Carl Sandburg State Historic Site
Not to be confused with the Carl Sandburg National Historic Site, the writer's adult years home in North Carolina. This tiny three-room cottage is where the poet Carl Sandburg was born in 1878. Sandburg was one of the most influential poets of the early 20th century, beloved for his Americana style of poetry that depicted the lives of the working class, be they from industrialized cities or the agricultural world of the prairie. His Illinois background served as inspiration for many of his poems, and he often used his childhood experiences in Illinois to provide rich descriptions for his writing. The home is now a state historic site that is open for visitors.
Backstory and Context
Throughout his life Sandburg published several books of poetry, history, children's stories, and folk songs. His work also earned him three Pulitzer Prizes along with countless other awards. His poetry was what made him famous, but perhaps his most well-known work was his two-volume biography of Abraham Lincoln. The Land of Lincoln that Sandburg had been born and raised in greatly inspired him. He wrote about the towering skyscrapers and backbreaking labor of the stockyards in Chicago, the vast beauty and hard farm work of the prairies, and the forever looming legacy of Lincoln. His experiences as a working class person in the Midwest fed into his poems, and led to his become known fondly as the "People's Poet."
The Carl Sandburg State Historic Site includes the cottage, which is now a museum and visitor's center, along with the gardens surrounding the house and a small theater that hosts folk music concerts. Sandburg, his wife, and two of their daughters are buried in the garden under a granite boulder that is called "Remembrance Rock," after the title of Sandburg's only novel. Visitors can take guided tours through the cottage and gardens.