|The Walt Whitman birthplace, built by his father|
Walter Whitman, complete with lilacs by the kitchen door -
"When Lilacs Once in the Dooryard Bloom'd"
The Walt Whitman homestead was turned into a museum in the 1950s, and the interpretive center was built in the 1970s. The entire Whitman house was restored back to its original condition when Walter Whitman built it in the early 1800s. There are some signature features you can view on a guided tour, which were built into the home by Walter, including a penny at the top of the staircase used as a bolt, and rubbed for good luck by generations. There are built in corner shelves on each fireplace mantel for candlesticks, and several built in cupboards not usually seen in modest homes of this time period. In the attic space you can see hand hewn beams created by Walter Whitman himself.
The complex includes a visitor/interpretive center, the house where Walt Whitman was born, gardens and a community center for poetry readings and youth groups. The entire place is surrounded by a wooden wall, so you would never know you were in a suburban setting, surrounded by strip malls and speeding traffic. It is quiet and tranquil inside the historic site. There are also historic museums in Brooklyn, New York, where the poet spent most of his childhood, having moved from Long Island at about age four or five years old when the family farm failed.
For more information:
The Walt Whitman Homestead http://www.waltwhitman.org/
246 Old Walt Whitman Road
West Hills, NY
West Hills, NY
Copyright 2012, Heather Wilkinson Rojo