• Carl Sandburg Home Spring

    Carl Sandburg Home

    National Historic Site North Carolina

Frequently Asked Questions

I associate Carl Sandburg with the city of Chicago and the Midwest, what brought him to North Carolina?
Carl Sandburg was born and raised in Galesburg, Illinois, a small town 200 miles southwest of Chicago. His literary career is most often associated with Chicago and the Midwest as much of his early writing emerged from his experiences there. However, Sandburg first is an American and his writing is not limited to geography. His writing reflects the issues of humanity and democracy and freedom. The move to North Carolina was at the request of his wife, Paula, for the benefit of the goat farm operation. Greener pastures and a longer browsing season for the goats was the primary purpose for choosing to leave their home on the shores of Lake Michigan where they had been for 17 years. The Asheville area was familiar to Mrs. Sandburg because her brother Edward Steichen had spent time there and simply recommended it as a place to investigate.


The name of the Sandburg's farm is Connemara, what does the name Connemara mean?
The name Connemara is Irish meaning "of the sea." Connemara is a region in the country of Ireland located on the north west coast in the county of Galway that borders the Atlantic Ocean.


Why did Sandburg name this place Connemara?
The Sandburg family did not name the farm Connemara. They simply kept the name that the former owners had given it. The Smyth family from Charleston, SC owned the farm prior to the Sandburg's. Captain Ellison Smyth named the farm Connemara after his ancestors who had come from the Connemara region of Ireland.


What books were in Sandburg's library?
The Sandburg's moved to Connemara with over 16,000 volumes. Over 11,000 are still at the park today. You can search his book collection here: http://museum.nps.gov/ParkIndex.aspx. This database also includes Mrs. Sandburg's dairy goat prize ribbons, Carl Sandburg's guitars, plant specimens from the park, the Atlas to Accompany the Official Records of the Union and Confederate Armies (1894) and much more. A .pdf record of his book collection can be downloaded here (9mb).


How much did it cost the Sandburg's to buy this property?
In the fall of 1945, the Sandburg's paid $45,000 for 248 acres of land, a three-story main house with over 9,000 square feet, a barn complex and several outbuildings. Carl Sandburg believed they had bought a "village" and Mrs. Sandburg a "million acres of sky."


Did Carl Sandburg give an address at the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy?
Carl Sandburg did NOT give an address at the inauguration of President John F. Kennedy, that was Robert Frost. Sandburg did work feverishly with Harry Golden on the campaign to elect Kennedy and he wrote the preface to Kennedy's book of speeches entitled To Turn the Tide.


When did Carl Sandburg die?
Carl Sandburg's lifetime spanned much of the 20th century. He was born in Galesburg, Illinois to Swedish immigrant parents on January 6, 1878. He would die at his home in Flat Rock, North Carolina on July 22, 1967 at the age of 89. His wife would follow ten years later. Both of their remains were cremated and their ashes buried at Carl Sandburg's birthplace in Galesburg, Illinois beneath a large boulder named after Carl Sandburg's first and only novel, Remembrance Rock.

Who do I contact to receive permission to use Carl Sandburg's works and images?
If you find a resource in the collection of the Carl Sandburg Home NHS please contact the park to determine permissions. To request permission to use publications, audio recordings and other materials by Carl Sandburg, please contact the following:

The Barbara Hogenson Agency, Inc.
165 West End Ave. Suite 19C
New York, NY 10023
Telephone: 212-874-8084
Fax: 212-595-6748
Email

Carl Sandburg State Historic Site
Martha Downey, Site Superintendent
P.O. Box 104
Bishop Hill, Illinois 61419
309-927-3345
email
Carl Sandburg State Historic Site preserves the birthplace and burial site of Carl Sandburg. The Site's collection includes first editions of many of Sandburg's works, photos, and objects from the Sandburg family. The Visitors' Center orientation DVD and exhibits document Sandburg's time in Galesburg and beyond. www.sandburg.org.

Did You Know?

photo of Margaret's flower garden located northwest of the main house

Margaret, the eldest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Sandburg planted this flower garden according to a detailed plan. The park service plants flowers today according to the same plan Margaret used many years ago.