In our new Historic Concord series, Patch sits down with Curator of the Ralph Waldo Emerson House, Marie Gordinier, to learn more about this great American landmark.
Ralph Waldo Emerson was one of the 19th century's greatest minds. Lecturer, poet, essayist, and leader of the transcendentalist and naturalist movements that persist today, Emerson was a marvelous thinker that moved thought and script in bold and invigorating directions.
One of Emerson's biggest admirers is Marie Gordinier, the Curator of the Emerson House located at 28 Cambridge Turnpike – the place Emerson, his wife, Lidian Jackson Emerson, and their four children called home for over 46 years, from 1835, until his death in 1882.
When asked why Emerson choose Concord to rest his hat, Gordinier explained, “His grandfather, Reverend William Emerson, built The Old Manse and Emerson spent some boyhood Summers at the Manse and also some time as an adult before he purchased his home. He was familiar with Concord and wanted to be out of the city.”
Gordinier also mentioned that Henry David Thoreau, one of Emerson compatriots in literature and philosophy, lived with the Emerson's during various stages of his live.
“Today, the Emerson Family descendants share in the ownership of the house,” she said.
During his time in Concord, Emerson wrote such canonized pieces as Nature (1836) and Self Reliance (1841), his two most prominent works.
“For Emerson devotees it is a pilgrimage,” explained Gordinier. “The interior of the house remains much as it was in Emerson's lifetime. Furnishing original. The tour begins in Emerson's study where visitors are invited to sit. A study where Emerson met with Margaret Fuller, Bronson Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne and many others.”
The Emerson House's schedule for this year is now until October 23. The Emerson House is open Thursday through Sunday; Thursday, Friday, Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Sunday 1- 4:30 p.m.
Prices for general admission is $8, and $6 for those over 62, or from seven to 17 years of age. Children under seven get in for free.
All showings of the Emerson House are guided by Gordinier. Group or personal tours can be scheduled by calling 978-369-2236 or emailing Gordinier directly at, Marie.Gordinier@comcast.net. Gordinier noted that due to the sensitive nature of some of the objects in the house, no photography is allowed.
For more information on the Ralph Waldo Emerson House, visit the official website.