Friday, October 2, 2015

Minds and Arms on Fire

Today we were tired and needed to get some laundry done, so we only spent a short time in Concord, mostly just viewing the Ralph Waldo Emerson House (a National Historic Landmark) and having lunch in the charming town (met up with my sister Jane and cousin Ro Pinto at the favorite local hang-out, Main Streets Market & Cafe; no idea why they pluralize "Streets" in their name; must be more to it than just a missing apostrophe). The Emerson house was interesting, but I was disappointed that they didn’t say anything about his Transcendentalism. The guide told us afterwards, when we asked, that the Emerson family (who still own the house) have asked them not to discuss his Transcendentalism because there are so many interpretations of it. Sounded odd to us. We have more exploration to do on our own. At least they did recommend to us a biography of Emerson by Richardson (Emerson: The Mind on Fire), which discusses his philosophical development, so perhaps we can read that and slake our curiosity. Our minds are on fire!

I also popped my head inside the Colonial Inn, an establishment that has been around since 1716, well before the Revolutionary War broke out nearby on April 19, 1775 (we didn’t get around to visiting the site of that, near Old North Bridge). It’s about to celebrate its tercentenary next year. The hotel is proud of its history and has a free sheet about it at the front desk. "In the days leading up to the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the middle portion of the Inn…served as an arms and provisions storehouse for the local patriots. When the British soldiers arrived to seize and destroy all their supplies, the Minutemen were gathered at the North Bridge (just a half mile from the Inn). They were alerted [to] the British presence by the rising smoke and came to defend both their town and supplies." After the battle, the local doctor used rooms in the Inn, which he lived and worked in, as a hospital and operating room to care for the wounded Minutemen, and a morgue for the ones who didn't make it. "Today, the Colonial Inn is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is a proud member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Historic Hotels of America."

1 comment:

Kathleen schmitt said...

ah!! the first comment!! just want to see if it really works! :)
I like the part about indignant Sarah checking under all the Emerson house furniture. ** Did you know? from the oed: "1894 Mrs. H. Ward Marcella I. 101 His constituents held indignation meetings."
they probably looked at chair bottoms too :)

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