ALFRED MUNROE glass plate negative collection of images of concord, mass., [ca. 1880-ca. 1902]

David Buttrick, seated in Monument Square, holding baby great-grandson Herbert Buttrick Hosmer

Not to be reproduced without permission from the Concord Free Public Library


EXTENT: 183 glass negatives (gelatin dry plate; 17 x 22 cm. or smaller) in 18 containers.

ORGANIZATION AND ARRANGMENT: Seven series: I. People; II. Houses, buildings; III. Street and area views; IV. Monuments, markers, historic sites; V. Rivers and bridges, landscape views, natural features; VI. Cemeteries; VII. Miscellaneous (composites; horses; Cheney coat of arms).
  People arranged alphabetically by last name, buildings alphabetically by street name. 

Photographer of Concord, Mass.  Born January 4, 1817, to pencilmaker William Monroe/Munroe and Martha (Patty) Stone Munroe; brother of William Munroe (founding benefactor of the Concord Free Public Library).  Educated in Concord schools.  Entered the dry goods business in Boston at age 16.  Earned his living in various commercial enterprises in Boston, London, New Orleans, and New York.  Returned permanently to Concord in 1877.  Observant, artistic, and devoted to his native town, Munroe photographed Concord and its inhabitants extensively during the final 25 years of his life.  The existence of mounted prints from his negatives, stamped on the reverse with his name, suggests some degree of commercial distribution of Munroe’s photographic work.  A member of the Concord Antiquarian Society, the Social Circle in Concord, the Postal Photographic Club, and Concord’s Library Committee and Cemetery Committee.  Visited Europe, Florida, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.  Author of Concord Out of Door Sketches (1903), which includes examples of his photography.  Died in Concord on July 23, 1904 (the result of a carriage accident).

Scope and Content: Photographs of Concord, Mass., and its residents, taken between about 1880 and 1902.  Few images in the collection are dated or precisely dateable.  Some earlier images by other photographers, re-photographed by Munroe, are included.  (The date span of the collection reflects the period of Munroe’s work, not the original dates of creation of the photographs re-photographed by Munroe.)

The 58 portraits in the collection include images of about 35 individuals and some of family and other groups as well.  Several of the photographs of people were reproduced from earlier portraits, including images of Louisa May Alcott (taken from a cabinet card), Nathaniel Hawthorne (taken from the Mayall portrait taken in London in 1860), and Henry David Thoreau (from the Dunshee ambrotype image, 1861).  Portraits are arranged alphabetically by the name of the subject.

The 44 photographs of buildings and houses include images of 19 structures, some of which are no longer in existence.  Some of those that remain standing have been radically altered, some moved to other locations.  Most building shots are exterior.  Several are from earlier images.  The building negatives are arranged alphabetically by street name.

The 33 street and area views include images of the Cattle Show Grounds (Middlesex Agricultural Fairgrounds), Elm Street, Main Street, Monument Square, Monument Street, Stow Street, and four miscellaneous scenes.  Among the views taken at the Cattle Show Grounds are several of a baseball game and of horses trotting.  The Main Street views include one photograph showing the construction of the Concord National Bank building.  The Stow Street images depict several nineteenth century school buildings.

The 15 images of monuments, markers, and historic sites primarily show the North Bridge (both the 1874 “rustic” version and the 1888 version), Battle Monument, Daniel Chester French’s Minuteman Statue, and Battle Lawn.  There are also images of the marker at Merriam’s (Meriam’s) Corner and the George Bradford Bartlett marker.

The 20 views of rivers, bridges, landscapes, and natural features include images of the Assabet, Sudbury, and Concord Rivers, “Gibraltar,” the Hemlocks, and Egg Rock, Three Arch Bridge, Nashawtuc Bridge, and Walden Pond.

The 5 cemetery images include photographs taken in the Hill Burying Ground (John Jack’s headstone) and Sleepy Hollow Cemetery (gate and path).

Among the 8 miscellaneous images are several composites (authors and homes), three photographs of horses, and one of the Cheney coat of arms.

PROVENANCE: Acquired by Henry Francis Smith from Alfred Munroe.

SOURCE OF ACQUISITION: Presented to the Concord Free Public Library by Henry Francis Smith (date of gift not recorded).

ADDITIONAL PHYSICAL FORMS AVAILABLE: Positive microfilm service copies for use in the library and for interlibrary loan.  (The microfilm was prepared through National Historical Publications and Records Commission grant number 97-063.)  Information about interlibrary loan, the provision of prints, and reproduction fees and restrictions is available from the Curator of Special Collections.  Prints of many images are found in albums in the library.  Early and copy prints of some images (and of others by Munroe not represented in this collection of negatives) are scattered throughout the Concord Free Public Library Photofile

RESTRICTIONS ON ACCESS: Patron access to images in the collection is via microfilm only (no access to the original negatives).

PROCESSED BY: LPW; finding aid prepared 06/20/97.  Prepared for the internet by Peter K. Steinberg, 05/06/06.


Series I. People:

Box 1:
Item I.1-2. Louisa May Alcott, seated, with pen in hand (photograph from cabinet card image) (old nos. 43-44)
Item I.3. Louisa May Alcott, head and shoulders only (from cabinet card image) (old no. 45)
Item I.4. Peter Andersen (broken plate) (old no. 21)
Item I.5. George Barrett (photograph of two cabinet card images, showing Barrett seated) (old no. 6)
Item I.6. Blanchard tennis group (emulsion flaking; image damaged) (old no. 53)
Item I.7. Oil portrait of Rev. Daniel Bliss (old no. 19)
Item I.8. Brown and Hurd group (three men, three women, bound for California (old no. 52)
Item I.9.  Rev. Benjamin R. Bulkeley family: two children, one in carriage (old no. 7)
Item I.10. Rev. Benjamin R. Bulkeley family: Rev. Bulkeley, wife, two children (old no. 8)
Item I.11. Ephraim Wales Bull (in profile) (old no. 33)
Item I.12. Ephraim Wales Bull (front view) (old no. 34)
Item I.13. David Buttrick, seated in Monument Square, holding baby grandson Herbert Buttrick Hosmer (old no. 12)

Box 2:
Item I.14. Group, including Lorenzo Eaton, by house (Eaton, three ladies, and dog) (old no. 51)
Item.I.15. John Murray Forbes (photograph of bust) (old no. 30)
Item I.16. James Garty, in garden (broken plate) (old no. 54)
Item I.17-20. Mr. Hale in wheelchair (propelled by hand mechanism) (old nos. 14-17)
Item I.21-23. Group, including Mr. Hale in wheelchair, in front of Concord’s Home for the Aged (old nos. 46-48)
Box 3:
Item I.24-25. Myrick L. Hatch, with mare and colt (old nos. 22-23)
Item I.26-27. Nathaniel Hawthorne (from Mayall photograph, taken in London in 1860) (old nos. 26-27)
Item I.28. Oil portrait of Dr. Abiel Heywood (old no. 10)
Item I.29. Oil portrait of Mrs. Hosmer, made by Stacy Tolman in 1887 (old no. 20)
Item I.30. William Henry Hunt, holding book (old no. 24)
Item I.31. William Henry Hunt, holding newspaper (old no. 25)
Item I.32. Silhouette of Dr. Isaac Hurd (old no. 11)

Box 4:
Item I.33. Caroline Knowles (standing, in garden) (old no.38)
Item I.34. Ruth Knowles (standing in garden, by fountain) (old no. 39)
Item I.35. Ruth Knowles (resting on chair in garden, by fountain) (old no. 41)
Item I.36. Ruth Knowles (in boat on river, under hemlocks) (old no. 40)
Item I.37. Mrs. Daniel Lothrop (Margaret Sidney) with child Margaret and Mrs. Frederick Warren of Boston in boat on Concord River at Egg Rock, Hunt-Hosmer House on Lowell Road in background) (old no. 13)
Item I.38. Loren B. Macdonald: text of his Easter sermon following burning of Parish Church (1900), with accompanying portrait (photographed from The Patriot) (old no. 175)
Item I.39. Loren B. Macdonald: continuation of text of his Easter sermon following burning of First Parish (1900; from The Patriot) (old no. 176)
Item I.40. Oil portrait of Rev. Alfred Putnam (in ornate frame) (old no. 5)
Item I.41. Joseph S. Richardson (child with small wheelbarrow) (old no. 31)
Item I.42-43. Oil portrait of Rev. Ezra Ripley (old nos. 3-4)
Item I.44. Samuel Staples (in his backyard; piece of plate broken off and missing) (old no. 37)
Item I.45-46. Nathan B. Stow (from Hardy photograph, taken in Boston) (old nos. 28-29)

Box 5:
Item I.47. Henry David Thoreau (from Dunshee ambrotype) (old no. 18)
Item I.48-49. Margaret Titcomb (baby daughter of Dr. George E. Titcomb; in baby carriage) (old nos. 1-2)
Item I.50. Stacy Tolman, at work in studio (old nos. 9)
Item I.51. Stacy Tolman’s studio, showing artist painting portrait of Bessie, who is posing seated (old no. 182)
Item I.52. Samuel Tuttle (in uniform, seated) (old no. 35)
Item I.53. Samuel Tuttle (by woodpile) (old no. 36)
Item I.54. Isabelle Wheeler (with viola) (old no. 32)
Item I.55. Unidentified woman, standing in garden (old no. 42)
Item I.56. Composite portrait of Concordians (including: Row 1—John M. Cheney, Nathan Brooks, Ebenezer Rockwood Hoar, Lemuel Shattack, Josiah Bartlett; Row 2—Samuel Hoar, Abiel Heywood, Moses Prichard, Ezra Ripley, Ralph Waldo Emerson (old no. 50)
Item I.57. Composite portrait of Concordians (including: Row 1—John M. Cheney, Nathan Brooks, Ebenezer Rockwood Hoar, William Munroe, Lemuel Shattack, Josiah Bartlett; Row 2—Samuel Hoar, Abiel Heywood, Moses Prichard, Ezra Ripley, Ralph Waldo Emerson (old no. 50A)
Item I.58. Composite portrait of Concordians (including: Row 1—John M. Cheney, Nathan Brooks, Ebenezer Rockwood Hoar, William Munroe, Lemuel Shattack, Josiah Bartlett; Row 2—Samuel Hoar, Abiel Heywood, Moses Prichard, Ezra Ripley, Ralph Waldo Emerson (old no. 49)


Box 6
Item II.1-2. Bedford Road: Hall House (now Dee property), with people by fence (old nos. 78-79)
Item II.3. Cambridge Turnpike: Emerson House (old no. 87)
Item II.4. Lexington Road: Shattuck-James House (old no. 67); see under Lexington Road, between II. 20 and II. 21.
Item II.5-6. Elm Street: Andrew J. Harlow House, decorated with bunting ((old nos. 69-70)
Item II.7. Off Elm Street: from painting or engraving of Squire Barrett’s Homestead (Willard-Lee-Barrett Farm, Nashawtuc); shows boy fishing from Elm Street Bridge (house no longer standing; plate damaged – emulsion lost on lower left corner and bottom) (old no. 71)
Item II.8. Hubbard Street: Frank Pierce House, family in yard (old no. 68)
Item II.9. Hubbard Street: Samuel Staples House, occupants on porch (lower corner of plate broken off, missing) (old no. 73)
Item II.10-11. Lexington Road/Monument Square: Wright Tavern, with people by fence (lower left corner of II.11 broken off) (old nos. 80-81)
Item II.12.Lexington Road/Monument Square: Wright Tavern, showing horse and buggy in front, children by fence (old no. 82)

Box 7:
Item II.13-14. Lexington Road: First Parish, pre-fire (old nos. 61-62)
Item II.15-16. Lexington Road: First Parish, 1901 October 1 (post-fire) (old nos. 55-56)
Item II.17-20. Lexington Road: First Parish, both pre- and post-fire (plate II.17 broken) (old nos. 57-60)
Microfilmed as Item II.4. Lexington Road: Shattuck-James House (old no. 67)
Item II.21. Lexington Road: Minot House (no longer standing), Robertson James in foreground, painting oil picture of house (the painting now in the Concord Free Public Library Art Collection) (old no. 74)
Item II.22. Lexington Road: Orchard House and Concord School of Philosophy (old no. 63)
Item II.23. Lexington Road: Wayside (old no. 86)
Item II.24. Lowell Road: Charles F. Smith House, occupants on porch and in yard (old no. 75)

Box 8:
Item II.25-27. Main Street and Sudbury Road (intersection): Concord Free Public Library, exterior, front view, 1895 (old nos. 96-98)
Item II.28. Main Street and Sudbury Road (intersection): Concord Free Public Library, interior, from back of Miss Whitney’s desk (old no. 99)
Item II.29-32. Main Street and Sudbury Road (intersection): Concord Free Public Library, interior, Concord Authors alcove (busts veiled in II.32) (old nos. 100-103)
Item II.33. Monument Street: Lorenzo Eaton House, Eaton and dog in yard (old no. 72)
Item II.34-35. Monument Street: Old Manse (image made from photograph) (old nos. 84-85)
Item II.36. Monument Street: Old Manse (close-up view) (old no. 83)
Item II.37-38. Monument Street: Old Hunt House (no longer standing), Punkatasset (old nos. 64-65)

Box 9:
Item II.39-42. Monument Square: Middlesex Hotel, with stagecoach, wagons, and people (image made from earlier photograph) (old nos. 88-91)
Item II.43. Monument Square: Middlesex Hotel: under demolition (1900; plate in two pieces, lower right portion broken off) (old no. 92)
Item II.44. Monument Square: Town Hall (function room in Concord Town House) (old no. 66)

Box 10:
Cattle Show Grounds (Middlesex Agricultural fairgrounds, Belknap Street area):

Item III.1. Baseball game (old no. 134)
Item III.2. Baseball game, showing spectators (old no. 136)
Item III.3. Baseball game, showing spectators, horses, and carriages (old no. 135)
Item III.4-5. Horses trotting (old nos. 132, 131)

Elm Street area:
Item III.6. View of Elm Street, looking toward Main Street (Sanborn House on left), from Elm Street/Three Arch Bridge (old no. 118)

Main Street scenes:
Item III.7-8. Building new Concord National Bank (later Harvard Trust), October, 1894 (top of III.7 broken off) (old nos. 76-77)

Box 11:
Item III.9. View down Main Street, looking west (Samuel Hoar House on right, in foreground) (old no. 112)
Item III.10. View down Main Street, looking west (Wheelock-Shepherd Tavern on right, in foreground) (old no. 113)
Item III.11. View across Main Street from corner of Main and Academy Lane (old no. 117)
Item III.12-13. View down Main Street, looking east (Ebenezer Rockwood Hoar House and Davis-Loring-Damon House on left) (old nos. 111, 110)
Item III.14. View down Main Street, looking west, May 1902 (Belknap-Wheildon-Motley House on left) (old no. 109)
Item III.15. View down Main Street, looking west, October 1902 (old no. 108)
Item III.16. View across Main Street from Munroe House, with snow (old no. 104)
Item III.17. View down double row of pines toward Belknap-Wheildon-Motley House (Main Street) (old no. 127)
Item III.18-19. Munroe garden, with fountain (old nos. 124, 106)
Item III.20. Munroe garden (old no. 105)
Item III.21. Munroe garden, with snow (old no. 125)
Item III.22. View down Main Street, looking west, showing horse-drawn buggies, Coach House-Howe’s Hotel-Holbrook Tavern/Coffee House and Elnathan Jones-Moses Pritchard House at right, in foreground (now Concord Academy) (old no. 107)

Box 12:
Monument Square:
Item III.23. View of Monument Square, showing Soldiers’ Monument, Town House, Court House (old no. 114)


Monument Street scenes:
Item III.24. Charles Prescott blackberry field (old no. 179)
Item III.25. Charles Prescott blackberry field, showing barn (old no. 178)
Item III.26. View down Monument Street, looking north, showing Barrett House at Monument Street and Court Lane (since moved) (old no. 115)

Stow Street scenes:
Item III.27.  Concord High School Emerson School, Ripley School (old no. 94)
Item III.28. Ripley School, Emerson School, Concord High School, looking toward Concord Free Public Library (old no. 95)
Item III.29. Concord High School, looking toward Sudbury Road (old no. 93)

Other views:
Item III.30. Distant view of Concord Center from Nashawtuc Hill (old no. 155)
Item III.31. Road in Hosmer woods (old no. 128)
Item III.32. West Concord: Assabet River, Factory Village (railroad tracks in foreground) (old no. 180)
Item III.33. Workmen ploughing street with team of draft horses (old no. 177)


Box 13:
Item IV.1. Old North Bridge (1874 “rustic” version), with gazebo, showing North Bridge area, view across Concord River, in winter (plate broken) (old no. 144)
Item IV.2. Old North Bridge (1874 “rustic” version), with gazebo, view toward Minuteman Statue, in winter (old no. 145)
Item IV.3. Old North Bridge (1888 version) (old no. 146)
Item IV.4. Battle Monument, Old North Bridge (1874 “rustic” version), Minuteman Statue in distance (emulsion flaking) (old no. 137)
Item IV.5-11. Minuteman Statue, North Bridge area (all from prints; some or all reproduced by Munroe in 1897) (old nos. 138-143, 183)
Box 14:
Item IV.12. Concord Battleground, North Bridge area, showing Buttrick House (image damaged; emulsion flaking) (old no. 147)
Item IV.13. Battle Lawn: James Barrett marker (old no. 173)
Item IV.14. Merriam’s (Meriam’s) Corner: marker and house (from photograph; emulsion peeling in lower left corner) (old no. 174)
Item IV.15. George Bradford Bartlett marker (on river) (old no. 169)

Box 15
Item V.1. View up the Assabet River, toward “Gibraltar” (old no. 166)
Item V.2. Assabet River, from under hemlocks, boat in foreground (from photograph) (old no. 165)
Item V.3. Assabet River, reflections of trees opposite hemlocks (from photograph) (old no. 164)
Item V.4. Hemlocks, Assabet River, with two women in boat (old no. 163)
Item V.5. Hemlocks, Assabet River, with Alfred Munroe’s boat, 1896 (old no. 162)
Item V.6. Sudbury River, showing railroad bridge and, on right, Agricultural Fair/Cattle Show building (old no. 119)
Item V.7. Sudbury River, looking across to houses on Wood Street (old no. 154)
Item V.8. Sudbury River, flooded, behind Main Street (from photograph) (old no. 153)
Item V.9. Sudbury River, below Nashawtuc Bridge, boats on bank (from photograph) (old no. 158)
Item V.10-11. Egg Rock, showing marker; with deep reflections (from photograph) (old nos. 159-160)
Item V.12. Egg Rock, with boat (from photograph) (old no. 161)

Box 16:
Item V.13. Three Arch Bridge, Elm Street (old no. 149)
Item V.14. View from Red Bridge, Lowell Road, across Concord River to Edwin S. Barrett House, showing cattle grazing in field (old no. 148)
Item V.15. Nashawtuc Bridge (from Keyes land), Nashawtuc Road, with child in foreground (old no. 150)
Item V.16. Nashawtuc Bridge (Nashawtuc Road) and Nashawtuc Hill (old no. 151)
Item V.17. Nashawtuc Road, looking toward Nashawtuc Hill, from bridge (old no. 152)
Item V.18. Walden Pond: Thoreau’s Cove (old no. 157)
Item V.19. Waterfall (“at old mill”) (old no. 156)
Item V.20. Boltonia (old no. 181)


Box 17:

ItemVI.1-3. Hill Burying Ground: John Jack headstone (from photograph) (old nos. 170-172)
Item VI.4. Sleepy Hollow Cemetery: gate (old no. 167)
Item VI.5. Sleepy Hollow Cemetery: path (old no. 168)


Box 18:

Item VII.1-2. Composite: 19th century authors and homes (mainly Concord authors) (old nos. 121-122)
Item VII. 3. Concord composite: authors, homes, significant buildings, structures, sites (old no. 123)
Item VII. 4. Concord composite: buildings and sites (Wayside, Emerson House, Concord Free Public Library, North Bridge, Old Manse, Emerson’s grave, etc.) (old no. 120)
Item VII.5. Richard F. Wood’s pony and carriage (old no. 130)
Item VII.6. Dr. Watson’s horse and carriage (old no. 133)
Item VII.7. Dr. Titcomb’s horse (old no. 129)
Item VII.8. Cheney coat of arms (emulsion bubbled) (old no. 126)


c2006 Concord Free Public Library, Concord, Mass.
Not to be reproduced in any form without permission of the Curator of Special Collections, Concord Free Public Library.

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Mounted 10th May 2006. rcwh.