Thinkers Lodge: Its History and Legacy
by Cathy Eaton © 2018
Thinkers Lodge: Its History and Legacy focuses on Thinkers Lodge, a National Historic Site in Pugwash, Nova Scotia, which symbolizes the birth of the Pugwash movement for nuclear disarmament. Author Cathy Eaton, granddaughter of Pugwash born Cyrus Eaton, adeptly introduces the readers to a host of scientists and peace activists who met at Thinkers Lodge and launched the Pugwash Conferences on Science and World Affairs, which jointly received the Nobel Peace Prize with Joseph Rotblat in 1995. Eaton proposes that the serenity of Thinkers Lodge on its stunning location on the Northumberland Strait and the welcoming spirit of the people who worked behind the scenes at the conferences contributed to significant achievements of the people who joined in profound discourses during the Pugwash Conferences.
Today, more than ever, this book is relevant because nuclear threats bubble to the surface as power-hungry, unstable countries flaunt their nuclear arsenals. In a time that is fraught with violent uprisings, starvation, mass killings, and dangerous climate change, it is important to recognize that individuals can make their voices heard and change the destiny of the world. Each of us must remember our humanity, welcome discourse with those who have differing beliefs, and spend our energy assisting others and making our world a safer, healthier place.
Eaton’s exploration of the lives of these intrepid men and women helps us understand the courage and commitment it took to spend their lives fighting for peaceful coexistence. Joseph Rotblat (the sole scientist to leave the Manhattan Project on moral grounds), Cyrus Eaton (host of the early Pugwash Conferences), Anne Eaton, Ruth Adams, and 22 scientists from both sides of the Iron Curtain convened for the 1957 Pugwash Conference as peace activists seeking to build a world that would not incinerate in a nuclear holocaust.
Joseph Rotblat climbed out of a Jewish ghetto in Warsaw, Poland, to become a nuclear scientist, the heart of the Pugwash Conferences and a life-long peace activist. Born on a Pugwash farm in 1883, Cyrus Eaton alleviated the antagonism between Communist and Capitalist countries in his roles as controversial industrialist, generous philanthropist and passionate advocate for peace. Anne Eaton, confined to a wheel chair from polio, advocated for equal rights for women and African Americans. The graciousness and hospitality of Cyrus and Anne Eaton captivated Pugwash Conference participants and generated attitudes of trust that led to consequential discussions on the responsibility scientists must take in the fight against nuclear confrontation. Charles Eaton, a Baptist minister and New Jersey Congressman, used his pulpit to establish sanctuaries, jobs, and security for impoverished parishioners and people devastated by war.
Cathy Eaton interviewed dozens of people who worked at Thinkers Lodge. She recounts the stories of peace activists, of firefighters and villagers who saved the burning Lodge, of staff who served the guests, of conference drivers, of ship builders and space travelers, of architects and history teachers, of carpenters and mill owners. Their generosity of spirit, resiliency, and hard work created an ambience where visitors felt safe and able to share ideas that can lead to positive change in a world struggling with weapons of mass destruction and perilous climate change.
In her account of the history of Thinkers Lodge, the Lobster Factory, the Empress Hotel and Eaton Park, the Masonic Lodge, and the Margaret King School, she unveils the lives of scientists, fishermen, ministers, philanthropists, students, construction workers, and soldiers.
Additionally, the book recounts the lives of Nova Scotian shipbuilders, Levi Eaton and Donald McKay renown clipper ship builder. Their courage and pioneer spirit parallels the valiant spirits of the scientists and thinkers who joined forces to stop nuclear war.
Join Cathy Eaton on her journey of discovery and read her book about the scientists, thinkers, and villagers whose commitment to humanity provides hope.
Purchase Thinkers Lodge: Its History and Legacy by Cathy Eaton (144 pages; 8” x 11”; over 300 photographs)
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- ThinkersLodgeHistories.com – Blog
- Access ThinkersLodgeHistories.com for additional articles, photographs, interviews
Copies are available to peruse at
- Thinkers Lodge in Pugwash, Nova Scotia
- The North Cumberland Historical Society, Pugwash, Nova Scotia
- Pugwash Library
- Western Reserve Historical Society in Cleveland, Ohio