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Vonnegut Thoreau Construction founder Matt Joyce named the company after two icons of American literature. 

Why Kurt Vonnegut? And why Henry David Thoreau?


The abridged answer: because of their dedication to their craft, their honesty,  their confidence, and their compassion.

The full story: Thoreau taught himself everything he knew about carpentry while building the one-room cabin in the woods where he wrote Walden, his treatise about living simply and deliberately.

Walden Cabin-Vonnegut Thoreau Constructi
Thoreau Quote-Vonnegut Thoreau Construct

Matt studied American literature in college, worked as a journalist for several years, earned a master's degree in English, then heeded the call to to the trades, apprenticing with a master craftsman and honing his skills as a carpenter and general contractor, one project at a time.


Matt was filling out paperwork to incorporate the company he was planning to name Thoreau Construction on the day in the spring of 2007, when he learned that Vonnegut, another author he greatly admired, had just died. It seemed only fitting to name the company Vonnegut Thoreau Construction.

Drive a nail home and clinch it so faithfully that you can wake up in the night and think of your work with satisfaction – every nail driven should be another rivet in the machine of the Universe, you carrying on the work.

— Henry David Thoreau, Walden

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