March 13, 2017

Greetings from Concord, Mass.


Here are my notes and some questionable snapshots from a little after work adventure outside Boston, with apologies to Karen Kalutz, Mr. Thoreau, and the author of my beloved "Little Women."--Jenny Maxwell

The shot heard round the world.

The home of Walden Pond and Little Women.

The source of Concord grapes.

As the summer wound down, Karen Kalutz and I were ready to lead a two-day workshop on the outskirts of Boston. But we were totally unprepared for the bonus we were about to discover—a side trip to the remarkable town of Concord, Massachusetts.

Through a combination of wandering, Google maps, and the kindness of local residents, here’s what we discovered:

Not quite ankle deep in Walden Pond

Walden Pond

Bring your bathing suit and you can swim in THE Walden Pond….or you can just take your shoes off and wade in it, as I did. Trails take you to the site of Henry David Thoreau’s cabin and at another spot near the parking lot, you stand in a replica of the cabin.

Concord grapes in Concord, Mass.

Concord Grapes

You can see them growing in downtown Concord, a grape cultivated here in 1849 by Ephraim Wales Bull to withstand cold New England winters. 

Louisa May Alcott house selfie

 Louisa May Alcott’s House

Called Orchard House, this is the place where Alcott wrote Little Women. The night before we visited, a tornado had ripped through….and a tree fell, barely missing the house. Whew.

Sleepy Hollow cemetery

Author’s Ridge at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery

The graves markers here give you an idea of the many great writers who made Concord home, including Alcott, Thoreau, Ralph Waldo Emerson and Nathaniel Hawthorn. (P.S.--This is not the headless horseman Sleepy Hollow.)

Crossing the Old North Bridge

Old North Bridge

This is where “the shot heard round the world” was fired, part of Minute Man National Historic Park

One of several places in the town's center for a nice meal.

The Colonial Inn

Built in 1716, the inn, particularly its porch restaurant, was recommended to us by locals as a good spot for a glass of wine or dinner—and we had both.

We spent two evenings exploring Concord, and though it’s a small town, we could’ve used more hours to see the rest of the history preserved here. If you’re in the Boston area and looking for a day trip or a place to spend a few hours, check it out. Here’s a guide that includes everything we enjoyed and more. 

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