Horatio Alger House – Natick, Massachusetts - Atlas Obscura

Horatio Alger House

Natick, Massachusetts

The American author whose "rags-to-riches" stories were popular during the Gilded Age. 


It looks like any other house you’d find in a normal neighborhood and hundreds of people drive by it every day. However, this little house in Natick also called the Parsonage has an interesting story and is actually designated as a National Historic Landmark by the U.S. government.

Horatio Alger was a prolific author of young adult novels during the 19th century. Through books like Ragged Dick, Luck and Pluck, and Tattered Tom, he helped popularize the “rags to riches” narrative and had a formative effect during the Gilded Age in the United States. Unlike other authors who wrote similar stories where the protagonist rose from poverty to wealth by hard work and determination, Alger instead focused on kindness and virtue. For example, one narrative might be an orphaned boy finding a large sum of money but actually returning it to the owner and being rewarded for his honesty.

Although Alger lived in New York, he was originally from Massachusetts and spent his summers in Natick at this house, which was owned by his father. There actually is a plaque commemorating its historical significance outside although it is difficult to see from the street and the house is currently a private residence. If you are a fan of Horatio Alger or the “rags to riches” literary genre, The Parsonage in Natick is certainly worth a visit.

Know Before You Go

There is a small park directly across from the house and a small area where you can park your car next to the sidewalk.

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April 18, 2022

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