that Nathaniel would fit quite well into Emerson’s clique. “You will find him more mellow than most fruits at your board,” she told Waldo, “and of distinct flavor, too”. “Distinct flavor” indeed. Hawthorne would never feel entirely at ease with the philosophers and poets who flocked to Concord. He liked them well enough, but he was no Transcendentalist, and he looked upon his metaphysically-inclined neighbors with detached humor and a slight disdain. “Never was a poor little country village infested with such a variety of queer, strangely dressed, oddly behaved mortals, most of whom took
Commemorating the 180th Anniversary of the Wedding of Nathaniel and Sophia Hawthorne
Photots this page Public Domain
upon themselves to be important agents of the world’s destiny, yet were simply bores of a very intense water” he would write in Mosses From an Old Manse. Still, those same neighbors happily welcomed the Hawthornes to town. When they arrived at their new home they found it filled with flowers, courtesy of Sophia’s friend, Elizabeth Hoar. Outside, a new kitchen garden had been planted, courtesy of Henry Thoreau, while Emerson himself met the newlyweds with a hearty, “How do you do, MRS. Hawthorne!” They were home. To say that the Hawthornes were in wedded bliss would be an understatement. The Manse quickly became known as Nathaniel Hawthorne “our Eden‘’ and “Paradise” to the couple. by Whipple, circa 1848 They’d been calling each other “husband” and “wife” since they’d gotten engaged in 1839, but now there were new nicknames between the two; Hawthorne called her “Sophie,” “My Dove,” “Belovedest,” and “My Ownest Wife” while Sophia reveled in the attention of her “Beloved Husband.” She would report on their new home to her mother: “It is a perfect Eden round us. Everything is as fresh as in first June. We are Adam and Eve and see no persons round! The birds saluted us this morning with such gushes of rapture, that I thought they must know us and our happiness.” Paradise came very close to ending when Margaret Fuller wrote the Hawthornes and suggested that another newly married couple, her sister Ellen and the poet Ellery Channing, might want to live with them at the Manse. Hawthorne sent Margaret a tactful letter of refusal: “Had it been proposed to Adam and Eve,” he said, “to receive two angels into their Paradise, as Sophia Peabody Hawthorne borders, I doubt whether they would have my wife’s eyes. It is usually supposed that the been altogether pleased to consent.” cares of life come with matrimony, but I seem to The couple began keeping a journal have cast off all care, and live on with as much together, a joint effort in which the newlyweds easy trust in Providence as Adam could possibly would keep a record of their new life. Knowing have felt before he had learned that there was a that one would read what the other wrote, the world beyond his Paradise.” journal became an almost daily affirmation of Obviously meant for their eyes only, the Hawthornes’ love for each other. In his first sometimes the journal could be quite entry, Nathaniel wrote, scandalous in its honesty. In one entry, Sophia “A rainy day…and I do verily believe there is no wrote happily about their love: sunshine in this world, except what beams from
“Oh lovely God!” I thank thee that I can rush into my sweet husband with all my many waters, & sing & thunder with all my waves in the vast expanse of his comprehensive bosom—How I exult there—how I foam & sparkle in the sun of his love. . . . I myself am Spring with all its birds, its rivers, its buds, singing, rushing, blooming in his arms. I feel new as the Earth which is just born again—I rejoice that I am, because I am his, wholly, unreservedly his.” Eventually, the honeymoon would have to end; The Hawthornes’ first daughter, Una, would be born at the Manse on March 3, 1844, and by the end of 1845 Sophia would be pregnant again, this time with their son, Julian. Hawthorne published Mosses From an Old Manse in 1846, but writing was far from lucrative and the couple had a hard time paying the monthly rent. Besides, the Reverend Samuel Ripley, the son of Reverend Ezra Ripley, wanted to move into the Manse with his wife, the brilliant Sarah Alden Bradford Ripley, and their children. It was his house, after all. The Hawthornes would leave the Manse in October 1845 and move back to their hometown of Salem, Massachusetts. However, they would return to Concord in 1852, with Hawthorne now famous and successful, thanks to The Scarlet Letter and The House of Seven Gables. They purchased the Alcott home known as Hillside and Hawthorne changed the name to The Wayside; it would be the only home that he would ever own. But it’s no stretch to say that the couple’s happiest years were the ones that they spent at the Manse. Hawthorne and Sophia embraced their marriage with the passion of people half their age, and the old house was filled with love, romance, and happiness; a “blissful seclusion” where, Hawthorne would remember, “all my dreams became realities.” ———————————————————————— Richard Smith has worked as a public historian in Concord for 21 years, specializing in Henry David Thoreau, the Transcendentalists, the Anti-Slavery movement, and the Civil War. He has written six books for Applewood Books and is the current Scholar in Residence for Longfellow’s Wayside Inn.
CONCORD& Surrounding Areas WHERE TO STAY Concord Center Concord’s Colonial Inn North Bridge Inn
West Concord 48 Monument Sq 21 Monument Sq
Best Western Residence Inn by Marriott
740 Elm St 320 Baker Ave
WHERE TO SHOP Concord Center Albright Art Supply Artinian Jewelry Artisans Way Barrow Bookstore Best of British Blue Dry Goods Brine Sporting Goods Cheese Shop of Concord Comina Concord Bookshop Concord Lamp and Shade Concord Market The Concord Toy Box Copper Penny Flowers The Dotted i Fairbank & Perry Goldsmiths FatFace Footstock Fritz & Gigi French Lessons George Vassel Jewelry Gräem Nuts and Chocolate Grasshopper Shop Irresistibles J McLaughlin JACK + TOBA Lucy Lacoste Gallery Nesting North Bridge Antiques Patina Green Priscilla Candy Shop Revolutionary Concord Rewind Estate Watches Sara Campbell Ltd Tess & Carlos Thistle Hill Thoreauly Antiques Three Stones Gallery Vanderhoof Hardware Walden Liquors Walden Street Antiques
West Concord 32 Main St 39 Main St 18 Walden St 79 Main St 29 Main St 16 Walden St 69 Main St 29 Walden St 9 Walden St 65 Main St 21 Walden St 77 Lowell Rd 32 Main St 9 Independence Court 1 Walden St 32 Main St 4 Walden St 46 Main St 79 Main St 8 Walden St 40 Main St 49 Main St 36 Main St 16 Walden St 14 Walden St 10 Walden St 25 Main St 44 Main St 28 Walden St 59 Main St 19 Walden St 32 Main St 38 Main St 41 Main St 81 Main St 13 Walden St 25 Walden St 32 Main St 28 Main St 18 Walden St 23 Walden St
Nine Acre Corner Colonial Gardens Verrill Farm
442 Fitchburg Tpke 11 Wheeler Rd
Thoreau Depot ATA Cycles Concord Optical Concord Provisions Frame-ables Juju Period Furniture Hardware
93 Thoreau St 80 Thoreau St 75 Thoreau St 111 Thoreau St 82 Thoreau St 113 Thoreau St
A New Leaf Barefoot Books Belle on Heels Concord Firefly Concord Flower Shop Concord Outfitters Debra’s Natural Gourmet Forever Tile J’aim Home · Lifestyle Joy Street Life + Home Loveday Rare Elements Reflections West Concord Pharmacy West Concord Wine & Spirits
74 Commonwealth Ave 23 Bradford St. 23 Commonwealth Ave 33 Commonwealth Ave 135 Commonwealth Ave 113 Commonwealth Ave 98 Commonwealth Ave 45 Commonwealth Ave 84a Commonwealth Ave 49 Commonwealth Ave 115 Commonwealth Ave 33 Bradford St 101 Commonwealth Ave 1212 Main St 1215 Main St
WHERE TO EAT Concord Center Caffè Nero Comella’s Concord’s Colonial Inn 1 Fiorella’s Cucina 1 Haute Coffee Helen’s Restaurant Main Streets Market & Café 1 Sally Ann’s Bakery & Food Shop
55 Main St 33 Main St 48 Monument Square 24 Walden St 12 Walden St 17 Main St 42 Main St 73 Main St
Thoreau Depot 80 Thoreau 1 Bedford Farms Ice Cream Chang An Restaurant Dunkin’ Farfalle Italian Market Café Karma Concord Asian Fusion 1 New London Style Pizza Sorrento’s Brick Oven Pizzeria Starbucks
80 Thoreau St 68 Thoreau St 10 Concord Crossing 117 Thoreau St 26 Concord Crossing 105 Thoreau St 71 Thoreau St 58 Thoreau St 159 Sudbury Rd
West Concord Adelita 1 Club Car Café 1 Concord Teacakes Dino’s Kouzina & Pizzeria Dunkin’ Nashoba Brook Bakery Reasons to Be Cheerful Saltbox Kitchen Walden Italian Kitchen Woods Hill Table 1
1200 Main St 20 Commonwealth Ave 59 Commonwealth Ave 1135 Main St 1191 Main St 152 Commonwealth Ave 110 Commonwealth Ave 84 Commonwealth Ave 92 Commonwealth Ave 24 Commonwealth Ave
1 Call for al fresco dining options
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Rd Concord Visitor Center
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TToo W Wa alldd eenn PPo onnd d
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Barrett Sotheby’s Int’l Realty
Landvest Nesting North Bridge Inn Patina Green The Umbrella Arts Center
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Engel & Völkers
10 911 12 11 13
Concord’s Colonial Inn
Compass Real Estate
Coldwell Banker Realty
The Cheese Shop
5 6 7
The Concord Toy Box
Albright Art Supply
Points of Interest A
Concord Train Station
90 Thoreau St
West Concord Train Station B
Commonwealth Ave & Main St
A New Leaf 1 Adelita 2
Appleton Design Group
The Attias Group
6 7 8 9 10 11
Concord Flower Shop
12 13 14
West Concord Wine & Spirits
Concord Teacakes Debra’s Natural Gourmet Dunkin’ (two locations) Joy Street Life + Home Reflections Woods Hill Table Verrill Farm
12 B 13 7
Concord Visitor Center
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Lexington Rd Ca mb rid B ge Tu rnp ike
Concord Center — See detailed map on earlier page
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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
Concord Free Public Library 129 Main St Concord Museum 53 Cambridge Turnpike Concord Visitor Center 62 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
Points of Interest d tR Prescot
Partri dge Ln
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Your best can only get better. 978.610.6369 | 85 MAIN STREET | CONCORD | MA 01742
Elizabeth Freeman (`Mumbet`) Miniature portrait, watercolor on ivory by Susan Anne Livingston Ridley Sedgwick, 1811
Courtesy of Massachusetts Historical Society
Elizabeth Freeman: A Free Woman on God’s Earth
It was cold outside, but the glowing fire in the brick oven warmed the kitchen as Elizabeth busied herself baking the week’s bread for her enslavers, Col. John Ashley and his wife Hannah. Her younger sister Lizzie, also enslaved in the Ashley household, was too frail for heavy labor, so she watched as Elizabeth stirred the fire with an iron shovel. As she carefully placed the loaves in in the oven, Lizzie scraped a bit of leftover dough from the mixing bowl and formed it into a tiny loaf that she put alongside the others to bake. When the bread was done, the lady of the house, Hannah Ashley, came to inspect Elizabeth’s work. As she did, she spied Lizzie sitting near the hearth with her little crust of bread. “Thief!” she cried, as she took the iron shovel, still hot from the fire, and struck at the terrified girl. Elizabeth threw her strong arm in the path of the blow, saving Lizzie but suffering a wound that would leave “a frightful scar she carried to her grave.” By her own account, Elizabeth never hid her scar. Whenever someone asked how she got hurt, she would look them in the eye and say, “Ask Missus.” 1
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Though described on her gravestone Even as she faithfully did the bidding of as a “most efficient helper,” Elizabeth was her enslavers, Elizabeth ached for freedom. anything but meek. When Mrs. Ashley The writer Catharine Maria Sedgwick, attacked Lizzie, Elizabeth didn’t hesitate who knew her personally, quoted her as to offer physical resistance, and afterward saying “Any time while I was a slave, if one proudly wore her personal red badge of minute’s freedom had been offered to me courage. “When I set my foot down,” she and I had been told I must die at the end declared, “I kept it down.” 2 of that minute, I would have taken it just to stand one minute on God’s earth a free Elizabeth was born into slavery in New woman.” 5 York State around 1744. As a young girl she became enslaved to the Ashleys, who called her Bett.3 John Ashley was a wealthy and influential figure in the town of Sheffield in southwestern Massachusetts. His neighbors revered him as a wise and compassionate man, but like many prosperous men in the American colonies, he used enslaved people to do the hard labor of keeping an 18th Century household running smoothly, and Mrs. Ashley The Colonel John Ashley House in Sheffield, MA was their “despotic” overseer.4
Photo courtesy of the Sheffield Historical Society
BY VICTOR CURRAN
Others in Sheffield yearned for a different kind of freedom—freedom from King George III, who sent thousands of soldiers to Massachusetts in 1768 to enforce the hated Townshend Acts (which taxed such staple items as china, glass, paint, paper, and tea). Col. John Ashley had distinguished himself fighting for England in the French and Indian Wars, but now felt his loyalty to the King waning. In the winter of 1772-73, he hosted a series of meetings of Sheffield patriots who drafted one of America’s first declarations of independence—the Sheffield Resolves. As Ashley and his neighbors hammered out the wording of their manifesto, Elizabeth was “keeping still and minding things,”6 but she listened intently to these words: Mankind in a State of Nature are equal, free, and independent of each other, and have a right to the undisturbed Enjoyment of their Lives, their Liberty and Property. Over the next few years, many Massachusetts towns would issue similar statements that culminated in
agreed, and on August 22, 1781, they found in favor of the plaintiffs, awarding them their freedom and damages of 30 shillings each. Elizabeth marked her victory by taking the last name of Freeman. Elizabeth Freeman’s verdict paved the way for the abolition of slavery in Massachusetts and helped make it safe for formerly enslaved people like Caesar Robbins and Brister Freeman to live in freedom here in Concord. Last year, State Representative William “Smitty” Pignatelli (D-Lenox) met sculptor Brian Hanlon at the unveiling of Hanlon’s statue of Susan B. Anthony in Adams, MA, and both were drawn to the idea of honoring Elizabeth Freeman with a statue in the Town of Sheffield where she lived. Rep. Pignatelli invited local Black leaders and town officials to develop a plan and partnered with the Sheffield Historical Society to raise the money for the statue. Sheffield will unveil the 9-foot-tall figure on Sunday, August 21, at 12:00 noon. Fittingly, the statue will stand at the center of town, with the Old Parish Church on her right and the home of Theodore Sedgwick on her left. Sheffield plans a gala day to celebrate the unveiling, including a Walk for Freedom from the Ashley House to the statue, and a production of Meet Elizabeth Freeman by Black playwright Teresa Miller, starring Wanda Houston and funded through a grant from the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation. It’s a well-deserved tribute to a courageous woman who didn’t wait for white leaders to emancipate her, but overturned slavery for herself and for all of Massachusetts. ———————————————————————— 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.
Catharine Maria Sedgwick, “Mumbett,” (1853) unpublished manuscript in the collection of the Massachusetts Historical Society. 2 Ibid. 3 Many documents call her “Mum Bett” or “Mumbet.” This article refers to her as Elizabeth, the name she chose to use. 4 Sedgwick, op. cit. 5 Ibid. 6 Harriet Martineau, Retrospect of Western Travel, vol. 2. London, Saunders and Otley, 1838. 7 Theodore Sedgwick was the father of Catharine Maria Sedgwick, whose recollections of Elizabeth Freeman are quoted in this article. 8 Martineau, op. cit. 1
Photo courtesy of Brian Hanlon
Rendering of Elizabeth Freeman statue by sculptor Brian Hanlon
the Massachusetts Constitution, whose first article states: All men are born free and equal, and have certain natural, essential, and unalienable rights; among which may be reckoned the right of enjoying and defending their lives and liberties; that of acquiring, possessing, and protecting property; in fine, that of seeking and obtaining their safety and happiness. In 1780, the Massachusetts Constitution was read aloud from the steps of Sheffield’s Old Parish Church, where no doubt Elizabeth heard it, and was emboldened to make her dream of freedom a reality. Across the street from the church lived Theodore Sedgwick,7 one of the authors of the Sheffield Resolves, who was known for his opposition to slavery. More importantly, he was a lawyer. She crossed the street and “called on Mr. Sedgwick, and asked him if she could not claim her liberty under the law . . . Mr. Sedgwick undertook her cause, which was tried at Great Barrington.”8 In an irony that today seems grotesquely familiar, her being enslaved did not prevent her from taking the Ashleys to court, but her being a woman did. The case was able to proceed because a man enslaved to the Ashleys, whose name we know only as Brom, joined Elizabeth in her lawsuit. Sedgwick argued that the new Massachusetts constitution prohibited slavery, and therefore Col. Ashley had no legal claim to Elizabeth and Brom. The jury
Native Plants Bee-long Here: How to Create a Pollinator Garden
Every backyard has a unique variety of flowers, trees, and the occasional persistent weed. The importance of our yard vegetation often falls under the radar, especially in grass lawn-dominated suburbia and a society that prizes outdoor aesthetics with little thought to the ecological value a landscape can provide. Casual and dedicated gardeners alike frequently purchase plants for how pretty their flowers look or because their leaves are evergreen. Emphasizing these qualities, while not insignificant, often means we overlook whether or not a plant will contribute to the health of the surrounding ecosystem—for example, will it support pollinators and the critical ecological role they play? Answering this question will help us understand how to combat the grass lawn standard and instead, create pollinator gardens that provide vital habitat for local pollination systems and improve the ecological health of the surrounding landscape. 48
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BY REBECCA CARRILLO
Grow Native Massachusetts is a nonprofit organization dedicated to inspiring people to action on behalf of native plants and the diversity of life they support including pollinators. Grow Native explains that pollinators are “bees, butterflies, hummingbirds, moths, wasps, flies, beetles, and even a few bats … that move pollen between flowers,” and are essential to the reproductive system of plants across global ecosystems. According to the U.S. Forest Service, without them, the world would not have 80% of its flowering plants—a loss that would be catastrophic. The populations of many species of valuable insect pollinators, such as bumblebees, have been in significant decline in Massachusetts (and across the country) for decades. The decline of pollinators underpins the need to provide vital habitat for native pollinators and to strengthen the local pollination systems. Understanding the important role native plants play is a key factor in creating a
pollinator garden. Grow Native describes native plants as “in a word, local. They are plants that have been growing in a particular habitat and region, typically for thousands of years or much longer. Also called indigenous, they are well adapted to the climate, light, and soil conditions that characterize their ecosystem. Within this system, they have evolved tremendously important coevolutionary relationships with the other plants, animals, fungi, and bacteria present, and these very complex relationships keep that particular ecosystem stable.” These types of plants form the foundation for a healthy pollinator garden due to the co-evolutionary relationships they have with native pollinators and other insects. Some native bees and wasps, for example, have specialized relationships with certain plant families, and need the pollen or nectar from those plants in order to reproduce. Specialization is also common among other valuable insects like caterpillars. As a result,
thrive in their landscapes. For more detailed information on your own yard, soil samples can be sent to UMass Amherst’s Soil and Plant Nutrient Testing Laboratory, which provides soil analysis for homeowners and gardeners for a reasonable fee (ag.umass. edu/services/soil-plant-nutrient-testinglaboratory). In addition to soil health, knowing how much weed pressure exists in the area will help to create a longer lasting and more functional planting, particularly when working in a previously overgrown or “reclaimed” site. Keeping aggressive or invasive non-native plants from gaining a foothold on the site is key to making sure native plantings have a chance to establish. Another thing to take into consideration when selecting plants is having a mix of different flower shapes so that many types of pollinators will be able to feed on them. For instance, a hummingbird’s long tongue evolved to extract nectar from long tubular flowers, while many bee species have shorter proboscises and need shallower, open-faced flowers. In addition, make sure to include flower species that bloom at different times, so that pollinators will have access to food throughout the spring, summer, and fall. Indeed, although all gardens with flowers can be considered pollinator gardens, those created with carefully selected native plants are the better choice for sustaining biodiversity and supporting ecological systems.
New England Aster
Clearly, building a pollinator garden is a process and does not occur in one go. Understanding the current state of your untouched garden, and the vital factors of soil health, weed pressure, nutrient levels, and nectar availability, take time to consider. But no matter where you are in your pollinator garden journey, as you add native plants you will notice more beautiful wildlife as well. Planting native plants in a pollinator garden provides vital food and habitat for native pollinators, as well as resources to strengthen the local pollination systems. As you create a landscape that lasts, native insects, birds, and small mammals will begin to use the resources you provide. It is a process, but an incredibly satisfying one that will provide enjoyment for years to come, create functioning ecosystems, and establish a sense of place in any area. To learn more about native plants and how to attract pollinators to your garden, visit the Grow Native Massachusetts website at grownativemass.org. ———————————————————————— Rebecca Carrillo is an Environmental Science and Policy student at Clark University in Worcester, and an intern at Grow Native Massachusetts through Clark’s Barth Summer Internship scholarship funded by the Theodore Barth Foundation. A Master Naturalist and native plant enthusiast from San Antonio, Texas, she is excited to continue to learn more about the native plants of Massachusetts this summer. Goldenrod
Photos courtesy of Grow Native Massachusetts
a garden composed of a diversity of native plants will provide food and habitat to a diverse array of pollinators and other types of wildlife, and have a truly significant impact on the ecological health of the surrounding area. In order to start building a pollinator garden, several initial steps must be taken. First, it is crucial to evaluate what plants already exist in your backyard. Often, weeds and invasive plants will dominate a garden space if uncontrolled. Identifying which plants are which can help with preparing the yard space for planting. For instance, some socalled weeds are, in fact, valuable. Species like milkweeds, evening primrose, fleabane, and goldenrods are a few examples of “weeds” that can be beneficial to an ecosystem. Namely, milkweeds (Asclepias spp.) are the only plants that host monarch butterflies, and fleabanes (Erigeron spp.) are valuable to a wide array of pollinators. In addition to evaluating the current state of an untouched garden plot, it can also be beneficial to understand the health of the soil. In a collaborative pollinator garden project undertaken by Grow Native Massachusetts and Waltham Fields Community Farm, soil was tested in the designated plot of land. Nutrient levels, pH, and the quantity of organic matter were essential factors in helping to determine which native plants would thrive best in the area. Understanding the general type of soil in your area or the ecoregion will help gardeners better understand which plants are most likely to
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781.275.8700 or cwvillage.org Bedford, MA Carleton-Willard is a not-for-profit continuing care retirement community.
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Sparking creativity and encouraging discovery in people of all ages. The Umbrella is an innovative and accessible regional center for the arts in the heart of Concord. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on our community of supporters to make that possible.
You can have a real impact and help our community “discover their art” by making a gift and/or becoming a volunteer.
Make a gift:
Volunteer for Summer Camp 2022 – a great service opportunity for HS students (age 15-17). Or join our growing team of theater ushers. For more information visit us at theumbrellaarts.org.
BY KATHI ANDERSON
“My thoughts expand and flourish most on this barren hill, where in the twilight I see the moss spreading in rings and prevailing over the short, thin grass, carpeting the earth, adding a few inches of green to its circle annually while it dies within.” Henry David Thoreau, Journals 11 July 1851
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Thoreau’s evocative words describe Bear Garden Hill in Walden Woods -- a place he loved for its beauty, tranquility, and transcendence. In his Journals, Thoreau chronicled his frequent moonlight walks at Bear Garden Hill and at nearby Fairhaven Hill. Although not as well-known as some of the other conservation sites in Concord, Bear Garden Hill remains a popular destination for local and out-of-town Thoreau enthusiasts, walkers, runners, and those pursuing other forms of passive recreation, including snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and horseback riding. Some are unaware that Bear Garden Hill nearly met its demise from high density development in the late 1980s. The impending threat to Bear Garden Hill, coupled with a proposed 147,000 square foot office building at Brister’s Hill (very close to Walden Pond), prompted the founding of The Walden Woods Project (walden.org) in 1990. For the past 32 years, our nonprofit organization has preserved and protected the iconic landscapes of Walden Woods in recognition of their worldwide literary, historical, and environmental significance, and their capacity to motivate others to identify, study, and protect the “Waldens” that exist in their own communities.
Thoreau’s writings and the landscape that influenced him are highly relevant to critical environmental and social reform challenges of our time. In 1991, Bear Garden Hill became the first site in Walden Woods acquired by our organization. We now protect and steward nearly 200 acres in and around Thoreau’s Walden Woods, including the 18-acre Walden Woods Project Farm adjacent to Bear Garden Hill. Plans are underway to provide public access to Bear Garden Hill from our organic farm via a short connector trail. The trail will run near picturesque agricultural fields, across a small brook, and over to an existing loop trail on Bear Garden
All photos courtesy of The Walden Woods Project
Bear Garden Hill Trail In Walden Woods
Hill. We also hope to provide a few additional parking spaces to augment the parking that currently exists at the Bear Garden Hill trailhead. Further details will become available as plans move forward. In the meantime, we hope you will visit our nearby farm stand when you are at Bear Garden Hill. The farm stand will open for the season in early June. For more information on The Walden Woods Project Farm or to join our CSA, go to walden.org/csa. The Bear Garden Hill site is located at the western end of Walden Woods, a half mile from Walden Pond, with trailhead access from a small parking area off Sudbury Road in Concord. Parking is located about 100 yards south of the Sudbury Road traffic light at Route 2. The Walden Woods Project owns and manages Bear Garden Hill for public enjoyment and education. In purchasing Bear Garden Hill from developers, our organization entered into conservation partnerships with the MA Department of Conservation and Recreation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Both agencies hold conservation restrictions over Bear Garden Hill. A forested loop trail winds through our Bear Garden Hill property. A trail spur connects it with The Walden Woods Project’s Boiling Spring site. Due to its literary significance, its location in the heart of Walden Woods, and its proximity to Bear Garden Hill, the adjoining Boiling Spring property was purchased and is now permanently protected by The Walden Woods Project. The Bear Garden Hill and Boiling Spring sites encompass 42 acres. The Boiling Spring at Bear Garden Hill was Concord’s coldest and most popular spring from colonial days and a literary symbol for the Transcendentalists. It was so named because it bubbled as it oozed from the earth. Thoreau considered the Boiling Spring one of the wonders of Walden Woods. “There are few really cold springs,” he reflected in his Journal, “I go out of my way to go by the Boiling Spring.” In 1844, water rights to the Boiling Spring were sold to supply the Concord depot with water for the Fitchburg railroad. Thereafter, the spring no longer flowed freely. The trails at Bear Garden Hill connect with extensive trail systems through other conservation lands protected by the Town of Concord and by the Concord Land Conservation Trust. Public trails lead to the Fairhaven Hill area and the Wright
Woods. Fairhaven Hill was one of Thoreau’s favorite destinations and is often referred to in his writings. The Concord Land Conservation Trust also preserves Seton Woods at the base of Fairhaven Hill and The Walden Woods Project stewards some of the surrounding land. However, much of Fairhaven Hill is privately owned and is not publicly accessible. An important part of the viewshed from Bear Garden Hill and Fairhaven Hill is also protected by The Walden Woods Project. Through the generosity of a former Concord resident, The Walden Woods Project holds a conservation restriction over 41 acres of land along the wild and scenic Sudbury River, across the river from Bear Garden Hill and Fairhaven Hill. Although not open to the public, the area will be preserved in perpetuity as undisturbed, forested conservation land, thereby protecting
valuable habitat and a woodland vista visible from the river and from parts of Walden Woods. We hope you will have an opportunity to visit Bear Garden Hill and to enjoy this special place that had great meaning to Henry David Thoreau. Fortunately, nature still invites us to hear the message of the wind on Bear Garden Hill, just as it did for Thoreau some 175 years ago: “The wind now rising from over Bear Garden Hill falls gently on my ear and delivers its message, the same that I have so often heard passing over bare and stony mountain-tops,so uncontaminated and untamed is the wind. The air that has swept over Caucasus and the sands of Arabia comes to breathe on New England fields.” Henry David Thoreau - 5 August 1851 ———————————————————————— Kathi Anderson is Executive Director of The Walden Woods Project.
Stories From Special Collections:
Herbert Wendell Gleason
BY ANKE VOSS
The Concord Free Public Library’s Special Collections holds a rich and extensive collection relating to Herbert Wendell Gleason (1855-1937), a prominent American landscape photographer and environmentalist. The holdings include close to 7,000 Gleason negatives on glass plates and film, Gleason’s slide lecture “Thoreau’s Country,” albums of Concord, and Thoreau-related images compiled by Gleason himself, as well as correspondence and lecture notes. The Library Corporation, owners and stewards of the Library’s Special Collections, acquired the collection in two separate purchases, including a portion from Roland Wells Robbins - historian, archaeologist, and excavator in 1945 of the foundation of Thoreau’s cabin at Walden Pond. In 1997 and 2000, the Library’s Special Collections received grants from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission to arrange, describe, and create access to these collections. Herbert Wendell Gleason was born in Malden, Massachusetts. He attended Williams College and received his Bachelor of Divinity from Andover Theological Seminary in 1882. He married Lulie Wadsworth Rounds in 1883. His first career was in the Congregational ministry. He worked as a pastor in Minnesota until 1899, when he 54
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retired from the ministry and moved back to Massachusetts to pursue a H.W. Gleason at Thoreau’s cairn, career as a photographer. Gleason Walden Pond. May 18, 1908 found his calling by documenting the natural world through his photography. His admiration of the works of Henry David Thoreau drew him to Concord for regular visits for the rest of his life; capturing over four decades, the locations, wildlife, and the plants about which Thoreau had written. Gleason’s remarkable images serve as a window into Thoreau’s life. They also chronicle the changes in Concord’s natural world over nearly a half-century. While Gleason consulted Thoreau’s writings and talked with Concord residents who remembered Thoreau, he also regularly referred to maps of Concord and the significant collection of Thoreau surveys in the Concord Free Public Library. The Boston publishing firm of Houghton Mifflin hired Gleason to provide photographs for its twentyvolume publication, The Manuscript Edition of The Writings of Henry David Thoreau (1906). Gleason’s work also illustrated Houghton Mifflin’s 1917 Through the Year with Thoreau. Gleason also supported himself by developing over thirty slide lectures on subjects he photographed. His wife Sun sparkles on Walden Pond, from was the colorist for his slides. The Heywood’s Peak. October 21, 1920 only surviving slide lecture, “Thoreau’s
All photos courtesy of Concord Free Public Library.
Country,” which Gleason prepared for the Thoreau centenary, is housed in Special Collections. Gleason’s work took him to locations throughout North America. In addition to Concord, he photographed widely in New England as well as gardens and estates along the Atlantic coast. He also photographed places in New York, Minnesota, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Arizona, California, Washington state, Alaska, and Canada. Some of his photographs of the American West, Alaska, and Canada, also include images of Native Americans. Gleason captured not just the natural environment; his images also feature commerce, industry, architecture, people enjoying outdoor recreational activities, and fashion. He was also instrumental in documenting the earliest National Parks and other areas under consideration for becoming parks for Stephen Mather and Horace Albright, the first directors of the National Park Service. Gleason’s photography also illustrated
Northwest Cove of Walden Pond, ice breaking up (train in distance). March 31, 1920
John Muir’s writings and Luther Burbank’s horticultural experiments. Gleason had many admirers during his lifetime, including Ansel Adams, a preeminent photographer of the American West. Special Collections includes extensive holdings of photographic prints and
negatives, of which the photographs by Herbert Wendell Gleason are an exceptional highlight. ————————————————————————— Anke Voss is Curator of the William Munroe Special Collections at Concord Free Public Library.
Bruce Freeman Rail Trail
Concord Visitor Center
Family-Friendly Ways to Unplug in Concord
The wheel deal: Bike riding promotes feelings of calm and wellbeing – and is an environmentally friendly way to get around. Concord’s new bike share program allows you to rent a bike for $1.50 an hour, a convenient and fun way to cycle to the historic sites or pedal along the scenic Bruce Freeman Rail Trail (brucefreemanrailtrail. org). Pick up a bike behind the Visitor’s Center (visitconcord.org/visit/visitorcenter) or in West Concord (facebook.com/ westconcordcommunity).
Mom, can we go to the playground? The Rideout Playground (visitconcord.org/ listing-category/outdoor-recreation) is the answer. For little ones, there’s a rain stick, periscope, kid-size picnic table, and Brailleteaching clock; for older daredevils, a net 56
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cage that connects to a winding slide, fire pole, and steep steps.
Book it to the beloved Concord Library (concordlibrary.org): Of course, you can find books, books, and more books – but also baby chicks in the Fowler Branch; free wifi hotspots, and in the children’s department, recommendations for staff-curated collections about cats, books, pizza, and superheroes.
“Life in us is like the water in a river,” said Henry David Thoreau. In 1849, this storied Concord naturalist observed the Concord River, believing it “remarkable for the gentleness of its current, which is scarcely perceptible.” He also wrote, “It is worth the while to make a voyage up this stream… if only to see how much country there is in the rear of us; great hills… and farm-houses. Many waves are there agitated by the wind, keeping nature fresh, the spray blowing in your face, reeds and rushes waving.” Rent a canoe or kayak at the South Bridge Boat House (southbridgeboathouse. com) and see the magic for yourself.
You scream, I scream, we all scream… Yes, it’s ice cream, which contains protein and fat, which helps elevate our mood – and who doesn’t need that? Ice cream gives you Reasons to Be Cheerful (cheerful-reasons.com) or savor a cone from Bedford Farms (bedfordfarmsicecream. com). Satisfy your sweet tooth as well at Concord Teacakes (concordteacakes.com), Priscilla’s Candy Shop (priscillascandy.
com), Gräem Nuts and Chocolate (graemroasters.com), Dunkin’ (locations. dunkindonuts.com/en/ma/concord), or with a yummy dessert from Main Streets Café (mainstreetsmarketandcafe.com).
What else is there to do in Concord? Meander around the Old Manse (thetrustees.org/place/the-old-manse); play chase near the Old North Bridge (nps. gov/mima/north-bridge-questions.htm); see Paul Revere’s lantern at the Concord Museum (concordmuseum.org); leave a note, coin, or pebble at Louisa May Alcott’s grave at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery (concordma. gov/1956/Sleepy-Hollow-Cemetery), or sign up for a tour at the Concord Visitor Center (visitconcord.org/visit/visitor-center), where you can also buy water, a tricorn hat, or get trail maps for hiking. “I took a walk in the woods and came out taller than the trees,” said Thoreau, and you and your family can also experience the transformative power of adventure in Concord. Nature deficit? Not anymore, thanks to all that Concord has to offer. Stop by the Concord Visitor Center, 58 Main Street, Concord (978-318-3061) for more information on activities and town resources. visitconcord.org ——————————————————————— Cindy Atoji Keene is a former supplements editor and copy editor at the Boston Herald. She is also a longtime contributor to the Boston Globe and has acted as creative director at Science and Theology News.
All photos courtesy of the Town of Concord
Concord has the cure for nature-deficitdisorder, a condition that worsened during the pandemic. As kids and parents spend more time indoors and less time in nature, they’re becoming more stressed and anxious. But as the beloved sage of Concord, Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink the wild air.” The transcendent moments that he and others experienced here can still be felt today by communing with nature and feeling the beauty around you. If you think you already know Concord and all it has to offer, think again. It’s a revolutionary town and in more than one way. Here are our top picks for familyfriendly activities in Concord:
BY CINDY ATOJI KEENE
The Founding of Concord’s Robbins House and a Debt of Gratitude
In 1976, Concordians and school administrators Barbara Elliot and Janet Jones published the text Concord: Its Black History, 1636-1860 through the Concord Public Schools. The text included photos of Black and White children visiting places associated with 19th century [and earlier] Black residents. Their book was used in the school system up to 1986 to orient youth to the rich history of Concord’s earliest African American residents. One of the individuals highlighted in Elliott and Jones’s book was Peter Hutchinson. February 2, 1859, Henry David Thoreau wrote in his journal, “I see Peter Hutchinson cutting down a large red oak on A. Heywood’s hillside, west of the former’s house.” Beginning in the early 2000s, a couple of Concord moms and METCO ‘Family Friends’ leaders dusted off the book and restarted tours to school children. Because of Barbara and Janet’s book and the tours with school children, the town discovered the Robbins House, where Peter Hutchinson and other early African Americans had lived. One resident inquired about the plaque on the house that stated, “Peter Hutchinson c1780,” and noted the house was slated for demolition by 2009. The town began the process of acquiring, restoring, adapting, and moving the house closer to its original location. None of this could have happened without Barbara and Janet’s book. Barbara Elliott passed away this year. Her memorial services were held May 2022, near her burial site in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. Janet Jones’s family honored her memory with a generous donation to The Robbins House that will help expand our work on the African American and Antislavery history of Concord and preserve The Robbins House as an African American and Antislavery Interpretive Center. ——————————————————————————————————— Maria Madison, Sc.D. is Co-Founder of The Robbins House and Co-President of the Board of Directors of The Robbins House. She serves as Interim Dean of the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University.
Barbara Elliott and Janet Jones on vacation in the early 1970s, when they were working on Concord: Its Black History together.
All photos courtesy of The Robbins House
BY MARIA MADISON
Maria Madison and Janet Jones in 2022
Summer in the Parks
natural beauty. As the warm days of summer arrive,
residents and visitors alike deeply appreciate having
access to national and state parks which provide a great way to get outside and enjoy nature. Here, we present
the key features of two of our most popular destinations.
BY JENNIFER C. SCHÜNEMANN
Concord is well known for its rich history and stunning
Minute Man National Historical Park Welcome to one of Concord’s most popular destinations! The grounds of Minute Man National Historical Park and its trails are open for your enjoyment. Stroll the grounds, have a picnic with friends or family, or stop to learn the history presented on plaques and signage throughout the park. You can learn more about the historic events of April 19, 1775, at two different visitor centers in the park. The North Bridge Visitor Center at 174 Liberty Street in Concord features a short video about the North Bridge fight, along with a bookstore and exhibits. You can also watch “The Road to Revolution” multimedia theatre program, which runs every 30 minutes at the Minute Man Visitor Center off Route 2A in Lincoln, starting at 9:00 am until 4:30 pm daily. Three comfort stations are available during the day at North Bridge, Meriam’s Corner, and Hartwell Tavern. Here are some suggestions if you are visiting the park: • Walk over the Concord River on the North Bridge, site of “the shot heard ‘round the world,” featuring the famous minuteman statue. • Walk, bike, or run the Battle Road Trail. This 5.5 mile (8.9 km) historic trail follows the footsteps of British soldiers and colonial minutemen through the battlefield and the heart of the park; today, you’ll pass many historic farms, witness structures, and serene woods; visit the website to take the cell phone tour. • Dogs are welcome, but please pick up after them and keep them leashed, and do not leave them in your vehicle. Please follow the park website (nps.gov/mima) and social media (@MinuteManNPS) for updates and information. 58
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Walden Pond State Reservation – Swimming, Boating, and Hiking A visit to Walden Pond State Reservation will bring you back in time to the mid-1800s, where you can experience the connection with nature that inspired Henry David Thoreau’s Walden. Bring the family and enjoy a day of swimming, walking the trail that loops around the famous pond, or boating out on the water. You can also visit the replica of Thoreau’s single-room cabin where he took inspiration for his work. Restrooms and changing stations are available at the park. There are wonderful exhibits at the Visitor Center, which is open 10am – 4pm daily, and The Thoreau Society Gift Shop is a great place to find a book, postcard, poster, or t-shirt to remember your visit. They are open 10am – 7pm daily. Summer is a busy time, so it’s important to plan ahead. A state mandate limits the number of people allowed on the property at any one time to 1,000 and is strictly enforced. It’s a good idea to check before heading to the park by calling 978-369-3254 or by following their Twitter account @waldenpondstate. Life guards are on duty Memorial Day to Labor Day – please check the website for specific days and hours. There is a daily parking fee of $8 for Massachusetts license plates, $30 for all other plates. To protect the grounds and water quality for future generations, the state only allows registered service animals. For more information, please visit mass.gov/locations/walden-pondstate-reservation.
Gifts for Artists, History Buffs, and the Kid in All of Us! Gifts for Everyone... Including You! Come in and Explore Our 2000 Square Feet of Fun! (978)371-1635
Come In and Shop Concord’s NEW Toy Land Playmobil, Schleich, Faber-Castell Dress Up from the Great Pretenders,Plus games, puzzles, plush toys, and more! (978)371-1635
For the Artist in All of Us Knowledgeable & Friendly Staff, Affordable Prices, Art Supplies for All Levels & Gifts for All Ages (978)369-7300 Mon-Sat 10am-6pm | Sun Noon-5 | RevolutionaryConcord.com
Concord’s favorite consignment shop for nearly 30 years! Curated Women’s Clothing and Accessories Save up to 75% OFF retail prices 101 Commonwealth Ave in West Concord Facebook/Instagram: @ReflectionsConcord
BY STEWART IKEDA
In this continuing series, we highlight two of the many gifted artists who continue Concord’s rich artistic tradition. We encourage you to experience art in all its many forms at Concord’s galleries, exhibitions, live performances, studios, classes, and more.
All photos courtesy of The Umbrella Arts Center
NAYDA CUEVAS Nayda A. Cuevas is an internationally exhibited, interdisciplinary artist who explores her LatinX identity and current cultural trends working in a variety of mediums, from intricate ceramics to oil painting to large-scale public banner art. Her recent public art installations include “Madre Gaia,” currently on view at 40 Stow Street as part of The Umbrella’s regional Go Out Doors exhibition, and “Wish for Change,” a Black Lives Matter-inspired outdoors project that traveled to Milford, Worcester, Stoneham, Belmont, and finally Concord as part of 2021’s Artfest Artwalk. Born in Puerto Rico, she holds an MFA from Lesley University and has been Artist-in-Residence at The Nobles and Greenough School, MASS MoCA/Assetts for Artists, and Room 83 Spring in Watertown. Also a dedicated teaching artist at The Umbrella, she is designing a series of workshops and exhibitions for regional teen artists responding to racial justice themes. naydacuevasart.com
Stewart Ikeda heads the Marketing & Strategic Communications team at The Umbrella Arts Center.
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MAX PAYNE “Ever since I made my first hollyhock doll in my grandmother’s backyard, I have been interested in the art of combining natural materials to tell a story, so when I call myself a narrative artist, the storytelling and the art go hand in hand,” says Max Payne. A Studio Artist of The Umbrella Arts Center, she creates altered books, Tyvek scrolls, mixed media sculptures, tiny hummingbirds, and large twig wall pieces. During COVID times, she began to experiment with Joomchi, an ancient Korean technique of layering and combining papers with water to make a new layered piece, and, with the addition of sewing, cutting, and digging down to unearth the layers beneath, these new papers became maps to uncharted territories, landscapes of a journey to the unknown, or a glimpse into the future. At the same time, Max also returned to writing, so many of the maps are accompanied by poems, a natural progression for an English major artist who has always loved to write. “I have learned over the years that it is just as important to know what to leave out as it is to know what to put in. That way, if a story is well made, it can tell itself, and often it becomes a different story for each one who sees it, and that is my goal as an artist.” theumbrellaarts.org/person/max-payne
“ ‘Tis the good reader that makes the good book.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson
Barrow Bookstore 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. 79 Main Street, Concord, MA (behind Fritz and Gigi) | www.barrowbookstore.com | 978-369-6084
Welcomes you to a summer of outdoor activities! STRAWBERRY DAY – June 25
Monthly Festivals, Farm to Table Dinners And lots of Summer Events and Fun! (visit www.verrillfarm.com for all updates!)
11 Wheeler Rd. | 978-369-4494 | Verrillfarm.com
Exploring Concord in a Morning, a Day, or a Weekend
W Wanderlust became a real thing for many during the pandemic. As a result, people found themselves pining to take trips they had put off previously. Now, as travel returns, we welcome you to Concord. Whether you are in town for an afternoon, are a daytripper, or can spend an entire weekend in town, don’t worry. We have you covered. If You Have a Half Day Spending a half-day in Concord is just enough time to learn about the two revolutions that occurred in our town. The first revolution to know is the American Revolution. Park downtown in one of the free parking lots and saunter up Monument Street to Minute Man National Historical Park. The flat, 1.2 mile walk on paved and crushed stone sidewalks should take about 20 minutes. As you make your way up Monument Street, visualize farmland as all the houses between the Colonial Inn and the Elisha Jones House had not yet been built. Additionally, imagine a lot fewer trees. Concord was founded in 1635, just five years after Boston. It was the first inland settlement of the colony of Massachusetts, where one could not smell the ocean. So,
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BY BETH VAN DUZER
what did the first Concordians use to build their homes? Trees. How did they heat their homes? Trees. And, since the colony of Massachusetts had a coast, many trees were used to build ships. By 1775, the town was 80% deforested. Therefore, the shady trees that protect you from the summer sun on your saunter along Monument Street would not have been here almost 250 years ago. About seven-tenths of a mile up the road, you will see the yellow Elisha Jones house. On April 19, the ell of this home had 17,000 pounds of salted cod in its basement. The Regular Army came to Concord to that day to seize munitions and supplies, including food. Today, the National Park Service owns this silent witness house. A little further up the sidewalk on your left will be the Old Manse, a property owned and operated by The Trustees of Reservations that was also a silent witness to the revolution on April 19, 1775. While not part of Minute Man National Historical Park, the Old Manse played a prominent role in the revolution. The patriot preacher, William Emerson, and his family lived there. His wife and children watched the battle from an upstairs window. Just past the Old Manse is the entrance to the National Park.
Follow the dirt path down to see the monument erected in 1836 to pay homage to the men that fought on April 19, 1775. Next, see the the Old North Bridge, which has been rebuilt five times. Across the bridge, you can see the Minute Man Statue, by sculptor Daniel Chester French. Continue to follow the dirt road up to the air-conditioned North Bridge Visitor Center, where you can watch a short movie, view artifacts, and speak to Park Rangers. When you have had your fill of the American Revolution, return downtown via Monument Street. Once you are near the Colonial Inn, cross Monument Street to Court Lane to visit Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. There you will learn about the second revolution that occurred in Concord, the Literary Revolution. Ralph Waldo Emerson is the grandson of our patriot preacher, William Emerson. Before Ralph Waldo Emerson, Concord was where the “shot heard ‘round the world” happened. After his arrival in town and his success as a philosopher, author, and lyceum speaker, he became the voice heard ‘round the world. Because of him, notable figures of the day chose to visit Concord.
Monument erected in 1836
Courtesy of Concord Museum
Ralph Waldo Emerson’s grave
To walk to his grave, you will start at the beginning of the nearly 100-acre cemetery. Sleepy Hollow is still an active public cemetery, so be on the lookout for cars and funerals. You will enter the cemetery near the Assessor’s Office on Court Street. Once there, how do you know what to look at and where to go? Don’t worry. The Town of Concord has created an interactive guided tour, and the QR code is on maps on display in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. You can peruse who is buried there and decide which graves you wish to visit as you make your way to the literary luminaries buried on Authors Ridge: Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. When your pilgrimage is complete, take the same route out of the cemetery. Then you are free to find a bite to eat downtown, shop for souvenirs or books, or make a mental note on your way out of town to book a hotel room to spend more time here. If You Have a Full Day If you can spend a full day discovering Concord, visiting the Concord Museum perfectly complements the half-day of learning about Concord’s two revolutions
If you prefer to explore Concord with an expert
The April 19, 1775 gallery at Concord Museum
outlined above. The recently renovated museum has 18 galleries, including the April 19, 1775 gallery, the museum’s star exhibit. On display in the center of the room is one of the two lanterns used as a signal to Paul Revere in the Old North Church on the night of April 18, 1775. While the sounds of the battle echo, a 12 by 7-foot map and media piece provides a birds-eye view of the events on April 19, 1775. Visitors can watch as 24 hours of history unfolds in six minutes! Trust me; you will want to watch it. While you’re there, learn more about Concord’s literary revolution and see artifacts that belonged to Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau. If You Have a Weekend Naturally, spending a weekend in Concord allows you to discover almost everything! After immersing yourself in the American and Literary Revolutions, you can spend a day taking guided tours of literary houses. Virginia Road is where Thoreau Farm, the house where Henry David Thoreau was born, still stands today. Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House is located on Lexington Road and allows fans of the author to visit one of the homes she and her family
lived in in Concord. Bush, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s home, is just a half-mile down Lexington Road. Finally, the Old Manse is on Monument Street next to Minute Man National Historical Park. Here, you can learn about the American Revolution, the Literary Revolution, and the fascinating authors who spent time visiting or living at the Old Manse. Finally, for some, a trip to Concord would not be complete without a visit to Walden Pond. If you want to be part of the transcendentalist walking club, you can take the Emerson-Thoreau Amble from Lexington Road to Walden Pond. It is about a two-mile hike. Just remember, you will have to walk the same distance back. Hopefully, this sample of self-guided excursions in town whets your appetite to discover Concord. The historic sites in town cater to multiple interests and usually can please just about everyone in a family. Choose to explore Concord the next time you travel and suffer from wanderlust no more! ———————————————————————— Beth van Duzer is a Public Historian and Professional Heritage Interpreter who is thankful to live and work in Concord, MA.
Both the Visitor Center and Minute Man National Historical Park offer a range of fascinating tours. Concord’s Visitor Center tours include “Concord’s Art Legacy: Women in Art Revealed,” “African American History of Concord,” “Indigenous People of Concord,” “Historic Walking Tour,” “Little Women,” “Women of Concord,” “Emerson-Thoreau Amble,” “Three Cemeteries,” and “West Concord History.” Go to visitconcord.org/visit/visitorcenter/#walking-tours-schedule for more information. Minute Man National Historical Park tours include “Battlefield in a Box,” “Concord’s North Bridge: History and Memory,” “The Minute Men: Neighbors in Arms,” “North Bridge Battlefield Walk,” and “Discovering Lexington’s Lost Battlefield.” For more information visit nps.gov/mima/planyourvisit/ranger-programs-and-tours.htm
The Story of a Thriving Bauhaus Style Home in Concord
BY EVE ISENBERG
“I’m in such a good mood all the time. Nature fills me up with light and color. I don’t ever feel blocked.” The owner of this Bauhaus home in Concord is a prolific painter whose art exploded when she moved into her midcentury modern house. It is located on a main thoroughfare in the town, but you would never know it when you are inside. The floor-to-ceiling glass draws attention to the sunlight dappled forest and meandering brook in the backyard. The siting allows views of the constantly changing seasons. The stream swells in the spring and brings otters, muskrats, deer, and all manner of birds into the picture throughout the year. The Architects Collaborative (TAC), the architecture firm of Walter Gropius who also founded the Bauhaus school in Weimar
Germany, 1919-1933, was responsible for the Six Moon Hill neighborhood in Lexington, the Harvard Graduate School of Design (GSD) building, and this home in Concord. In the Bauhaus tradition, the architects of TAC sought to align architecture with the disciplines of art, economics, and sociology. This effort, in theory, enabled architects to treat design as a social process, one responsive to the needs of individual patrons and sites. The house was commissioned in 1953 by Dr. George E. Valley, a physics professor at 64
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MIT, whose work on the use of computers in air defense led to the formation of the MIT Lincoln Laboratory of which Valley was a leader from 1949 to 1957. In 2008 internationally renowned urban planner Anthony Mallows bought the house and completely restored it based on the original TAC blueprints. Mallows, who was trained in architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, also added an architecture studio above the garage. The current homeowners bought the house from Mallows in 2015 and renovated again, pushing out the front entry where it once was recessed and adding a workshop to the back of the garage. They enclosed a covered deck at the back, creating a two-story addition including a sunken sitting room with walls of glass underneath a bedroom which they call “the treehouse.” They chose to side the addition with stucco and wrapped the horizontal sun control trellis at the roofline around the new rooms to stay in keeping with the modern aesthetic. New outdoor lighting
schemes illuminate the yard, extending the indoor-outdoor conversation with nature into the evenings. These current homeowners knew when they walked through the door that they had to have the house. They had raised their family in a lovely old colonial and never considered a modern house. Now they are grateful to own a house filled with daylight that fosters peace and creativity. They describe their visceral reaction to their new life in this home: “Having this house brings out something you didn’t know was in you.” The term Phenomenology as it relates to architecture is used to describe the instinctual response evoked by the play of architectural elements such as form, material, space and proportion, light and shadow, and color; each sensory cue inducing an emotive, cohesive, powerful experience. Thanks to the care and foresight of its three sets of owners over its seventy years, this house will continue to bring joy to future generations. ——————————————————————— Eve Isenberg, Principal of the Concordbased, women-owned Inkstone Architects LLC, is a MA and NH registered architect and a Deck House owner in Concord.
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Antique and New Decorative Carpets and Rugs Sales, Carpet Cleaning, Restoration & Appraisals 624 Hammond Street, Chestnut Hill, MA 02467 617-264-2002 | www.wovenartcollection.com
All photos courtesy of the homeowners
The unrenovated carriage house.
In the process of raising the building to create a new foundation.
A Fine Carriage House Becomes a Refined Home
A couple with deep roots in Concord had the good fortune to inherit a property with an old carriage house near Concord Center. While already happily living in Concord, this inheritance posed the question: Where would they like to spend their retirement years? After consulting with the real estate company LandVest, they decided on the less likely candidate for their home—the unrenovated, unheated, uninsulated 1870s carriage house. Its prime location was ideally suited to their desire to age in place, and they did not want to sell a property that had been in the family since circa 1870. It took personal research and a high level of collaboration with experts in barn restoration, architecture, kitchen design, and landscaping to take a four-stall horse barn and turn it into a home. The result is an exquisite historical renovation, fitted for every modern need. To be clear, this was no ordinary carriage house even at its inception. Built in a whimsical Carpenter Gothic style, the level of workmanship and design signaled the 66
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BY BARBARA RHINES
esteem in which the original family’s horses and carriages were held. A ventilating cupola edged in gingerbread trim and topped with a sleek finial showcased the latest building innovations and style during the midVictorian period. But in 2012, the couple was greeted with the reality of a structure that had never been designed for heating and perched on its original brick-faced porous stone foundation. In fact, other than basic roof repairs, the carriage house had remained unchanged and unused since 1949. “A raccoon had moved into the cupola,” recalls the homeowner. During the 18-month planning process with the architectural team, the couple found a book, Cottage Residences by Andrew Jackson Downing, written in 1850. Design XV, “A Carriage-House and Stable in the Rustic Pointed Style,” seemed to be the inspiration for their own carriage house in terms of layout and facade. This book, along with Downing’s The Architecture of Country Houses (1850), became their references for making decisions on period-appropriate
colors and understanding the architectural components of the carriage house’s design. The couple felt that the original footprint should remain unchanged, so their builder lifted the entire structure and dug down to pour a new foundation, creating a finished lower level. The first floor was reconfigured into living space and the hayloft re-imagined into a music studio. Original doors, trim, and trusses were retained whenever possible. Woodwork was recreated where needed, and the symmetry of the facade was respected, including keeping the original stable doors. The couple now walks to all that Concord offers and retreats to this gem of a property. Saving a rare example of a 19th-century outbuilding in Concord Center and repurposing it to meet today’s needs is exactly what historical preservation seeks to accomplish. ———————————————————————— Barbara Rhines is a freelance writer in the Boston area specializing in architectural history, home renovation, and the decorative arts.
A unique shop with gifts you love to give…and receive! 49 Commonwealth Ave. Concord MA 01742 49 Commonwealth Ave. Concord MA 01742 joystreetgifts.com | @joystreetgifts joystreetgifts.com
A unique shop with gifts you love to give…and receive!
Did you know?
49 Commonwealth Ave. Concord MA 01742 joystreetgifts.com
Now you can notarize important documents from the comfort of your own home, with our mobile notary services. Our services include:
Real Estate Transactions | Power of Attorneys | Living Will and Testaments | Deeds | Contracts Health Care Proxies | Financial Transactions | Affidavits For more information, or to book an appointment (including evenings and weekends), please contact: Georgina Krotje, Mobile Notary Public of Massachusetts Tel. 509.994.7222
Courtesy of Barrow Bookstore
Barrow Bookstore Presents:
This is a hot time for the housing real estate market. But if you were living in Victorian era Concord and about to buy a house from a family that suffered from chronic headaches, sore throats, and irritated eyes, what house feature might give you pause? a) The water supply b) Gas light c) Brightly colored wallpaper d) Solarium full of exotic plants
and toured The Old Manse, The Wayside, and Orchard House. Unlike Louisa May Alcott, whose best-known heroines were the four March sisters, the Canadian author’s most famous heroine was an orphaned only child with bosom friends and likes to drink raspberry cordial. Like Nathaniel Hawthorne’s book The House of Seven Gables, Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House the Canadian author’s character also lived in a house of gables. Who was the author and what was the title of the book(s)? Walk into the woods of Concord and
Concord writer Nathaniel Hawthorne lived in which of the following houses? Select all that apply. a) The Old Manse b) The Hillside c) The Wayside d) The Samuel Whitney House
A riddle based on Henry David Thoreau’s words from Walden: I am an iron horse; I make the hills echo with my snort like thunder; I shake the earth with my feet; I breathe fire and smoke from my nostrils. What am I?
Written in 1868, Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women was based on her family’s real life. In it, Louisa turns herself and her three sisters into the March sisters – what are their names?
5 a) b) c) d)
In Little Women, the youngest March sister has a fondness for what treat? Pineapples Raspberry cordial Huckleberry jam Pickled limes
Concord has long been a pilgrimage site for history and literary enthusiasts. A Canadian author visited Concord in 1910 68
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In Colonial era Concord, taverns were gathering places for meetings and socialization. Today, if you wanted to meet others in an 18th-century-esque tavern in Concord, you could go to: a) Hartwell Tavern b) Jones’s Tavern c) The Wright Tavern d) The Village Forge Tavern
Boston publisher Robert Brothers issued Louisa May Alcott’s book Little Women in 1868. If the publishers wanted to promote the book and send one copy to every state in the Union in 1868, how many books would they need to send? a) 13 b) 29 c) 37 d) 42 e) 50 f) No! I’m done with school and I’m not answering questions like this anymore.
back into the 1600s Puritan era where the unknown and temptation dwelt in the wilds. Here you might find the spirits of women with the letter “A” sewn to their gowns. What did that letter signify? a) Able to do farm labor b) Adult of marrying age c) Adulteress d) Awesome
Prior to writing books like Little Women, Louisa May Alcott wrote “blood and thunder” thriller tales full of romance and psychological twists. Louisa called them her “gorgeous fancies… [that could] interfere with the proper grayness of Old Concord.” Which of the below is/are not a Louisa May Alcott thriller title/s: a) Perilous Play b) Lost in A Pyramid, or the Mummy’s Curse c) Agatha’s Confession, or Thrice Tempted d) The Mysterious Key and What It Opened e) Hester’s Vengeance, or Red Is Not Her Color
Courtesy of Barrow Bookstore
Barrow Bookstore’s dog Bingo Baggins says “’A’ is for hAndsome”
Barrow Bookstore postcard, “ ‘A’ is for Awesome”
Courtesy of Barrow Bookstore
2. C. Brightly colored wallpaper. The Victorians loved opulence and eyecatching brilliance. Brightly colored wallpapers could be made with paints containing arsenic. High levels of arsenic could off-gas from the wallpaper, filling houses with an “arsenic-cloud” that sickened, and in some cases killed, the residents. Steam Train
1. Entry Tour Guide Level: A and C Professional Tour Guide Level: All of them! Nathaniel Hawthorne and his wife Sophia Peabody moved to Concord on their wedding day in 1842. They rented Ralph Waldo Emerson’s ancestral home, The Old Manse, on Monument Street and stayed through 1845. The Hawthornes returned to Concord in 1852 when they bought “The Hillside” house from the Alcott family. Samuel Whitney, the muster master of Concord’s minutemen, occupied the home during the American Revolutionary War. The house, which the Hawthornes renamed “The Wayside”, is on Lexington Road next to the Louisa May Alcott Orchard House and is now owned by the National Park Service and open seasonally. Read about the Hawthornes’ years at The Old Manse in Richard Smith’s article, “Our Eden,” on pg. 38.
3. A steam train. The Boston-toFitchburg railroad arrived in Concord in 1844, traveling close to the cabin at Walden Pond that Henry David Thoreau lived in from 1845-47. If you are aboard the inbound train headed back to Boston from Concord, keep an eye out the left side windows and you’ll see Walden Pond a few moments after you leave the Concord Station. 4. Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. 5. D. Pickled limes.
6. Lucy Maude Montgomery, author of the Anne of Green Gables series. Montgomery wrote in her journal, “Concord is the only place I saw when I was away where I would like to live…. It is a most charming spot and I shall never forget the delightful drive we had around it. . . . It gave a strange reality to the books of [Hawthorne, Alcott and Emerson] which I have read to see those places where they once lived and labored.” 7. D. The Village Forge Tavern (located inside Concord’s Colonial Inn at 48 Monument Square). Jones’s Tavern and the Wright Tavern (Concord), and Hartwell Tavern (Lincoln) existed in the revolutionary era. Now gone, Jones’s tavern was near the Old South Burying Ground by Keyes Road. Although currently not open to the public, the Wright Tavern still stands on Main Street by Lexington Road. Hartwell Tavern is owned by the National Park Service and may be viewed along the Minuteman Trail walking path. 8. B. 37. 9. C. Adulteress. In 1694, the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay in New England passed an act ordering people convicted of adultery to be whipped up to 40 times and to wear a 2” x 2” capital letter A “cut out in cloth of a contrary colour to their cloaths, and sewed upon their upper garments, on the outside of their arm, or on their back, in open view…” To read a real-life story involving this, see Jaimee Joroff’s article “The Adulteress and the Airman” on page 30. 10. E. While not belonging to Louisa, “Hester’s Vengeance, or Red Is Not Her Color” could have been a title better suited to the Alcotts’ neighbor, Nathaniel Hawthorne. You can visit both their homes on Lexington Road.
Make Summer Magic with a New Cocktail BY BRIGETTE M.T. SANCHEZ
Cold press cocktails are in this summer! Most pack a hefty punch of caffeine, though. I wanted to create something with less caffeine but keep that complex and delicious coffee flavor. Enter cascara syrup. Made from the husks of coffee beans, cascara syrup adds more than just coffee flavor; it brings the essences of hibiscus and date with subtle tea-like citrus notes. I call this Abracadabra—the perfect drink to add a touch of magic to your summer. Abracadabra
1 3/4 oz Privateer White Rum 1 oz Amaro Nonino 1 /2 oz cascara syrup 1 1/4” slice of lemon 4 coffee beans Orange twist for garnish
Muddle the coffee beans and lemon slice in a shaker. Add rum, amaro, and cascara syrup. Fill with ice and seal the shaker. Shake hard for 20 seconds, then double strain the liquid with a hawthorne strainer and a fine mesh strainer into a martini or coupe glass. Garnish with your fancy orange twist. The perfect summer cocktail with a light coffee essence. ————————————————————— Brigette M.T. Sanchez is the founder of Ideal Mixology and head bartender at Fiorella’s Cucina. She is known for her unique cocktail creations and unrivaled hospitality. ©Brigette M.T. Sanchez
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Working from home? Growing your business? Need help? Our Virtual Assistants are on your side! Call or email today to see how we can help you do more. 617.605.5392 | www.mysideva.com | email@example.com
Delightfully Unexpected Treasures
Locally owned and operated Enjoy a free donut with any purchase at any of our Concord locations. Limit one per customer.
Stop by for some colorful summer flowers or shop online at ConcordFlowerShop.com Follow us on Facebook and Instagram (a_new_leaf_shop) to see specials
74 Commonwealth Ave. Concord MA 01742 | 978.341.8471
Delivery or Curbside Pickup Available.
135 Commonwealth Ave. in West Concord | www.concordflowershop.com | 978-369-2404
Arts Around Town BY CYNTHIA BAUDENDISTEL
Courtesy of Three Stones Gallery
Courtesy of Concord Free Public Library
Alyn Carlson, Willamaya series – Wings
Knock on Wood
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CONCORD FREE PUBLIC LIBRARY 129 Main Street | concordlibrary.org CONCERTS ON THE LAWN Join Friends of the Concord Free Public Library for performances by Rockabye Beats (July 7), Knock on Wood (July 14) and Pete Kilpatrick (July 21). Rockabye Beats is a fun, family group whose music is reminiscent of founder Marcos Valles’s Puerto Rico. Their songs offer a range of styles from rock n’ roll to calypso to funk and even blues. Enjoy movement, dancing, counting, singing, and a little bit of Spanish vocabulary. Their music will have you bopping and moving along in no time! Knock on Wood is a high-energy acoustic folk-rock duo, featuring singer-songwriter Howie Newman. Combining acoustic guitar with fiddle, mandolin and pleasing vocal harmonies, the duo performs classic rock covers and funny original music (suitable for all ages). Pete Kilpatrick is a Maine based singer/ songwriter who has released nine albums and has performed with artists like Dave Matthews Band, Blues Traveler, Barenaked Ladies, Marc Cohn (“Walking in Memphis”), David Gray and many others. His original music has been featured on over 15 network television shows including The Office, Parks and Recreation and New Girl. All concerts begin at 7:00 pm. WEST CONCORD WEST CONCORD SUMMER CONCERT SERIES Enjoy an evening of music at Rideout Park with three free concerts in July. The Reminisants will play on July 14, the Beantown Swing Orchestra on July 21, and Brandy on July 28. Bring a chair or a blanket and celebrate summer with an outdoor concert. All concerts are from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m. For more information, visit concordrec.com/1079/WestConcord-Summer-Concert-Series.
Courtesy of Concord Museum
VISUAL ARTS CONCORD MUSEUM 53 Cambridge Turnpike | concordmuseum.org SKETCHING WORKSHOP WITH LIVE SONGBIRDS Just as William Brewster put down his gun to study living birds, in this workshop, students will trade-in photographs for living songbirds to inspire their art. After touring the exhibit Alive with Birds with teaching artist and conservation biologist, Becky Harris, students will try their hand at capturing the essence of birds as they sketch live songbirds from Mass Audubon Drumlin Farm’s collection of wildlife ambassadors. In partnership with the Umbrella Arts Center and Mass Audubon. June 22 at 5:30 pm.
from three perspectives: Carlson’s collage portraits imagine strong personas empowered in their environments; Pearce’s paintings portray the intimate world of flora, while Kusiolek captures urban portraits with figures blurred in the city’s energy. Through July 10. THE UMBRELLA ARTS CENTER 40 Stow Street | theumbrellaarts.org WORK-IN-PROGRESS SHOW Immerse yourself in the creative process as Umbrella Studio artists bring their studios into the gallery, displaying their work-in-progress, inviting feedback, and allowing visitors insight into their creative process. Stop in again and again and watch their work evolve! August 5 through September 8.
LINOCUT PRINTMAKING WORKSHOP Join Sherrie York whose reduction linocut trunk show [Downy Woodpecker] is in Mass Audubon’s collection and currently exhibited in Alive with Birds at Concord Museum. In the workshop, students will tour the special exhibit and examine how some of the most wellregarded American artists have depicted birds and their habitats. Sherrie will demonstrate techniques of linocut relief printing and guide the students to make their own prints inspired by the natural world. In partnership with the Umbrella Arts Center and Mass Audubon. August 30 at 5:30 pm. THREE STONES GALLERY 32 Main Street | threestonesgallery.com URBAN + NATURAL + IMAGINED PORTRAITURE Alyn Carlson, Colleen Pearce, and Kevin Kusiolek examine portraiture
Courtesy of The Umbrella Arts Center
Courtesy of Concord Free Public Library
THEATRE CONCORD PLAYERS 51 Walden Street | concordplayers.org PERICLES, PRINCE OF TYRE A Shakespearean fairy tale, Pericles is a sprawling, epic adventure following the ups and downs of the Prince of Tyre. Princesses, shipwrecks, pirates, famine, riddles, and the triumph of love and purity. This show will have all of that packed into an enjoyable ninety minutes! Presented on the front lawn of Concord Free Public Library at 129 Main Street. July 23, 24, 29, 30 & 31.
The Pleasures of Summer in Concord
TEXT AND PHOTOGRAPHY BY DAVE WITHERBEE
Concord’s summer is lovely and comforting. Life slows down after the energetic buzz of spring. Our summers are a wonderful time to wander trails, jump into ponds, paddle rivers, and bump into old friends downtown. How nice it is to open the doors and windows and step outside to dine on a patio, either at home or at one of our local eateries. We are so fortunate to enjoy this special town with its unique and extensive history and the many wonders of a natural world. The sights of flowers full of color and the interesting insects and fascinating wildlife are part of the many reasons we need to get out and embrace summer’s soothing ways. Many of the beautiful flowers have valuable insects gathering nectar and pollinating the plants. Keep an eye out for them. As you enjoy nature, remember to look up. Someone may be watching over you - like this osprey. I always find this sight amusing. Summer is also a perfect time for many to connect with friends and family. It seems even the swans enjoy spending time together. So, take advantage of being able to sit outside with your favorite beverage and treat. Relax and soak in the pleasures of our summer.
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————————————————————————————————————— Dave Witherbee has been traveling the trails and rivers of Concord for 50 years and has been enchanted with the small and large aspects of its nature. Dave’s love of photography has enhanced the attraction.
Shop Locally and Make a Difference Here’s how much of your $100 purchase stays in your community when you spend at . . .
… an independent local store
… a local chain store
… a remote online store (if the delivery driver resides locally)
Source: American Independent Business Alliance
Experience sustainable farm to table cuisine right here in Experience sustainable farm to table cuisine right here in West Concord. Choose from fine dining at Woods Hill Table West Concord. Choose from fine dining at Woods Hill Table or relaxed, casual Mexican cuisine at Adelita! or relaxed, casual Mexican cuisine at Adelita! For more information, or to make a reservation, visit: For more information, or to make a reservation, visit: www.woodshilltable.com www.adelitaconcord.com www.woodshilltable.com www.adelitaconcord.com 978.254.1435 978.254.0710 978.254.1435 978.254.0710 We hope to see you soon! We hope to see you soon! Outdoor dining and curbside takeout available.
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Advertiser Index ARCHITECTURE, CUSTOM BUILDING & INTERIOR DESIGN 1 Appleton Design Group 77 Inkstone Architects 81 Platt Builders ARTS & ART SUPPLIES 59 Albright Art Supply BOOKS, MAGAZINES & SCHOLARLY WORKS 32 Barefoot Books 61 Barrow Bookstore CATERING, RESTAURANTS, AND SPECIALTY FOOD & WINE SHOPS 77 Adelita 32 Concord Cheese Shop 77 Concord Teacakes 82 Debra’s Natural Gourmet 71 Dunkin’ 51 Fiorella’s Cucina 61 Verrill Farm 65 West Concord Wine & Spirits 77 Woods Hill Table
EXPERIENTIAL 17 Concord Museum 50 Concord Players 51 The Umbrella Arts Center FLORISTS & GREENHOUSES 71 Concord Flower Shop HOME FURNISHINGS, DÉCOR & UNIQUE GIFTS 71 A New Leaf 71 Artisans Way 61 The Bee’s Knees British Imports 65 Concord Pillows 67 Joy Street Life + Home 29 Nesting 29 Patina Green 59 Revolutionary Concord 65 Woven Art
CLOTHING 59 Reflections
LODGING 5 Concord’s Colonial Inn 59 North Bridge Inn JEWELERS 29 Artinian Jewelery PROFESSIONAL SERVICES 50 Carleton-Willard Village 67 Georgina Krotje, Mobile Notary Public 22 The Monument Group Companies 71 My Side Virtual Assistant Professionals 78 Pierre Chiha Photographers
REAL ESTATE 3, 7 The Attias Group C2, 80 Barrett Sotheby’s Int’l Realty 33 Coldwell Banker Realty 10, 11, 23 Compass 9, 40 Engel & Völkers 25 Landvest 45 William Raveis TOYS 59
The Concord Toy Box
VISITOR RESOURCES 55 Concord Visitor Center
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59 Southfield Road, Concord
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Let it revolve around you. We’ve been building beautiful spaces for thirty years and will bring our expertise to create a space that connects you to Mother Nature the way you want.
Let’s work together. PLATTBUILDERS.COM | 978.448.9963 Photography by Greg Premru
After 33 Years, Help Us Celebrate Something Very Special
The Refillery is now OPEN! What will you find? First, you’ll find the best, most down-tothe-ROOTS-natural takeout kitchen in MA. Same as it ever was these last 33 years, but bigger, better ... whole grains, organic produce, pastured and free range, unrefined sweeteners. Pan-ethnic flavor bombs from vegan kitchari to Ethiopian Chicken Stew. You’ll find sushi — organic rice, sustainable fish. You’ll find over 400 bulk foods — 14 kinds of rice alone, 28 kinds of peas and beans (not including organic jelly beans!) Regular organic raw pecans, and wild-harvested sprouted Texas pecans. Chocolate chips. Fair-trade coffee from Dean’s and Equal Exchange. Even shichimi togarishi (look it up). Bring your own empty containers from home, or shop into a paper bag. Cleansers, too — even shampoo and laundry detergent in bulk. So come in and see us soon - there’s so much to celebrate!