Thoreau’s Truro Moment and More: Three Centuries of Observers at Cape Cod’s Wrist
July 20th 7 pm
Highland House Museum
Thoreau was the most trenchant of the travelers who cast their eyes on Truro in recorded history — but his time was not like the others. The Cape Cod landscape of 1850 was highly used and mostly harvested. Thoreau presaged the transition from a maritime extractive economy to a mix of coastal visitors funneled by the new rail roads.
This talk will trace the arc of landscapes on this narrow bend in Cape Cod’s delicate arm. The evidence is compressed in time into several periods that echo our perception of the Truro way of life we now enjoy.
An epoch of glaciers, two thousand years of hunter-gatherers, three hundred years of settlers and entrepreneurs, two decades under an Anthropocene cloud and all through it, nature going about her business as sure as the beat of waves against the shore.
Drawing on original words, images and maps we’ll try to put Thoreau’s sly anecdotes into the larger stop-motion newsreel of nature’s cycles.
Photo: Laura Shabott