Carl Sandburg, the iconic poet, historian and folk musician, was considered a “Poet of the People.” He spoke and wrote as the voice of America and saw a true vision of what the nation was and could be. Visitors to Western North Carolina can experience the landscape that inspired Sandburg in the place where he wrote a third of his works during his final 22 years at his Connemara Estate in Flat Rock. Called the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site, the estate offers insight on Sandburg, his family and their 264-acre working farm. Guided tours of the home are available to see the more than 65,000 artifacts inside. Sandburg’s wife, Lilian “Paula” Steichen Sandburg, is known for her contributions to the breeding of champion dairy goats. In fact, it was her desire for goat breeding that brought the family to North Carolina. The farm’s barn is open for self-guided tours and volunteers are typically on-site to answer questions. Rangers give a series of 30-minute programs June through October on the cultural landscape, birds, cheese making and other topics relating to the family and farm. From June to mid-August, actors from the nearby Flat Rock Playhouse offer performances of some of Sandburg’s most cherished works at the park amphitheater. The Carl Sandburg Site hosts several events throughout the year including a poetry session, folk music festival and Lincoln Festival. Sandburg was fond of the outdoors and the site has some five miles of trails for hiking. It is also a popular stop for visitors touring art stops along the Blue Ridge Parkway.
photo credit: Bill Russ | VisitNC.com