Sunday, October 08, 2006

Saturday 9th September: Concord and Caulfield

I'd formally allocated Saturday as being my rest day for recovering from the journey - but there again it was also my friend Nicole Caulfield's birthday. Fellow Fine Line Artist Nicole lives in New Hampshire and she was kindly offering me hospitality during this trip.

We decided the best compromise was that she should have a 'day off' from being a young Mum and would drive down to where I was and then we'd then 'do something'. Which is how we came to visit Concord. I don't tend to sketch much on the first day - so this post is mainly photos in and around Concord.

I found Concord to be an amazing centre for a number of different aspects of American history. On April 19, 1775, the American Revolution - the war between Britain and 12 British colonies - began with the Battles of Lexington and Concord - a clash of arms known to history as "the shot heard round the world."

It was also home to a number of very well known authors - Nathanial Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Louisa May Alcott and also became the birthplace of the Transcendatalistism.

We started off at Concord Museum which has a comprehensive account of the events associated with Concord and the lives of Concord's local residents - the Algonkians, Puritans, Revolutionaries, Loyalists, Farmers, Silversmiths, Transcendentalists, Cabinetmakers, Anti-Slavery Activists and Mill-Workers.

There are excellent displays of the events associated with 1785 and the recreation of Emerson's study and Thoreau's room together with typical rooms showing the decorative arts used by different people in Concord in the 17th, 18th, and 19th-century were all fascinating. We both enjoyed inspecting the artwork!

We then admired the house where Ralph Waldo Emerson lived. This is almost opposite the Museum, situated at the end of the Cambridge Turnpike at the juntion with the Lexington Road.

After that, we travelled to the north of Concord to visit the Old North Bridge and Minute Man National Historical Park.


Next to the Old North Bridge is the Old Manse in which Nathaniel Hawthorne lived after his marriage and where he wrote "Mosses from an Old Manse". I'm afraid I was rather more interested in composing pictures with my camera as the late afternoon sun was turning the grass a sunlit golden colour.


The Old North Bridge is where colonial militia men were first ordered to fire upon British regulars. It forms part of the Minute Man National Park. This preserves and protects the significant historic sites, structures, properties, and landscapes associated with the opening battles of the American Revolution. We arrived to see a guide explaining what ocurred at the Bridge in 1775 to a large of group of people from (I think) Korea.


Finally we walked down the Lexington Road to visit Orchard House, which was the home of author Louisa May Alcott from the age of eight.

The house's website states:
Louisa May Alcott wrote her classic work, Little Women, here in 1868 at a "shelf" desk built by her father especially for her. She also set Little Women in this home, causing guests to comment that "a visit to Orchard House is like walking through the book!" There have been no major structural changes to the site since the Alcotts’ time of residence. Approximately 75% of the furnishings were owned by the Alcotts, and the rooms look very much as they did when the family lived there.
Personally I disliked the house's very dismal brown colour and to be honest it doesn't really look like it could possibly be the prototype for the home of all those 'Little Women'. You can decide for yourself as you can view the room's on the website here. It had closed by the time we got there so I wasn't actually able to see inside but is open to the public as is the Emerson House and the Old Manse.

And I'm being good - I haven't posted any of the photos of Nicole eating birthday goodies but being as we were in New England it did feature some of Vermont's finest!

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1 comment:

  1. OH I LOVE THESE SITES!! THOSE HOMES ARE BEAUTIFUL!! AND THE CARAMEL ICE CREAM!! YUMMMMMMMMMMM!

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