10 Historic American Writers’ Homes

We analyze a lot of homes for decorating ideas, but we’re just as interested in getting a sense of the person who lives (or, in the case of these historic homes, lived) there. All 10 of the houses shown above are recognized as landmarks, and they all once belonged to very recognizable people. See if you can guess who lived where, and look below for the answer…

  • 1) Carl Sandburg’s Home in Flatrock, North Carolina is lined with wall-to-wall bookshelves in nearly every room. In addition to books, Sandburg saved all his copies of Life magazine.
  • 2) Mark Twain’s Boyhood Home in Hannibal, Missouri is simple and spare compared to the home he later purchased with his wife, Olivia. The whitewashed fence, made famous in Tom Sawyer, lines the block.
  • 3) In contrast to his humble boyhood home, Mark Twain’s Adult Home in Hartford, Connecticut is a lavishly detailed 19-room Victorian mansion.
  • 4) Robert Frost’s Summer Cabin in Ripton, Vermont was a sanctuary for him in his later years. It’s now owned by Middlebury College, and they rarely open it to the public.
  • 5) The Alcott Family Home is the site where Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women. Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne and Henry David Thoreau all stayed here.
  • 6) Flannery O’Connor’s Home in Milledgeville, Georgia is a farm where the author once raised peacocks. Today, visitors can take self-guided tours around the grounds.
  • 7) The Emily Dickinson Home in Amherst, Massachusetts is the place where the famous recluse composed her life’s work.
  • 8) William Faulkner’s Home in Oxford, Mississippi pre-dates the Civil War. Intrigued by the history of the Greek Revival house, he knew it had once been owned by a Tennessee frontiersman named Colonel Sheegog.
  • 9) Edith Wharton’s Estate and Gardens, known as “the Mount,” in Lenox, Massachusetts is by far one of the most extravagant writer’s estates we know of. The famous author of the Decoration of Houses designed the house in the Classical Revival style.
  • 10) Frederick Douglass’ Cedar Hill sits on a hill in Washington, DC. He purchased the home in 1877 and lived there until his death in 1895.

Photos: Mark Twain Boyhood Home via Wikipedia Commons, cliff1066 licensed via Creative Commons, Dystopos licensed via Creative Commons, redjar licensed via Creative Commons, drivebybiscuits1 licensed via Creative Commons, Emily Dickinson House licensed via Wikipedia Commons, Gary Bridgman licensed via Creative Commons, origamidon licensed via Creative Commons, applem123 licensed via Creative Commons, Frederick Douglass Home via Wikipedia Commons