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Local Literary History

June 28, 2011

This past weekend Andrew and I headed to Concord, MA where some famous literary folks once lived and are now buried. After some strawberry picking in North Andover (did you know it’s CHEAPER to pick your own strawberries than to buy them at the grocery store?!?), we headed over to Concord where we randomly ran into one of my coworkers and her husband and had lunch with them.

So after the strawberry lunch feast, we walked over to Sleepy Hollow Cemetery and visited the graves of Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorn, Henry David Thoreau, and Ralph Waldo Emerson. We sat on a bench for a while near Alcott’s grave, talked to a couple walking by and pet their adorable dog. We googled Alcott and learned that Little Women was based on her childhood and we read about how and when she died. We wanted to see her house, which is also in Concord, but it was already closed for the day.

While walking the cemetery, we noticed that people put acorns, pine cones, rocks, pencils, and coins on the authors’ graves – almost like they wanted to do something to honor them and pulled out whatever they could from their pockets or the nearby ground. I think we felt something similar, which is why we sat, talked, pet a dog, puzzled over literature, before finally making our way through the shady paths of the cemetery back to downtown Concord.

Ralph Waldo Emerson's grave

Thoreau family plot - Henry's grave is to the left

Alcott family grave - Louisa May is the front flat stone

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