What did Thoreau's house look like?

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William Delaney | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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In Walden; Or, Life in the Woods, Thoreau describes how he built his home by himself for a total cost of $28.12. He writes:

I have thus a tight shingled and plastered house, ten feet wide by fifteen long, and eight-feet posts, with a garret and a closet, a large window on each side, two trap doors, one door at the end, and a brick fireplace opposite.

A replica of his cabin has been buillt at the Walden Pond State Reservation near Concord, Massachusetts. (See the first reference link below.) The site is a popular tourist attraction. The cabin has a peak roof and looks like a very ordinary cabin. Thoreau plastered it completely on the inside and built the fireplace with rocks taken from nearby. It must have been very snug, even in the rough New England winters.


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