June 1, 1843

Alcott Family Arrives at Fruitlands

Greater Boston

On this day in 1843, a group of three adults and five children made its way from Concord to the town of Harvard. Their destination was an old and dilapidated farmhouse in a beautiful but remote valley. The Transcendentalist philosophers Bronson Alcott and Charles Lane were bringing their families to start a utopian community they would call "Fruitlands." At its peak, Fruitlands had 12 members. For seven months the group tried to live pure and spiritual lives, surviving only on what they could grow and devoting themselves to philosophical study. But by autumn it was clear the chances of surviving the winter were slim. The experiment was abandoned. Thirty years later Louisa May Alcott, now a famous author, wrote an account of her family's time at Fruitlands.

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