Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site
Flat Rock, NC
Who knew that beloved American poet Carl Sandburg lived in a tiny village in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains? I sure didn’t. Not until I planned this trip.
I challenge anyone to come here and not fall in love with this antebellum home on 224 acres. Miraculously, everything in the house is original. Items are left throughout the simple, elegant rooms as though Carl has only gone for a walk and will return any minute.
Our docent (2nd from the left) gave us a wonderful 45-minute tour of the home.
So how did a life-long Mid-westerner end up here? The Sandburgs purchased the property in 1945 as a quiet haven for Carl to write and as ample pastureland on which wife Lillian could breed her prize-winning goats.
The grounds are quite beautiful. It didn't hurt that it was an ideal Autumn day.
|I couldn't do justice to the mountain view seen from this window.|
Here's who Carl Sandburg was in life (1878 – 1967)
Son of poor Swedish immigrants
College basketball team captain
Spanish-American War vet
3-time Pulitzer Prize recipient
Hollywood film consultant
Journalist and editor
We remember him now as a poet. Known as the peoples’ poet, he had a grass-roots popularity because his verse was so accessible. No one has to explain it to you. You know, I don’t think I’ve read his work since a junior-high lit class. But I’m inspired to now!
You’re probably familiar with some lines of his poetry.
From Chicago: hog butcher for the world.
And another well-known poem, Fog, that begins:
The fog comes
on little cat feet.
Sandburg was a rock star! Our docent opined that in our present-day of movie star and athlete-worship, a poet would never make the cover of Life as he did. And every other magazine cover.
When he died, his memorial service was held at the Lincoln Memorial with thousands in attendance.
The CEO of Zenith was such a fan, he always supplied the Sandburgs with the newest appliances and gadgets. On the arm of Carl's chair is the very first TV remote control Zenith ever made in 1957. When there were 2 channels.
I’m always fascinated to see an artist's work space.
|Indoor writing room|
|Outdoor writing room|
The entire house is enchanting in its simplicity.
When Carl died in 1967, his widow Lillian wanted The People to own the farm. So she sold the house, the land, and everything in the house to the National Park Service. The NPS continues to lovingly tend to it.
The goat dairy remains a working farm. Every goat in the herd is a direct descendant of the Sandburg stock.
And, sadly, I got my last NP stamp of this trip. I can’t wait to plan the next trip to get some more!