The Ralph Waldo Emerson House Re-Opens April 27!

Re-opens April 27th, 2023

We look forward to welcoming visitors back to Emerson House in the spring of 2023.


Ralph Waldo Emerson Memorial House
28 Cambridge Turnpike
Concord, Massachusetts 01742
Phone: 978-369-2236

On-street parking available.


Tour cost is $12.00 per adult. Seniors and children ages 7 to 17 $10.00.
Children under the age of 7 are free.

The Emerson House does not take reservations in advance for public tours.

Tours will be given on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. The house opens at 10:00 AM, and for the rest of the day we are running continuous tours. On Sundays the house opens at 1:00 PM, the first tour starts at 1:15 PM. Last tours start at 4:00 PM.

The tours take approximately 45 minutes.

There is a limited capacity of 10 people for each tour.

Large backpacks, gum, food and beverages are not permitted. Also, we request all electronic devices be turned off during the tour.  Photography inside the house is not allowed.

The Emerson House is not handicap accessible.

There are no public restrooms at Emerson House.

Make yourself necessary to somebody. Do not make life hard to any.
Conduct of Life lectures, 1860

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

Perhaps America’s best known thinker, Ralph Waldo Emerson led a renaissance in American ideas in the 19th Century: a search to realize the high potential of the individual person, to understand the proper role of the individual in society, and to discover and celebrate the interrelation and sacredness of all life.  He was a pragmatist and an idealist, a lecturer, a prolific writer and a poet.

In July 1835 Ralph Waldo Emerson purchased his Concord home, proclaiming it was “the only good cellar that had been built in Concord.”  Along with the house, there was a sizable barn, on two acres of land.  In addition to housing various animals, the barn was used for over a year as a schoolroom for Miss Foord’s school. The Emerson children attended the school along with Lizzy and Abby Alcott, Lizzy and Barry Goodwin and Caroline Pratt, all from Concord.

After he purchases his house a relieved Emerson writes to his brother William:

Concord 27 July 1835
Dear William

Has Charles told you that I have dodged the doom of building & have bought the Coolidge house in Concord with the expectation of entering it next September. It is a mean place & cannot be fine until trees & flowers give it a character of its own. But we shall crowd so many books & papers & if possible, wise friends, into it that it shall have as much wit as it can carry.

Waldo E

The house Emerson brought his bride Lidian to on September 15, 1835 became that “sylvan” home where they would live together for the next forty-seven years.  The Emersons had four children.  Their home became not only a place for Emerson’s study and writing, but a literary center for the emerging American Transcendentalist movement.

In the early years the Emersons referred to their home as Coolidge Castle, a reference to the Boston Coolidges, who had it built as a summer house.  In the family the house became known as Bush, and it remained Emerson’s “home front” for the rest of his life.

When I bought my house, the first thing I did was plant trees.

In November 1836, after the birth of his son Waldo, Emerson planted six hemlocks.  In 1837 he planted thirty-one pine and chestnut trees. The chestnuts fronted the house, the last one coming down in a storm in 2012. In 1838 he wrote to Thomas Carlyle, “I set out on the west side of my house forty young pine trees.”   Soon the two acres grew to nine and in 1847 Emerson had enough land to plant 128 apple, pear and plum trees.

The house contains Emerson’s original furniture and objects, much as he left it. The Ralph Waldo Emerson Memorial Association (RWEMA), formed in 1930 by family members and others associated with Emerson’s library and work, owns the Emerson House and the Emerson family papers, and is responsible for maintaining the house and for promoting interest in Emerson’s literary works. The RWEMA is a private non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation.

School and Private Group Tours

Groups of ten or more need to make a reservation for a tour, and these tours must follow the same procedures listed above.
Payment for group tours: cash, credit card, or check made out to Emerson House.

Group tours: $8.00 per person.
Phone: 978-369-2236

Mark Your Calendars for May 20: Spring into West Concord Festival

West Concord is holding its fourth annual Spring into West Concord festival from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 20. This family-friendly event features sidewalk activities, the immensely popular Green Thumbs plant sale, a scavenger hunt, a raffle, and cake and ice cream! Plus, the much-anticipated Bruce Freeman Rail Trail mural will be unveiled as part of the festival.


Over 30 shops and cultural organizations will be holding sales and activities outdoors and indoors. It’s a fun way to check out the wide variety of enterprises that give West Concord its zip.


Do you like scavenger hunts? How about a Village-sized one? Beginning May 13, start hunting for 20 three-foot-high flowers, designed and crafted at Art for All. You can pick up a Flower Scavenger Hunt Game Sheet at most stores in the Village. Complete the sheet, matching each flower with the business it is displayed in, and drop it off at the Fowler Library to be entered in the raffle for over 25 great prizes from local retailers and cultural organizations.


Make sure to be near Nashoba Brook, behind 40 Beharrell Street at 3 p.m.! An amazing 24-foot-long pictorial map of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail, painted by over 30 local artists, will be unveiled. Using a blend of paintings, and descriptors, the mural highlights the trail’s landmarks, towns, history, plants and animals. Three speakers, including Massachusetts State Representative Simon Cataldo, will commemorate this historic event. Plus—drumroll please—the Scavenger Hunt raffle drawing will take place at the unveiling, followed by celebratory cake provided by the Friends of the Bruce Freeman Rail Trail.


To learn more about Spring into West Concord activities, and participating businesses and organizations, visit the Events section of the West Concord Village Community Facebook page .

Artists from Art for All, in front of the wall where the mural will be installed, hold paintings that will become part of the mural.

Scavenger Hunt Flowers, made by Art for All’s Artisans School for people with cognitive differences, and by the West Concord Green Thumbs, in front of New Leaf where the Green Thumbs will hold their plant sale on May 20th.


By Chris Randall, Correspondent

Photo Credits: Joshua White






The Umbrella Stage Company presents: Middleton Heights

The Umbrella Stage Company presents Middleton Heights

March 31 – April 23, 2023
World Premiere commissioned by The Umbrella
By Hortense Gerardo
Directed by Michelle Aguillon
Presented on the Black Box Stage


“Funny, heartbreaking, well-paced, and full of memorable moments. [This] play left me feeling warm, full, and hungry for more” – Linda Chin, Theater Mirror

The Umbrella Stage Company is thrilled to commission its first full-length play, created by local playwright Hortense Gerardo.

Called one of “13 fresh theater productions to see this spring,” (Jacquinn Sinclair, WBUR Artery), Middleton Heights is a dark comedy that follows Meena and her Filipino family as they assimilate to life in a fictional Midwestern suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. The play traces historical events from 1967 to 2014 and the pursuit of the American Dream, refracted through the intersectional lens of the Asian American Pacific Islander immigrant experience.

In the world premiere of an original play commissioned by The Umbrella Stage Company, Hortense Gerardo’s Middleton Heights unravels a wry, charming and honest tale that follows Meena and her Filipino family as they assimilate to life in a fictional Midwestern suburb of Cleveland, Ohio. The play traces historical events from 1967 to 2014, examining transformative social moments from the Hough riots to the Robert Kennedy and MLK assassinations to the protests in the aftermath of the killing of Tamir Rice, refracted through the intersectional lens of the Asian American Pacific Islander immigrant experience and the pursuit of the American Dream.
A writer, choreographer, filmmaker, and anthropologist, Gerardo is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America and The International Center for Women Playwrights, and Director of the Anthropology, Performance and Technology Program UC San Diego. From 2018-2020, she served as the Metropolitan Area Planning Council’s artist-in-residence, promoting creative placemaking and community resilience through art throughout MAPC’s 101 cities and towns.
This production is directed by Michelle Aguillon, who has helmed several popular productions for The Umbrella Stage, including this season’s sold-out run of Kate Hamill’s DraculaFencesJoy Luck ClubTo Kill a Mockingbird, and True West, which earned a DASH Award for Best Production (Play). Aguillon and Gerardo have collaborated frequently on recent projects, including last season’s Incantation for The Umbrella Stage @Home New Works series and Scensation for the Boston Theater Marathon XXIII, among others.

Special Associated Programs

  • Friday, March 31 – Iskwelahang Pilipino (IP) Rondalla Ensemble performs pre-show
  • Sunday, April 2 – Trish Fontanilla post-show Talk Back with Playwright and Director, in partnership with BosFilipinos
  • Saturday, April 15 – Iskwelahang Pilipino (IP) Student Dance Group performs pre-show
  • Sunday, April 16 – Kid-Care Performance*, Post-show Talk Back with the cast, moderated by WPTZ NBC5 Morning Host Lauren Granada
  • Sunday, April 23 – Iskwelahang Pilipino (IP) Tinikling Dance Group performs pre-show

* The Umbrella is pleased to announce our new Kid-Care Show Program, a pilot program to give parents an opportunity to attend select performances while their child(ren) engage in art activities inspired by the production. This is a new pilot program aimed at providing better access to arts and culture events and creating a shared experience opportunity for families. Spaces are limited and can be reserved alongside ticket purchases.

Playbill Notes

Community Partners

Related Readings

Past Associated Programs

The Umbrella Stage Company was pleased to present a special program on October 30, 2021 exploring the Filipino American Experience through the dramatic writing and production process as part of the 2021 Concord Festival Authors. An interactive discussion with playwright Hortense Gerardo, director Michelle Aguillon, and actors Jude Torres, Liza Fermin-Granada, and Justin Budinoff presented a scene of an original play examining what it means to be a Filipino American in relation to the American Dream through the lens of a Filipino family in the suburbs of Cleveland. The event included a short scene-in-progress from the commissioned World Premiere!

CCM presents TWO Bluegrass events April 29th


Southern Rail, a bluegrass concert

Saturday, April 29, 2023 at 7:00 pm

Southern Rail’s performances are high-energy exuberant fun, with riveting harmonies, irrepressible humor and sparkling banjo, mandolin, and guitar solo work. Southern Rail celebrates more than four decades of performing together. CCM faculty member Rich Stillman (banjo and harmony vocals, Jim Muller (guitar and lead vocals), Sharon Horovitch (acoustic bass and harmony vocals), and John Tibert (mandolin and harmony vocals) give us rich vocals on beautiful and creative bluegrass arrangements.


Concord Conservatory of Music Bluegrass Band Scramble

Saturday, April 29th starting at noon

If you’ve ever played in a jam session, or if you can play three chords in rhythm, come out and try your hand. Musicians enter the Scramble individually, and bands are created by picking names out of hats for each instrument, so bands have the tools they need. You and your new bandmates then have a two-hour practice session, with coaching from CCM instructors, to prepare songs and stage patter for a three-song turn in front of a sound system and a live audience. The Scramble is purely for experience and enjoyment. There’s no competition, and there are no prizes, just the chance to meet up and perform with other musicians from the area and try your skills in front of an audience. Come out and have fun!

Visit Concord Conservatory of Music website