Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Our Days in Boston


We stayed with the Composer's first cousin once-removed (fancy for his dad's cousin) in a little township west of Boston. I'd never been to New England before and was unprepared for the late-winter beauty of the still-bare hardwood forests, the pristine white buildings, and the stonework.


Cousin Robert is a historic preservationist so we kind of landed on our feet there in terms of old buildings! They put us up in the Shaker house they hauled over the highway and attached to their home. Beautiful.


 Tuesday we stopped by the *really* old house Robert has been restoring for seven years (that's his job). These are the set kettles in the basement--so handy for your cheese-making.



We were nearby, so we stopped at Fruitlands, the failed Transcendental utopia perched on a barren hillside, where Bronson Alcott dragged his long-suffering family. I've never been a fan of his.


Then we went into Concord and saw every inch of Orchard House, Louisa May Alcott's family home. 80% of the furnishings were used by the Alcott family. There were Flying Geese quilts on the beds that apparently Marmee had stitched.


No pictures were allowed in the house, but this is the charming exterior (I dressed to match the front door).


That evening we came back to our hosts' home and the Composer walked over to the common. The church was open and he was invited in to play the organ! Sadly I missed it as I was cooking dinner for us all.




I couldn't get over how much history is still standing around there. Here's the stone pen for any stray animals that wandered around--they were impounded and their owners had to spring them with a fee.


We completed our Boston adventures by shopping at two choice fabric stores--Mercer Fabrics in Beacon Hill (multiple stars for its friendly proprietor and fine selection--stop in if you're around and pick up one of their totally charming calling cards with a hedgehog on it). The other was Gather Here, in Cambridge--bigger, with a few more basics, but not half the cozy charm of Mercer!



15 comments:

Lisa said...

I'm glad your New England trip brought you to so many interesting places. That stone wall is beautiful.

Lisateresa

Rose said...

Thanks for sharing those photos Anna, especially the Alcott home, Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy are great favourites of mine. My brother's middle name was "Laurie" after Laurie in LW. It's interesting to hear your impressions of New England, it's certainly a part of the States I hope to visit one day.

Jacquie said...

Hi! I've been a long time reader of your blog but never commented. As soon as I started reading your latest post I recognized that now red house immediately!! Such a small world - I grew up and still live down the road, as kids we would walk down and check out the Clydesdale horses the owners at that time had. Our town is a very special one. So glad you enjoyed your visit!!

donaleen said...

I used to live in that area and have been to Fruitlands. You didn't mention the Shaker house, which I loved. And didn't Louisa Alcott live at Fruitlands? I seem to remember an attic room where she liked to listen to the rain on the roof.

I found New England rather stifling all in all. I lived there 20 stifled years...

Sarah said...

Your husband's cousin must have interesting work. I instantly thought of "This Old House", they seem to always be working in the Boston area. We visited Orchard House when I was a teen. Being a huge fan of Louisa May Alcott, it was a dream come true. It is so much like walking into the book "Little Women".

carolg said...

Isn't Orchard House wonderful? And the stone walls are my Single favorite thing about New England! I bought my house largely because it had a stone wall on the property !

seashoreknits said...

I truly love New England and have only visited there once.
Many years ago my husband and I flew to Vermont - stayed in a charming B&B in Bennington - and drove around seeing so many beautiful homes and churches and museums. We timed it during leaf season and even with the increase in visitors it never felt crowded anywhere. We had a wonderful three days that I will always remember. So glad you got to go, Anna! I would have loved visiting Orchard House

Wendi Brant said...

I love New England. I wish we could live there, but it's too expensive for a large family on one income!

MamaBirdEmma said...

We're hoping to take a trip to Boston this coming summer and I cannot wait! Thanks for whetting my appetite! I'm really looking forward to Orchard House and my own visit to the shops you mentioned!

Terri Cheney said...

I'm new to your blog...I was much amused by your comment about Alcott...I never could abide the man either, and the more I've read of him the less I like him and the more fond I become of Louisa for apparently not turning up bitter!

Shelley said...

Thanks for sharing your trip. Hope to visit New England one day. Your comment about Bronson Alcott struck me particularly as I have always thought ill of him myself. I thought it was sad she died so remarkably soon after he did.

Brenda@CoffeeTeaBooks said...

My daughter lives in Massachusetts and I fall in love with New England all over again when we visit. Last year our visit coincided (on purpose) with the May Brimfield flea market. It is amazing.

Rose said...

I meant to mention the other day "they were impounded and their owners had to spring them with a fee." I've never heard the word "spring" used that way before but it's quite apt.

Farrah said...

I want to see Alcott Family Home! I too have some issues with her father. Not a fan, but she seemed to care for him.

Camden said...

I'm so thrilled you all came up to visit us here in Beantown! I'm glad (or at least I hope) that neither the inhabitants nor the weather were as cold as reputed! Congratulations to your husband on a difficult run. I've seen seven - four as a student in the Wellesley Scream Tunnel and three with my daughter at our own impromptu scream tunnel at mile 24. What a delightful day it was of which to be a part!

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