For a while, I've struggled with how to keep my love of art alive when museums are closed and planning a fun weekend activity seems impossible with all of the pandemic barriers. But I realized over the past several weeks how much there is for me to see in the New England area just outside of Boston. The northeast is spoiled with historical towns and information solely because of how settlers created their new lives in the colonial US. And my love of architecture, desire to explore the surrounding area, and want to support local, independent stores have fueled my new aim of visiting small towns and cities — experiencing New England through an architectural lens.
Following our walk along the Battle Road Trail at Minute Man National Park, we drove into Concord to see the historic downtown. That day, we mostly stopped for a coffee at a local shop, but realized how lovely the architecture was and decided to go back.
"On this hill the settlers of Concord built their Meeting house near which they were buried. On the southern slope of the ridge were their dwellings during the first winter. Below it they laid out their first Road and on the summit stood the Liberty Pole of the Revolution."
The historic Colonial Inn - in operation since 1716.
Concord was founded in 1635 and is home to the historic Colonial Inn, Ralph Waldo Emerson's home, Orchard House, and many a famous homestead in between.
Concord Center for Visual Arts
A few main streets converge in the 'downtown' area, chock full of small shops, restaurants, bookstores, and real estate offices.
Walk in any direction away from the main street and you'll be met with gorgeous architecture harkening back to the colonial roots of the town, homes of historical figures, Victorian architectural marvels, and careful details. It's a place that even in these times buzzes with local residents running errands, enjoying a local bite, and walking their dogs.
The home of famous Dr. Samuel Prescott who rode with Paul Revere on that infamous April 1775 night.
"Behind the stone wall is the site of the home of Dr. Samuel Prescott. A citizen of Concord and a high son of Liberty. Who at Lexington on the morning of April 19, 1775 joined Paul Revere and William Dawes and when intercepted by a British patrol in Lincoln he alone got through and brought the alarm to Concord. In 1776 he was at Ticonderoga and later he served on a privateer that was captured by the British. He was taken to Halifax, Nova Scotia and imprisoned and there he died. Born August 19, 1754. Died 1778. Placed by Old Concord Greeter on April 19, 1985."
We felt right at home with locals calling hello as we passed by and shop owners welcoming us in like friends.
My personal favorite was this lovely white farmhouse and barn. With a shed all stocked for a cold day spent by the fire.
Main Streets Market Cafe
You never know what gems you might come across if you don't look around.