Monday, October 02, 2006

Orchard House

Took another day trip to Concord, MA to see Orchard House where Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women. The leaves are beginning to change and the walk there was very enjoyable. The employees were very welcoming and the grounds were nicely kept. The visit started in the building where Bronson Alcott, Louisa May's father, held philosophical discussion groups. He was one of the leaders of the transcendentalist movement, and also a man who struggled financially for decades. In later years proceeds from Louisa May Alcott's writing helped to support the family.

The docent was young and did an outstanding job at the Orchard House. First she asked for a show of hands of those who had read the book Little Women. Some of us had not. So her tour made references to the book that were easy to follow. Her explanations were clear and concise. She also showed some feeling for the Alcotts and their belief systems. As on any good tour she had amusing anecdotes such as the origin of the phrase "Pop goes the weasel." It comes from a device called a weasel that twirls yarn and compresses with a loud pop at the end.

There were many visitors for a Monday in early October. The whole experience was very pleasant. The guide helped me find the postcards that I wanted to purchase in the store. Concord is such a friendly place to visit. This morning I encountered several walkers who all smiled and said "hello." Someday I hope to take a tour of the Wayside where Louisa May Alcott and later Nathaniel Hawthorne and his wife Sophia lived.


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