Thoreau is located at the interection of I-40 and NM-371. The historic U.S. Route 66 passes near and through the community. Practically all residents pronounce the town's name like "thuh-ROO" (similar to "through" or "threw") and not like "thorough" or "throw." A history of the town was compiled by local author Roxanne Trout Heath in her book Thoreau, Where the Trails Cross!, published in 1982, where she states that the town was named for Henry David Thoreau.
Thoreau was once on the 1926 to 1937 alignment of Route 66 and is best known for Roy T. Herman's Garage and Service Station, a site listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
We passed through Thoreau on the way up to the Four Corners area. We didn't realize this is also one of the points where the Continental Divide intersects.
The Navajo Nation operates a Chapter House here, and many Navajo (or Diné) residents speak their native language. Thoreau is a local trading center for artisans, who create through rug weaving, sandpainting, silversmithing, potterymaking, and making turquoise jewelry. Out of cultural respect and aside from the gas station, we just took photos of historic roadside Americana.