In his memoir of Concord Thirty Years Ago another Sanborn boarder Frank Preston Stearns recalled that the Alcotts "received" friends on Monday evenings in the rooms they rented, a half a house on Bedford Road near the town hall, while they readied the old house that would become Orchard House.
"Favored youths from Mr. Sanborn's school would go to there to play whist, make poker-sketches and talk with the ladies."
Whist was a popular card game much like Bridge and poker-sketches were drawings on wood incised with a red hot poker---an art May enjoyed.
One scholar would play chess with Abba and "Louisa usually sat by the fire-place knitting rapidly with an open book in her lap...
"Just after ten Mr. Alcott would come in with a dish of handsome apples and his wife produce some ginger cakes."
"[Mrs. Alcott] had a theory, and she practiced it too, that it is the duty of every mother in the land to invite a few young men to spend their evenings at their home, and so fill them with quite rational amusements that it would draw the young men away from bad places."
During the year he spent in Concord Alf formed close friendships with Louisa, her sisters and the Pratts: John, Frederick, Carrie and Theodore. John Pratt was courting Anna who loved the theater in those months. Amateur theatricals were an important part of their social life. Alf and Louisa never forgot their turn playing the married Tetterbys in a production of Charles Dickens's The Haunted Man (precursor to A Christmas Carol) for the Sanborn School.
"Every other week we could have a dance...the music furnished for a trifling fee by the odd and gifted ex-turnkey of the country jail, who played by ear, calling the figures smartly...Portland Fancy, Steamboat Quickstep, All the Way to Boston...."
"So close was this friendship, and so hearty and genuine the way in which I was taken into companionship by these gifted people [most ten years older than he]. Concord the only place that I think of as home. It is hard for me now to realize that I lived in Concord not quite one year." Alfred Whitman
Louisa, Anna, John Pratt and May wrote to Alf for decades after that year. Alf saved the letters, now at Harvard's Houghton Library where most of them are available online.
A—Cut 4 squares 2-1/2”
B—Cut 1 square 5-1/4”. Cut into 4 triangles with two diagonal cuts.
12” Block (3” Grid)
16” Block (4” Grid)
Cut 2 squares
8" = 6-5/8"
12" = 9-3/8"
16" = 12-1/4"
See Susan W. Bailey's post on Whitmans & Alcotts at LouisaMayAlcottisMyPassion: