Fruitlands Farmhouse (1825)

Fruitlands Farmhouse

For seven months in 1843-1844, a farmhouse in the Town of Harvard served as the home of the Utopian agrarian commune called Fruitlands. Founded by Bronson Alcott and Charles Lane and based on Transcendentalist principles, the experiment was not a success, failing due to the participants‘ inability to grow sufficient food. Alcott soon moved his family, including his daughter, the future author Louisa May Alcott, back to Concord, where he later purchased Orchard House to be the family home.

After the commune broke up, its land was bought by one of its former members, Joseph Palmer, who for 20 years used it as a refuge for reformers called Freelands. Clara Endicott Sears bought the property in 1910 and opened it as a museum in 1914. It is today part of the Fruitlands Museum. The farmhouse is described in its National Register of Historic Places nomination as typical of the late eighteenth-century. The Historic American Buildings Survey documentation describes it as an early 18th century farmhouse. The Fruitlands Museum website describes it as having been built in 1825.

Here are more images of the house:




2 Responses to Fruitlands Farmhouse (1825)

  1. Myron Stachiw says:

    Having conducted the documentary research and physical investigation and documentation of this building for a historic structures report for the museum, let me confirm that the date provided by the Fruitlands Museum is the correct date of the building. The irrefutable physical and documentary evidence is supported by archaeological evidence. The 18th century dates are mistaken romantic notions from the colonial revival period and less than rigorous research. Although the museum for the longest time repeated the mistaken claims of early 18th century age for the building, following the study they accepted the correct date and revised their interpretation. If you provide dates for buildings, you should determine which dates are correct and which are questionable. I am curious as to why you do not accept their revised date.

  2. Daniel says:

    I do accept their date, which is why I used 1825 in the title of this post.

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