"This old house, with colonial as well as literary associations, delighted my parents. Loving literature and history as they did, they determined to make as few changes as possible. They felt it a duty to preserve the physical nature as well as the fine traditions of the past, and they decided to repair, but not to change unless absolutely necessary. All that dated from the Hawthorne era was carefully saved." - Margaret Lothrop, The Wayside: Home of Authors, 1940
Like the Alcotts and the Hawthornes before them, The Wayside was the first home the Lothrops' owned. While keeping the house's earlier features intact, the Lothrops added The Wayside's modern conveniences:
- Town water in 1883,
- Central heat in 1888, and
- Electricity in 1904.
To handle the many events Harriett hosted, a large piazza was added on the west side in 1887. The Wayside today, restored by the National Park Service with Margaret Lothrop's invaluable assistance, reflects the Lothrops' home life around 1915, preserving three hundred years of history.