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Thoreau's Nearly-Forgotten Stay In Milwaukee

Mitch Teich
James Matthew sits next to the Thoreau plaque.

When stopping for coffee in Walker’s Point and happen past a familiar face from literary history, don’t be surprised. A plaque dedicated to the memory of philosopher and author Henry David Thoreau is located outside of Colectivo Coffee at 170 South 1st Street.

During his 1861 journey to Mackinac Island, Thoreau stayed at the Lakehouse Hotel, noting in his journal the hefty price of 75 cents per night. The plaque, dedicated in 2014 by local poets and performers, honors Thoreau’s impact on both Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi.

Thoreau's readers will celebrate the Walden author's 201st birthday on Thursday, July 12. 

Dr. James Matthew, an expert on Henry David Thoreau’s writing and life, shares the story of Thoreau’s stay in Milwaukee: