Concord, MA Ralph Waldo Emerson Home Fire, Jul 1872

Burning of R. W. Emerson's Residence at Concord, Mass.

From the Boston Traveller, July 24.

The homestead occupied by Mr. Ralph Waldo Emerson, in Concord, was entirely destroyed by fire this morning, the walls of the first story and the outbuildings only being left standing. Fire was discovered in the roof at about 6½ o'clock by a workman in Mr. Emerson's employ, and an alarm speedily brought the two hand-engines of the town to the spot, too late, however, to be of material service. It is presumed that the attic caught fire yesterday morning from a defective flue, and that the flames had been smouldering[sic] ever since. The furniture of the house, fortunately, was saved, as was also the valuable library which was in Mr. Emerson's possession, except one trunk containing manuscripts. The house was situated near the centre of Concord and was a point of much interest to visitors. It was filled, as might be expected from its owner, with choice articles of vertu, the gifts of friends and the collections of many years, and a library of great value. It was built for the Emerson family by Geo. Coolidge, fifty years ago, and has never changed its ownership. Two stories in height, it was a rambling, home-like structure, and was an object of great interest to all visitors in Concord. Its intrinsic value could not have been less than $5,000, but its worth as an historical relic cannot be estimated in dollars and cents. There is an insurance of $2,500 on the property, in the Middlesex Insurance Company, of Concord.

The New York Times, New York, NY 27 July 1872