25 February 2015

Travel Back in Time with Welcome to Our Home

Many visitors feel that entering Orchard House is like entering a secret door to the past.  Walking through the rooms, it's as if the Alcott family is just down the street visiting the Emersons, and we are lucky enough to have a peek at their belongings and hear their stories while they're out.

But there's a way to visit Orchard House while the Alcotts are at home and to experience more deeply this feeling of traveling into the past.

Once a month, the final tour of the day enters Orchard House after the museum has closed to the public.  Not only will visitors have the chance to enter the museum at a unique time of day, as the sun is setting and the house falls quiet, but they will also have the opportunity to see and experience Orchard House as it was in the nineteenth century.  This special living history tour is known--with the sincerity of the invitation--as Welcome to Our Home.

As you knock on the door to the kitchen, the rustle of skirts and creaking of footsteps on the other side invokes wonder and excitement.  Your guide, a living history portrayer of a member of the Alcott family, invites you into the Alcott's home and launches directly into the family stories, engaging and enchanting visitors and bringing you back to her time.

This hour-long, extended tour of Orchard House gives an overview of the lives of the Alcotts and nineteenth-century Concord, including little-known bits of history sometimes even too anecdotal for biography or book. The guides have sought out these stories among the books in our library or even in the Alcotts' letters and journals, which can be found at the Houghton Library at Harvard.  The guide might have the chance to tell, with detail, about the time May fell into the Concord River, or talk more extensively about the inspiration for Laurie. 

These stories, however, truly come to life through living history, when the house is quiet and other visitors have gone, and they can often be told with words inspired by the Alcotts' own pieces of writing in their journals and letters.

When you see your guide, dressed in her historically-accurate clothing, against the backdrop of Louisa's bedroom, speaking these words, you have a one-of-a-kind experience of feeling truly transported to another era, a simpler time.

Children are especially enchanted by the guide's costume, believing wholeheartedly in the sincerity of the character.  Welcome to Our Home is an event for visitors of any age and interest level to experience not only the incredible lives of the Alcott family (and, consequently, the March family of Little Women) but also to feel immersed in nineteenth-century life.

As with our regular guided tour, guides have the opportunity to present the story of the Alcotts with their individual preferred anecdotes and bits of information, so there is always a new fact to learn or a new quote to inspire!

This month, this special Welcome to Our Home tour will be offered on this coming Saturday, February 28th at 4:45 pm (to 5:45 pm).  We invite you to experience Orchard House in a new way and to enjoy the artifacts and anecdotes with a little more depth and detail.  Step through the threshold of Orchard House into the past, and let a member of the Alcott family welcome you into our home!

Space is limited and reservations are strongly suggested for the tour.  Please call (987) 369-4118 extension 106 to make your reservation today.

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