The frame house was undistinguished architecturally and much too small for his family of five. At the time Hawthorne lived there the house had no porches or central entrance and was painted "a rusty olive hue."
Soon after he moved into The Wayside, Hawthorne's sister, Louisa, died
when travelling to Concord by way of New York on the ship Henry Clay.
A fire broke out on the ship, and in Louisa drowned when she apparently
jumped into the Hudson River. On hearing the news three days later on
July 30, Hawthorne reportedly went to his study
and then walked on the larch
path behind the house.
While living at the Wayside, Hawthorne published Blithedale Romance,
finished his biography of Franklin Pierce, and began "Tanglewood Tales."
In July 1853, Hawthorne and his family left the Wayside for Liverpool,
England, where Hawthorne worked as Consul, having been appointed by his
college friend and now President, Franklin Pierce. After living and travelling
in Europe for several years, Hawthorne and his family returned to America
and the Wayside in 1860.
In July, 1862, Hawthorne published "Chiefly About War Matters By a Peaceable
Man," an essay on the Civil War, which reports on his visit with Lincoln in Washington, D.C.