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In Memoriam:
Eric Parkman Smith
1910 - 2007

 

It is with deep sadness that Orchard House notes the passing of Eric Parkman Smith, Treasurer of The Louisa May Alcott Memorial Association from 1982-1997, on Friday June 15th, 2007, at the age of 97.
 
Mr. Smith began his association with Orchard House sitting on his Mother's lap at the very first LMAMA Board of Directors meeting in the Dining Room of Orchard House in 1911 at the age of one year!  Mr. Smith's cousins, Whitney & Lydia Smith, served as Board Treasurer and President, respectively, in the 1960s and 70s, and since the late 1990s, another cousin, Lowell (Sandy) Smith, has continued the tradition of a Smith family member being Treasurer of LMAMA.
 
Mr. Smith also loved and was honored to portray Bronson Alcott during Living History programs at Orchard House, and was featured in the premier issue of Yankee Magazine's "Christmas in New England" publication, a photo of which (see above) will be on temporary display in the Study as a tribute to Mr. Smith's love and dedication to Orchard House and the Alcott family.
 
Mr. Smith had a very personal connection to the Alcotts as well.  His Mother, Helen Train Blanchard, and her two sisters were privileged to know Louisa May Alcott!  She even presented them with a copy of Little Women she inscribed:  "To the Little Women of the House of Blanchard, from their friend, L. M. Alcott, December 1881."  This copy has been handed down through Mr. Smith's family and, as he wrote, "This book, now ragged and tattered from hundreds of readings by 'the little women,' their children, and grandchildren, became the prized possession of our family."  He was also very proud of the fact that his family and their Concord friends actually provided the inspiration for Louisa to write Jack and Jill in 1880.
 
A brilliant and well-spoken gentleman, and a highly successful businessman, Mr. Smith used his keen financial talents to keep Orchard House on a sound footing during his tenure as Treasurer.  Although never married, Mr. Smith was especially fond of his many nieces and nephews, and was always delighted to be in the company of all children.  With his ready wit, a thorough knowledge of Concord family genealogies and anecdotes about the Town, an abiding collateral interest in Henry David Thoreau, and a gentle, caring nature, Mr. Smith will be sorely missed by all who knew him, and, the Town of Concord has truly lost one of its most devoted native sons.
 
Contributions in Mr. Smith's memory have been requested to be made to Orchard House and should be addressed to P.O. Box 343, Concord, MA  01742-0343.

Or you may click here to use our secure online donation form.

Click here to read Mr. Smith's full obituary.

 


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