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Fruitlands Museum

Fruitlands Museum, founded in 1914 by Clara Endicott Sears, takes its name from an experimental Utopian Community led by the transcendentalists Bronson Alcott and Charles Lane which took place on this site in 1843.

Fruitlands has a rich history and has been host to some of the most famous people in America. Thoreau walked Prospect Hill and admired its view. Emerson visited Alcott here, and Louisa May (then 10), would relate her experiences at Fruitlands in Little Women.

The Fruitlands campus includes:

• The Fruitlands Farmhouse, the site of an experiment in communal living led by Alcott and Lane in 1843

• The Shaker Museum, home to the largest archive of Harvard Shaker documents in the world and the first Shaker museum in the country

• The Native American Gallery, which houses a significant collection of artifacts that honor the spiritual presence and cultural history of the first Americans

• The Art Gallery, containing 100 Hudson River School landscape paintings, and significantly, over 230 nineteenth century vernacular portraits, the second largest collection in the country. The Art Gallery also hosts a variety of contemporary exhibits throughout the year.

Miss Sears maintained a summer estate and “gentleman’s farm” along with the museum complex from 1914 until her death in 1960. During her lifetime, Miss Sears published several books, wrote popular songs for WW1, and ran a cannery and food drying charity which sent 2 tons of food to the troops in the trenches of France. In 1930, Fruitlands Museum, which continues her work in historic preservation, was incorporated.
When Miss Sears looked out over the landscape at Fruitlands, decades after Thoreau, she imagined the Nashua River valley and recalled the past people who contemplated that same vista. Sears believed that our common experiences link us together across time.

We hope you’ll experience that same sensation when you visit Fruitlands Museum, whether for the first or 400th time.

Photo Credit: Scott Erb, Erb Photography


Main Season

April 15 – October

10AM – 4PM


10AM – 4PM

10AM – 4PM

10AM – 4PM

10AM – 5PM

10AM – 5PM


11:30 – 2:30 M-Sun.
Closed Tuesdays

Winter Season

November – March

Art Gallery, Museum Store & Grounds Only
Open Weekends 12PM – 5PM

Café closed for the Winter Season

1000Museums Partner


102 Prospect Hill Road
Harvard, Massachusetts
United States

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