Fruitlands has a long and storied history. Instead of trying to recount it, myself, I offer the following summary from Wikipedia:
Fruitlands was a utopian, agrarian commune established in Harvard, Massachusetts, by Amos Bronson Alcott and Charles Lane in the 1840s, based on Transcendentalist principles. An account of its less-than-successful activities can be found in Transcendental Wild Oats by Alcott’s daughter, Louisa May Alcott. The community was short-lived and lasted only seven months. It was dependent on farming, which turned out to be too difficult. The original farmhouse, along with other historic buildings from the area, is now a part of Fruitlands Museum. The property was purchased in 1910 by Clara Endicott Sears, who opened the farmhouse to the public in 1914 as a museum. Today, the Fruitlands Museum also includes a museum on Shaker life, an art gallery of nineteenth-century paintings, and a museum of Native American art and crafts.
It should be noted that the collections in these latter three museums were all those of Sears. The house holding the Shaker collection was an actual Shaker house, purchased and moved from the by-then defunct Harvard Shaker Village to the Fruitlands site.
Unfortunately, I took no exterior photo of the Alcott farmhouse, the original Fruitlands Museum, but there is a good photo of it in Wikipedia. However, I did snap five interior shots, up to and including the one of gardening tools on the farmhouse porch.
The two photos of the beige house—the Shaker Museum—bracket a short series on the original Shaker furniture and crafts that are displayed inside.
The artifacts in the Native American museum were behind glass, making crisp photos a bit difficult. The final shot shows the gift shop, with Mount Wachusett, about 20 miles away, in the background.
The Fruitlands site offers a panoramic view of no fewer than seven mountains (what locally we call mountains, anyway). The first photo, below, looks west toward Mount Wachusett; the second, northwest to Mount Manadnock, about 40 miles away in New Hampshire.
Click any image to open slide show. Use keyboard arrows, or swipe, to move through slides:
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