Amos Bronson Alcott originally purchased two houses, both dating to the early 1700’s. He moved the smaller tenant house and joined it to the rear of the main structure, making many improvements to the main house, as he explains in his journal entries of 1857-58. At that time, the site encompassed 12 acres of apple orchards, probably appealing to Mr. Alcott who considered apples the most perfect food. It is not surprising that he should name his home "The Orchard House." [SOURCE: http://www.louisamayalcott.org]
Louisa May Alcott wrote her classic work, Little Women, here in 1868 at a "shelf" desk built by her father especially for her. She also set Little Women in this home, causing guests to comment that "a visit to Orchard House is like walking through the book!"