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Sophia Thoreau Leaves | Concord Museum Exhibit

Sophia Thoreau Leaves | Concord Museum Exhibit
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Sophi Thoreau Leaves
Photo/Art by David Bohl
Henry David Thoreau’s poetry inscribed on leaves.

The symbiotic link between nature and literature is perhaps nowhere more apparent than in Concord, Massachusetts. With just enough forest between Concord’s tree-lined streets and Boston’s bustling avenues, this village remains a place of solace for writers and vacationers alike.

In one shady corner of town you’ll find the cozy Concord Museum. Its unobtrusive frame sits just across the street from Emerson’s home and blends seamlessly into the surrounding neighborhood. Its impeccably preserved collection—presented in a straightforward, unpretentious fashion—contains a handful of must-see exhibits, including Thoreau’s writing desk and the lantern that signaled Paul Revere. Still, Sophia Thoreau’s leaves may be the pieces most indicative of the understated tone that makes this museum so appealing to visitors from around the world.

Pressed and inscribed in ink by Sophia Thoreau, these leaves bear lines from the poetry of her famous brother, Henry David, and of Ralph Waldo Emerson. Simple and concise, they’re a fitting testament to the Transcendentalists’ philosophical movement, which eschewed glamour and thrived in the peaceful, verdant places of the world.

Concord Museum
200 Lexington Road
Concord, MA
Fall hours Mon.–Sat. 9–5, Sun. noon–5

Please Note: This information was accurate at the time of publication. When planning a trip, please confirm details by directly contacting any company or establishment you intend to visit.

Justin Shatwell


Justin Shatwell


Justin Shatwell is a longtime contributor to Yankee Magazine whose work explores the unique history, culture, and art that sets New England apart from the rest of the world. His article, The Memory Keeper (March/April 2011 issue), was named a finalist for profile of the year by the City and Regional Magazine Association.

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