Fruitlands Museums

Historic Site in Boston's Western Suburbs

Here is a beautifully landscaped, 210-acre property that was the site of Bronson Alcott's short-lived experiment in communal living. The original hillside farmhouse was used by Alcott and his utopian ‘Con-Sociate’ (communal) family. Other museums have since been moved to the estate, including the 1794 Shaker House, a Native American museum and a gallery featuring paintings by 19th-century itinerant artists and Hudson River School landscape painters. There are also several miles of walking trails through picturesque woods and farmland.

In the early 19th century, Concordian thinkers were at the forefront of transcendentalism, a philosophical movement that espoused that God 'transcends' all people and things. Bronson Alcott (1799–1888), educational reformer and father of Louisa May Alcott, was a leader among this group pursuing transcendental ideals. Toward this end, he founded Fruitlands, an experimental vegetarian community (read: commune).

Nowadays, Fruitlands hosts all kinds of special events, including a summer concert series. One of the highlights is the Fruitlands Tearoom. Dine alfresco, and soak up the fresh air and fabulous scenery.

Fruitlands is in Harvard, about 30 miles west of Boston. Take Rte 2 to exit 38A, Rte 111, then take the first right onto Old Shirley Rd.