Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site

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Address: 81 Carl Sandburg Lane, Flat Rock , NC 28731

Latitude/Longitude: 35.274718, -82.448352

Web site: click here

Phone: (828) 693-4178

Pricing: Free


If you, like I, have spent time actually residing in places that were official tourist destinations you’ll likely admit that many of the places others flock to your area to see never make your own acquaintance. Many things factor into this phenomenon. Largely, I think it is because you actually live there. You’ll get to these tourist icons at some time when you have the time. Though I love poetry and the written word, I am also a busy innkeeper and don’t always have the time to run wild in the woods and smell the roses. So it was that lack of time (though an easy 30 minutes drive from Asheville) which separated me from this wonderful, bucolic, picture postcard like place. It took me 15 years to get there.

For those who need any introduction to Carl Sandburg, I will offer up the following. Born to Swedish immigrants, Carl was one of seven children and family circumstances quickly made for an easy understanding of hard work. Though he became famous both for his books as well as his poetry, his background largely accounts for his identification with and support of the common man. He was passionately concerned with the pressing social issues of his day shining a revealing and sometimes harsh light both on the plight of the American worker and the blatant civil rights abuses of his day. Awarded three Pulitzer prizes (2 for poetry and one for his book on Lincoln) Carl’s writings became the beating heart of America in verse.

His wife, Lillian, was a beloved partner sharing her husband’s deep seeded concern for social welfare and reform as well as cultivating interests of her own. She began farming dairy goats at their home in Michigan and continued honing her skills during their time in Flat Rock. Lillian explored genetics and became well known for her champion breeding program which was science based with intensive, documented results. It was Lillian who donated their home to the national park service.

This place is nothing short of magical! Large, mature trees of all kinds, walking trails, some manicured and some left naturally following the contour of the land, ponds, their personal residence, goat farms, out buildings, a petting zoo and the overwhelming natural beauty of 264 acres will ensure that you have a lovely day. If birding is an interest over 100 species of our avian friends have been spotted there so feel free to bring your binoculars.

From the Author: There are guided tours of the Carl Sandburg home at a nominal cost: 62 and over fee $3. Age 16-61 fee is $5 and under 15 is free. The guided tour of the home is completely optional. For those aspiring authors out there explore the " Writer-In-Residence Program."

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