Must Visit Place in Flat Rock NC – Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site

On October 18th 1945, Carl Sandburg having paid several visits to Flat Rock NC, finally lost his heart to the piece of land, which sixty years down the line invites more than 26,000 visitors in a year. They come in hordes during the seasons when new leaves are breaking out from the tree branches and the air is light and sunshine is heady and intoxicating. Tours are conducted all throughout the year except on Christmas and tickets are available at the bookstore near the entrance and are limited in numbers for the guided tour.

What draws so many people to this wonderful estate apart from the legendary name of Carl Sandburg who made it his home for the last twenty two years of his life? There is so much to see and soak in the atmosphere and you require almost half a day to cover the estate in its entirety. There was definitely something about the place that induced the great man to make it his home. He was seeking solitude, peace and closeness to nature to work on his craft and not surprisingly more than a third of his poems and writing emerged out of this estate that he cherished till his end. There are more than 10, 000 books, notes and papers of this genius are on display to the tourists.

His was more than enthusiastic to the idea of settling down Flat Rock NC and make that piece of land they had bought into a great home for not only themselves but also for his wife’s champion Chikamira herd dairy goats. The goat lineage still numbering about fifteen live on the estate under a barn and are declared to be a historical herd by the Federal government. A visit to the barn is a delightful experience.

With the estate spread over 264 acres, a whole lot of landscape that includes two mountains, two pictures lakes, green rolling pastures straight out of fairy tales and almost twenty four kilometers of trails winding through the property is truly enchanting. You can spend the entire day exploring the place and still feel that something is left out. Thirty two structures are dotted all over the estate and the interiors and décor is maintained the way Sandburg kept it during his time in the fifties.

It took almost two and a half year for the Sandburg’s to remodel the various pre structures sitting on the estate. They put up chimneys, remodeled the kitchen, bathrooms, heating and plumbing was installed, new concrete floors were laid out and a large row of bookshelves were fitted to accommodate his huge library. The kitchen building on the premises was later converted into a three car garage and the entire residence was given a new coat of paint.

The estate has an amphitheatre which hosts live performances of Sandburg’s Rootabaga stories and some excerpts from the hugely popular Broadway play “The World of Carl Sandburg.” These acts are usually held from around the middle of June to End of August every year and attract a sizeable audience. After the death of Carl Sandburg who had lived with his three daughters and their grandchildren supported by his wife, the estate was gifted to the federal government by his wife who wanted the property to be preserved as a memorial to Sandburg.

Flat Rock NC is proud to have such a memorial to one of the greatest literary figures of America in the last century and a must visit place for any visitor to the town.

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