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Orchard House (Alcott Family House) and Concord Summer School
For twenty-five years the home of the Bronson Alcott family, Orchard House, a five-bay clap-boarded center-chimnney building with front cross gable and projecting pedimented porch, assumed its present form after the family purchased the property in 1857. Following a peripatetic and unsuccessful career as a schoolteacher and utopian farmer, Bronson Alcott brought his family to Orchard House to make a new start. Here his daughter Louisa May Alcott wrote her most popular book, Little Women, published in two volumes in 1868 and 1869, which allowed the family to recover from debt. In 1879, Bronson Alcott organized the Concord Summer School of Philosophy and Literature, the first adult summer school in the East, and built a separate board and batten, unpainted structure for the school on the property. Paralyzed by a stroke in 1882, he sold Orchard House but continued to operate the summer school until his death in 1888.
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