3. A Thoreau Survey Showing the Future Concord Free Public Library Site

In 1850, Concord author-cum-surveyor Henry David Thoreau plotted a road between Academy Lane and the Concord Depot. The laying out of Middle Street necessitated moving the old Concord Academy building, where Thoreau had gone to school and where he later (1838-1841) taught with his brother John. (The building was relocated to what is now 25 Middle Street, where it still stands.)

In his September 1850 survey showing the proposed new street (no. 24b in the library's Thoreau survey collection), Thoreau included the area from the intersection of Main Street and Sudbury Road - in 1850 the site of the Nathan Brooks House, eventually that of the Concord Free Public Library - west to the depot. This detail from survey 24b shows the property of Concord lawyer Nathan Brooks and adjacent parcels. Thoreau's field notes (also held by the library) reveal that the survey was undertaken for property owners "Francis Monroe [a brother of library benefactor William Munroe] & Others."