JACQUELINE DAVISON - MALCOLM FERGUSON PAPERS RELATING PRIMARILY TO ORGANIZATIONS FOR THE PRESERVATION AND RESTORATION OF WALDEN POND, 1922-2001 

Vault A40, Unit 6

EXTENT: .4 linear feet (1 box + 1 oversized folder, and one map in oversized storage)

ORGANIZATION AND ARRANGEMENT: Five series: Series I. Walden Pond State Reservation, 1922-1988, and undated; Series II.  Walden Pond advisory committees, 1973-1989, and undated; Series III. Walden Pond citizen organizations, 1974-2001, and undated; Series IV.  Correspondence, 1973-1997, and undated; Series V. Newspaper clippings, 1970-1997, and undated

Items in Series I-IV are arranged chronologically by date.  Folder 16 in Series V contains photocopied scrapbook contents in original (not chronological) order. 

BIOGRAPHY AND HISTORY: Jacqueline Davison: Lexington, Mass. resident; Lexington town meeting member, Lexington school committee member, teacher, Cary Memorial Library (Lexington, Mass.) volunteer; member of Walden Pond Advisory Council, Walden Pond Restoration Committee, Walden Pond Advisory Committee, treasurer and secretary of Friends of Walden Pond, 1974-198[1].  Malcolm Ferguson: Concord, Mass. resident; librarian, book dealer; board member of Thoreau Lyceum, member of Walden Pond Advisory Council, Walden Pond Restoration Committee, Walden Pond Advisory Committee, Friends of Walden Pond.

Walden Pond and surrounding land, setting of Henry David Thoreau’s Walden, was donated to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 1922 by the Emerson, Forbes, Hoar and Heywood families.  During the 1970s, a number of organizations, devoted to the management of the Walden Pond State Reservation as a natural, historical, and recreational resource, were established.  The Walden Pond Advisory Council, formed to develop a plan for the restoration and preservation of Walden, first met Apr. 28, 1973.  Reporting to the Middlesex County Commissioners (then administrators of Walden Pond State Reservation), the Council considered the presence and location of boathouses, comfort station, parking lots, and trailer park, the relocation of Routes 2 and 126, the prevention of erosion, the Thoreau house site, historical interpretation, etc.  The Walden Pond Restoration Committee, a subcommittee of the Walden Pond Advisory Council, was formed to implement the Council’s plans as developed by professional landscape architects.  The Committee worked with Richard A. Gardner and Associates to establish priorities and evaluate plans participated in the transfer of the administration of the reservation from the Middlesex County Commissioners to the Massachusetts Department of Natural Resources (bill signed July 1974; effective January 1, 1975).  On January 1, 1975, the Walden Pond Advisory Council and Walden Pond Restoration Committee ceased to exist, their advisory role passing to the Walden Pond Advisory Committee, appointed to keep the Massachusetts Department of Natural Resources informed about local concerns (the new board composed largely of members of the Walden Pond Restoration Committee).  Simultaneously, the Friends of Walden Pond, a non-profit citizens’ group formed to encourage the proper management of the Walden Pond State Reservation, was organized (its first meeting held September 26, 1974).  The Thoreau Society, established in 1941, encourages interest in Henry David Thoreau and his writings, and advocates for the preservation of “Thoreau Country,” including Walden Pond.  Walden Forever Wild, founded in 1980 by Mary Sherwood, is an organization devoted to turning Walden Pond State reservation into a national or state sanctuary to restrict public access and to protect Walden Pond and the surrounding area.

SCOPE AND CONTENT:  Collection contains papers (1922-2001; mainly photocopied typescripts) of seven organizations (the Middlesex County Commissioners, Walden Pond Advisory Council, Walden Pond Restoration Committee, Walden Pond Advisory Committee, Friends of Walden Pond, Thoreau Society and Walden Forever Wild), including newsletters, pamphlets, membership lists, attendance lists, minutes, memoranda, proposals, and public meeting announcements.  Letters written by Mary Sherwood of Walden Forever Wild to Kenneth Basset of the Walden Pond Advisory Committee are filed in Series II, Folder 9.  General documents about Walden Pond that are not specific to one of the organizations are in Series I, Series IV or Series V: photocopy of the 1922 deed of gift for Walden Pond; a Commonwealth of Massachusetts Senate act to establish the Walden Pond Sanctuary; a draft contract for the proposed bathhouse; maps; pamphlets; newspaper clippings; and correspondence (including a letter from Malcolm Ferguson to Jacqueline Davison, the United States Department of the Interior to Commissioner Paul Tsongas, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs to the Commissioner of Public Works, and from Roland Wells Robbins). 

SERIES DESCRIPTIONS:

Series I. Walden Pond State Reservation, 1922-1988, and undated:  includes 1922 deed of gift, An Act to Establish the Walden Pond Sanctuary, Walden Pond postcard, environmental notification forms, Walden Pond rules and regulations [undated], a draft contract for proposed bathhouse [undated], Walden Pond pamphlets and maps.

Series II.  Walden Pond advisory committees, 1973-1989, and undated: consists of papers from and about the Middlesex County Commissioners, the Walden Pond Advisory Council, Walden Pond Restoration Committee, and the Walden Pond Advisory Committee, including an act abolishing the Walden Pond State Reservation Commission, minutes, correspondence, agreement for architectural services, and a preliminary proposal for the Seefurth Education Center at Walden Pond.

Series III. Walden Pond citizen organizations, 1974-2001, and undated: includes agendas, minutes, membership rosters, correspondence, and maps from Friends of Walden Pond and a donation letter, newsletters and ephemera from the Thoreau Society and newsletters and pamphlets from Walden Forever Wild.

Series IV.  Correspondence, 1973-1997, and undated: includes a letter from Malcolm Ferguson to Jacqueline Davison, the United States Department of the Interior to Commissioner Paul Tsongas, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Executive Office of Environmental Affairs to the Commissioner of Public Works, and from Roland Wells Robbins. 

Series V. Newspaper clippings, 1970-1997: includes clippings about Walden Pond including: use versus history of Walden Pond, Thoreau’s house site, security issues, parking problems and parking lots, the relocation of Route 126, management of Walden Pond, Senator Paul Tsongas’ death, Roland Wells Robbins obituary, and Dorothea Harrison obituary.

SOURCE OF ACQUISITION: Gift of Friends of Walden Pond via Malcolm Ferguson, 1 July 2004.

ASSOCIATED MATERIALS: Malcolm M. Ferguson Papers Accumulated Through Membership in Organizations for the Preservation and Restoration of Walden Pond, 1957-1975, (Bulk 1973-1975), Vault A40 Unit 3.  The Concord Free Public Library’s Special Collections owns other collections regarding Walden Pond which may be searched for in the Minuteman Library Network Catalog. 

NOTES AND COMMENTS: Accessioned 2 July 2004 (AMC 108).

PROCESSED BY: Karen Chmielewski, April 2007

CONTAINER LIST

Series I.  Walden Pond State Reservation, 1922-1988, and undated

Folder 1:
Photocopied deed of gift for Walden Pond, 1922

Folder 2:
Walden Pond postcard, pamphlets, forms and ephemera, 1957-1981, and undated
Moved “Rules and Regulations for the government and the use of the Walden PondState Reservation, 1957” to Folder 17, Oversized Materials I, 1957-1976, and undated

Folder 3:
Middlesex County Commissioners, 1960-1971, and undated

Folder 4:
“An Act to Establish the Walden Pond State Sanctuary,” 1988

Folder 5:
“Draft Contract for Proposed Bathhouse facility and Site Improvements for Beach Area of Walden Pond State Reservation,” undated

Folder 6:
Walden Pond maps, undated
Moved “Map 1 Critical Areas” to Folder 17, Oversized Materials I, 1957-1976, and undated
Moved “Walden Pond Reservation” topographical map to Folder 18, Oversized Materials II, undated

Series II.  Walden Pond advisory committees, 1973-1989, and undated

Folder 7:
Walden Pond Advisory Council, 1973-1974

Folder 8:
Walden Pond Restoration Committee, 1973-1974

Folder 9:
Walden Pond Advisory Committee, 1974-1989, and undated
Moved “LakeCochituate Watershed Association vol. 7, no. 2, February 1977” to Folder 17, Oversized Materials I, 1957-1976, and undated

Series III. Walden Pond citizen organizations, 1974-2001, and undated

Folder 10:
Friends of Walden Pond, 1974-198[4], and undated
Moved maps: “Restoration Proposal 1 Feb. 1975” and “Thoreau House Site Walden Pond State Reservation Friends of Walden Pond 26 January 1975, Existing Conditions” to Folder 17, Oversized Materials I, 1957-1976, and undated

Folder 11:
Thoreau Society, 1976-2001, and undated

Folder 12:
Walden Forever Wild, 1986-1996, and undated
Letters written by Mary Sherwood of Walden Forever Wild to Kenneth Basset of the Walden Pond Advisory Committee are filed in Series II, Folder 9. 

Series IV.  Correspondence, 1973-1997, and undated

Folder 13:
Non-advisory committee, non-citizen organization correspondence, 1973-1997, and undated
           
Series V.  News clippings, 1970-1997

Folder 14:
News clippings, 1974-1997

Folder 15:
News clippings, undated

Folder 16:
News clippings and letter from scrapbook, 1970-1976, and undated
Photocopied clippings in original order, not chronological order
Original letter from Roland Wells Robbins to Miss Kathy Bailey, Scribe, Girl Scout Troop 415, 8 March 1974 moved to Folder 13,Non-advisory committee, non-citizen organization correspondence, 1973-1997, and undated.”  Photocopy of letter located in Folder 16.

OVERSIZED MATERIALS

Folder 17:
Oversized Materials I, 1957-1976, and undated
Materials moved to this folder from folders 2, 6, 9 and 10
Folder located on shelf with the collection’s box (Vault A40, Unit 6)

Folder 18:
Oversized Materials II, undated
Material moved to this folder from folder 6
Folder located with other large oversized materials

c2007 Concord Free Public Library, Concord, Mass.
Not to be reproduced in any form without permission of the Curator of Special Collections, Concord Free Public Library.

Mounted 2 May 2007.    rcwh.

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