New York Transcendentalists’ Retreat Being Preserved

In September of last year the Nature Conservancy purchased Follensby Pond and the surrounding forest in the Adirondacks.  Follensby Pond is most famous for its role as a retreat center for the Transcendentalists and related 19th century liberal intellectuals, especially the site dubbed Camp Maple.  Emerson and many other prominent figures of the time relaxed, wrote, painted, and talked at Camp Maple.  Now that it has been acquired by the Nature Conservancy, it will be preserved for future generations.  Besides its own historical importance, its worth noting because this is an important Transcendentalist site located outside of New England.  New York State doesn’t spring automatically to mind when one mentions the Transcendentalists, but its good to remember that this movement wasn’t truly confined to Eastern Massachusetts.

Emerson journaled about his time at Camp Maple in The Adirondacs, including his encounter with the wood god there.  You can read the full piece, which depicts a rugged side of the Transcendentalists quite other than the vision of salon-sitting gentlemen sipping tea, here.


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