Back in 2016, I visited Walpole, NH, home to the Alcott family from 1855-1857. Accompanied by Alcott scholar Dr. Kristi Martin, we had the pleasure of meeting Ray Boas, Walpole’s town historian. He gave us a lovely tour of the town, pointing out the homes where Louisa and Anna had performed with the Walpole Amateur Dramatic Company. We also had the pleasure of seeing (and touching) the piano bequeathed to Lizzie by Dr. Henry Bellows. It was that piano which inspired chapter 6 of Little Women, “Beth Finds the Palace Beautiful,” where Mr. Laurence gifts Beth with his granddaughter’s piano. (see previous post).
I have since learned from Mr. Boas that plans are in the works to fully restore this piano and put it to good use. The flyer below gives the details. All are invited to attend.
Another interesting piece of news is that the home of Dr. Kittredge (physician to Lizzie), the site of many Walpole Amateur Dramatic Company theatricals (performed on the third floor, in the attic), is for sale. Here is a link to Yankee Magazine with a detailed article about the home (which has had several notable owners).
And here is a link to Zillow where you can see pictures of the home, a truly beautiful property. The attic has since been subdivided into additional bedrooms so you would need to use your imagination to recreate the scene for these theatricals.
A third piece of news is that Mr. Boas is giving a presentation on Louisa’s story, “An Old-Fashioned Thanksgiving.” He has promised that before Thanksgiving, he will create an online post and share the link with us.
I for one, am very excited about the piano being restored and used. And I’m sure all of you will enjoy looking at Dr. Kittredge’s beautiful home where the older Alcott sisters spent so much of their time.
I am grateful to Mr. Boas for sharing all this with us!
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