Monday, March 19, 2012

Concord, Massachusetts


Concord was originally settled (somewhat) in 1635 by Simon Willard, ancestor of the clock maker, but it is best known for its role in the much later Revolutionary War, and afterwards for its literary luminaries.




Faculty Housing








We stopped by the new meeting house....
...where the pews were reproduced from the original.


Old North Bridge is just down the road.





Still Sobering
The tempo of Concord is not slow.

It is the birthplace of the gone-but-not-forgotten Country Store of Concord.  Along with its penny candy it was the best place to stock up on wool cable knit sweaters and wide wale corduroys.

Some Denizens



The Concord Antiquarian Society is a place of pleasant Christmas memories for me.  Just add snow and horse drawn carriages.
We went by the Congregational Church.


Concord also has a wonderful library




The town has a great deal of lovely architecture...


...including at Concord Academy...








...and Middlesex School.




Middlesex School, Concord, Massachusetts 



While beautiful and impressive, Concord is now one of those towns that reminds me of a somewhat over-restored painting. Every detail is polished and can be easily admired, but it is also distracting.  Don't expect a relaxing stay.



23 comments:

Greenfield said...

Ah! Don't get me started on stone walls . . . the genuine article, as stacked by the old farmers clearing their fields, become scarcer every year as the New Folks destroy them in favor of Higher, Faker, and Squared-Off with a laser transit until they resemble nothing so much as a Jersey Barrier made of rocks. Have you ever noticed that real New Englanders harmonize their structures with the landscape, whereas the newbs have to INFLICT their architecture upon it? Sigh.

Many thanks for your beautifully composed pictures of old Concord . . .

Marie said...

I love walking around Concord, as you mentioned it is especially wonderful in the winter time. I do have to agree that sometimes it seems a bit too perfect-perhaps like Nantucket. That said, I would take it any day over my present location on Long Island. My husband loves to visit where his family came from- he is a descendant of Simon Willard and of the Munroes from Lexington and we love going on genealogical quests.

Patti said...

Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I live in Las Vegas now, but all four of my children were born at Emerson Hospital.

I can see a small downtown Concord corner of what used to be Kussin's store for children. I bought many dresses in there - please tell me they are still there.

Katahdin said...

My fondest memories of Concord surround stays at the riverfront place of the president of a significant publishing house. The residence was built for his wife and him while they were on their European grand tour after their marriage. They lived in the house until shortly before their deaths. Always dressed for dinner, served at 6 preceded by Martinis in the library. Another epoch...

LoneStarPrep said...

Beautiful photos, I really enjoy being able to tour New England through your blog since I cannot do it in real life (at least not right now). Very envious of your walk across the bridge : ) Someday!

Thomas said...

Thank you Muffy for sharing your insights on a wonderful and extraordinary place which I now feel compelled to visit.

teamaldrich said...

We love Concord!

Anonymous said...

Greenfield - not only do "New Folks" destroy genuine old stone walls in favor of "Higher, Faker, and Squared-Off" - people are actually STEALING, under cover of darkness, the genuine article, to be used in their own landscapes! I suppose on the one hand these thieves have good taste - real old field stones are certainly much more attractive than "landscape blocks" - but these people are ruining the countryside. It's become quite a problem in some areas.

I have many stone walls running through my New Hampshire property, but most have been gobbled up by the woods!

3button Max said...

wonderful photos -thanks for sharing

Cranky Yankee said...

Two years ago, I attended a Newport Art Museum talk by UConn professor Robert M. Thorson. I think you'd enjoy his book 'Stone by Stone: The Magnificent History in New England's Stone Walls'.

HHH said...

Oh! Country Store of Concord. I remember it well. Your purse brings back memories, too, Muffy. What clear, simple and exquisite pictures of a beautiful and significant colonial town. I remember my father taking me to the sight of the battle when I was little, because several members of our family had fought.

Anonymous said...

An interesting article regarding a law in NH which protects stone walls:

New law protects stone walls

Patty said...

Now I am really homesick ! Love Concord. My husband and I spent many fall afternoons on the lawn of the old manse, having a picnic when we started dating. Just a few miles up the road, we would enjoy Kimball Farms Ice cream.

Anonymous said...

Well, every spot seems to have it's own charm but something in me thinks this city seems to be some kind of dead. Where are the People? I see noone, expect those two denizens...

Is it normal, that there is that much 'space'?

Pink Julep Abroad said...

I absolutely loved Concord when I visited there as a teen! Your photos are lovely :-)

Muffy Aldrich said...

@Anonymous 3:58 - It is actually quite the bustling town, population about 17,000. Schools were on break when we were there and it is just happenstance that there aren't more people in the pictures.

Anonymous said...

Loved your post! My family and I live in Concord, and my son graduated from Fenn. It is the best of town living. It is a thriving and peaceful community with so much history and much farmland. Townspeople are environmentally and culturally alive, and traditions live. Most of what you want is here, but Boston is only twenty minutes away. I grew up in New York City which I love visiting, but I never want to move from Concord. And in response to Patti's question, Kussin's is alive and well, just renamed "Fritz and Gigi's" for the original owners (the Kussins still live in town).

Paul Gervais de Bédée said...

It was interesting to see this as we just had a five-day-long visit from a current Fenn School student (whose mother went to Concord Academy). He's been telling me about Fenn, of which I knew very little, and it sounds like a wonderful place. Thanks for the visual tour provided by your keen observing eye!

Greenfield said...

Anonymous 10:54:

We had that happen! Back in the Eighties someone helped themselves to stone from the perimeter wall that formed the border between the back of our place and ran alongside theirs. We discovered it after most of our stone wall had become their pool landscaping! The ancient and honorable Viewer of Fences (yes, there really is one!) was summoned and found in our favor; but nothing would bring back the wall.

With the first days of spring-like weather, it has also amused me that the same people who inflict their structures upon the landscape, also have a need to assault the eye by wearing their underwear on the outside . . . with the ubiquitous yoga pants of course. Urrrgh.

Magnus said...

A whole post about Concord, but not one mention of Walden or Thoreau? I'm shocked! :D

Just kidding, i love your blog and would really like to visit New England someday. Hopefully soon! I'm visiting USA every year, so I might very well travel along the coast some day instead of just hanging out in New York.

old said...

Concord Massachusetts is an American treasure. The pride New Englanders have in their cities and town is uplifting.

Thanks for the posting.

ps Too bad about J. Press offering only Canadian manufactured blazers this year. On the bright side Canada manufactures much quality apparel, is our largest trading partner and closest all.

Better Made in Canada than Fabrique in Chine!

No school like old school!

Lizzie-Bee said...

What a wonderful surprise seeing a Concord post! I'm off at college now and I really do miss home. I really recommend going back for Patriot's Day next month! It's a holiday in Concord and Lexington that features a great parade and is full of good ol' New England spirit. I think you get to see the townspeople at their best because we're all so excited to share the fun and history. I hope you enjoyed your visit and come back soon! There really are so many sides of Concord to see.

Katahdin said...

New fiction set in Concord: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/06/15/books/review/perfectly-miserable-by-sarah-payne-stuart.html?emc=edit_bk_20140613&nl=books&nlid=1101819&_r=0