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New York, New York
April 20, 2003
Henry David Thoreau’s grave is a humble marble stone no larger than a book. Rising up out of a bed of pine needles, it rather deliberately reads, "HENRY".
Nathaniel Hawthorne, one of America’s first great novelists, rests eternally beneath an arched marble stone that bears only his last name in proud lettering.
Marked by a flat stone is the grave of Louisa May Alcott, the truly splendid novelist of such books as Little Women and Work. That she was raised in a family rich in literary greatness is immediately evident from the stone that stands beside hers. A. Bronson Alcott, proud father of Louisa, was the founder of American Transcendentalism, a school of thought that had an enormous influence on the writers buried around him.
At the back of the ridge, Ralph Waldo Emerson’s gravestone is sectioned off by rusty chains. It is a large, rough-hewn slab of granite. Moss-covered, jagged, and impervious, it indeed is an appropriate testament to the mind that wrote: "I am the lover of uncontained and immortal beauty."
From journal Literary Concord
December 8, 2001
This cemetery became the final resting place of Nathaniel Hawthorne, the Alcott family, Ralph Waldo Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau. They are now all resting on what is called Author's Ridge.
The grave stones run the gamut from Hawthorne's simple stone, with only his last name, to Emerson's large, unshapen piece of granite. Thoreau's is a second replacement, and Louisa's is also quite simple.
The cemetery is well signposted as you drive in. They get you to Author's Ridge but then leave you to flounder on your own. Emerson's was the hardest to find. It is also a steep climb up and worse down. Not for anyone with walking difficulty.
We got there at dusk, just before it closed, so we didn't get the full effect of the beauty of the setting, but it is certainly a pilgrimage worth taking.
From journal Visiting Historic Concord and Lexington Ma