Cultural Economy

Explore Concord and its historic sites, unique shops and restaurants, and nature at its best! The Chamber refers to this unique intersection of arts, restaurants and business interests as the cultural economy.

Concord is unique in three periods of history. Incorporated in 1635, the town was the first Massachusetts settlement away from the tidewater on a non-navigable river. The community, located at the junctions of the Concord/Sudbury and Assabet Rivers, was the site of seasonal Indian camps because of the abundant runs of shad, herring, and salmon. It was settled by the English as a frontier outpost of the Massachusetts bay Colony and was the first interior, non-tidal water town in Massachusetts. On April 19, 1775, it was the scene of the first battle of the War for Independence—the American Revolution. During the middle of the nineteenth century, a period aptly called “The Flowering of New England,” Concord was home to some of the greatest minds in America. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Bronson Alcott, and his daughter Louisa May Alcott, lived, talked, and wrote in Concord. Because of them, visitors, both literary and transcendental, flocked to this town which became an American Athens.

Through the years, the people of Concord have carefully preserved the historic and literary aspects of the town and, in addition, have maintained a commitment to the conservation of generous amounts of open space and wilderness areas. Private and public endeavors have preserved the homes of the Concord authors while Minute Man National Historic Park manages the North Bridge battleground area. Justly proud of its rich cultural heritage, the Concord of today continues to foster the arts, having a chorus, orchestra, band, four theater companies, two art centers, museums, historic houses and a theater for the performing arts.