RUTH R. WHEELER PAPERS, 1843-1972 (BULK 1921-1972)

Ms. map of Concord in 1790-1794.
Not to be reproduced without permission from the Concord Free Public Library.

VAULT A45, Wheeler, Unit 2


EXTENT: 6.9 linear feet (4 containers and one drawer).

ORGANIZATION: Six series: I. Personal and family papers; II. North Bridge Neighbors and Concord, Climate for Freedom; III. Research, lectures, and working papers relating to various historical topics; IV. Allen French papers; V. Thoreau/Thoreau Society; VI. Materials by form.

BIOGRAPHY: Ruth R. Wheeler (1890-1973) was a Concord, Massachusetts historian and author. She was born in Watertown, Massachusetts, daughter of George Frederick and Grace Pratt Robinson. She graduated from Vassar College in 1912 and then studied at the University of Munich, later teaching school in Ramsey, New Jersey and North Stonington, Connecticut. In 1916, she married Concord farmer Caleb Wheeler and together they had five sons. They lived in the Thoreau birthplace on Virginia Road in Concord, and later at Fairhaven. Mrs. Wheeler was an active member of Concord boards and committees from the late 1920's. She was the co-author with her father of Great Little Watertown (published 1930). She also authored Our American Mile (1957), Concord, Climate for Freedom (1967), and numerous articles on Concord history, houses, and people. Research on the North Bridge area for Minute Man National Historical Park resulted in the 1964 typescript of North Bridge Neighbors; work on Concord houses led to the Wheeler House File in the Concord Free Public Library Special Collections.

Mrs.Wheeler was news editor for the Concord Journal and a founder and officer of The Thoreau Society. Committed to the preservation of Walden Pond, she served on the Society’s Save Walden Committee in 1957. In 1970 she received Concord's Honored Citizen Award. She was also a member of the Concord Antiquarian Society and of the First Parish Church in Concord.

SCOPE AND CONTENT: Papers 1843-1972, bulk 1921-1972. Series I: Personal papers, 1843-1971, includes correspondence and Robinson, Coolidge, Bigelow, Parks, and Wheeler family papers; Series II: North Bridge Neighbors and Concord, Climate for Freedom, [early 1960's] - 1968, includes notes and working papers for North Bridge Neighbors and quotations, appendixes, agreement, and proof for Concord, Climate for Freedom; Series III: Research, Lectures, and Working Papers Relating to Various Historical Topics (Primarily Concord-Related), [1920's] - 1972, includes mixed materials (notes, clippings, etc.) on houses and people in Concord, typescript and ms. drafts of Wheeler House Files, ms. notes on families and houses in Concord and surrounding towns, lectures, notes on various historical topics, typescripts, mixed files (correspondence, notes, typescripts, clippings, etc.) on special topics, including Concord, Sydney, Australia and geology of Walden Pond; Series IV: Allen French Papers, 1921-1943, includes correspondence, material for French's Social Circle Memoir of Adams Tolman, material related to proposed gas station on site of Thoreau's bean field, expansion of Hapgood Wright Town Forest, library censorship, French's involvement with Thoreau Society; Series V: Thoreau / Thoreau Society, 1945-1969, includes correspondence and Save Walden Committee material; Series VI: Materials by Form, 1898 - [early1970's], includes photostats and photocopy of early documents (deeds, etc.), photocopied clippings (articles by Ruth Wheeler and others on Concord, reviews of Allen French's The First Year of the American Revolution, Thoreau and Thoreau Society articles), and hand-drawn or hand-annotated maps of Concord and vicinity.

SOURCE OF ACQUISITION: Gift of Ruth R. Wheeler, 1972(?).


PROCESSED BY: LPW,1997; finding aid prepared by C. Manoli-Skocay, December 2001.


PERSONAL AND FAMILY PAPERS, 1843-1972 (bulk 1921-1972)

Box 1, Folder 1.
Correspondence: 1931-1971 (alphabetically by correspondent)

Box 1, Folder 2.
Personal papers: Rotary Club certificate, contract with National Park Service, Honored Citizen Award, 1953-1970

Box 1, Folder 3.
Robinson and Wheeler family papers: Robinson (Watertown);Coolidge; Bigelow; Parks (1843-1962)

Box 1, Folder 4.
Robinson and Wheeler family papers: Wheeler, 1880-1967

[EARLY 1960’s ] - 1968

Box 1, Folders 5-8.
North Bridge Neighbors: genealogical, historical, and bibliographical notes and drafts

Box 1, Folder 9.
North Bridge Neighbors: Bateman

Box 1, Folder 10.
North Bridge Neighbors: Brown

Box 1, Folder 11.
North Bridge Neighbors: Buttrick, (north of road)

Box 1, Folder 12.
North Bridge Neighbors: Flint

Box 1, Folder 13.
North Bridge Neighbors: Heald-Buttrick (south of road)

Box 1, Folder 14.
North Bridge Neighbors: Hunt

Box 1, Folder 15.
North Bridge Neighbors: Other neighboring houses

Box 1, Folder 16.
Concord, Climate for Freedom: Quotations

Box 1, Folder 17.
Concord, Climate for Freedom: Appendixes F and G (typescripts)

Box 1, Folder 18.
Concord, Climate for Freedom: Agreement; correspondence

Box 1, Folder 19.
Concord, Climate for Freedom: proof. Includes cover; pp. i- 14; 1-36; 111-190. (1967)

Box 1, Folder 20.
Concord, Climate for Freedom: proof, pp. 37-206 (1967)

Box 1, Folder 21. Concord, Climate for Freedom: proof, pp. 207-233; (1967)


Box 1, Folder 22.
Notes, clippings, etc., on houses and people: Church Green; First Parish

Box 1, Folder 23.
Notes, clippings, etc., on houses and people: Bay Road (Lexington Road); Cambridge Turnpike

Box 1, Folder 24.
Notes, clippings, etc., on houses and people: Bay Road (Lexington Road); misc. (people)

Box 1, Folder 25.
Notes, clippings, etc. on houses and people: Thoreau houses

Box 1, Folder 26.
Notes, clippings, etc., on houses and people: Main Street; Haywood Court off Harrington Ave.; Belknap Street; Hubbard Street, Baker Avenue, Commonwealth Avenue, Middle Street

Box 1, Folder 27.
Notes, clippings, etc., on houses and people: Lowell Road; Westford Road; Estabrook Road; Spencer Brook Road

Box 1, Folder 28.
Notes, clippings, etc. on houses and people: Virginia Road, Cambridge Turnpike, Old Bedford Road, Clark family

Box 1, Folder 29.
Notes, clippings, etc., on houses and people: Sudbury Road, Nine Acre Corner; Garfield Road; Williams Road; Wheeler Road; Fitchburg Turnpike; Fairhaven Road

Box 1, Folder 30.
Notes, clippings, etc., on houses and people: Barrett’s Mill Road

Box 1, Folder 31.
Notes, clippings, etc., on houses and people: Walden Street

Box 1, Folder 32.
Notes, clippings, etc., on houses and people: Monument Street

Box 1, Folder 33.
Typescript and draft of Wheeler House files with ms. notes,clippings, etc. : B, C, E, F, G, H

Box 1, Folder 34.
Typescript and draft ms. of Wheeler House files with ms. notes, clippings, etc. : L

Box 1, Folder 35.
Typescript and draft ms. of Wheeler House files with ms.notes, clippings, etc. : M

Box 1, Folder 36.
Typescript and ms drafts of Wheeler House files with ms notes, clippings, etc. : O, S, T, V, W

Box 1, Folder 37.
Notes on families/houses of Concord and vicinity: Highlights:  Brooks; Adams; Codman House; Amos Bemis; Brown; Garfield House; etc. (primarily Lincoln)

Box 1, Folder 38.
Notes on families/houses of Concord and vicinity: Highlights: Caleb Ball; Hartwell; Brooks; Adams; Wheeler; Baker-Adams House (Lincoln); Caleb Bates; Cyrus Clark; Fletcher- Cummings; Buttrick House; James Barrett House; Block House

Box 1, Folder 39.
Notes on families/houses of Concord and vicinity: Highlights: John Jones; Potter; Wayside; Merriam House; Miles; Fox; etc.

Box 1, Folder 40.
Notes on families/houses of Concord and vicinity: Highlights: Wright; Jones; Farrar; Bemis; Garfield; Wood, Holden Samuel Prescott; Bowers; Baker

Box 2, Folder 1.
Notes on families/houses of Concord and vicinity: Highlights: Josiah Stearns House; John Moore; Davis; Fassett; Bedford; etc.

Box 2, Folder 2.
Notes on families/houses of Concord and vicinity: Highlights: Jacob Farrar; Temple-Barrett House; Taylor-Merriam House; etc.

Box 2, Folder 3.
Notes on families/houses of Concord and vicinity: Highlights:Bedford; Davis; Shawshine House; Dean/Dane; Bay Road; Hartwell-McGovern; Zachariah Sterns; etc.

Box 2, Folder 4.
Notes on families/houses of Concord and vicinity: Highlights: Hartwell; Lincoln; Hoar-Gable; Flint; Orchard House, etc.

Box 2, Folder 5.
Notes on families/houses of Concord and vicinity: Highlights: Minot (Thoreau birthplace); Wheeler; John Wheeler; Wright; Cull House; Timothy Wheeler; Farwell; Woodis-Lee House

Box 2, Folder 6.
Notes on families/houses of Concord and vicinity: Highlights: Sherman-Davis House; David Stone House (Carlisle); William Smith House; etc.

Box 2, Folder 7.
Lectures: "The Bay Way in Concord: Old Houses and House-Owners in the East Quarter" (several typescript versions of lecture before Woman’s Club)

Box 2, Folder 8.
Lectures: "Concord’s Battle Road Houses"

Box 2, Folder 9.
Lectures: for the Newcomers Club

Box 2, Folder 10.
Lectures: "Concord Houses and How They Grew" (for Antiquarian Study Group, 1959)

Box 2, Folder 11.
Lectures: [Old Houses] (Antiquarian Society, May 1961)

Box 2, Folder 12.
Lectures: [Heritage of Lincoln, Sudbury, and Concord] Lincoln-Sudbury High School, March 1963

Box 2, Folder 13.
Lectures: "The North Quarter" (for Ladies Tuesday Club)

Box 2, Folder 14.
Lectures: [House Research] (for West Concord Woman’s Club)

Box 2, Folder 15.
Lectures: [Concord history and houses]

Box 2, Folder 16.
Lectures: "Watertown and Concord" (For Friends of the Library/Watertown Historical Society, May 10, 1968)

Box 2, Folder 17.
Lectures: [Concord Historical Assets] (for Lion’s Club, January 14th, 1969)

Box 2, Folder 18.
Lectures: "Emerson and Concord" (for Adult Ed., October 3, 1972)

Box 2, Folder 19.
Lectures: "John Oldham, The First Frontiersman" (Watertown Historical Society) Typescript; ms.; notes

Box 2, Folder 20.
Notes on historical topics: Carlisle, Bedford, Sudbury

Box 2, Folder 21.
Notes on historical topics: from Concord Town Records

Box 2, Folder 22.
Notes on historical topics: from Concord Town Records

Box 2, Folder 23.
Notes on historical topics: Wheeler family deeds

Box 2, Folder 24.
Notes on historical topics: from Middlesex Registry

Box 2, Folder 25.
Notes on historical topics: from Gourgas diary; from Charles Brown notebook (given to Josiah Bartlett from Percy Brown’s estate)

Box 2, Folder 26.
Notes on historical topics: Rev. Arthur Fuller (brother of Margaret)

Box 2, Folder 26.5
Notes on historical topics: 1842 Harriet Moore letter about church pew auction (ms. transcript of item now in CFPL CAS coll.)

Box 2, Folder 27.
Notes on historical topics: Miscellaneous

Box 2, Folder 28.
Notes on historical topics: Miscellaneous

Box 2, Folder 29.
Typescripts: Founding and settlement of Concord

Box 2, Folder 30.
Typescripts: Wright Tavern (for Concord Journal, April 20th, 1939)

Box 2, Folder 31.
Typescripts: History of the Colonial Inn (for owners of Inn)

Box 2, Folder 32.
Typescripts: Fred Tower/Concord Weather

Box 2, Folder 33.
Typescripts: Concord Female Charitable Society/ Concord Friendly Aid Society
(typescript; ms. addenda; 1950, 1963)

Box 2, Folder 34.
Typescripts: The phrase "The shot heard round the world"

Box 2, Folder 35.
Typescripts: Jonathan Piper – deeds, Middlesex Registry

Box 2, Folder 36.
Typescripts: Concord ministers and sermons

Box 2, Folder 37.
Typescripts: "Oldest Inhabitants"

Box 2, Folder 38.
Typescripts: Emerson; Hawthorne

Box 2, Folder 39.
Typescripts: "Zoned for Business" (partially ms.)

Box 2, Folder 40.
Typescripts: "The Story of the Abiel H. Wheeler House . . ."

Box 2, Folder 41.
Typescripts: "Concord’s First Progressive School" (ms. piece for newspaper)

Box 2, Folder 42.
Typescripts: "Old Map Sheds New Light on the Battle at the Bridge"

Box 2, Folder 43.  Typescripts: "The Story of the Discarded Flints," by Benjamin L. Smith (19th of April 1961 Ceremony

Box 2, Folder 44.
Typescripts: Instructions to Selectmen, 1672

Box 2, Folder 45.
Typescripts: Lincoln Historical Society newsletter (draft)

Box 2, Folder 46.
Special Topics: "Concord Down Under" (ms. essay with correspondence, 1971, and typescript from Paul Horne) regarding Concord, Sydney, Australia

Box 2, Folder 47.
Special Topics: Minute Man Regiment (correspondence, notes)

Box 2, Folder 48.
Special Topics: Walden Pond (geology)

Box 2, Folder 49.
Special Topics: Thomas Fox / Fox family

Box 2, Folder 50.
Special Topics: Dr. John Cuming / Reformatory Farm

Box 2, Folder 51.
Special Topics: Battle of Concord (including liberty pole)

Box 2, Folder 52.
Special Topics: Capt. William Smith (Lincoln)

Box 2, Folder 53.
Special Topics: Brown family (transcripts from CAS items)

Box 2, Folder 54.
Special Topics: Billings, Baker, and Baker Farm

Box 2, Folder 55.
Special Topics: Goble; Indians

Box 2, Folder 56.
Special Topics: Barrett


Box 2, Folder 57.
Allen French: correspondence, 1921-1943 (chronologically)

Box 2, Folder 58.
Allen French: material: "The Old Furniture Market" (typescript)

Box 2, Folder 59.
Allen French: material: WPA (1935-1936)

Box 2, Folder 60.
Allen French: Hawthorne / Wayside materials

Box 2, Folder 61.
Allen French: Adams Tolman (Social Circle memoir)

Box 2, Folder 62.
Allen French: Ruth Wheeler notes regarding 1736 deed (Elizabeth Woolley, Nathaniel Ball) purchased by Allen French, 1933 from Jowdrey (?), Temple, N.H.

Box 2, Folder 63.
Allen French: Filling Station on Site of Thoreau’s bean field (1938)

Box 2, Folder 64.
Allen French: Town Forest Extension (1939-1940)

Box 2, Folder 65.
Allen French: Library; library censorship (1936-1939)

Box 2, Folder 66.
Allen French: Thoreau (includes ghost in Thoreau-Alcott House); Thoreau Society (1919-1941)


Box 2, Folder 67.
Thoreau / Thoreau Society: Correspondence, 1945-1968, plus undated

Box 2, Folder 68.
Thoreau / Thoreau Society: Save Walden Committee

Box 2, Folder 69.
Thoreau / Thoreau Society: Misc.

SERIES VI: MATERIALS BY FORM, 1898 – [early 1970’s]

Series VI.A Documents, 1644 (transcribed) - 1798

Box 3, Folder 1.
Early documents in photostat/photocopy, 1644 (transcribed) - 1785

Series VI.B Clippings, 1898-[early 1970’s]

Box 4, Folder 1.
Clippings (photocopied): Ruth Wheeler newspaper aarticles on history of Concord and surrounding towns, 1953-1966

Box 4, Folder 2.
Clippings (photocopied): Newspaper articles by various writers on Concord-related topics, 1898-[197-]

Box 4, Folder 3.
Clippings (photocopied): Allen French (reviews of The First Year of the American Revolution), 1934-1935

Box 4, Folder 4.
Clippings (photocopied): Thoreau, Thoreau Society, Save Walden Committee, Walden, 1954-1969, plus undated

 Series VI.C Maps

Map case drawer.
Manuscript maps of Concord:
     --Concord in 1640-70 (according to Walcott) (5.5" by 8.5")
     --1660 Settlers Near the North Bridge, (11" by 8.5")
     --Concord in 1670, Walcott, (8.5" by 11")
     --Concord about 1690 (24" by 20")
     --Concord 1690 (in part) (8.5" by 11")
     --Concord in 1740 (20.5" by 18")
     --1792 Layout Solid Lines (from 1754 Plan) (Blood’s Projected Line) (8.5" by 11")
     --Concord in 1790 (in part), (8.5" by 11")
     --Concord in 1790-4, (County Roads, Bridges, Rivers and Ponds from Survey of 1794 by  Ephraim Wood) (19.5" by 20.5")
     --(undated) Nine Acre Corner, Walcott (8.5" by 11")
     --(undated) "Charles Walcott’s tracing showing RR, Main Street and the old course of Main Street before the R.R. "WPLB I suppose is Mr. Badger who lived opposite Elm St. corner, R.R.W." (15.5" by 11")
     --(undated) Parts of Concord and Lincoln. (8" by 9")

Printed maps with ms. additions:
     --1830 Plan of the Town of Concord in the County of Middlesex, Surveyed by John G. Hales, published by Lemuel Shattuck, Boston. With annotations for Index of Old Houses, Mrs. Caleb Wheeler’s Collection, 1937. (21.5" by 18")
     --1942 map of Concord, Massachusetts with Ruth Wheeler’s additions and annotations for the towns of Bedford, Carlisle, and Lincoln (36.5" by 21.5") (folded)
     --(Undated) From Bond’s History and Genealogy of Watertown. "Note: The East line of Concord is wrong and should be as indicated." (8.5" by 6.5")
Carlisle Maps:
     --Carlisle, Massachusetts, 1779 (photocopy from original in the Massachusetts Archives) (15" by 12.5")
     --Carlisle tracing, 1831 (JG Hales), houses by Donald Lapham (19.5" by 15")

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