Thursday, August 6, 2009

A Past Visitor Remembered

The cliche goes "you learn something new everyday" and I certainly did today - Henry David Thoreau visited Mackinac in 1861!

The Mackinac Island Public Library offers a series of guest speakers throughout the season, today's was Corinne Smith, discussing "A Transcendental Travelogue" or Thoreau's travels in mid 1861.

Thoreau took a trip to the West, specifically, Minnesota and spent several days on Mackinac during his return trip east. He appears to have spent much of his time botanizing, his journal includes a four page inventory of plants, including sugar maples, yellow ladies slippers and dandelions - "very abundant, even throughout the woods". Significantly, there is NO mention of lilacs!

It appears the weather was similar to our current cool summer, he notes "Sat by fire July 2d".

And some things never change: "They think trout not as good as white fish."

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