|Ralph Waldo Emerson House-Concord|
|America's most eminent 19th-century philosopher, lecturer and man of letters lived for many years in his Concord home.|
"Bush," the house of Ralph Waldo Emerson in Concord MA is across the street from the Concord Museum, a ten-minute walk east of Monument Square (map).
Emerson Family Home
Built in 1829 as a summer house by the Coolidge family, the house was bought by Emerson as a family residence in July 1835.
The house was a center for meetings of Emerson and his friends, and still contains original furniture and Emerson's memorabilia.
It was here that Emerson wrote his famous essays The American Scholar and Self Reliance, here that he entertained Bronson and Louisa May Alcott, his aunt Mary Moody Emerson, Margaret Fuller, Henry David Thoreau, and many others.
The Great Fire
On July 24, 1872, the house caught fire and was heavily damaged. Luckily there was no serious injury, all of the Emersons escaped, and Emerson's papers were not lost.
Without consulting Emerson, his neighbors took up a collection to pay for repairs. This allowed Emerson to journey to Europe and to Egypt—as he had always dreamed of doing—while repairs were being made. In 1873 the Emersons returned to live in the house, surprised by a town-wide celebration of the event.
Death of Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson died here in 1882. In 1890, his wife Lidian Emerson died here, and was buried next to her husband on Authors Ridge in Concord's Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.
The Emersons' daughter Ellen Tucker Emerson, who did not marry, continued to live in the house until her death in 1909. Other friends and relatives lived here until 1948.
Emerson House Museum
"Bush" is still owned by the Emerson family, which has opened it to visitors as a private museum.
Today the house is much the same as when the Emerson family lived in it, although Ralph Waldo Emerson's library is now in Harvard University's Houghton Library, and the furnishings of Emerson's study are on display across the street in the Concord Museum.
The Emerson house is open for visits from late April through late October, Thursday through Saturday from 10 am to 4:30 pm, Sunday 1 to 4:30 pm. Seniors (62+) and students (7 to 17) are favored with discounted admission charges; kids under 7 get in free. The house is closed Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and all winter.
Behind the Emerson house, a footpath called the Emerson-Thoreau Amble leads across a bridge over the Mill Brook and through the Hapgood Wright Town Forest to Walden Pond, much as Emerson might have walked there. More...
Ralph Waldo Emerson House