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Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Destination Day 3: Orchard House

The staff of Orchard House, home of Louisa May Alcott and her family, actually opened up early so that we could tour the house - there were so many of us that we had to tour in groups so as not to exceed the capacity of the small, old  (the main part of the house is cs. 1690!) house with its nooks, crannies, narrow stairways and step up/step downs.  No photography is allowed in the house, but you can visit the Orchard House site for panoramas of the main rooms.  Do not miss Orchard House if you are a fan of the Alcotts.  Eighty percent of the house's furnishings were actually owned by the family.  The docents are knowledgeable. They have a great selection of books by and about the Alcotts in the shop, as well.  Only three years until the 150th Anniversary of the publication of "Little Women" - wonder what they have planned to celebrate?


Our bus parked across the street from the house and the house next door, Wayside House.  Nathaniel Hawthorne and his family lived next door to the Alcotts at Wayside (and the Alcotts actually lived there too - one of the 27 moves they made in 20 years.)  Later Harriet Lothrop, author of "The Five Little Peppers" series under the pen name of Margaret Sidney also lived at the Wayside; but the house is being restored right now so we could not visit.

The gardens at Orchard House were lovely - this is just about the best time to see our New England gardens with the hydrangeas, daylilies and true lilies running riot!

After the tour and a short shopping break, we walked up the hill to the office building (an old house that's been beautifully modernized and air conditioned) so the girls could participate in their journaling program.
I was excited to see these dolls representing Amy, Beth and Meg.
 (No Jo on display  - I suspect she met with an accident like Beth's ' miserable specimen of dollanity' from Little Women - but I own the missing doll.  If her feet weren't broken I'd reunite her with her sisters.)

We ended with a quick snack and water break under the trees before the girls boarded the bus to the whale watch out of Gloucester Harbor (pronounced Glostah Habah.  Get the accent!) The snacks were provided by Foodlink (a perfect example of a TAP - read their story)  and if you are near Arlington MA, get involved with this wonderful organization.







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