Heywood Meadow has survived over 370 years in Concord and is a link to Concord’s pre-history as an area used by Native Americans and later to the first English settlement of Concord in 1630’s. Its survival has not been without incident. It was originally part of Concord’s Mill Pond constructed in the early days of incorporation to power 17th century local industry. Later, The Concord Gun House was built on a portion of it, storing Colonists’ arms through the Revolution. This beautiful meadow also served as inspiration to the following century of renowned writers and philosophers. Finally, more recent history of the 20th century records repeated attempts to modify or suspend its existence all together.
Fortunately today, Heywood Meadow is overseen by the Heywood Meadow Stewardship Committee and is a thoroughly protected piece of natural beauty and Concord history. Its full glory is realized in the Fall when this extraordinary Maple that remained present for countless defining moments in history, reaches peak foliage. My girls and I have laid under it just to see what a 50 foot golden canopy might look like from the ground up. This tree stands alone on a relatively small meadow landscape that sits just outside of Concord Center proper and near the former Hawthorne, Alcott and Emerson residences.
Dedication to historic preservation is a wonderful hallmark of this part of New England. As today’s picture so clearly gives testament to, no amount of financial resources given to newly landscaped developments can recapture the magnificence that centuries of growth took to create. (Heywood Meadow – first published on The Concord Life 10/07)