Boston Journals

Boston's Newest Tour: The Literary Trail

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An August 2002 trip to Boston by kjlouden

Longfellow National Historic Site Photo, Boston, Massachusetts More Photos
Quote: "The Literary Trail" promised 3 half-hour stops out of the bus and 14 other sights, narrated by the Boston History Collaborative. This was the first date for the three-hour tour that is planned for the second Saturday of every month.

Boston's Newest Tour: The Literary Trail

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Overview

An Early Walk on the Commons before the Tour Photo, Boston, Massachusetts
Quote:
Offered by the Boston History Collaborative, this brand new (this month) three-hour theme tour can be viewed at this site and must be booked in advance for the second Saturday only of any month. Note both a guided (bus) and a self-guided version with book. We took the bus tour, which leaves from Omni Parker House, School St. entrance, at 9:00 am. Pre-determined highlights include Henry Wadsworth Longfellow's house in Cambridge, perchance a stop at the gift shop there; the Concord Museum with a guided tour by Henry David Thoreau himself (honest); and a guided tour of Bronson Alcott's home, where Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women ...Read More

Longfellow National Historic Site

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Attraction | "Longfellow House"

Longfellow National Historic Site Photo, Boston, Massachusetts
Quote:
Some of the greatest writers had the most perfect houses, and this one is a national treasure. The disappointing thing about "The Literary Trail" was that we couldn't really "tour" it! I believe we were led in the back door and out the front--a path from the giftshop through the hallway of the home. We stopped in the hallway, where we could "look" into two rooms, one on the right and one on the left, the parlor and Longfellow's study. After five minutes in the hallway, we were led into the yard, where the park ranger told us to "Gather round" and gave us an amazingly inspired speech on the importance of this home and of Longfellow and the other Cambridge artists who visited him here. In other wor...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 28, 2002

Longfellow National Historic Site
105 Brattle St
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
+1 617 876 4491

Concord Museum

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Attraction | "The Concord Museum"

Concord Museum Photo, Concord, Massachusetts
Quote:
Our tour focused on only the literary items in the Museum, mostly some belongings of Henry David Thoreau. Boston has its literary and political "actors," you know, who "play" everyone from Ben Franklin to Thoreau. So this present day Thoreau told us about himself and then let us ask questions. He dispelled some myths and told some true stories in their place, most of them concerning Thoreau's relationship with Emerson and the contrast of their personalities. Anyone who was forced to read these characters in American lit class would appreciate the verbal frollick. As with Longfellow House and Alcott House, we were forewarned not to tarry in the giftshop, so we didn't. We hurried back ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 28, 2002

Concord Museum
200 Lexington Road
Concord, Massachusetts 01742
(978) 369-9763

Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House

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Attraction | "Orchard House (Louisa May Alcott House)"

Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House Photo, Concord, Massachusetts
Quote:
Orchard House is a little smaller and not quite as perfect as the house in the movie, which I believe was a home in Sturbridge Village. Still, I had trouble picturing Louisa May Alcott here with her mother, instead of Winona Ryder with Susan Sarandon. Which sister was it did the artwork? It's there! Remember Dad, who was away at battle in the Civil War? That was really Louisa, who volunteered as a nurse. And, actually, Louisa was in her twenties when the family moved into this house, where she wrote her novels, but picturing her childhood here was an artistic choice--perhaps she thought the house was just so perfect she wanted to remember her whole life with her family as though it had happened ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 28, 2002

Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House
399 Lexington Road
Concord, Massachusetts 01742
(978) 369-4118

Literary Trail of Greater Boston

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Attraction | ""Literary Trail of Boston": Self-guided or Not?"

Literary Trail of Greater Boston Photo, Boston, Massachusetts
Quote:
This tour is an exercise in appreciation of the spirit of independence that began in Boston to define this country--that's what the tour guide told us. She was referring to the difficulty in scheduling more than the three stops along the way, since the museum homes in Cambridge & Concord refuse to open and close at about the same time. Some do not open until noon, when the tour is finished. I and my companion found this curious in a city so full of history. We also found it disappointing, since Boston's public transit doesn't go to these sites in Concord. Some of our country's most important literary and historic sites, then, are inaccessible to tourists using either public transit or regula...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on August 28, 2002

Literary Trail of Greater Boston
650 Beacon St
Boston, Massachusetts 02115
+1 617 350 0358