Each year the Friends of Sleepy Hollow Cemetery organize a breakfast featuring a guest speaker who lectures on the history Concord and Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. These breakfasts have featured historians, authors, researchers, preservationalists, and distiguished residents.
In honor of the bicentennial of Thoreau’s birth, Laura Dassow Walls, a Thoreau scholar and author of the upcoming “Henry David Thoreau: A Life," spoke at The Friends of Sleepy Hollow’s eleventh Annual Breakfast Event on April 1, 2017.
Laura Dassow Walls is the William P. and Hazel B. White Professor of English and faculty member of the Graduate Program in History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Notre Dame. The author of several books, her focus is on the nineteenth century with a concentration in American literature centered on American Transcendentalism, particularly Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson.
2016 - Pulitzer Prize-winning author John Matteson spoke about Louisa May Alcott’s life-changing experience as a nurse during the Civil War. He described how Alcott found her literary voice through this experience.
2015 - Concord Museum Curator David Wood spoke on cabinetmaker William Munroe and described a time in history in which Concord was the second largest manufacturer of clocks in New England.
2014 - Jayne Gordon, Director of Education and Public Programs at the Massachusetts Historical Society, presented Mourning Hawthorne: The Gathering at the Grave.
2013 - Architectural historian Anne Forbes described the important local characters who shaped the town of Concord by building, developing and designing the streetscapes and neighborhoods of their native town.
2012 - Megan Marshall, described her experiences researching and writing her book “The Peabody Sisters, Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism.”
2011 - Polly Atwood, the history of Africans and abolitionists in Concord prior to and during the Civil War era, and the Drinking Gourd Project that was formed to raise awareness of these issues.
2010 - Leslie Perrin Wilson, an exploration of the accomplished people who lived in Concord during the 1800's.
2009 - Donna Hassler, discussion of the career of Daniel Chester French and his studio Chesterwood.
2008 - Charles Dee Jr., Stories and Movies of Concord: The 1950 Patriots Day Parade
2008 - Jim and Minxi Fannin, The Architecture and Symbolism of Early Cemetery Stones.
2008 - Retailing in Concord - Stores Over the Generations. Karen Anderson (Main Street Market and Cafe), Fritz Kussin, Louisa Alcott Yamartino (Fritz and Gigi's - The Children's Shop) and David Hesel (The Toy Shop).
2007 - Jayne Gordon, addressed the many luminary figures in American literature, the arts and education that lived and supported each other in Concord including the Alcotts, Emersons, Thoreaus and Hawthornes, all of whom are buried in Sleepy Hollow.
2007 - Charles Dee Jr., presented the fascinating movies his great grandfather Joseph Dee took of Concord during the 1930's, including the 1938 hurricane.
2007 - Richard Wheeler, 11th generation Concord resident - the Wheelers arrived in Concord in the mid 1630's. Rick shared some of the family lore from the 17th century through the 1850's.