From The Archives
Concord, Massachusetts 01742
Thoreau Farm, The birthplace of Henry David Thoreau
Henry David Thoreau
The "Minott House" Thoreau refers to is known today on the National Register of Historic Places as the Wheeler-Minot Farmhouse/Henry David Thoreau Birth House. Locally, it is also known as "Thoreau Farm."
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The house and surrounding farmland already had a long history before Thoreau’s birth in 1817. Native Americans cultivated the land until the town of Concord was chartered in 1635. Among the early settlers was Sgt. Thomas Wheeler who acquired substantial portions of acreage in the first and second divisions of land. Thomas settled large farms upon two of his sons, John and Timothy, along what would later become known as Virginia Road. John developed his property into a fairly prosperous farm and around 1730 built the farmhouse that stands to this day.
In 1756, the house and farm were sold to John Wheeler’s cousin, Deacon Samuel Minot, who conveyed the property to his son, Jonas. Jonas expanded the farm to nearly 104 acres by the late 18th century—one of the largest in Concord at that time. Jonas’s wife passed away in 1792 and he married Mary Jones Dunbar in 1798.
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Archived in December, 2015
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