Link to Link to info on HFCL Link to info on BBL Link to info on EBL Link to library catalog eMedia collection Image Map


Classics Revisited

Classics Revisited

Where:  Henry Ford Centennial Library – Second Floor Ford Collection Room
When:  Wednesday, November 21, 7:00 – 8:00 p.m.

The Bark Covered House : or, Back in the Woods Again
by William Nowlin


This first-person narrative of a pioneer boyhood is intended as a tribute to the author’s parents, who emigrated to Dearborn, Michigan, from Putnam County, New York in 1834. William Nowlin describes his father’s frustration with subsistence on a small, debt-ridden fruit farm and his mother’s anguish at leaving her friends, church, and relatives. He recounts the family’s adventurous journey on the Erie Canal, the dangers of a public house in Buffalo, the perils of their steamship voyage across Lake Erie during a storm, and the trials of establishing a new home. Wishing to memorialize the challenges of converting wilderness into what he sees as a prosperous and civilized community, Nowlin describes building roads, clearing the land, building a home, fishing and hunting, handling cattle, and warding off mosquitoes, snakes, and wild animals, all in careful detail. He remembers uneasy relations between the white community and Native Americans, and discusses the social, legal, and moral complexities of dealing with the fugitive slaves and free African Americans who flowed back and forth across the Canadian border in search of freedom or job opportunities. Nowlin is conscious of the impact of modern technology, especially the railroads, and discusses both what was raised on the family farm and where and how it was marketed. He describes his father’s long-range strategies to enhance the family’s material welfare, and shows how family members collaborated as an economic unit.

Place your copy on hold here:  Catalog

PDF button

Other Selections Include:

September 19
Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau 

October 16
Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion by Robert B. Cialdini

November 21
The Bark Covered House by William Nowlin

December 19
The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton

 Join Us

If you would like to be on the Classics Revisited emailing list, please send an email to

Read the Classics Revisited Archive to see previous selections.

Comments (0)