Carl Sandburg's Home, Connemara, in Flat Rock, North Carolina

Carl Sandburg's Home, Connemara, in Flat Rock, North Carolina


I arrived in Asheville on Friday night, just in time for a reading at the new Battery Park Book Exchange, probably the hippest used book store you could ever hope to find, complete with champagne bar.  The next night on to City Lights Bookstore in Sylva, North Carolina, a tiny mountain town with a big love of books. 

But when I had time, I toured Thomas Wolfe’s home in Asheville and then Carl Sandburg’s in Flat Rock, NC.  Thomas Wolfe lived in town, in a boarding house, run by his mother.  Apparently he didn’t even have a room of his own because his mother would rent every room in the house when and if she could.

Carl Sandburg’s home, on the other hand, sits on 200+ acres in the beautiful North Carolina mountains.  And the house, well, it’s as if the Sandburgs have just run to the store and will be back any minute.  Everything is just as it was when the couple lived there.  Apparently after Sandburg died, his wife packed up her clothes and a few personal belongings and left the house fully furnished, down to a box of Kleenex by a living room chair.  

The setting is so peaceful — words were meant to be born there.

Posted June 22, 2009 at 8:33 pm · 2 comments · Leave a Comment


  1. Marjorie, June 23rd, 2009, 5:24 am

    After reading a review of this book, I am going to put it on my Christmas wish list. Thank you very much, nothing like a book you cannot put down.
  2. Leisa Hammett, June 23rd, 2009, 9:15 am

    Susan, we may have passed on the interstate this weekend! Friday found me traveling past Asheville and past the Sandburg exit en route to my nearby hometown of Greenville, SC. My finance and I talked about Sandburg as we passed. I love this area! Also, Nashville iconic photographer Bob Schatz has created a series of gorgeous sepia-like photographs of Southern authors homes, including Sandburg. They are just like you describe. As if they just up and left. One of my favorites is Eudora Welty's ironing board. Not sure if it's been exhibited yet but when it is it will be at The Arts Company on Nashville's Fifth Avenue of the Arts downtown. Oh, it may have shown once at one of the Downtown Nashville Public Library's galleries and Ann Brown, at the Arts Company keeps the portfolio of this work available for viewing. FYI. I'm in my third week of writing for From Heartache to Hope: Middle Tennessee Families Living with autism. I came here first for inspiration before I launched into the day's writing. Thank you!

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Susan Gregg Gilmore