Mapping Thoreau Country

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Walden Pond

  1. Thoreau's House: My dwelling was small...but it seemed larger for being a single apartment and remote from neighbors. All the attractions of a house were concentrated in one room; it was kitchen, chamber, parlor, and keeping room; and whatever satisfaction parent or child, master or servant, derive from living in a house, I enjoyed it all. — Walden, 268.
  2. Heywood's Peak: The pink is certainly one of the finest of our flowers...It is now in its prime on the south side of the Heywood Peak, where it grows luxuriantly in dense rounded tufts or hemispheres, raying out on every side and presenting an even and regular surface of expanded flowers. It is associated in my mind with the first heats of summer, or those which announce its near approach.— Journal, May 30, 1854.
  3. Brister's Hill: Down the road, on the right hand, on Brister's Hill, lived Brister Freeman, "a handy Negro," slave of Squire Cummings once...Not long since I read his epitaph in the old Lincoln burying-ground...near the unmarked graves of some British grenadiers who fell in the retreat from Concord, — where he is styled "Sippio Brister," — Scipio Africanus he had some title to be called, — "a man of color," as if he were discolored. It also told me, with staring emphasis, when he died; which was but an indirect way of informing me that he ever lived. — Walden, 284.
  4. Hubbard's Close: A sprinkling drove me back for an umbrella, and I started again for Smith's Hill via Hubbard's Close…White oak acorns have many of them fallen. They are small and very neat light-green acorns, with small cups, commonly arranged two by two close together, often with a leaf growing between them; but frequently three, forming a little star with three rays, looking very artificial.— Journal, September 12, 1854.
  5. Emerson's Cliff:  To Emerson's Cliff...Holding a white pine needle in my hand and turning it in a favorable light as I sit upon this cliff, I perceive that each of its three edges is notched or serrated with minute forward-pointing bristles. So much does nature avoid an unbroken line...Fine and smooth as it looks, it is serrated, after all. This is its concealed wildness, by which it connects with the wilder oaks.— Journal, September 25, 1859.
  6. Andromeda Ponds: On the Andromeda Ponds, between Walden and Fairhaven, he found the red snow; for things tropic or polar can be found if looked for. "...we cannot see any thing till we are possessed with the idea of it... First, the idea or image of a plant occupies my thoughts, and at length I surely see it, though it may seem as foreign to this locality as Hudson's Bay is."— William Ellery Channing, quoting Thoreau in Thoreau the Poet-Naturalist, with memorial verses, 264.
  7. Fair Haven Hill:  One afternoon, near the end of the first summer, when I went to the village to get a shoe from the cobbler's, I was seized and put into jail, because, as I have elsewhere related, I did not pay a tax to, or recognize the authority of, the State which buys and sells men, women, and children, like cattle, at the door of its senate-house...It is true, I might have resisted forcibly with more or less effect, might have run "amok" against society; but I preferred that society should run "amok" against me, it being the desperate party. However, I was released the next day, obtained my mended shoe, and returned to the woods in season to get my dinner of huckleberries on Fair Haven Hill.—Walden, 190.
  8. Bear Garden Hill: The wind now rising from over Bear Garden Hill falls gently on my ear and delivers its message, the same that I have so often heard passing over bare and stony mountaintops, so uncontaminated and untamed is the wind. The air that has swept over Caucasus and the sands of Arabia comes to breathe on New England fields. —Journal, August 5, 1851.
  9. Thoreau's Bean Field:  Mine was, as it were, the connecting link between wild and cultivated fields; as some states are civilized, and others half-civilized, and others savage or barbarous, so my field was, though not in a bad sense, a half-cultivated field. They were beans cheerfully returning to their wild and primitive state that I cultivated, and my hoe played the Ranz des Vaches for them.— Walden, 174.

I have my horizon bounded by woods...a distant view of the railroad where it touches the pond on the one hand, and of the fence which skirts the woodland road on the other. But for the most part it is as solitary where I live as on the prairies. It is as much Asia or Africa as New England. I have, as it were, my own sun and moon and stars, and a little world all to myself. — Walden, 144.