The Wayside House and Barn

The Wayside is a symbol for many of the revolutionary stories that the Battle Road Byway is known for. Constructed around 1717, it is one of several April 19, 1775 witness houses along the Byway in Concord. In 1775, the house was occupied by Concord Minute Man Samuel Whitney and commander of the British military General Thomas Gage identified the house as a location where munitions were stored. The Wayside is also notable for the story of Casey, a man enslaved by Samuel Whitney, who tried running away during the commotion of the events of 1775. Casey fought in the war and returned to Concord a free man.

From 1845 to 1848, this house was occupied by the Alcott family who called the home “Hillside.” Louisa May Alcott and her sisters, upon whom the novel Little Women is based, spent much of their childhood here. The Alcott sisters used the barn to stage plays, which Louisa May Alcott wrote about in Little Women. Today the barn serves as a Visitor Center for the Wayside. A plaque at the Wayside indicates that it was a part of the Underground Railroad.