August 2014, Concord

old manse

the old manse, concord (sonya kovacic)

the old manse, concord (sonya kovacic)

Along the banks of the Concord River (about 20 miles north of Boston) stands the Old Manse – a home that predates America's founding. Built in 1769, this house was in earshot of the beginning of the Revolutionary War.

It didn't become well-known, however, until Ralph Waldo Emerson took up residence in 1834. It's where he wrote the first draft of his essay "Nature", which laid the foundation for the Transcendentalist movement.

Emerson also hosted several of his peers in Concord, including Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, and Nathaniel Hawthorne. In fact, Hawthorne and his wife moved into the Manse in 1842, where he wrote several works during his stay. Interestingly, Thoreau planted a vegetable garden for the couple, which has recently been restored.

(The home is currently preserved as a museum, which offers tours throughout the year.

In a total disregard for their security deposit, Nathaniel and Sophia Hawthorne etched love notes to each other into the Manse's windowpanes. They are still visible today — see pictures here.