An August 2002 trip
to Boston by kjlouden
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.
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 and others. At each location, a special student of that particular author makes his presentation in just half an hour, and then it's back in the bus for more intelligent commentary from a member of the Boston History Collaborative. No story of early Boston literary history is left untold. Since Longfellow's House is a National Historic Site, a park ranger may be on the premises--lucky for you, for he is absolutely the best speaker possible on the subject of the importance of this country's intellectual independence.
Attraction | "Longfellow House"
So, most of our half-hour at the Longfellow House was spent in the yard, but it was a wonderful and perfect old yard. The giant linden tree planted by Longfellow's wife is there, as well as an herb garden that I believe archaeology reconstructed as it was in the poet's day. Walking around the house, we found plenty of photo opps, as you can see.
One should not see this major site via "The Literary Trail" tour alone. It is certainly worth a trip back to Cambridge in the afternoon. Take the subway to Harvard Square and walk only a few blocks from there.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 28, 2002
Longfellow National Historic Site
105 Brattle St
Cambridge, Massachusetts 02138
+1 617 876 4491
Attraction | "The Concord Museum"
As with Longfellow House and Alcott House, we were forewarned not to tarry in the giftshop, so we didn't. We hurried back to the bus, anticipating that we would soon see Walden Pond, but if we drove past it, the tour guide must have been too busy talking about something else to point it out. We missed it, as well as a few other points on the tour. As we left the Concord Museum for Louisa May Alcott's house, we were made aware that our tour was not on schedule. Since this was the first run for this tour, I imagine it will be revised or managed differently in the future.
200 Lexington Road
Concord, Massachusetts 01742
Attraction | "Orchard House (Louisa May Alcott House)"
The house definitely has its charm! The curtains, linens, pictures, all are displayed and arranged with historical accuracy. The sister's drawings on the walls, all there. Even Bronson Alcott's "school" he built and taught in there in the back yard. This was the highlight of "The Literary Trail" for most of the guests, though I had to vote for Longfellow's house. This cultural site somehow communicates the great love and admiration American has for Louisa May Alcott.
Louisa May Alcott's Orchard House
399 Lexington Road
Concord, Massachusetts 01742
Attraction | ""Literary Trail of Boston": Self-guided or Not?"
So, if you want to tour a site out in Concord, better call first to make sure it will be open when you get there. The web address above lists 17 sites (with links) on this tour and explains the self-guided tour, which is only $19, instead of $30. You can visit each website individually, check hours and directions, and decide if you want to navigate yourself in and around Boston. You may be able to see more--if you live through the experience! (Boston web sites do warn tourists not to drive in Boston anytime soon.) However, if you go on your own, you can visit the sites the tour only drives by.
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
West Virginia, United States