Fruitlands Museum Historic District

Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, Massachusetts is a museum about visions of America on the site of the unsuccessful utopian community Fruitlands. The Museum includes the Fruitlands farmhouse (a National Historic Landmark), a museum on Shaker life, an art gallery with early American portraits and Hudson River School paintings, and a museum of Native American history.Visitors can tour the farmhouse, which has been restored to appear as it did during the 1840s, and includes exhibits about Transcendentalism and the Alcott family. Fruitlands offers a diverse schedule of contemporary exhibits, lectures, outdoor concerts and easy walking trails. There is also a Museum Store and restaurant. Today, the properties are overseen by the Trustees of Reservations.HistoryFruitlands, inspired by Transcendentalism and Amos Bronson Alcott's ideas of societal reform, was established on 90acre purchased by Charles Lane in May 1843. People interested in joining the community began moving in the next month and the site was optimistically named "Fruitlands" despite having only a small cluster of apple trees. The community was based on self-sufficiency, using no hired labor and growing all the food they needed themselves. The community ultimately failed because of the difficulty in growing crops. Community members began moving away as early as October 1843; Lane and Alcott abandoned it in January 1844.

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Harvard, MA
01451

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