"Just beginning to use wheels"

30 March 2009

Another fantastic entry in the journal of Henry David Thoreau (which I've mentioned a few times before) this time dealing with being able to use "cars", or wheeled wagons, in late-March in Concord, Massachusetts.

Here is the snippet from Mr. Thoreau's March 26, 1856 entry:

"They are just beginning to use wheels in Concord, but only in the middle of the town, where the snow is at length worn and melted down to bare ground in the middle of the road, from two to ten feet wide. Sleighs are far the most common, even here. In Cambridge there is no sleighing. For the most part, the middle of the road from Porter’s to the College is bare and even dusty for twenty to thirty feet in width. The College Yard is one half bare. So, if they have had more snow than we, as some say, it has melted much faster."

He finished his entry with the fact that he couldn't travel "in the cars" to Concord. There were no cars in his day so by this I can only imagine he means a horse-pulled wagon with wheels rather than sleigh runners.

If I was his neighbor in 1856 he could have borrowed my 4-wheel drive Jeep.