Each year the Friends of Sleepy Hollow Cemetery organize a breakfast featuring a guest speaker who lectures on the history Concord and Sleepy Hollow Cemetery. These breakfasts have featured historians, authors, researchers, preservationalists, and distinguished residents.
Pulitzer-Prize-winning author John Matteson returned to Concord on April 7th to describe the research for his upcoming book, tentatively titled “Five at Fredericksburg.” At the breakfast meeting, he discussed the war as an episode that tested the bonds between parents and children, and how a number of participants in the conflict came to terms with the idea and expectation of valor. His talk focused on five well-known individuals involved in the Battle of Fredericksburg, including Louisa May Alcott, Arthur Fuller, Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr., John Pelham, and Walt Whitman.
2017 - Professor Laura Dassow Walls, a Thoreau scholar and author of “Henry David Thoreau: A Life," spoke in honor of the bicentennial of Thoreau’s birth.
2016 - Pulitzer Prize-winning author John Matteson spoke about Louisa May Alcott’s life-changing experience as a nurse during the Civil War. He described how Alcott found her literary voice through this experience.
2015 - Concord Museum Curator David Wood spoke on cabinetmaker William Munroe and described a time in history in which Concord was the second largest manufacturer of clocks in New England.
2014 - Jayne Gordon, Director of Education and Public Programs at the Massachusetts Historical Society, presented Mourning Hawthorne: The Gathering at the Grave.
2013 - Architectural historian Anne Forbes described the important local characters who shaped the town of Concord by building, developing and designing the streetscapes and neighborhoods of their native town.
2012 - Megan Marshall, described her experiences researching and writing her book “The Peabody Sisters, Three Women Who Ignited American Romanticism.”
2011 - Polly Atwood, the history of Africans and abolitionists in Concord prior to and during the Civil War era, and the Drinking Gourd Project that was formed to raise awareness of these issues.
2010 - Leslie Perrin Wilson, an exploration of the accomplished people who lived in Concord during the 1800's.
2009 - Donna Hassler, discussion of the career of Daniel Chester French and his studio Chesterwood.
2008 - Charles Dee Jr., Stories and Movies of Concord: The 1950 Patriots Day Parade
2008 - Jim and Minxi Fannin, The Architecture and Symbolism of Early Cemetery Stones.
2008 - Retailing in Concord - Stores Over the Generations. Karen Anderson (Main Street Market and Cafe), Fritz Kussin, Louisa Alcott Yamartino (Fritz and Gigi's - The Children's Shop) and David Hesel (The Toy Shop).
2007 - Jayne Gordon, addressed the many luminary figures in American literature, the arts and education that lived and supported each other in Concord including the Alcotts, Emersons, Thoreaus and Hawthornes, all of whom are buried in Sleepy Hollow.
2007 - Charles Dee Jr., presented the fascinating movies his great grandfather Joseph Dee took of Concord during the 1930's, including the 1938 hurricane.
2007 - Richard Wheeler, 11th generation Concord resident - the Wheelers arrived in Concord in the mid 1630's. Rick shared some of the family lore from the 17th century through the 1850's.