Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Carl Sandburg Home

"It is necessary now and then for a man to go away by himself and experience loneliness; to sit on a rock in the forest and to ask of himself, 'Who am I, and where have I been, and where am I going?'"
Carl Sandburg

In 1945, Carl Sandburg's wife found a home in Flat Rock, NC, where she could raise goats and Carl Sandburg could write. The estate, already named Connemara, would be their home for the remainder of Carl Sandburg's life. Here he continued to write and publish, travel and lecture.

Connemara has an interesting history. It was built by Christopher Memminger around 1838. Memminger was the Secretary of the Treasury for the Confederate States of America. Who knew it would one day be owned by the biographer of Abraham Lincoln?

The estate was named Connemara by the second occupant, a wealthy textile baron Ellison Smyth. He thought the area resembled his native Ireland; hence the name Connemara. The Smyth heirs sold the land to Carl and Lilian Sandburg.

The Carl Sandburg Home is now owned by the National Park Service and is open to the public. Touring the grounds, hiking the trails, and visiting the goat herds are all free. There is a small charge for guided tours inside the home.

The house is on top of a hill, and at the bottom there is a lovely duck pond. (I did not see a single duck.)

Walking up the trail toward the house, we saw one of the pastures. The hay had been cut and rolled. The day was absolutely gorgeous with a "Carolina Blue" sky and large fluffy clouds.

There is a distant view of the mountains all around the hilltop where the house sits.

Lilian's flower garden is just outside the house. This is a small section of it. The gardens and fields are maintained in the manner they were when the Sandburgs lived there.

The vegetable garden is guarded by a scarecrow similar to the ones made by Lilian.

The estate is a wonderful place to see. Flat rock formations are visible among the trees. It was on one of these rocks that Sandburg often sat in the chairs and did his writing. There are easy hiking trails throughout the estate with benches and chairs scattered about. We go there often to enjoy the changing seasons, and (of course) to see the goats.

On the trail down the hill, I came across a tree which I called "Nature's Terrarium."

There are so many wonderful Sandburg quotes, many of them quite moving and profound. But this one seems particularly appropriate this time of year:
A politician should have three hats---one for throwing into the ring, one for talking through, and one for pulling rabbits out of if elected.


Jayne said...

A beautiful place Carolyn. Love that quote too! :c)

Cicero Sings said...

Interesting piece of history. Good pictures as well as quotes!

The Birdlady said...

No wonder he could be so poetic! It's a beautiful hom

Unknown said...

Hi Carolyn, No wonder he wrote so inspiring. He was surrounded by beauty and mountains.

I'm hoping to get back to this business of blogging. :)

Kerri Farley said...

Beautiful pictures! Thanks for taking us with you!!

This Is My Blog - fishing guy said...

Carolyn: Wonderful captures from a great homestead. It certainly is a pretty place to visit.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful home for a great guy.

Shelley said...

Loved the quote, enjoyed all the pictures and bit of history!

NCmountainwoman said...

Jayne - Too bad the quote is so true.

Cicero - Thanks

Helen - It is a lovely estate. You would not believe the number of books inside the house. I'm not surprised Sandburg did his writing outdoors.

Toni - We do miss your blogs, but know this is a busy time.

Kerri - Thanks

Fishing guy - It is a lovely place and we do go there often. We always enjoy it no matter how many times we go.

Science guy - Yes, it does seem like the perfect home for Sandburg. Not at all pretentious.

Shelley - Thanks. We do love visiting there.

Unknown said...

Lovely post and photos!