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The Old Manse


The Old Manse - Massachusetts
The Old Manse, viewed from its Concord River side.


The Old Manse is a famous house for its American literary associations. It is located beside the Old North Bridge over the Concord River in Concord, Massachusetts, and now owned and operated as a nonprofit museum by the Trustees of Reservations.

The Old Manse was built in 1770 by William Emerson, father to noted minister Rev. William Emerson, and his famous son Ralph Waldo Emerson. The builder was chaplain to the Provincial Congress when it met at Concord in October 1774, and when war had begun a chaplain to the Continental Army. The Emerson family observed the Battle of Lexington and Concord from the windows of their house as it took place across the nearby Old North Bridge.

Many years later, in 1842, the famous American writer Nathaniel Hawthorne moved to the Old Manse with his new bride, transcendentalist Sophia Peabody, and the two lived there for three years. Hawthorne's Mosses from an Old Manse (1846) reflects this period.