Henry David Thoreau Takes the Train To Palmer . . . and Beyond

Date(s) - 09/13/17 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Location: Palmer Public Library

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American author and naturalist Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862) is best known for spending one night in jail for nonpayment of the state poll tax, and for living for two years along the shores of Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. He may have “railed” against the railroad somewhat in Walden. But he traveled by train to deliver lectures, to visit friends, and to do some botanical explorations. The truth is, riding the rails was a natural and worthy activity in Thoreau’s life. He rode along more than two dozen railroad lines. Let’s face it: he was a commuter.  And he made the most of the time he spent in transit. He studied the passing landscape and “botanized” from the train windows. We’ll learn more about Thoreau’s travels throughout New England, through Palmer, and to the American Midwest.

Corinne H. Smith is a writer, poet, and outdoor educator. She is the author of Westward I Go Free: Tracing Thoreau’s Last Journey, the first book to follow his 1861 trip from Massachusetts to Minnesota, as well as a biography for middle-schoolers, Henry David Thoreau for Kids: His Life and Ideas, With 21 Activities. She currently divides her time between Pennsylvania and Massachusetts; and she serves as an interpreter and blog writer for Thoreau Farm: The Birthplace of Henry David Thoreau in Concord, Mass.