A bridge between Minute Men and Little Women
American history and its important places, as well as its culture, were being placed on pedestals, literally and figuratively in the 19th century. Concord is the place to go and see this story.
A walk into classic literature
My wife and I have visited Concord, Massachusetts several times as it is only about an hour and a half down the road from our home in New Hampshire. She loves Little Women and so Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House is on our to-do list each time we go. Our son has recently shown interest in the story thanks to some of the movie versions we have watched as a family.
The tour of Orchard House is essentially a walk into Louisa May's famous book, as it is the setting for Little Women, just as her family is the inspiration for the March family in the text. Orchard House opened as a house museum in 1911, an era which saw some noticeable changes in how museums operated. House museums in particular matched up nicely to a society who was becoming more familiar each day with being invited into stories by way of motion pictures. This popular culture trend of the early 20th century, coupled with Little Women being in its second generation of inspiring readers, we can be sure that visitors to Orchard House came from all over the country and beyond, rather than just the greater Boston area.
The shot (eventually) heard around the world
Just down the street and around a corner from Orchard House is North Bridge, the site of April 19th, 1775 clash between British raiders and colonial militiamen, and now part of Minute Man National Historical Park. We followed those directions after buying some postcards at the museum gift shop. Lessons about the battle itself are taught through placards, but stories of how the residents of Concord have preserved and recognized the location’s significance through the years are on display as well.
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