Rock Creek Park. Photo by Katja Schulz

Following the Trail of John Burroughs

October 25, 2021
Before John Burroughs became an eminent naturalist and nature writer in the decades after the Civil War, he lived for a time on Capitol Hill where the Russell Senate Office Building now stands.

Burroughs's observations during hikes about the city and out into the nearby woods, some accompanied by Walt Whitman, became the basis for popular nature essays that were gathered into books like Wake-Robin and later Riverby, along with many others. At the October 25 Overbeck History lecture, SteveDryden, executive director of the Friends of Peirce Mill, will trace Burroughs’ life in the city, his discoveries of Washington’s natural delights, and his growing national popularity. Since Peirce Mill is located within the area that Burroughs often explored, Mr. Dryden has studied not only Burroughs’ world through his books but also the changes that resulted over the more recent decades, particularly as streams and waterways were lost to view.

Overbeck Lectures were not held from March 2020 until October 2021 due to the COVID epidemic.

Past Lectures