By Sherry enjoying a rainy late fall day in Northern Virginia
I’m happy to do another give away today! You can choose a copy of one of the Sarah Winston Garage Sale mysteries. I will also give away either a vintage Christmas or birthday postcard.
I was delighted when Robin Templeton asked me if I would take her on a tour of Sarah Winston sites before the writers conference, Crime Bake, started. And was equally delighted when we found out Eleanor (Ellie) Carwood Jones could also join us. These are all places Sarah visits or mentions in the Sarah Winston Garage Sale series.
It was the perfect fall afternoon. There were so many places I wanted to take them and I knew we couldn’t do it all. Plus by the time we drove from Dedham, Massachusetts to Concord we’d only have about two and a half hours of daylight. I had to pick wisely. (And yes I ducked down to fit in the picture — we were trying to capture some of the fall foliage!)
The Minute Man National Historic Park which spans Lexington, Lincoln, and Concord, MA is one of my favorite places. It follow the path that of the opening battle of the Revolutionary War. I decided we’d stop at the Paul Revere capture
site. I was fascinated with the true story of what happened the night Paul Revere road from Boston.
I’d always believe the poem by Longfellow that Revere was the only rider and that he made it to Concord to alert them that the Redcoats were coming. Boy was I wrong.
Our next stop was at The Wayside the home of three very famous authors: Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Harriet Lothrop (Margaret Sidney — she wrote The Five Little Peppers books). The stories that take place in Little Women happened at this house.
I pointed them to the left and said, “There’s Orchard House where Lousia Mae Alcott wrote Little Women.” I wish you all could have seen how excited Robin and Ellie were. It made me so happy to show them around!
I think Louisa’s room is on the upper right. I wish we would have time to taken the tour because it is fantastic.
Our next stop took us through the town of Concord to the North Bridge of “the shot heard round the world” fame. However, before we walked to the bridge we stopped at the Old Manse near the bridge. Ralph Waldo Emerson lived here. He let Nathanial Hawthorne and his wife Sophia honeymoon here (for three years). Thoreau was their gardener.
The North Bridge is where the militiamen first fired on the Redcoats. The fight had the militiamen chasing the Redcoats all the way back to Boston. The bridge is a reproduction of the original which was taken down in 1788. There is something so special about this spot — you can just feel the spirit of freedom here.
Across the bridge is a statue of a Minute Man to honor those who fought. The statue was sculpted by Daniel Chester French who had his first art lessons with May Alcott. His best known work is the Lincoln statue at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC.
Our next stop was at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Concord. (Sarah goes there at the end of Tagged For Death). This is not the Sleepy Hollow of headless horseman fame — that cemetery is in New York. But it is famous for its Author Ridge where Thoreau, Hawthorne, Alcott, and Emerson (along with their families) are buried.
It’s a beautiful space and it’s amazing to think that all these great authors, who knew each other in life, are buried so close together.
Here are some other images from the cemetery:
By this time we’d worked up an appetite. I suggested a couple of places to eat but we ended up at one of my favorites The Colonial Inn. It’s supposed to be haunted. Ellie took these photos and the food shots:
And then there’s our food chicken pot pie, cod with crab stuffing, and Yankee pot roast:
After dinner it was on to Bedford which I’ve fictionalized for my books and re-named Ellington. We stopped at the town common and parked across the street from “Sarah’s” house. I’ve added a covered porch to the house and it sits a bit farther back from the street. This is the church that Sarah sees out her window.
This is a picture of Sarah’s house (I took these on another trip) although I’ve added a porch and set it back from the street just a bit. The second picture is of DiNapoli’s Roast Beef and Pizza if you were standing in front of Sarah’s house. It’s the green building. Paint and Wine would be to the right.
We ended our tour at Bedford Farms Ice Cream. We managed to save a little room after our dinner. Sarah often goes to get a kiddie cup of ice cream. Believe it or not the picture below is the kiddie cup. Sarah’s favorite is in the middle — Almond Joy. Yum!
It was such a fun day for me to show Robin and Ellie some of my favorite places and Sarah’s too. Next time I hope I can take them on base, spend more time at the Minute Man National Historic Park, and tour Orchard House. And then of course have ice cream.
Readers: Do you have a favorite small town?