Annual Breakfast Event

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.


2017 Breakfast Event - April 1st

On Independence Day, 1845, Henry David Thoreau moved into a self-built cabin located on land owned by Ralph Waldo Emerson at Walden Pond to devote himself to writing and to rediscover the wonder of nature. While many view this experiment as a solitary life for Thoreau, it was quite the opposite.

As Thoreau writes in “Walden,” he had “three chairs in his cabin; one for solitude, two for friendship and three for society.” Walls will share the motivation for Thoreau moving to Walden and what he hoped to discover as well as the incredible social engagement experienced in that small cabin from friends and visitors.

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," will speak at The Friends of Sleepy Hollow’s eleventh Annual Breakfast Event to be held April 1, 2017 at 8:30 a.m. in the main dining room of Concord’s Colonial Inn. The cost is $25 per person, which includes a full breakfast. Seating for the event is limited, so reservations are required by March 25.

This year’s Breakfast Event will also feature two drawings for two free brunches, at the Colonial Inn, courtesy of the Inn.

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. Her newest book, "Henry David Thoreau: A Life," will be published by the University of Chicago Press in July, 2017.

Please send your check as follows to make a reservation:
The Friends of Sleepy Hollow Cemetery
Post Office Box 313
Concord, Massachusetts 01742
Reservations will be confirmed and held at the door the morning of the event – no tickets will be issued in advance.


Previous Breakfasts

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.