Concord Academy is uniquely situated in one of the most important towns in American history. An original colonial settlement, Concord was established in the early 1600s and remained a prominent landmark in art, literature and revolution. Concord remains chock-full of historical monuments, many of which are a short bike ride from CA. Literary giants such as Louisa May Alcott and Henry David Thoreau resided in Concord during the peaks of their respective careers. This brief tour of Concord’s rich history will start just moments from campus at the Concord Bookshop.
Founded in 1940, the Concord Bookshop is a quaint, independent bookstore with an impressive and diverse catalog. They offer a large collection of nonfiction chronicling the history of Concord and its neighboring towns. They also boast a variety of literature authored by both historical and contemporary writers from Concord and its neighboring towns.
The Concord Museum is dedicated to the preservation of Concord’s history while providing the public with education surrounding the town. The museum holds a number of historical documents, artifacts and art pieces. Some of their must-see memorabilia include Paul Revere’s Lantern, Thoreau’s Spyglass and an original print of “The Bloody Massacre” dating back to 1770. Hour-long tours are offered as well as tickets for general admission.
Old North Bridge
Old North Bridge is the site of the first encounter between the British and American troops on April 19, 1775, cited as the official start of the Revolutionary War. The British troops marched in Concord and fired warning shots at the American militiamen. Americans responded by firing back at the British army. This encounter was coined by Ralph Waldo Emerson as “The Shot Heard Round The World.” Old North Bridge has since been converted into a lush garden and a popular site for fishing and boating.
Louisa May, Hawthorne, Emerson Houses
Quintessential American authors Louisa May Alcott (The Orchard House), Nathaniel Hawthorne (The Wayside) and Ralph Waldo Emerson (The Ralph Waldo Emerson House) all lived in Concord for a considerable portion of their lives and writing careers. Both Alcott and Hawthorne lived in the Wayside at different times. Currently, all of their houses have been transformed into museums or educational properties.
Walden Pond is a global attraction that brings in thousands of tourists every year as the site of Henry David Thoreau’s transcendentalist book, “Walden.” The book chronicles Thoreau’s time living in a small cabin beside Walden Pond as he grappled with themes of independence and spirituality. Walden Pond is the perfect place for a swim on a hot summer day. You can often see people hiking, boating or fishing throughout the pond, or simply soaking in the sun on the beach.
The Robbins House is a monumental landmark in both Black and American History. Multiple Black families and generations resided in the Robbins House, many of which were major contributors in the establishment of America and/or advocates for the abolishment of slavery and the pursuit of women’s rights. Bought in 1823 by Peter Robbins for $260, the Robbins House has since been turned into a small museum with frequent tours available.
Sleepy Hollow Cemetery
Sleepy Hollow Cemetery is the final resting place for many of the literary greats mentioned above, as well as their relatives. A large portion of the cemetery, known as Author’s Row, is where you can find many of their gravestones. The Cemetary is the perfect place for a stroll and is now curated with bright flowers and manicured gardens.