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Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site is a Great Stop in the Mountains


The Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site, located in Flat Rock, North Carolina, is a great place to visit while you are enjoying the mounatins. Carl Sandburg, the nationally renowned poet, biographer and folksinger, retired in Flat Rock, North Carolina, in 1945.

Carl Sandburg won two Pulitzer Prizes during his lifetime. Sandburg won his first Pulitzer Prize for History in 1940 for his four-volume work about Abraham Lincoln, titled "The War Years." He also wrote an earlier two-volume work about Abraham Lincoln, titled "The Prairie Years."

Sandburg won his second Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1951 for his poetry contained in "Complete Poems by Carl Sandburg." Sandburg was noted for being a passionate champion for those who did not have words and power to speak for themselves.

Sandburg once wrote, "It is necessary now and then for a man to go away by himself and experience loneliness; to sit on a rock in the forest and to ask of himself, 'Who am I, and where have I been, and where am I going?'"

Sandburg bought Connemara, a 245-acre estate located in Flat Rock, North Carolina, in 1945. By this time, Sandburg was already a famous author and poet. The previous owner named Connemara after the Connemara District in Ireland. The Connemara estate contains a 22-room home, 11 outbuildings, two lakes and two mountains.

The home still contains all of the Sandburg's personal belongings just as he left them before his death. Sandburg died at the home on July 22, 1967. The papers and books on Sandburg's desk, the pots and dishes on the kitchen counters and other personal items scattered about the home make it appear as if the family will return at any moment from their evening walk.

Today, Connemara is part of the National Park Service, and is open to the public from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. every day of the year except Christmas. It is a wonderful place to visit, not only because of the guided tours of the home, complete with audio and video presentations about Sandburg, but also because of the 5-miles of walking trails that are open to the public.

One of the favorite walking trails is the trail leading to the top of Glassy Mountain. The trail is 1.6 miles and is considered a moderate hiking trial. The trail traverses through a forest and experiences a rise in elevation from 2,160 feet to 2,780 feet. At the top of Glassy Mountain is a smooth rock outcrop that provides a wonderful vista as a reward to hikers who make it to the trail's end.

Any time of the year, Connemara is an ideal place to visit because of the trails, many of which meander around the estate's lakes, through the forests, and to the tops of the two mountains contained on the estate.

There is no charge for visiting the Connemara grounds. The guided tour of the home costs $3.00 for adults, and children 16-years and younger are free.

So, if you are planning a trip to the mountains, think about stopping by the Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site. Consider taking a walk up to the top of Glassy Mountain to the level rock outcrop, and "Sit on a rock in the forest and to ask of himself, 'Who am I, and where have I been, and where am I going?'" It will be a visit that will stay with you for years to come.



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