Literary Pilgrimage Travel Itinerary: Walt Whitman, Mark Twain, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Edith Wharton, Herman Melville, Emily Dickinson, Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Without checking I know that this is my longest blog title ever. Who knew there were so many famous writers’ houses so close to each other (all in between New York and Boston)?

Day 1: NYC to West Hills, NY

Walt Whitman Birthplace & Interpretive Center, Walt Whitman, “America’s Shakespeare” was born in West Hills, NY in 1819. The newly restored farmhouse is a New York State Historic Site and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Interpretive Center exhibits: 130 Whitman portraits, original letters, manuscripts, artifacts, Whitman’s voice on tape, and schoolmaster’s desk. On the site you can find, guided tours, an audio-visual show, the museum shop and bookstore, and a picnic area.

Day 2: Hartford, CT

Mark Twain House & Museum – As you may know, this is the birthplace of Mark Twain’s most famous characters, Huckleberry Finn and Tom Sawyer. From the infamous billiard room where Twain did all his writing (and cigar smoking), to unique exhibits in our Museum Center, to educational programs and community events, Twain’s Hartford, CT home is a unique destination for readers and history buffs of all ages.

Harriet Beecher Stowe House – The famous next door neighbor of Mark Twain and the author of the best-selling, anti-slavery book, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe believed that her actions could make a difference and her words changed the world. The Harriet Beecher Stowe Center connects Stowe’s issues to the contemporary face of race relations, class and gender issues, economic justice and education equality. The Harriet Beecher Stowe House, a charming Victorian Gothic Revival home (1871), and includes Victorian-style gardens, the Katharine Seymour Day House, a grand mansion adjacent to the Stowe House and the Stowe Visitor Center, with changing exhibitions and the museum store.

Day 3: Lenox and Pittsfield, MA

The Mount Estate & Gardens – The Mount is both a historic site and a center for culture inspired by the passions and achievements of Edith Wharton. Best known for such works as The House of Mirth and The Age of Innocence, Wharton employed both humor and profound empathy to describe the lives of New York’s upper class and the vanishing of their world in the early years of the 20th century. The gorgeous property includes three acres of formal gardens designed by Wharton, who was also an authority on European landscape design. The Mount is a stunning reflection of Wharton’s love of the literary arts, interior design and decoration, garden and landscape design, and the art of living.

Herman Melville’s Arrowhead – Arrowhead is a National Historic Landmark located in western Massachusetts. Melville purchased this historic farmhouse in 1850. It remained the home of Herman’s large and chaotic family for more than 13 years. Herman found refuge in the second-floor library where he wrote his most famous novel, Moby Dick. In the end, he wrote four novels and many short stories in the historic farmhouse.

Day 4: Amherst, MA and Concord, MA

Emily Dickinson Museum: The Homestead and the Evergreens – The Homestead, where poet Emily Dickinson was born and lived most of her life, and The Evergreens, home of the poet’s brother and his family, share three beautiful acres of the original Dickinson property in the center of Amherst, Massachusetts. The Museum offers guided tours of the houses as well as a self-guided audio tour of the outdoor grounds.

The Wayside: Home to Hawthorne and the Alcott Family, A Historic Landmark, The Wayside was the only home owned by Nathaniel Hawthorne, author of The Scarlet Letter, The House of the Seven Gables, and Twice-Told Tales. Before Hawthorne bought it, the house belonged to the Alcott family, who named it “Hillside.” Here, Louisa May Alcott and her sisters lived much of the childhood described in Little Women.

Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House, ( just minutes from Wayside (circa 1690) is most noted for being home to the talented Alcott family, and is where Louisa May Alcott wrote and set her beloved classic novel, Little Women, in 1868.

Authors Ridge at Sleepy Hollow” – Perched on the top-most glacial hill in the cemetery, Authors Ridge gathers together, among others, the graves of Henry Thoreau (1862), Nathaniel Hawthorne (1864), Ralph Waldo Emerson (1882), Louisa May Alcott (1888) and her father, Bronson Alcott (1888).

Day 5: Concord, MA (cont.)

Ralph Waldo Emerson House – Open to the public, the Emerson House is still furnished with the families’ memorabilia and keepsakes. Emerson lived here most of his adult life, wrote his famous essays “The American Scholar” and “Self Reliance,” and died here in 1882.

Walden Pond – Situated on 400 acres, Walden Pond is a State Reservation and National Historic Site. Henry David Thoreau lived here from July 1845 to September 1847. His experience at Walden provided the material for the book Walden, which is credited with helping to inspire awareness and respect for the natural environment. Today, visitors can enjoy hiking, swimming and educational and guided tours.

Longfellow House – Washington’s Headquarters. This National Historic Site preserves the home of Henry W. Longfellow, one of the world’s foremost 19th century poets. The house also served as headquarters for General George Washington during the Siege of Boston, July 1775 – April 1776. In addition to its rich history, the site offers unique opportunities to explore 19th century literature and arts.

Day 6: Boston, MA

Boston by Foot – Take a walking tour of the homes and haunts of such great American writers as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau, Louisa May Alcott, Henry James, Charles Dickens, and Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

Filed Under: Travel plans

About the Author

Comments (1)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Sharon says:

    Some of my favorite writers…would definitely enjoy making such a tour/trip.

Leave a Reply

If you want a picture to show with your comment, go get a Gravatar.