The Walden Woods of  Thoreau's Youth

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The John G. Hales map of 1820...
Comments by Steve Ells:

These would have been the woods of Henry Thoreau's earliest memory. In the map above, Concord village is at the top and Lincoln Center is at the bottom right, with the town line running diagonally from Fair Haven Bay at bottom right. The Concord (Sudbury) River is at the left; Walden (called here "Waldron") Pond is at left center; Sandy (now Flint's) Pond is at the right center. This map has a certain historic interest as people try to understand how this landscape informed Thoreau's and Emerson's writings and thoughts. 

The Hales 1819-20 map has details that show a lot of knowledge of local conditions, and these details add to its credibility. Three examples that catch my eye are the corridor of woods running southwest from Walden Pond to Mt. Misery and the bridge to Nine Acre Corner. It shows as wooded the brook valley below the modern Thoreau Institute to Baker Bridge Road (logical). And it shows a portion of the east shore of Flint's Pond as wooded, including the point on which Stearns Wheeler's cabin (and the chestnut grove?) was located (thus, it also looks likely). It is generally consistent with Hales's legislatively mandated 1830 surveys of Lincoln and Concord, though the woods in the 1830 surveys appear on quick review to be slightly smaller, which is also likely. 


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