apple Learn about the Alcotts and Orchard House


Virtual Tour of Orchard House




Amos Bronson Alcott originally purchased two houses (both circa 1660-1720) set upon twelve acres of land on the Lexington Road in 1857 for $945.  He then moved the smaller tenant farmhouse and joined it to the rear of the larger manor house, making many improvements over the course of the next year to the home, as explained in his journals.  The grounds also contained an orchard of forty apple trees, which greatly appealed to Mr. Alcott, who considered apples the most perfect food.  It is not surprising, then, that he should name his home "Orchard House."

After moving twenty-two times in nearly thirty years, the Alcotts finally found their most permanent home at Orchard House, where they lived from 1858 until 1877.  The house is most noted for being where Louisa May Alcott wrote and set her beloved classic, Little Women, in 1868 at a "shelf desk" her father built especially for her.

Fortunately, there have been no major structural changes to the house since the Alcotts' time, with on-going preservation efforts adhering to the highest standards of authenticity.  Since approximately 80% of the furnishings on display were owned by the Alcotts, the rooms look very much as they did when the family lived here, causing many modern-day visitors to comment that, "A visit to Orchard House is like a walk through Little Women!"

A guided tour of Orchard House introduces visitors to the family members themselves, the household items that held meaning to them, their individual and collective achievements and lasting impact, as well as their influence on characters in the beloved novel, Little Women:


Amos Bronson Alcott  ("Mr. March")

Educator, Transcendental philosopher, and social reformer


Abigail May Alcott  ("Marmee")

A strong, independent women and one of the first paid social workers in Boston


Anna Bronson Alcott Pratt  ("Meg")

A wife and mother who exhibited a flair for acting


Louisa May Alcott   ("Jo")

Well-known author, Civil War nurse, and advocate for social reforms


Elizabeth Sewall Alcott  ("Beth")

The "Angel in the House" who died prior to the Alcotts' move to Orchard House


[Abigail] May Alcott Nieriker   ("Amy")

A talented artist and early teacher of sculptor Daniel Chester French



Archival photographs of the family and artifacts in the collection are available for a fee.
All requests must be made in writing, allowing at least 2-3 weeks for processing.
click to e-mail your photo request, or, write to
Orchard House, Attn:  Photo Requests, PO Box 343, Concord, MA  01742-0343


Virtual Tour of Orchard House


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