In this week’s Fun Friday Photo, we’re visiting a cemetery. But it’s not just any cemetery. Tucked away on Bedford Street, just near the center of Concord, MA, is the resting place of more than a few literary icons. The Sleepy Hollow Cemetery is the final destination of the town’s most famous authors and poets, including Henry David Thoreau, Louisa May Alcott, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Ralph Waldo Emerson.
Most folks who visit Concord are drawn to Walden Pond because of its prominent importance to Thoreau’s book Walden. (Thinking back to high school English class, that’s the book that chronicles Thoreau’s thoughts and experiences while he lived in a cabin near Walden Pond for two years.) Little do they know that the author himself, along with several family members and other famous writers, are all buried on a hill at Sleepy Hollow called Author’s Ridge.
When I first saw Thoreau’s grave, I was a bit puzzled by all of the stuff piled on and near his headstone. I later discovered that it’s customary to leave trinkets for the famous folks who rest here. The pens and pencils are in honor of Henry’s job at a pencil factory, for example. The plastic cat on top of his headstone? I have no answer for that one…
I’ve lived in Massachusetts for over two decades and I only recently found out about Author’s Ridge. What hidden gems are in your town or nearby city? Grab a map and start exploring.