The quaint old Wayside is renowned as the home of three literary families-Nathaniel Hawthorne, Louisa May Alcott, and Harriett Lothrop. Wayside is the first literary site taken into the U.S. National Park Service. The home was the sole residence that Hawthorne-author of such classics as The Scarlet Letter and The House of the Seven Gables-ever owned. Hawthorne purchased the home from the Alcott family who had called it "Hillside" named for the steep embankment behind the house. It was here that many of the childhood events Louisa May Alcott described in Little Women, including her amateur play performances, took place. Once purchase by the Hawthorne family they renamed the home "Wayside," as it continues to be known today.
The home is preserved as a museum thanks to the efforts of its third literary owner, Harriett Stone Lothrop, who forged her own literary reputation as Margaret Sidney, creator of the Five Little Peppers children's book series in the early 20th century. Today, visitors can view that many additions and changes to this colonial farmhouse that each successive literary owner made to the structure. These include Bronson Alcotts' addition of wings and porches, Hawthorne's second story and his vaulted tower study which contains his writing desk, as well as lovely murals later painted in tribute to Hawthorne, and a piazza added during the Lothrop's tenure.
455 Lexington Road
Concord, MA 01742
Hours: May-October: Thursday-Tuesday 10:00 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.