American Philosophy

New England Transcendentalists

What happened to Henry David Thoreau’s hut?

A replica of Thoreau’s hut can now be visited. It is adjacent to Walden Pond near Concord, Massachusetts. Visitors can also walk around that three-mile circumference, across which Thoreau wrote that he liked to have “big conversations” with his guests. But none of this is the real thing.

After Thoreau left his hut to stay at Ralph Waldo Emerson’s (1803–1882) house, it was moved around Brooks Clark Farm as a structure for storing corn. It was finally placed in the northwest pasture of the farm to memorialize Thoreau and left there until 1867, although the windows were gone by then. In 1868, the roof was taken off to cover a pig yard, and in 1885 the floor and some other wood from the hut were used to make a shed off the barn. The remainder of the hut was then taken apart to replace planks in the barn. Others say that these boards were used to remodel the farm house.


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