Although I may make fun of it from time to time, I am proud to hail from Long Island. The area is rich in history and is home to many important historical figures. One of them being Walt Whitman.
Something I’ve wanted to do for a long time is visit the Walt Whitman Birthplace site. However, as much as I visited the mall across the way that bears his name (and oh how I’ve visited it), I still had not gone to this national landmark. That finally all changed this past weekend when The Husband and I took a visit to the site.
Whitman’s father, Walt. Sr. built the farmhouse around 1816 as a model home for the farmers in the surrounding area. Whitman was born inside the home in 1819 and the family moved out to Brooklyn four years later. The home passed through a few owners through the years until the 1950’s when its final owner decided it needed to become a preserved landmark for the public to enjoy. Now the home has been restored to its original incarnation and it’s a great place to see.
One of the things that struck me the most was the three lilac trees out front. They are original to the house and still blossom each and every Spring – pretty remarkable! In addition, there is a small museum on-site that features different exhibits as well as a first-edition of Leaves of Grass that Whitman self-published.
It’s amazing what you can learn when you take the time to do so. I encourage you to discover the history in your own backyard. You’ll definitely be glad you did.