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Building Thoreau’s Boat

August 31, 2007 — January 06, 2008


This exhibition had as its centerpiece the reconstruction of a boat like the one Henry Thoreau and his brother John rowed and sailed in a trip they took from Concord, Massachusetts to New Hampshire in 1839. It was this trip, in this boat, that resulted in Henry Thoreau’s first book, A Week on the Concord and Merrimack Rivers. The exhibition explored the brothers’ now-famous trip, the history of dories in New England, and most importantly, the process of recreating and building an historic boat. In June 2007, David Snediker of Taylor & Snediker, specialists in building and restoring small craft, reconstructed Thoreau’s dory in a boat-building yard in Pawcatuck, CT. The process was documented by photographer Eric Roth, whose photographs, along with the plans, tools and raw materials used in the boatbuilding process, were displayed in the exhibition.