Walden Pond

Pond Path Concordundefined

City of Boston Arts
Written By City of Boston Arts

The Mayor's Office of Arts + Culture for Boston. We foster the growth of the cultural community in Boston and promote participation in the arts.

Just outside of Boston in Lincoln, Massachusetts is a poetry-inspiring sight: Walden Pond. The pond was owned by Ralph Waldo Emerson, a poet who often championed Henry David Thoreau. From July 1845 to September 1847, Thoreau lived at Walden Pond and used his experience to provide material for his book "Walden."

Thoreau's life at Walden Pond was one of simplicity and natural splendor. It was during his time here that Thoreau became enchanted with the power of nature and began his work to preserve the incredible natural beauty of the United States. He lived in his cabin near the pond for two years, two months and two days. It was at this time that "Walden" was born in Thoreau's mind, although the masterpiece was not published until 1854 -- seven years after he left the cabin.

“We need the tonic of wildness...At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.” - Henry David Thoreau, "Walden"

Thoreau's beloved pond was almost destroyed to make room for offices and condos in 1969. Don Henley, a founding member of The Eagles and dedicated Thoreau fan, started the Walden Woods Project to save the pond. Now, most of the woods are protected by The Walden Woods Project and the Massachusetts Commonwealth.

Walden Pond has now been designated as a National Historic Landmark and is also considered the birthplace of the conservation movement. Today you can immerse yourself in the pond's story through tours and educational programs. In the summer, Walden Pond is a popular location for literature lovers to come and swim or hike.

[Cover Photo Credit: Pablo Sanchez via Flickr]

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