Our Online Auction with the Thoreau Society is Open, Bid Now!

This year’s online auction with the Thoreau Society on BiddingforGood.com offers over 270 items for  you or your favorite Thoreauvian! We have some new items, plus, familiar favorites. This spectacular fundraising event will help further the educational missions of both of our organizations.
A Personalized Celebrity Video Greeting, New!

From left: Ed Begley, cast of This Old House, Liam Martin, and Kate Merrill

Environmentalist and Thoreauvian Ed Begley, cast members from This Old House,”  and CBS Boston News Team, Kate Merrill and Liam Martin, will work with you to create a personalized video message. Surprise your friends or celebrate an event!
New Walking Tours!
In addition to our extremely popular birding tours with world acclaimed naturalist Peter Alden, author of 15 books on natural history for the Audubon Society, and with a mushroom foray with mycologist and Arctic explorer Lawrence Millman, we are introducing new tours that take place in New York City, Concord, Massachusetts, and on Nantucket Island.

From left: Kevin Dann, Victor Curran, and Mary Bergman lead new tours this year. Bid Now! Also, R/T Hi-Speed ferry tickets to Nantucket Island.

Dr. Kevin Dann, author of “Expect Great Things: The Life and Search of Henry David Thoreau,” is offering a tour of Henry’s NYC. Public historian Victor Curran is donating The Women of Concord Tour. Take the Steamship Authority’s High-Speed Ferry to Nantucket to take a walking tour of Siasconset with Nantucket Preservation Trust executive director Mary Bergman. Thoreau took the steamship to Nantucket in December 1854, spoke at the Nantucket Atheneum, and then took a walking tour of ‘Sconset. Whether it’s a tour of Thoreau’s New York, Concord, or Nantucket, have fun seeing the sights that Thoreau saw.
Thoreau Farm: Birthplace of Henry David Thoreau

Our new program, The Write Connection at Thoreau Farm, in partnership with the Thoreau Society, honors Henry’s legacy as an American writer.

From left: Write in the very room where Henry was born; Ken Lizotte offers a personalized Zoom publishing workshop; a late 19th century nail from Thoreau’s birth house; and an original wood-line or Provincetown print of Thoreau Farm.

The Writers Retreat is located in the very room where Henry was born, (upper left), and you can bid on a week or a weekend in the birth room.

Ken Lizotte, president of Thoreau Farm and Chief Imaginative Officer of emerson consulting group inc., will lead A Book By You?, a personalized Zoom workshop on publishing, limited to four participants.

An original white-line woodcut print, “Henry David Thoreau Birthplace #1,”  will remind you of your favorite historic house! In addition to the print, be sure to bid on the collectible 19th century nail from the renovation of Thoreau Farm.

There are more than 270 items featured in this year’s online auction on BiddingforGood.com. Be sure to visit, and thank you for your support!

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Gowing’s Swamp, Henry David Thoreau, and Joe Biden

by John Cratsley

A path just outside our home in Concord leads one into Gowing’s Swamp, historically known as Thoreau’s Bog.  Thoreau referenced it in  his “Journal,” “Walden,” and “Walking” for a total of 37 entries.

I particularly like the “Journal” entry of August 30, 1858, “Consider how remote and novel that [Gowing’s Swamp]. Beneath it is a quaking bed of sphagnum, and in it grow … plants which scarcely a citizen of Concord ever sees. It would be as novel to them as to stand there as in a conservatory, or in Greenland.”

I also find quite revealing the “Journal” entry of February 18, 1858, “[George Minott] Told me how Casey, who was a slave to a man – Whitney, — who lived where Hawthorne owns, — the same house, — before the Revolution, ran off one Sunday, was pursued by the neighbors, and hid himself in the river up to his neck till nightfall, just across from Great Meadows. He ran through Gowing’s Swamp and came back that night to a Mrs. Cogswell, who lives where Charles Davis lives, and got something to eat; then cleared far away, enlisted, and was freed as a soldier after the war.”

On November 3, Election Day 2020, I decided to walk to the polls through Gowing’s Swamp.  I did this because I wanted to elect a President who would protect our precious natural resources. I did this because I thought if I walked in the footsteps of Henry David Thoreau, it just might help Joe Biden get elected and protect our environment. When I finished voting, I returned home through Gowing’s Swamp proudly wearing my “I Voted Today” sticker.

Several days later, when I next walked in Gowing’s Swamp, and looking down, I took this photo:

Could this be my sticker left in Gowing’s Swamp for HDT?

John  Cratsley is a lecturer on law at Harvard Law School and a retired Massachusetts Superior Court Judge.

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Filed under General, Henry David Thoreau, Living Deliberately, The Roost

Goodbye to Our Great Ones

By Ken Lizotte, President, Thoreau Farm Trust

Thoreau Farm Trust Board President Ken Lizotte

As we say goodbye to 2020 (finally, thankfully), I’d like to single out a few great ones who, sadly, left us last year. John Lewis and Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Elijah Cummings, for example, come to mind, as do Alex Trebek, Chadwick Boseman, Chuck Yeager, Sean Connery, Little Richard, Olivia de Havilland … so, so many. Too many.

As regards to our Thoreau community, Robert Richardson also comes to mind. The author of many transcendentalist writings, he came into my life when I first moved to Concord in 1991. I attended his talk at the Concord Museum as he discussed his new biography of Emerson, The Mind on Fire. It literally introduced me to this magical world of thinkers in our little mid-19th century burg.

Fast forward to the 21st century when I was invited to join the Board of Trustees of Thoreau Farm. That got me reading Richardson’s other great bio, Henry Thoreau: A Life of the Mind, which filled in many gaps for me in terms of what Henry has meant to the larger world, and why. Richardson also contributed to our Thoreau Farm collection of essays, What Would Henry Do? (published by Thoreau Farm in 2017) and I had plans to bring him onto our next panel discussion about the ideas in our book. But it was not to be.

Later in the year, another loss hit me just as hard, the death of writer Alice Koller. I had read Alice’s book, An Unknown Woman: A Journey to Self-Discovery, during my formative years as a writer and strongly identified with her own journey.

Recording her emotional peaks and valleys during a year of living totally alone (well, she did have her German Shepherd, Logos!) in a cottage on Nantucket Island, Alice could easily have titled her book An Unknown Person, thanks to the universality of her expressed challenges and joys. Her homage to the passion a writer feels touched my soul regardless of our differing genders. Similarly, some obituaries compared her with Henry, whose own many journals sparked the same sensibilities in budding writers.

Finally, when I took this picture from my Manhattan hotel room one morning in 2019, I wondered — would the fog enveloping Lady Liberty still enshroud her in November of 2020? Or would the clouds be dissipating? Now we know.

The Statue of Liberty blanketed by fog.

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