Six State Literary Tour: Authors’ Homes , Museums, Things to Do




With our bloggers now coming from six different states, we have even more “unbound readers” to appeal to. Check out this updated page for new sites suitable for day trips in your area. Organized alphabetically by states (Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Nevada, South Carolina, and Texas) and then by author.

American Writers Museum . Opening in Chicago 2016.

Southern lit Alliance, Chattanooga, TN: 


Southern Literary Trail: Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi

Conrad AikenPoet, Savannah


See  You Tube of Savannah home: 

The William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum, 1440 Spring St NW, Atlanta 

Through December 2015Where The Wild Things Are: Maurice Sendak In His Own Words and Pictures

Burns Club of Atlanta, Burns Cottage replica

Burns Club of Atlanta, Burns Cottage replica

Robert Burns: Scottish Poet (“To a Louse,” “To a Mouse,” “Tam O’Shanter), Atlanta

Bet you didn’t know that Robert Burns’s childhood hood is located in Atlanta! Well…a replicate of it is–988 Alloway Pl., Atlanta SE. See this earlier blog post to read more:

Erskine CaldwellNovelist (Tobacco Road), Moreland

Childhood home: “The Little Manse.” The Erskine Caldwell Birthplace Museum is usually open Saturday and Sunday, from 1 to 4 p.m. and by appointment. Caldwell Birthplace, POB 207, Moreland, GA 30259, 404-254-8657.

James DickeyPoet and Novelist (Deliverance), Atlanta

Dickey was born in Atlanta on February 2, 1923, the son of Maibelle Swift and Eugene Dickey. He spent his first eighteen years in Atlanta and attended North Fulton High School. His poem “Looking for the Buckhead Boys” recalls some of the friends he knew during those years.

The Foxfire Museum: High school journalists in the North Georgia mountains (Foxfire Magazine, many editions of The Foxfire Book), near Black Rock Mountain State Park and Dillard

The “museum” is actually a gathering of log cabins and other buildings saved and moved to land purchased by the Foxfire organization. A terrific day trip. See this earlier post to read all about it.

Robert Frost: TheMcCain Library at Agnes Scott College in Decatur has a small collection and display of handwritten poems, photographs, Christmas cards, and more, from Frost’s many years of visiting Agnes Scott from the mid-30s up until his death in 1963.

See this earlier post on the Robert Frost Collection at Agnes Scott:

Mary Gay: Novelist, Decatur 

716 West Trinity Place, Decatur, GA 30030 / Phone: 404-378-2162

The Mary Gay House was built in the 1820s in Decatur, Georgia.  The name Mary Gay comes from the homes most famous tenant Mary Ann Harris Gay (1828-1918).  The Confederate author and heroine is best remembered for writing an eyewitness history titled Life in Dixie During the War. In this book, Mary Gay recounts a series of daring exploits, including her forays across enemy lines to secure food and clothing for women and children of war-torn Decatur.  Her writings have inspired some of the world’s best authors including inspiration being used by Margaret Mitchell to create scenes in Gone With the Wind and being used by Mark Twain when he quoted some of Mary Gay’s poetry in Tom

Georgia Writers Museum 109 S. Jefferson St., Eatonton, GA 31024, 706-991-5119.

The Georgia Writers Museum promotes the rich, literary heritage of the state. Of the 46 authors in the Georgia Writers Hall of Fame, nine are from within 30 miles of Putnam County. Permanent exhibits honor the three most famous local authors, Alice Walker, Flannery O’Connor and Joel Chandler Harris. Works and artifacts of the other authors will be featured in the museum on a rotation basis.

Joel Chandler Harris: Folkorist (The Uncle Remus Stories), Atlanta, Eatonton

1. Literary Itinerary, Eatonton & Putnam County: 

2. The Wren’s Nest: Home of Joel Chandler Harris. Atlanta, Georgia  1050 Ralph David Abernathy Blvd. SW, Atlanta 30310, 404-753-7735. See this earlier post on The Wren’s Nest:

Fanny Kemble: Journal Writer (Journal of a Residence on a Georgian Plantation in 1838-1839) , Little St. Simons Island (Butler Plantation)

Today the plantations Kemble wrote about reflect the diversity of the region: the former estate on Butler’s Island has been turned into a state wildlife preserve; another patrimonial home on St. Simons has been obliterated by development, absorbed on the grounds of a marina; and Little St. Simons Island remains in the hands of the family that bought the land from Fanny Kemble’s daughters and is now a luxury resort. These islands are dotted with reminders of this remarkable nineteenth-century woman and the mark she left on this remote corner of Georgia.

Martin Luther King, Jr.:  Preacher, essayist, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate; Atlanta, Ga.

Designated room contains selections from King’s papers owned by Morehouse University. Includes first pages Martin-Luther-King-Jr-Famous-Quote(handwritten) of sermons; note cards for doctoral dissertation on Paul Tillich and Henry Wieman;  notes from Selma jail to Andrew Young (a to-do list outlining ways to bring attention to Selma); annotated “Letter from Birmingham Jail” in Christian Century, 1963 (one of first published versions, basis for later revisions); Eulogy for Four Little Girls murdered in church bombing, Birmingham 1963 (typed and then revised by hand); hand draft “Why I Am Opposed to the War in Vietnam”; much more.

King’s birthplace, Ebenezer Baptist Church, tomb. National Park Service, tours available.

Sidney Lanier: Poet, Macon

Sidney Lanier Cottage: 935 High St, Macon 31201. (478) 743-3851. Thursday -Saturday, 10-4.
Carson McCullars: Novelist (The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter, others), Columbus

The Smith-McCullars House Museum, 1519 Stark Avenue, Columbus, Georgia 31906. Open to the public by appointment. (706) 565-4021.

Margaret Mitchell: Novelist (Gone with the Wind, Pulitzer Prize 1937), Atlanta
1. The GWTW Trail (many stops in addition to the two listed below):
2. Margaret Mitchell House Peachtree St. , Atlanta 30309. Guided tours of the Margaret Mitchell House are offered daily and include visits to her Crescent Avenue apartment, which she affectionately nicknamed “The Dump,” and to exhibitions about her life and the movie version of her book.”The historic space where Mitchell wrote Gone With the Wind provides an apt setting for learning about her motives for writing the novel and the lifestyle of the author and her husband, John Marsh, in 1920s Atlanta. Note: This home is a reconstruction, since the original burned.

3. Gone with the Wind Museum, Marietta, Georgia 18 Whitlock Ave., Marietta 30064, 770-794-5576.

New Echota State Park: Former Cherokee capital and home of The Cherokee Phoenix, the first Native American newspaper, 1211 Georgia 225, Calhoun 30701

An easy day trip from Atlanta. For more information, see this earlier blog post:

Flannery O’Connor: Novelist (Wise Blood) & Short Story Writer (A Good Man Is Hard to Find), Milledgeville

1. Andalusia Farm, Milledgeville:

Flannery O’Connor – Andalusia Foundation, Inc., P.O. Box 947, Milledgeville, Georgia 31059, 478-454-4029

Flannery greets her peacock.

Flannery greets her peacock.

Andalusia was the home of American author Flannery O’Connor from 1951 until her death from lupus in 1964. This is where O’Connor was living when she completed her two novels and two collections of short stories. Andalusia is open for self-guided “walk-in” tours on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. All other visits are by advance appointment only by calling 478-454-4029. See this earlier post on O’Connor’s farm Andalusia: 

2.  Literary Itinerary, Eatonton & Putnam County:

3. Flannery O’Connor Childhood Home, Savannah

207 East Charlton Street, Savannah, Georgia 31401, 912.233.6014. Open Friday-Wednesday, 1-4 p.m.

Byron Herbert Reese: Poet, Blairsville

The Byron Herbert Reese Farm,

The Reece Farm and Heritage Center is located on US Hwy 129 in Union County, Georgia,  approximately 9 miles south of Blairsville, or one mile north of Vogel State Park.

Lillian Smith: Novelist (Strange Fruit), Rabun County,  also

Lillian E. Smith Center for Creative Arts, 383 Hershey Lane, Clayton, Ga. Laurel Falls Camp for Girls

Alice Walker: Novelist (The Color Purple, Pulitzer Prize, National Book Award 1983,  others), Eatonton

 Literary Itinerary, Eatonton & Putnam County:




Stephen Ambrose: Historian (Band of Brothers), NO

The National WWII Museum ,  945 Magazine St., founded by Stephen Ambrose, depicts the stories he tells in in WWII histories.

Kate Chopin: Novelist (The Awakening, stories), Cloutierville, LA. Part of the Cane River Creole National Historical Park and National Heritage area, this house is where Kate Chopin  and her husband Oscar lived for four years, beginning in 1879. After her husband’s death, Chopin returned to St. Louis with her six children and sold the property. Her controversial masterpiece, The Awakening, called a “Creole Bovary” by Willa Cather, was published in 1899. 

William Faulkner: Novelist, Part-time NO resident Faulkner Book House, 624 Pirates Alley, once home to William Faulkner, who wrote his first novel Soldier’s Pay there in 1925. Now a book store (focal point of the Pirate’s Alley Faulkner Society).

Lillian Hellman: Playwright (The Little Foxes, The Children’s Hour) The Lillian Hellman House, 1712 Prytania St., NO–birthplace of Hellman in 1905. Not open for tour.

Frances Parkinson KeyesBest-selling Novelist of the 1940s and 50s, New Orleans  For 25 years, the winter home of the queen of the New Orleans literary scene and author of Madame Castel’s Lodger (about General Beauregard).

Tennessee Williams: Playwright (Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, The Glass Menageries, Streetcar Named Desire), Various sites in NO Annual Tennessee Williams Festival (March 25th-29th, 2015)

Massachussetts: A Partial List (Note: The list is alphabetical by author, but many of these authors lived in the same city or town, ex. Cambridge. If you’re planning a tour, be sure to read through the entire list so as not to overlook anyone.)

Bronson and Louisa May Alcott: Philosopher/ Educator; Novelist and Short Story Writer (Bronson–Transcendentalism; Louisa May–Little Women), Boston and Concord

1. 20 Pinckney St., Boston–childhood home of Louisa May before the family moved to Fruitlands.  Not open to the public.

2. Orchard House and The Wayside–399 Lexington Rd. Wayside is next door. It was called Hillside, when the Alcotts owned it from 1845 to 1852.

Louisa May wrote much of her two best-sellers, Little Women and Little Men, while living at Orchard House. She set Little Women in Orchard House. and

Author’s Ridge at Sleepy Hollow Cemetery: See Sleepy Hollow Cemetery

Boston Athenaeum: America’s first publicly supported municipal library, a National historic Landmark. 10 1/2 Beacon St., Boston,

Old Corner Bookstore: Center of Boston’s literary scene during the mid-1800, once the location of Ticknor and Fields Publishing House, now home to the Boston Globe Store. 1 School St., at Washington St., along Boston’s Freedom Trail.

Literary Trail of Greater Boston:

William Bradford: Historian, Religious and political leader (The History of Plymouth Plantation, The Mayflower Compact) Plymouth. and

American history from its earliest days of colonial settlement.

William Cullen Bryant: Poet and Editor (“Thanatopsis”), Cummington, MA.

The William Cullen Bryant Homestead in Cummington, 60 miles NW of Springfield. Open for guided tours.

E. E. Cummings: Poet, Birthplace: 104 Irving St., Cambridge. Not open to the public.

Emily Dickinson: Poet (Considered, along with Walt Whitman, the greatest of America’s 19th century poets), Amherst

Emily Dickinson's dress, The Dickinson Homestead (Photo: Jerome Liebling, Amherst Magazine)

Emily Dickinson’s dress, The Dickinson Homestead (Photo: Jerome Liebling, Amherst Magazine)

The Dickinson Homestead (280 Main St.) and The Evergreens (214 Main St.)–Poet’s birthplace and home/ home of poet’s brother and sister-in-law. Both sites open for tour.

W. E. B. DuBois: Writer, Founder of the NAACP (The Souls of Black Folk), great Barrington, MA.

Boyhood homesite, 2 miles west of Great Barrington, MA.  There is little left of the former farm, but you can hike a 5-acre wooded field where the house once stood. A National Historic Landmark, owned by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Ralph Waldo Emerson: Transcendentalist Philosopher, Poet (“Nature,” “Self-Reliance,” “The American Scholar”), Concord.

1.The Old Manse, 269 Monument St., Concord. . Built by William Emerson, this house was the early home of Ralph Waldo Emerson before he moved to Cambridge Turnpike. Nathaniel Hawthorne rented the house from Emerson, and Henry David Thoreau worked there as a handyman. 

2.  The Ralph Waldo Emerson House, 28 Cambridge Turnpike at Lexington Rd.,

Emerson moved here from The Old Manse in 1828 and lived until his death in 1882. A National Historic Landmark.

3. Concord Free Public Library: 129 Main St., Concord

The library’s special collections contain manuscripts, printed volumes, photographs, and more of Emerson’s life and work.

Fannie Farmer: Cookbook Writer (Fannie Farmer Cookbook), Cambridge

Burial site–Mount Auburn Cemetery, 580 Mount Auburn St., Cambridge. Farmer created the first cookbook (1896) with very accurate and specific measurements.

Fruitlands:  Transcendentalist Utopian Community, Harvard, MA.

A utopian community, near the town of Harvard, 30 miles west of Boston, founded by Bronson Alcott on the ideals of Transcendentalism (i.e. that the individual is in direct communication with God and nature and thus has no need for rigid churches or creeds). It lasted 6 months.

Theodor Geisel: See Dr. Seuss

House of the Seven Gables (

House of the Seven Gables (

Nathaniel Hawthorne: Novelist, Short Story Writer (The Scarlet Letter, The House of the Seven Gables),  Salem and Concord.

1. The House of Seven Gables Historic Site includes both The House of the Seven Gables(which provided the inspiration for the book) and the Nathaniel Hawthorne Birthplace. 54 Turner St., Salem. The houses are open for guided tours.

2. The Old Manse, Concord–See Emerson above. Hawthorne rented the house between 1842 and 1845.

3. The Wayside (called Hillside by the Alcott family), Concord–Hawthorne bought the house from the Alcotts and spent the last four years of his life, 1860-1864, there.  Also home to Margaret Sidney, author of The Five Little Peppers.

Ernest Hemingway: Novelist, Short Story Writer (The Sun Also Rises, For Whom the Bell Tolls)

Ernest Hemingway Collection at the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum, Columbia Point, Boston,

Hemingway’s writings, photographs, letters, and personal items including handwritten drafts of The Sun Also Rises, the novelist’s flask, and a ring containing shrapnel from the leg injury he sustained during WWI. The Hemingway Room welcomes researchers.

Oliver Wendell Holmes: Poet, Physician, Essayist (Autocrat at the Breakfast Table, “Old Ironsides”)

Oliver Wendell Holmes Birthplace, 8 Montgomery Place (now Bosworth St.), near Harvard. 

Houghton Library at Harvard University: Collections center on American, Continental, and English history and literature. Boston.

Exhibits could be culled from its extensive collection of personal effects, notes, books, and more of such writers as John Keats, Dante, Tennessee Williams, Emily Dickinson, Goethe, Cervantes, and Lewis Carroll.

Jack Kerouac: Novelist (On the Road), Lowell, MA.

1. Boott Cotton Mills Museum–Now part of the Lowell National Historical Park, mentioned by Kerouac as “a maze of haze sorrow.”

2. Edson Cemetery, South Lowell–Kerouac’s gravestone reads “He Honored Life.”

3. Lowell Celebrates Kerouac–annual festival.

4. Welcome to Jack Kerouac’s Lowell–Walking Tour of Downtown.

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: Poet (“The Courtship of Myles Standish,” “The Song of Hiawatha,” “Paul Revere’s Ride”), Cambridge

Longfellow House, 105 Brattle St., Cambridge–Longfellow lived here for nearly 50 years until his death. Also the headquarters of George Washington between July 1775 and April 1776. A National Historic Site.

Herman Melville: Novelist, Short Story Writer (Moby Dick, “Bartleby”), Pittsfield, MA.

Arrowhead, 780 Holmes Rd., Pittsfield 01201–Melville lived in Arrowhead from 1850 to 1863, when he and his family returned to New York,  and the house remained in Melville family until the 1920s.

Dr. Seuss (Theodor Geisel): Children’s Book Author (The Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham), Springfield, MA.

Dr. Seuss Memorial Sculpture Garden, located at the Springfield Museums, 220 State St., Springfield. 

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, Author’s Ridge:  Burial site for Concord’s literary elite, including Louisa May Alcott, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, Henry David Thoreau.

Henry David Thoreau: Essayist, Philosopher, Experimenter in Simple Living (Walden, “Civil Disobedience”), Concord

1. Walden Pond, Concord, MA. along Rte 126 just south of Rte.

Walden Pond State Reservation  Where Thoreau lived for two years, building his own cabin, planting beans, observing nature, and accumulating ideas for what would become one of the masterpieces  of American Romanticism. Open daily. 

Quotation from Thoreau's Walden (wiki)

Quotation from Thoreau’s Walden (wiki)

2. Site of the Old Concord Jail, Main St., near Monument Square–where Thoreau spent the night after refusing to pay his poll tax as a protest against slavery and the Mexican War. A plaque marks the spot.

3. The Concord Museum–houses a collection of Thoreau-related items, such as the desk on which he wrote Walden and “Civil Disobedience.”

4. The Thoreau Institute at Walden Woods–houses The Thoreau Society and The Walden Woods Project.

Edith Wharton: Novelist (The House of Mirth, The Age of Innocence), Lenox, MA.

The Mount, 2 Plunkett St., Lenox–Wharton’s home from 1902 till 1911. Purchased by The Edith Wharton Restoration in 1980 and now open to the public as a cultural center.

John Greenleaf Whittier: Quaker Poet (“The Barefoot Boy,” “Snowbound”), Amesbury and Haverhill, MA.

1. John Greenleaf Whittier Home, 86 Friend St., Amesbury–Where Whittier penned most of his works,, study remains almost as he left it.

2. Union Cemetery, Haverhill Rd., Amesbury–Whittier’s grave

3. Whittier Family Homestead and Birthplace, 305 Whittier Rd., Haverhill–the farm remains much as it did in Whittier’s time and is the setting for his famous poem “Snowbound.”

John Winthrop: Puritan Governor of Massachusetts, Chronicler of The History of New England, and Publisher of The Bay Psalm Book. See William Bradford.

National Yiddish Book Center: Preserving Yiddish, Modern Jewish Literature, Amherst


Walter Van Tilburg Clark: Novelist (The Ox- Bow Incident), Virginia City, NV.

Robert Laxalt: Novelist (Sweet Promised Land), Reno, NV

National Cowboy Poetry Gathering:

The National Cowboy Poetry Gathering is an annual celebration of the ranching and rural West. Through poetry, music and stories, ranch people express the beauty and challenges of a life deeply connected to the earth and its bounty. Every year, thousands travel to rural Elko, Nevada, in the heart of winter, to learn and share. It’s been called the most honest and open-hearted festival in America, but it is also a darned good time! At the National Cowboy Poetry Gathering, you can discover cowboy cultures from around the world, learn a traditional skill, dance the two-step, plan for the West’s future with ranchers and conservationists, watch home-made films of rural life, meet new friends over a Buckaroo Brew, enjoy Basque food, listen to tall tales, dispel myths, build bridges and be inspired.
     Literary Map of Nevada: A compilation of over 500 Nevada writers, authors, poets, cowboy poets, artists, fur traders, explorers, journalists   
South Carolina

Mary Chesnut: ‘Dixie Diarist’ (Mary Chesnut’s Civil War, published 1981), Camden, SC

Mulberry Plantation, 559 Sumter Highway (US 521) at Wateree River., Privately owned, Mulberry Plantation provided Mary Chesnut a ringside seat to the Civil War, from which she wrote a famous series of diaries between 1861 and 1865.

William Gilmore Simms: 19th Century Poet & more. Bamberg County, halfway between Charleston and Augusta, GA.

Woodlands Plantation, ttp:// home (now privately owned) by acclaimed and prolific antebellum poet William Gilmore Simms.


Browning Library Stained Glass

Browning Library Stained Glass

Armstrong Browning Library, Baylor University, Waco, TX: The world’s largest collection of manuscripts, books, letters, and artifacts relating to Robert and Elizabeth Barrett Browning. Includes 56 stained glass windows illustrating poems and theme from the Brownings’ work (largest collection of secular stained glass in the world), bronze-paneled front doors depicting 10 themes from Elizabeth’s poems, 26 portraits and busts of Robert, the Elizabeth Barrett Browning salon, and more. They do everything bigger in Texas!

O. Henry (William Sidney Porter): Short stories (“Gift of the Magi”), Austin

1. O. Henry Home and Museum, 409 E. Fifth St., Austin 78701. – home where O. Henry lived with his wife and daughter between 1893 and 1895.

2. O. Henry House Museum, 601 Dolorosa St., San Antonio, TX, in house in 1895 while he published his newspaper The Rolling Stone.

Katherine Anne Porter: Novelist, Short Story writer (Ship of Fools, Pale Horse, Pale Rider)

The Katherine Anne Porter Literary Center Museum–Childhood home of Porter, now used by Texas State University – San Marcos for literary events and for a writer-in-residence program. Open by appointment only.

The Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center: A Literary Treasure Chest at the University of Texas at Austin

Galleries, special exhibits, scholarly research: The Harry Ransom Center advances the study of the arts and humanities by acquiring, preserving, and making accessible original cultural materials. With extensive collections of rare books, manuscripts, photography, film, art, and the performing arts, the Center supports research through symposia and fellowships and provides education and enrichment for scholars, students, and the public through exhibitions and programs.

Among the writers included: Erle Stanley Garner, Anne Sexton , Isaac Bashevis Singer, James Joyce, Ernest Hemingway, T.S. Eliot, D.H. Lawrence, Tennessee Williams, Robert Lowell, Graham Greene, Arthur Miller, Samuel Beckett, Andre Malraux, Ezra Pound, James Tate, Karl Shapiro. And more…





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