Take a Virtual Tour of Louisa May Alcott’s Orchard House

Orchard House and the Alcotts, c. 1865 – Pictured, from left, are Louisa May Alcott sitting on the ground, Mrs. Abigail May Alcott, Frederick Alcott Pratt in a baby carriage, Anna Alcott Pratt, and Mr. Amos Bronson Alcott – Photo: Orchard House

Have you ever wondered about Orchard House, the property that inspired “Little Women” author Louisa May Alcott? Why not take a virtual trip to Concord, Massachusetts, and visit it for yourself?

Since May 27, 1912, Orchard House has been open to the public as a historic house museum. American teacher, philosopher, writer, and reformer Amos Bronson Alcott owned this property, and American novelist Louisa May Alcott resided in it when she wrote “Little Women.”

First volume of “Little Women” (1868) by Louisa May Alcott (1832-1888)

Amos Bronson Alcott purchased the house in 1857 for $945. The property includes 12 acres of land and a manor house, and the grounds are home to an orchard of 40 apple trees. With this detail in mind, the home’s name, “Orchard House,” makes a lot of  sense.

Orchard House in Concord, Massachusetts, today – Photo: Trey Powers

Mary Richardson, a beloved Boston TV personality, has referred to the house as “America’s Home,” and Pulitzer Prize-winning author Prof. John Matteson has dubbed it “the best place in the world.”

The Alcotts indeed would have agreed with these statements, as they lived at Orchard House until 1877. Since then, few structural changes have taken place. Approximately 80 percent of the furnishings on display at the now-museum belonged to the Alcotts, and the rooms still look very similar to the way they did when the family still called the house home.

Orchard House is generally open for guided tours. Visitors can take a walk through the property and learn about the Alcott family members, their achievements, and the influences they had on the characters in “Little Women.”

For now, however, it remains temporarily closed due to COVID-19 restrictions. Those who want to explore the property but can’t make it there in person during these unprecedented times can check it out by taking a virtual tour.

For just $10 (less than the cost of an in-person tour), virtual visitors can enjoy a 15-minute tour from Jan Turnquist, the Executive Director of Orchard House, as “Miss Alcott.” Visitors also get to enjoy a 20-minute bonus video, which allows them to learn more about the original Alcott artifacts on display in the house, and free admission for an in-person guided tour “when the fates allow.”

The original grey silk wedding dress of Anna Alcott Pratt, the elder sister of American novelist Louisa May Alcott. The garment was actually what she wore to go horseback riding – Photo: Trey Powers

To see a trailer of what the tour is like, potential patrons can visit the following link.