Hamlin Garland House
Hamlin Garland House
House in 2014
|Location||357 W. Garland St., West Salem, Wisconsin|
|NRHP Reference #||71000040|
|Added to NRHP||November 11, 1971|
|Designated NHL||November 11, 1971|
Hamlin Garland was born in West Salem in a log cabin in September 1860 on a farm his father bought a year earlier. When he was older, he moved away from Wisconsin and lived particularly in Massachusetts, Iowa, and Illinois. Even so, Garland fondly recalled the place of his birth. As he later recalled: "My Wisconsin birthplace has always been a source of deep satisfaction to me. That a lovely valley should form the first picture in my childhood memories is a priceless endowment... It will always remain a charming and mysterious place to me."
Garland returned to West Salem in 1893 and, using royalties from his successful collection of short stories Main-Travelled Roads (1891), he purchased this home. The house, which stood on four acres, had been built in the same year of Garland's birth by a mason and carpenter named William Hull. Hull sold the home to Rublee Hayes five years later and, by the time Garland bought it from Hayes, the property also included a two-story barn, cow pasture, pig-pen, and gardens of both fruits and flowers. The home was in poor condition and Garland spent much of October 1893 repairing and renovating; he eventually installed indoor plumbing, making it the first home in the area with that innovation. He originally named it Mapleshade because of the three large maples on the property.
Garland brought his parents with him to the home; his mother was impressed with the area right away but his father did not immediately approve. Even so, Garland noted: "This is my choice. Right here we take root. This shall be the Garland Homestead." The house was damaged by fire in 1912 but was quickly repaired. It was an October morning and Garland was awakened by the screams of his wife, Zulime. After attempting to stop the flames with a garden hose, he ran into his study and saved his manuscripts by throwing them from the second-floor window of his study to a neighbor below.
Garland died at age 79, at his home in Hollywood, California on March 4, 1940. He had asked his ashes to be spread on the hillsides of his West Salem home. Instead, local officials asked to have him buried in the town's Nehonoc Cemetery.
It was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1971. The street it is on was renamed in honor of the author. Today, the site is overseen by the West Salem Historical Society and is open to the public as a museum. In 1960, a historical marker was placed in town in honor of Garland noting his interest in the region.
There are some reports that the home is haunted, possibly by Garland himself due to his unhappiness that his wishes for burial were not followed.
- "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2007-01-23.
- "Hamlin Garland House". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2008-01-02.
- Homestead: The Hamlin Garland Collection
- Newlin, Keith. Hamlin Garland: A Life. University of Nebraska Press, 2008: 12. ISBN 978-0-8032-3347-8
- D'Ambrosio, Brian. A Wee Bit of Wisconsin. Jabberwocky Press, 2010: 26. 9780557373758
- Brown, Alan. Ghosts Along the Mississippi River. University Press of Mississippi, 2011: 203. ISBN 978-1-61703-143-4
- Newlin, Keith. Hamlin Garland: A Life. University of Nebraska Press, 2008: 175. ISBN 978-0-8032-3347-8
- Newlin, Keith. Hamlin Garland: A Life. University of Nebraska Press, 2008: 175–176. ISBN 978-0-8032-3347-8
- Newlin, Keith. Hamlin Garland: A Life. University of Nebraska Press, 2008: 300. ISBN 978-0-8032-3347-8
- Holden, Greg. The Booklover's Guide to the Midwest: A Literary Tour. Cincinnati, OH: Clerisy Press, 2010: 274. ISBN 978-1-57860-314-5
- Robert Gamble (July 30, 1971). PDF (304 KB). National Park Service. and PDF (676 KB)
- "West Salem History". Village of West Salem.
- Brown, Alan. Ghosts Along the Mississippi River. University Press of Mississippi, 2011: 204. ISBN 978-1-61703-143-4
- Information about the Hamlin Garland House, West Salem, Wisconsin
- Garland Homestead at The Hamlin Garland Society
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