The Ralph Waldo Emerson Memorial House

The Ralph Waldo Emerson Memorial House The Concord, Massachusetts home of American philosopher, essayist, poet, and lecturer Ralph Waldo Emerson and his family.

The Ralph Waldo Emerson Memorial House is a National Historic Register Landmark, which remains much as it was during Ralph Waldo Emerson's lifetime. Emerson moved into the house with his wife Lidian in 1835. Together, they made it their family home for the rest of their lives. It was here that Emerson gathered a community of individualistic thinkers, writers, and artists, himself becoming a cultural leader of the literary "American Renaissance" and philosophic Transcendentalist movement. Close family friend Henry David Thoreau was a sometime resident and frequent visitor in the Emerson home, as was Emerson's friend Margaret Fuller. In his study Emerson wrote his well known essays, such as "Self-Reliance" and "The American Scholar."

“The earth laughs in flowers”From "Hamatreya" by Ralph Waldo Emerson
06/03/2019

“The earth laughs in flowers”
From "Hamatreya" by Ralph Waldo Emerson

"We are born believing. A man bears beliefs as a tree bears apples." - R.W. EmersonWith gratitude for all his fine fruit...
05/25/2019

"We are born believing. A man bears beliefs as a tree bears apples." - R.W. Emerson
With gratitude for all his fine fruits of thought, we celebrate the life of Ralph Waldo Emerson on the 216th anniversary of his birthday. Many happy returns, Waldo!

Ralph Waldo Emerson considered Henry David Thoreau to be his best friend. Thoreau was close with the entire Emerson fami...
05/06/2019
Thoreau

Ralph Waldo Emerson considered Henry David Thoreau to be his best friend. Thoreau was close with the entire Emerson family, and lived with them for several years. It was also Emerson's land at Walden Pond, where Thoreau built his cabin (the site is pictured below). Thoreau died 157 years ago today, on May 6, 1862, at the age of 44. With thanks to the Ralph Waldo Emerson Society for this link, you can read Emerson's eulogy to his beloved friend.

"The country knows not yet, or in the least part, how great a son it has lost."

"Where shall we keep the holiday,And duly greet the entering May?" - From "May-Day," Ralph Waldo Emerson
05/01/2019

"Where shall we keep the holiday,
And duly greet the entering May?"
- From "May-Day," Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thank you to Meet Henry David Thoreau for this wonderful  post marking the anniversary of Thoreau becoming a member of t...
04/26/2019

Thank you to Meet Henry David Thoreau for this wonderful post marking the anniversary of Thoreau becoming a member of the Emerson household.

April 26, 1841: 23-year-old Henry Thoreau moved into Ralph Waldo Emerson's home in Concord, Massachusetts. During his two-year stay Thoreau would receive free room and board in exchange for his work as a gardener and general handyman around the house. He would also have ample free time to journalize and write poetry.

Less than a week later Thoreau would comment in his Journal, "Life in gardens and parlors is unpalatable to me - it wants rudeness and necessity to give it relish."

Thoreau would be a part of the Emerson household for two years.

We're looking forward to a new season at the Emerson House!Below are two reviews of Tyler Green's book "Carleton Watkins...
03/22/2019
Carleton Watkins and the Image of Manifest Destiny

We're looking forward to a new season at the Emerson House!

Below are two reviews of Tyler Green's book "Carleton Watkins: Making the West American." A few years ago, Mr. Green visited the Emerson House to see Watkins' photographs of Cathedral Spires and Mount Shasta, given to Emerson as a memento of his trip west by Mrs. George Russell, a member of Emerson's traveling party. Both articles mention Emerson in connection to Watkins' views of nature.

The Emerson House reopens for the 2019 season on April 25th. You are welcome to visit the house for a guided tour, to learn more about Emerson's trip and see the Watkins' photographs. Mr. Green's new book will be available in the gift shop, along with Jeffery S. Cramer's soon to be published, "Solid Seasons: The friendship of Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson."

Links to reviews of "Carleton Watkins: Making the West American":

https://aperture.org/blog/carleton-watkins-maika-pollack/

https://datebook.sfchronicle.com/books/review-carleton-watkins-making-the-west-american-by-tyler-green

Today we remember the Emerson sons: Waldo and Edward, who both died January 27th - 88 years apart.The oldest Emerson chi...
01/28/2019

Today we remember the Emerson sons: Waldo and Edward, who both died January 27th - 88 years apart.

The oldest Emerson child, "Little" Waldo Emerson, (also known as "Wallie"), succumbed suddenly to scarlet fever on January 27, 1842, at the age of 5. His father channeled his grief into an elegiac poem "Threnody," which his son's epitaph is taken from. The poem referred to Waldo as "the hyacinthine boy."

By uncanny coincidence, the youngest Emerson child Edward died on the anniversary of his brother's passing: January 27, 1930; more fortunately, at the mature age of 86.

Waldo and Edward Emerson are both buried in separate family plots in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Concord, MA.

"Like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Adams experienced a heightened spirituality in the wilderness that spoke to a longing for the...
01/17/2019
Ansel Adams in a New Light

"Like Ralph Waldo Emerson, Adams experienced a heightened spirituality in the wilderness that spoke to a longing for the beauties, peace and spectacle of untrammeled nature — a yearning that lingers strongly in our time, suggesting it might be innate."

The New York Times highlights an Ansel Adams exhibit at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and likening Adams' view of nature as Emersonian and relevant to modern culture.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/17/arts/design/national-parks-ansel-adams-photography.html

The National Parks are in partial shutdown. But America’s wilderness shines in a show at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston that reveals how human intervention has changed purple mountains’ majesty.

12/31/2018

"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year." - Ralph Waldo Emerson, "Works And Days"

We wish you all a most Happy New Year!

Something to look forward to in the new year! We're happy to share Jeffery S. Cramer's forthcoming book "Solid Seasons: ...
12/17/2018

Something to look forward to in the new year! We're happy to share Jeffery S. Cramer's forthcoming book "Solid Seasons: The Friendship of Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson " (April 2019), recently featured in Publishers Weekly. Emerson and Thoreau's friendship was influential on both men. Thoreau even lived with the Emersons for significant periods of time and was a beloved intimate member of the family circle.

Love seeing Jeffrey S. Cramer's forthcoming SOLID SEASONS: The Friendship of Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson featured in Publishers Weekly's preview of essays and criticism hitting stores this spring.

Collecting extracts from the letters and journals of both men, as well as words written about them by their contemporaries, Jeffrey S. Cramer beautifully illustrates the full nature of their twenty-five-year dialogue.

Solid Seasons is in stores this April, and available for preorder now!
http://bit.ly/SolidSeasons

12/13/2018
While Emerson may not be the actual author of those lines, Thanksgiving was a special holiday for the Emerson family; so...
11/23/2018

While Emerson may not be the actual author of those lines, Thanksgiving was a special holiday for the Emerson family; so much so that they celebrated for two consecutive days. Emerson and his family feasted at his Uncle Samuel Ripley's home on Thanksgiving day, and on the following day the Emerson family would "keep festival" with extended family and friends at their home on the Cambridge Turnpike, in Concord. Emerson called the day "Good Friday." According to family recollections it was a fun-filled day of "family gossip," feasting, and games. Happy "Good Friday" to you and yours!

"“I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson Happy Tha...
11/22/2018

"“I awoke this morning with devout thanksgiving for my friends, the old and the new.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson Happy Thanksgiving from all of us at the Emerson House, with gratitude for your friendship!

126 years ago, on November 13, 1892, (Lydia) Lidian Jackson Emerson died  at the age of 90.An intellectual in her own ri...
11/13/2018

126 years ago, on November 13, 1892, (Lydia) Lidian Jackson Emerson died at the age of 90.

An intellectual in her own right, Lidian possessed great wit, as well as a compassionate heart, which she dedicated to many efforts on behalf of others. Antislavery and animal welfare were among the causes she most passionately championed. Cats were her favorite animal, and she had many cherished pets. Lidian also loved to dance. She took great pride in the hospitality of her home and the care of her family.

"The only sin which people never forgive in each other is difference of opinion." - Lidian Jackson Emerson

Image: The back of Lidian's gravestone at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.

10/29/2018

"The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it.." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

The Ralph Waldo Emerson House is now closed for the season. Thank you to everyone who made our 2018 season successful. We look forward to seeing you in April 2019 and to keeping in touch with you here throughout the winter.

"We are born believing. A man bears beliefs as a tree bears apples." - R.W. EmersonWith gratitude for all his fine fruit...
05/25/2018

"We are born believing. A man bears beliefs as a tree bears apples." - R.W. Emerson
With gratitude for all his fine fruits of thought, we celebrate the life of Ralph Waldo Emerson on the 215th anniversary of his birthday. Many happy returns, Waldo!

"The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it. There is no event greater in life than the appearance of new pe...
04/26/2018

"The ornament of a house is the friends who frequent it. There is no event greater in life than the appearance of new persons about our hearth..." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today the Emerson House is open for the 2018 season! We hope to see many new and returning friends for a guided tour, Thursdays - Sundays.

The Ralph Waldo Emerson House is still closed for the season, but you can visit Concord Museum across the street and see...
02/28/2018

The Ralph Waldo Emerson House is still closed for the season, but you can visit Concord Museum across the street and see this stunning pair of objects!
Thank you to our friend Victor Curran for this wonderful sneak peek and his permission to share his post with our followers.

Today we wish a very happy 179th birthday to Ellen Tucker Emerson, the oldest daughter of Ralph Waldo and Lidian Jackson...
02/24/2018

Today we wish a very happy 179th birthday to Ellen Tucker Emerson, the oldest daughter of Ralph Waldo and Lidian Jackson Emerson! Born on February 24, 1839, Ellen was the namesake of her father's first wife.

The day after Ellen's birth, her father wrote in his journal: "Yesterday morning at 8 o'clock, a daughter was born to me, a soft, quiet, swarthy little creature, apparently perfect and healthy. My sacred child! Blessings on thy head, little winter bud! ...Well assured and very soft and still, the little maiden expresses great contentment with all she finds, and her delicate but fixed determination to stay where she is and grow. So be it, my fair child! Lidian, who magnanimously makes my gods her gods, calls the babe Ellen. I can hardly ask for more for thee, my babe, than that name implies. Be that vision, and remain with us, and after us."

Ellen would indeed be her parents' tender companion for life, taking over the care of the household in adulthood, and later serving as her father's assistant. Ellen was influential in the Concord community as well. She served on the Concord School Committee and taught Sunday school at First Parish Church for 40 years. She was the last Emerson family member to live in the Emerson home on Cambridge Turnpike.

Happy Birthday, Ellen!

Image courtesy of Houghton Library, Harvard:

(Lydia) Lidian Jackson Emerson passed away at the age of 90, 125 years ago today, on November 13, 1892. She had survived...
11/13/2017

(Lydia) Lidian Jackson Emerson passed away at the age of 90, 125 years ago today, on November 13, 1892. She had survived her famous husband by ten years.
An intellectual in her own right, Lidian possessed great wit, as well as a compassionate heart, which she dedicated to many efforts on behalf of others. Antislavery and animal welfare were among the causes she most passionately championed. Cats were her favorite animal, and she had many cherished pets. Lidian also loved to dance. She took great pride in the hospitality of her home and the care of her family.

"The only sin which people never forgive in each other is difference of opinion." - Lidian Jackson Emerson

Image: The back of Lidian's gravestone at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.

“We fancy men are individuals; so are pumpkins; but every pumpkin in the field goes through every point of pumpkin his...
10/31/2017

“We fancy men are individuals; so are pumpkins; but every pumpkin in the field goes through every point of pumpkin history.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

(Photo: pumpkin patch behind the Emerson House, on the Emerson-Thoreau Amble)

At 11 pm on October 30, 1836, Lidian and Ralph Waldo Emerson's first child was born. The boy was named "Waldo" by his fa...
10/30/2017

At 11 pm on October 30, 1836, Lidian and Ralph Waldo Emerson's first child was born. The boy was named "Waldo" by his father, who rejoiced in his journal: "Blessed child! a lovely wonder to me, and which makes the Universe look friendly to me." Lidian wrote to her sister: "Every one that visits us falls in love with him." Emerson's step-grandfather Reverend Ezra Ripley even checked the baby's back for angel wings.
Happy Birthday, dear Little Waldo!
(Portrait of Waldo Emerson courtesy of Wikimedia Common, with thanks to Houghton Library, Harvard).

Emerson's Aunt Mary Moody Emerson had a tremendous influence on him. It was she that encouraged young Waldo to enjoy nat...
10/03/2017

Emerson's Aunt Mary Moody Emerson had a tremendous influence on him. It was she that encouraged young Waldo to enjoy nature and to keep a daily journal, as she did. Her nephew would borrow largely from her journals when writing his essays and lectures. She instructed him to, "do what you are afraid to do," - a quote he is now well known for.
Mary Moody Emerson chose to remain single,"doubt[ing] the advantage of marriage in a woman’s life” in the 19th century, and preferring a spiritual and intellectual life of independence. She was a strong minded and opinionated women, who could be difficult to get along with. She was also eccentric. According to her nephew, she made her bed as a coffin and wore out many shrouds in preparation for her ever-anticipated death. He remarked, "And when at last her release arrived," on October 3, 1863, "the event of her death had really such a comic tinge in the eyes of every one who knew her, that her friends feared they might, at her funeral, not dare to look at each other, lest they should forget the serious proprieties of the hour."

Despite his levity, Emerson greatly admired his aunt and he called her "my heroine." The epitaph on her headstone is his tribute to her: "She gave high counsels. It was the privilege of certain boys to have this immeasurably high standard indicated to their childhood; a blessing which nothing else in education could supply."

To her disappointment, Mary Moody Emerson lived to be 89 years old. Rest in peace, Aunt Mary!

(Image and for a full transcription of Mary Moody Emerson's headstone -- the words on the reverse are her own: http://uscemeteries.blogspot.com/…/mary-moody-emerson-sleep…)

188 years ago today, Ralph Waldo Emerson married his first wife, Ellen Louisa Tucker, on September 30, 1829. Five days b...
09/30/2017

188 years ago today, Ralph Waldo Emerson married his first wife, Ellen Louisa Tucker, on September 30, 1829. Five days before the wedding, Ellen wrote the last letter she would compose to Waldo before their marriage: "I tell you Waldo Emerson you must not leave off writing me when we live together - I love such long lived lines of affection ... but all I love dearly will be with me ... I love you Waldo most dearly..."

On this day, 182 years ago, Ralph Waldo Emerson married his second wife, Lydia Jackson at her home in Plymouth.
09/15/2017

On this day, 182 years ago, Ralph Waldo Emerson married his second wife, Lydia Jackson at her home in Plymouth.

A conversation between descendant Dan Emerson and a student in the Museum Studies program at Tufts University In front o...
09/08/2017

A conversation between descendant Dan Emerson and a student in the Museum Studies program at Tufts University In front of the Emerson House.

"We are born believing. A man bears beliefs as a tree bears apples." - R.W. EmersonWith gratitude for all his fine fruit...
05/25/2017

"We are born believing. A man bears beliefs as a tree bears apples." - R.W. Emerson

With gratitude for all his fine fruits of thought, we celebrate the life of Ralph Waldo Emerson on the 214th anniversary of his birth. Many happy returns, Waldo!

Image: May apple blossoms at the The Old Manse, Concord.

"Where shall we keep the holiday,And duly greet the entering May?" - From "May-Day," Ralph Waldo EmersonFlowers from the...
05/01/2017

"Where shall we keep the holiday,
And duly greet the entering May?"
- From "May-Day," Ralph Waldo Emerson

Flowers from the garden hung as a May Day tradition at the Emerson House front door.

Thank you to our friend, Meet Henry David Thoreau, for this beautiful tribute to Ralph Waldo Emerson on the anniversary ...
04/27/2017

Thank you to our friend, Meet Henry David Thoreau, for this beautiful tribute to Ralph Waldo Emerson on the anniversary of his death.

The home of Ralph Waldo Emerson. He died here 135 years ago today, on April 27, 1882. He was 78 years old.

"Good-by" by R.W. Emerson;1832

Good-by, proud world, I'm going home,
Thou'rt not my friend, and I'm not thine;
Long through thy weary crowds I roam;
A river-ark on the ocean brine,
Long I've been tossed like the driven foam,
But now, proud world, I'm going home.

Good-by to Flattery's fawning face,
To Grandeur, with his wise grimace,
To upstart Wealth's averted eye,
To supple Office low and high,
To crowded halls, to court, and street,
To frozen hearts, and hasting feet,
To those who go, and those who come,
Good-by, proud world, I'm going home.

I'm going to my own hearth-stone
Bosomed in yon green hills, alone,
A secret nook in a pleasant land,
Whose groves the frolic fairies planned;
Where arches green the livelong day
Echo the blackbird's roundelay,
And vulgar feet have never trod
A spot that is sacred to thought and God.

Oh, when I am safe in my sylvan home,
I tread on the pride of Greece and Rome;
And when I am stretched beneath the pines
Where the evening star so holy shines,
I laugh at the lore and the pride of man,
At the sophist schools, and the learned clan;
For what are they all in their high conceit,
When man in the bush with God may meet.

"By the rude bridge that arched the flood,    Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled, Here once the embattled farmers s...
04/17/2017

"By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood
And fired the shot heard round the world."
-From "The Concord Hymn," Ralph Waldo Emerson

Today is Patriots' Day in Massachusetts, which means that we at the Emerson House are getting ready to welcome you for the 2017 season! We open this Thursday, April 20th, and are looking forward to your visit!

Image: The North Bridge and Daniel Chester French's Minuteman Statue, Minuteman National Historical Park, Concord, Massachusetts. The quoted stanza from Emerson's verse is inscribed on the monument base.

Thank you to Louisa May Alcott is My Passion for the link to this new article about Ralph Waldo Emerson's aunt, Mary Moo...
01/05/2017
Mary Moody Emerson Was a Scholar, a Thinker, and an Inspiration to All Who Knew Her

Thank you to Louisa May Alcott is My Passion for the link to this new article about Ralph Waldo Emerson's aunt, Mary Moody Emerson. Enjoy!
https://www.neh.gov/humanities/2017/winter/feature/mary-moody-emerson-was-scholar-thinker-and-inspiration-all-who-knew-her

Henry David Thoreau isn’t usually known for flattering comments about women. But after a few hours of conversation with the 77-year-old Mary Moody Emerson, one November evening in 18

"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year." - Ralph Waldo Emerson Happy New Year, from all of u...
12/31/2016

"Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson
Happy New Year, from all of us at the Emerson House

Address

28 Cambridge Tpke
Concord, MA
01742

General information

The house is open for guided tours, April - October. CLOSED for the season. We'll see you, beginning April 25, 2019! Thursday - Saturday: 10:00 am - 4:30 pm* Sunday: 1:00 pm - 4:30 pm * *The last daily tour begins at 3:45 pm. Admission: Adults $10; Seniors (62+) and Students (ages 7-17) $8; Children under 7 are free. Special group rates ($7/per person) are available for groups of 10 or more. Please call to inquire. Phone: (978) 369 - 2236. We regret that the house is not wheelchair accessible. The grounds are open during daylight hours throughout the year. Located opposite from The Concord Museum.

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when The Ralph Waldo Emerson Memorial House posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Contact The Museum

Send a message to The Ralph Waldo Emerson Memorial House:

Category

Nearby museums


Other Museums in Concord

Show All