On Hallowed Ground: Louisa May Alcott’s House

Louisa May Alcott's houseThere are two things that this blog makes clear that I love: Star Wars (original trilogy only, thank you very much) and Louisa May Alcott. Today, I’ll spare you my thoughts on the former and focus instead on the latter. This blog got its name from Jo March’s description of her writing in Little Women, after all.

So it was a special treat to recently visit Orchard House, the Alcott family’s home for many years, and where Louisa wrote Little Women—with a group of fellow writers and dear friends.

My fellow literary pilgrims: Samantha, Karyn, Susanna, and Kerri.

Alas, the good folks at Orchard House won’t let you take pictures inside the house, or else I’d flood this blog with pictures of her writing desk or the drawings that her youngest sister May (who was the inspiration for Amy March in the book) created on the walls of her bedroom.

But I can tell you this: being in this house and stepping through the rooms where Louisa May Alcott lived and wrote is, for me, treading on hallowed ground. I realize that for most people the idea of a pilgrimage involves a journey that’s religious in nature. For me, it’s always literary.

Louisa May Alcott's house
Bronson Alcott’s small school house is on the same property on which the family lived.

Whether it’s sitting in Edith Wharton’s garden, pretending to be Anne of Green Gables on Prince Edward Island, exploring my first moor (HEATHCLIFF!), or walking down the very street in Bath upon which Anne Elliott and Captain Wentworth finally, irrevocably, pledged themselves to each other in Persuasion, my idea of sacred ground is almost always tied to the books I love.

And Orchard House is no exception. So, I want to share these pictures of this lovely place—and the ladies with whom I got to share the experience—with you. I hope you enjoy them…and maybe even share some memories of your own favorite literary pilgrimages!

Louisa May Alcott's house
Did Louisa May Alcott once sit in this very spot? One can only dream….


Writen by Cynthia

2 thoughts on “On Hallowed Ground: Louisa May Alcott’s House

  1. I love this house too. I’ve been reading about Louisa all my life and have recently gotten into her books (yes, I know, I got it backwards! :-)). I’ve visited many times but the first time I remember it being a pilgrimage was after reading Madeleine B. Stern’s biography, Louisa May Alcott. For the first time I noticed May’s drawings and paintings on the wall and was totally enchanted. I could just feel the family there with me and I’ve felt that way every other time I go and visit.

    The house next door, The Wayside, is a fun tour as well. That house belonged to Nathaniel Hawthorne. He added a three-story tower so he could have a special place to write. Harriet Lothrop (aka Margaret Sidney, author of The Five Little Peppers) and her family lived there as well and added on a beautiful veranda. The Alcotts lived there previous to the Hawthornes – Bronson took a workshop that was on the property, split it in two and added to each end of the house! You can imagine, the house is a total mishmash and it makes for a really fun tour.

    Next weekend I am touring Emerson’s house with a dear friend. Can’t wait!

    By the way, I blog about Louisa if you want to stop by for a visit – http://www.louisamayalcottismypassion.com.

    1. The Wayside was closed for renovations, or else we would have stopped in there, too. And we did make our way to Emerson’s house later that day–the tour was fascinating! Thanks for dropping a line–and letting me know about your blog. 🙂

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