The Peabody House, also known as the Grimshawe House
Just a block away from Hawthorne’s statue on Hawthorne Boulevard is the house where the Peabody sisters grew up. These three sisters — “true Renaissance women” — made significant contributions to America’s intellectual and cultural legacy. While their handsome Federal-style home is now in great disrepair, it is a proud part of America’s history. It abuts the Old Burying Point where Hawthorne’s great great-grandfather and witch trial judge, John Hathorne, is buried. Sophia, the youngest of the sisters, married Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1842. Elizabeth, the oldest sister, was an author, activist and owner of a noted Boston bookstore. A passionate reformer and thinker, she had a powerful influence on Hawthorne, Thoreau and Emerson. She and her sister Mary started the first kindergarten in America. Mary married Horace Mann, a tireless advocate for free and universal education in America, and she published books on topics ranging from cooking to children’s literature. Sophia was a talented writer and painter who edited and published her husband’s and her own journals. To learn more about the Peabody sisters, dip into the highly acclaimed book, “The Peabody Sisters” by Megan Marshall, a Pulitzer Prize finalist.
53 Charter St.
Adjacent to the Old Burying Point or Charter Street Cemetery
14-minute walk from The House of the Seven Gables.