Duxbury & The Old Manse

The Old Manse

Carolyn Ravenscroft, Archivist

Today I was fortunate enough to spend the day in Concord touring some of my favorite places – The Old Manse, Orchard House and Sleepy Hollow Cemetery.  For those of you who don’t know, Duxbury has a strong connection to Concord and the Transcendentalists.  Sarah Alden Bradford Ripley, the one-time owner and resident of the Old Manse (and landlord of Nathaniel Hawthorne) was the daughter of Gamaliel Bradford and niece of Gershom Bradford.  Gamaiel and Gershom were married to sisters (Elizabeth and Sarah Hickling) making their children 1st cousins twice over.  Our Bradford Family Collection contains correspondence between these cousins.

Gamaliel Bradford built the beautiful yellow federal-style home on Tremont Street and his brother, Gershom, built his more modest home directly across the street (the Gershom Bradford House is currently owned by the Duxbury Rural and Historical Society).  As a girl, Sarah Alden Bradford Ripley lived right here in Duxbury. When Gamaliel and his family moved to Boston, the cousins continued to visit each other throughout their lives.

If you have never been to the Old Manse, it is certainly worth the trip.  I would also urge you to visit the Gershom Bradford House to see another chapter in this amazing woman’s life.

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