History of the Shop

Welcoming All Honest Pilgrims since 1995

The Thoreau Society Shop at Walden Pond first opened for business in May 1995. It was initially positioned in the Walden Pond State Reservation office building as a collaborative effort between the Society and the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management.

Previously, Thoreau fans and Concord pilgrims could visit the Thoreau Lyceum at 156 Belknap Street. The Lyceum had been a popular meeting place for Thoreauvians since it opened in 1966. Over the years, its staff answered questions, produced publications, and sold Thoreau-related merchandise.

The Lyceum’s parent organization, the Thoreau Foundation, merged with The Thoreau Society in the early 1990s. When the Lyceum house was sold in December 1994, some kind of new gathering place was needed. The Shop at Walden Pond was created to carry on the Lyceum spirit, to promote the Society, to educate visitors about Henry David Thoreau, and to help promote the park as well.

In 2015-2016, the old blue building was torn down in order to erect a brand-new Walden Pond Visitor Center. For a year, the Shop operated out of a trailer on the property. In October 2016, we were able to move into the new Shop space, right next to the park's exhibit and movie viewing rooms. Walden Pond State Reservation itself is open year-round, generally from dawn to dusk. The Shop is open year-round with daily hours that vary by season.

The Shop carries primarily products related to Henry D. Thoreau, to Walden Pond, to Concord and its historical authors, to nature and the environment, to writing and creativity, and to related subjects. We have books, apparel, artwork, cards, jewelry, souvenirs, gifts, and even drinks and snacks. Many of the books on our shelves have been signed by the authors. Many of our gift items and photographs come from local artists and residents.

Shop staff members are knowledgeable about Henry David Thoreau, his contemporaries, the town of Concord, and the local flora and fauna. Some of them have written books in their areas of expertise. They are happy to converse with visitors and travelers on all sorts of subjects.

The Thoreau Society is a non-profit organization. Our mission is to keep Henry David Thoreau's writings and ideas alive, challenging all to live a deliberate, considered life. Every Shop purchase helps to further the mission of the Society. You can learn more about The Shop at Walden Pond at www.shopatwaldenpond.org.