Relive Your Childhood: 10 of Your Favorite Author’s Homes You Can Visit Today
Every kid who grew up in the United States has a common library of authors that they studied in school. Whether your favorites were Jack London and his adventurous White Fang or Laura Ingalls Wilder and her sweeping Little House on the Prairie series, these were the authors that you wrote book reports about and gave class presentations on. Many people leave authors like these behind in childhood, but many others reread them as adults and find an even deeper understanding of their gorgeous literature.
If you’re a book lover, visiting the homes of your favorite childhood authors is an adventure that adds meaning to any vacation. Here are some of the most important young adult authors with homes that are open to the public.
Born in 1876, Jack London was responsible for many of the most famous early adventure novels set on American soil. His most famous works are The Call of the Wild and White Fang, which are both set during the Klondike Gold Rush. When he wasn’t writing novels about the early American West, he wrote exploratory and dystopian novels that were some of the first to be considered ‘science fiction.’ Jack London and his wife Charmian lived on a massive property in the Sonoma Valley of California — they were just about to move into a new-built mansion that he called “Wolf House” when it burned to the ground in 1913. He died in 1916, and his ashes are buried on his property, which is now called the Jack London State Historic Park.
Mark Twain was the pen name of legendary American author Samuel L. Clemens, who spent his early years as a miner and prospector before turning his stories from the road into novels. His best-known works are The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, which he wrote in 1875, and Adventures of Huckleberry (completed in 1885). Clemens was born in Hannibal, Missouri, but died in Redding, Connecticut in 1910. Although there are several of Clemens’ homes that tourists can visit, the most spectacular is in Hartford, Connecticut — a massive house that was built for Clemens and his new wife Olivia. Unfortunately, a financial problem forced Samuel and Olivia to move to Europe in 1891, and they sold the property in 1903.
Harriet Beecher Stowe
The abolitionist and author Harriet Beecher Stowe was actually a next-door neighbor of Samuel L. Clemens for much of her life — the cottage beside the Clemens’ was where Stowe lived for the last 23 years of her life. If you’re looking for a house that brings you closer to her famous novel Uncle Tom’s Cabin, you can visit the Harriet Beecher Stowe House in Brunswick, Maine. She lived there while her husband was teaching at nearby Bowdoin College, and would regularly host gatherings where she would read in-progress chapters of her book. In 2001, the house was purchased by Bowdoin College and opened to the public.
Stop by the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center this Sunday for CT Historic Gardens Day! Take a self-guided garden tour of Harriet’s beautiful property, and with ticketed admission join us at 1:30 for the Nook Farm Walking Tour. #HerWordsChangedTheWorld #GardensAtStowe pic.twitter.com/NYj94L4IXB
— Harriet BeecherStowe (@HBStoweCenter) June 21, 2018