Concord has a remarkably rich literary history centered in the mid-nineteenth century around Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–1882), who moved to the town in 1835 and quickly became its most prominent citizen. Emerson, a successful lecturer and philosopher, was at the center of a group of like-minded philosophers and writers living in Concord in the mid-1800s. These included author Nathaniel Hawthorne, philosopher Bronson Alcott, his daughter Louisa May Alcott, and the native Concordian Henry David Thoreau. This substantial collection of literary talent in one small town led Henry James to dub Concord “the biggest little place in America.”
Concord today lives up to this description. In addition to its rich literary history, the town was also the site of one of the first battles of the Revolutionary War in 1776. The battle ground and these authors’ houses are preserved as museums. The Concord-Carlisle Regional School District is highly ranked within the state and offers students a wide-ranging curriculum including technology studies and three foreign languages. The town center also supports small bakeries, pizza shops, an ice cream parlor, and a number of well-respected restaurants.