‘Massachusetts’ Archive

“There were many of the modern American houses here.” 22 July 2011 No Comments

When Thoreau wrote those words in his book on Cape Cod (published posthumously in 1865), he didn’t mean it as a compliment.  He had nothing but disdain for the “modern” houses he saw on the Cape, white painted boxes built of “dimension timber, imported from Maine.” (The italics are his.)  Not surprisingly, given the romantic […]

Two final huts (except they are cabins) 9 April 2011 No Comments

In 1852 the rustic cabin achieves immortality as a place to escape from one’s everyday life when Henry David Thoreau publishes an account of his self-imposed, semi-seclusion on the shore of Walden Pond from 1845 to 1847. There he lived, mostly self-sufficient, having removed himself from “civilized life” to a house he built for himself for […]