What does it mean to "have it all?" Through the lives of five women who lived at the Old Manse between 1775 and 1905, we will learn how their desire to manage both a households and intellectual and artistic pursuits set them apart from other women of their time. Mary Moody Emerson witnessed the beginnings of the American Revolution from the Old Manse, and her nephew and protegee, Ralph Waldo Emerson, would start a revolution in literature in the 1830s. Sarah Alden Bradford Ripley was an accomplished scholar and botanist, who prepared students for Harvard. Sophia Hawthorne and Theodora Thayer were both noted artists, and Phebe Ripley an accomplished piano teacher. Through each of their lives, we will see where they took risks to pursue their artistic or intellectual passions, the personal reward, and sometimes disastrous personal consequences they faced. Their lives remind us that each of us that we can make our lives rewarding and meaningful based on the choices that we make.
Explore the Old Manse inside and out! For residents of the Old Manse, the outside of the house was just as important as the inside. During this hour-long experience, you’ll explore the inside of the Old Manse, including Emerson’s study, before slipping out the backdoor, just like Hawthorne did. Once outside, we will sit on a stone wall, see the river that carried Henry David Thoreau past the Manse, the field where Reverend Ripley kept his cow, and the garden that often convinced Hawthorne to put aside his pen. Offered daily at 4pm
Meet the minister who sparked a revolution, his grandson that inspired the transcendental movement, and artists, musicians, and scientists who all called the Old Manse home during this house tour. From the American Revolution of 1775 through the literary revolution of the mid-19th century, you'll discover why the Old Manse is home is home to revolutions in both thought and deed that helped to define the American nation. Tours offered on the hour; first tour begins at 12pm ; last tour begins at 3PM.