Over the River

This post is a week early since the map has already been posted on Instagram by They Draw and Travel. I am really excited they liked this map!

Thanksgiving Day is a day of long tradition.  It is a day for spending time with family and friends over a traditional meal that usually involves turkey.

This year, I chose to do a map for Thanksgiving.  The most logical choice for subject matter was the poem that most people know as “Over the River and through the woods to Grandmother’s House….”

What many people do not know is it wasn’t grandmother’s house in the poem, it was Grandfather’s house.  And it wasn’t a song, it was a poem.  The title of the poem is actually “The New-England Boy’s Song About Thanksgiving Day’ and it was written by Lydia Maria Child.  It was published 1844 in a collection called “Flowers for Children Volume 2.”

Lydia Maria Child lived in Medford, Massachusetts and after much digging, I found where she lived and how long it took her to actually get to Grandfather’s house. (Not long, actually, they could easily walk it on a warm day.)  She wrote the poem from her childhood memory of going to her grandparents house for the holiday. I never knew it was based on the writer’s memories.

New England did indeed get snow for Thanksgiving in the early 1800’s.  Which is not unusual, even in these times of climate change, some places still will have snow for Thanksgiving.

I started out this map drawing farmhouses and sketching covered bridges. John and I even took a trip upstate to see covered bridges for me to use as references for this map. I even used my Breyer stablemate horses as models for the two on the map….I have included that sketch below, as well as taking a photo of them “posing.” I had the poem all printed out and the last part of all of this research was where the author was from. Finding information about the author of the poem completely changed my map and the result is what you see here.

I hope this map brings you some fond memories of a holiday that is truly belongs to every American, whether you have been here generations or you are a new citizen.



Below is today’s sketch….