Brides House

The Brides House was constructed by Josiah Davis as a double house in Concord, Mass., around 1790.

Davis, who had a nearby house and dry goods store, owned this house until about the mid-1830’s, and among his tenants were some of Concord’s most well-known citizens.

Author and historian Lemuel Shattuck lived here from 1823 to 1834, when he moved to Boston to become a publisher and book dealer. Much of the work for his 1835 History of Concord must have been done while he lived in this house.

While in Concord, Shattuck was a master of the Masonic Lodge, School Committee member and Superintendent of the Sunday School. His first report on the town schools was published in 1830. When he was a member of the state legislature, he initiated a law requiring every Massachusetts town to prepare an annual school report.

Later, Shattuck became a prominent genealogist and statistician, and was called to Washington to help prepare the census of 1850. Today he is recognized as the father of public health work, and in 1954, the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital was named after him.

The family of John Thoreau, including the young Henry David Thoreau, lived here for a year from 1826-1827.

Ebenezer Rockwood Hoar was an occupant shortly before 1845, when his own house was built down the street.

Dr. Josiah Bartlett and his wife lived here for a few years after their marriage. In fact, so many newlyweds rented the building that it became known colloquially as “the brides’ house.”

By 1850, Deacon John Brown Jr. lived in the west half, while tenants in the east part included a Dr. Smith and a Mrs. Burr, who ran a boarding house in the building, and a Miss Mackay.

Deacon Brown eventually took over the whole house, and built a stable out back. In 1845, Brown started a dry goods business. After a stint with J.P. Heywood in the old green store, Brown bought the Wardwell Company and established hi s own store on the north side.

In 1861, he moved his business to the south side, then elsewhere in 1873. His son, Charles, joined him in the business, which became Charles E . Brown Drygoods.

John Brown was a Deacon in the First Parish Church, and became Parish Clerk when the church separated from the town in 1855. He lived here for 50 years, and after his death, the house was owned and occupied by his granddaughter and her husband Hugh F . Leith.

In 1928, Frederic and Julia Gooding bought it, and their heirs sold it to Concord Academy in 1984. The school calls it the Aloian House, after former headmaster, David Aloian.

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