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“A must, to truly understand Concord's history”
Review of The Old Manse

The Old Manse
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Go Boston Card
Ranked #7 of 31 things to do in Concord
Certificate of Excellence
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Owner description: The first shots of the Revolutionary War were fired nearby – and, less than a century later, Emerson, Hawthorne, and Thoreau spawned a revolution in American philosophy from here.
Level 5 Contributor
91 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 40 helpful votes
“A must, to truly understand Concord's history”
Reviewed June 8, 2013

We had a wonderful tour (approx 90 min) of the Old Manse with a small group. The Old Manse served as a home and intellectual gathering place for generations of Concord families and historic personalities, including Emerson, Thoreau, Fuller, and Hawthorne. (As a note: It is helpful to have some historical background to really enjoy this tour). The tour guide was engaging and very knowledgeable about American history which set the context for understanding the history of the house, the interrelationships of the families, transcendentalism, and the individual personalities of the many people of historic importance who lived there. There is also a wonderful bookshop staffed by people who knew about each one of the books on display. There are opportunities for tours of the beautiful outdoor gardens and property. A tent set up to the left of the Old Manse was a comfortable and private setting for a group picnic following the tour.

Visited June 2013
2 Thank happyinboston
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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92 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • English first
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English first
Level 4 Contributor
25 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“A wonderful feeling inside..”
Reviewed October 21, 2012

We visited the Old Manse while in Concorde and were thrilled with the informative tour. The guide had lots of great historical information regarding the home, and we enjoyed walking around the grounds, seeing the vegetable garden Thoreau planted as a honeymoon gift to Nathaniel and Sofia, and walking down to the boat house near the North Bridge. Although were not able to take pictures inside, we were allowed to try out the piano in the parlour. A wonderful warm feeling in this house, no wonder so many people felt at home here. We look forward to our next visit to Concord when we will be sure to visit again.

Visited July 2012
Thank djeros
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Decatur, Georgia
Level 5 Contributor
78 reviews
19 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Maybe not for everyone . . . but we loved it!”
Reviewed October 11, 2012

Dgoldyn is right--your enjoyment of this place may well depend on your level of interest in Hawthorne and/or Emerson. But I can't imagine anyone visiting this place without being moved by the writing etched onto the windowpanes . . . made by Sophia Hawthorne's (Nathaniel's wife) diamond engagement ring. Some are her own poetic words about the snow and ice outside the window; some are Hawthorne's and her notes to and/or about each other. Hard to believe the glass survived so long! Also, if you're lucky, your tour guide will ask if anyone plays piano . . . and you'll be allowed to play (gently) the rare antique Steinway in the parlor. This was the only historic house where I was allowed to touch anything! And no, Hawthorne was not a Transcendentalist . . . he was a contemporary of the Transcendentalists, but he was a skeptic.

Visited October 2012
1 Thank hypatia
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
fort lauderdale, Fl
Level 6 Contributor
114 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Depends on your interest in Hawthorne and Emerson.”
Reviewed September 4, 2012

I found this to be a very dull and uninteresting house. It is however surrounded by the wonderful park around it which is quite specatcular. If you are fascinated by Hawthrone and Emerson, I guess the house is okay. The grounds of the start of the Revolutionary Ware around it are way more fascinating. I would skip the house unless you love Emerson and Hawthorne.

Visited September 2012
Thank dgoldyn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Rainbow Lake, New York, United States
Level 6 Contributor
206 reviews
65 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 110 helpful votes
“Taking In The Old Manse”
Reviewed July 30, 2012

Ok, so maybe you're not a Transcendentalist (or thought if was a tooth specialist) a visit to Concord, Mass. would not, read not, be complete without a visit to the Old Manse. This house has hosted the likes of Emerson, Hawthorne and Thoreau among others. Being the birthday place of the American Transcendental movement, it is a must see place for historians, serious readers or anyone interested in what it was like to live the life of a philosopher. It is within sight of the famous Concord Bridge where the first shots of the American Revolution were fired. The Concord River flows slowly past the backyard. The guided tour was informative and worth every penny of admission. It was much more than just another old house tour. You were given interesting details and backgrounds of the many residents. Helpful hint: look for the poems etched into the glass window panes by a wedding diamond. Do you and your family a favor by enriching your understanding of American History at it's most fascinating.

Visited April 2012
2 Thank Patrick E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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