Adorned with lush trees and shrubbery, the home of philosopher and essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) sits on two acres of land in Concord, Mass.
After he purchased the home in 1835 (then called the Coolidge house), he wrote this letter to his brother on July 27:
Has Charles told you that I have dodged the doom of building & have bought the Coolidge house in Concord with the expectation of entering it next September. It is a mean place & cannot be fine until trees & flowers give it a character of its own. But we shall crowd so many books & papers & if possible, wise friends, into it that it shall have as much wit as it can carry.
The house served as a central location for Emerson’s writing and the American Transcendentalist movement. Still owned by the family, the house contains the original furniture and items from when Emerson and his wife, Lidian, lived there. The house serves as a museum and is open for tours during non-Covid times.
Interesting side notes: Henry David Thoreau also lived here with the Emersons for a handful of years off and on. And Louisa May Alcott’s home (to come on a future post) is .2 miles down the street.
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson
For more details, visit ralphwaldoemersonhouse.org.