Concord’s Hawthorne Inn Is for Sale
After a forty-year run, the award-winning Hawthorne Inn is going on the market.
Owners Gregory Burch and Marilyn Mudry bought the historic stucco Italianate in 1976, and then converted it into one of New England’s premier bed and breakfasts. Now they’re selling it with the hopes that a new owner will take to their idea of transforming the inn into a haven for writers.
“Oh my gosh, we’ve been here since we were 23,” says 63-year-old Mudry. “The goal was to have our children, raise them, and get them through college. Now they’re all well out of college and well established.”
Distinct layers of history unfolded on the patch of land in Concord where the inn stands. Before minutemen marched by to face British troops and fire the “shot heard ‘round the world,” it was a Algonquin camping site. Later, the land had a series of erudite owners, including Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Louisa May Alcott’s family. The spot was also twice surveyed by Henry David Thoreau.
Across the street from the Hawthorne Inn sits The Wayside, former home of Hawthorne as well as Louisa May Alcott. Next to The Wayside is The Orchard House, another home of Alcott—and the one where she wrote Little Women.
While the building was constructed in 1867, the Alcott family owned the land from 1845 to 1852, naming it “Hillside.” During their time in Concord, the Alcott girls tended to mint gardens near a brook in the backyard, and later, Bronson Alcott worked to divert the brook into a bathing pool that he dug. Alcott also built a small bathhouse next to the pool, from wood he gathered at Walden Pond with help from Thoreau. The depression from this bathhouse is still visible on the property today.
With its rich literary roots, it’s no wonder the Burch and Mudry are in favor of creating a writer’s colony. They’ve dubbed the idea a “Writer’s Center,” where retreats, workshops, and public presentations could take place. The couple explains such a place is a major missing component of Concord’s cultural landscape—all the inn needs is a “single visionary willing to move this gem of an idea to fruition.”
Countless writers have been some of the tens of thousands of travelers who’ve stayed at the Hawthorne, including Noam Chomsky, Annie Leibovitz, and In the Heart of the Sea’s Nathaniel Philbrick. Many of these writers—and others like author of Wicked, Gregory Maguire—are endorsing the Writer’s Center concept.
Mudry is hopeful there’s a buyer who can get on board with their vision.
“It’s finding that needle in the haystack that wants to do it,” she says.
The Hawthorne Inn, 462 Lexington Road, Concord
Size: 5,562 square feet
If interested, Burch and Mudry can be reached at [email protected].