Archaeological Investigations at the Orchard House

Author(s): Paul J. Mohler; John W. Kelley

Year: 2000


The Orchard House, in Concord, Massachusetts, was built by the Hoar Family in the late 17th to early 18th-century, while also maintaining an additional tenant house to the rear. The property was purchased in 1857 by A. Bronson Alcott, a leader of the Transcendentalist movement, and served as the setting for Louisa May Alcott's novel Little Women. The house is listed on both the National and State Registers of Historic Places because of its connection with the Transcendentalist movement and its value as an example of Colonial architecture. With no prior surveys conducted in the project area, a Phase I site survey of the property surrounding The Orchard House, approximately 50 square meters, provided significant information about the site's land use history. The property retained excellent evidence of historic landscapin, conducted by A. Bronson Alcott in the mid 19th century. Based on documentary research and subswface testing, archaeologists were able to link the intellectual history of a family like the Alcotts with the landscapes they created. A total of 90 test units, each 5O cm2 in size along a 5 meter staggered grid interval, revealed various historic archaeological landscape features dating to the Alcott occupation, which will aid in the planning of developmental projects associated with an interpretive program. Based on the results of the Phase I survey, additional investigations are warranted in specific areas if future plans involved subsurface disturbance.

Cite this Record

Archaeological Investigations at the Orchard House. Paul J. Mohler, John W. Kelley. Andrew Fiske Memorial Center for Archaeological Research Cultural Resource Management Study ,4. 2000 ( tDAR id: 372390) ; doi:10.6067/XCV84F1PM5

Spatial Coverage

min long: -71.403; min lat: 42.441 ; max long: -71.299; max lat: 42.501 ;

Individual & Institutional Roles

Contact(s): Jan Turnquist

Principal Investigator(s): Stephen Mrozowski

File Information

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fiske-4_orchard-house_redacted.pdf 53.51mb Dec 5, 2011 2:16:52 PM Public