William Faulkner House
|Location||Old Taylor Road, Oxford, Mississippi|
|Architect||Col. Robert Sheegog|
|Architectural style||Greek Revival|
|NRHP Reference #||68000028|
|Added to NRHP||May 23, 1968|
|Designated NHL||May 23, 1968|
|Designated USMS||January 15, 1986|
Rowan Oak, also known as William Faulkner House, is William Faulkner's former home in Oxford, Mississippi. It is a primitive Greek Revival house built in the 1840s by Robert Sheegog. Faulkner purchased the house when it was in disrepair in the 1930s and did many of the renovations himself. Other renovations were done in the 1950s. The house sits on 4 landscaped and twenty nine acres of largely wooded property known as Bailey's Woods. One of its more famous features is the outline of Faulkner's Pulitzer Prize–winning novel A Fable, penciled in graphite and red on the plaster wall of his study. Though the "rowan oak" is a mythical tree, the grounds and surrounding woods of Rowan Oak contain hundreds of species of native Mississippi plants, most of which date back to antebellum times. The alley of cedars that lines the driveway was common in the 19th century. The studs of the house are 4"x4" square cypress, which were hand-hewn. Faulkner drew much inspiration for his treatment of multi-layered Time from Rowan Oak, where past and future seemed to inhabit the present.
In 1972, his daughter, Jill Faulkner Summers, sold the house to the University of Mississippi. The University maintains the home in order to promote Faulkner's literary heritage. Tours are available. The home has been visited by such writers as John Updike, Czesław Miłosz, Charles Simic, Richard Ford, James Lee Burke, Bei Dao, Charles Wright, Charles Frazier, Alice Walker, the Coen brothers, Bobbie Ann Mason, Salman Rushdie, and others. Writer Mark Richard once repaired a faulty doorknob on the French door to Faulkner's study.
The current curator of Rowan Oak is William Griffith. Past curators include the novelists Howard Bahr and Cynthia Shearer. The original curator was Bev Smith, an Ole Miss alum, who was responsible for finding a great deal of Faulkner's original manuscripts hidden within the home.
The address for the house was once 719 Garfield Road in Oxford, but the road changed names in the 1980s to Old Taylor Road.
- "Mississippi Landmarks" (PDF). Mississippi Department of Archives and History. May 2008. Retrieved May 13, 2009.
- Staff (2007-01-23). "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service.
- "William Faulkner House". National Historic Landmark summary listing. National Park Service. Retrieved 2007-10-25.
- Polly M. Rettig and John D. McDermott (March 30, 1976). "National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: William Faulkner Home, Rowan Oak" (PDF). National Park Service. and PDF (2.38 MB)
- University of Mississippi Museums Page (includes visitor information on Rowan Oak)
- Inside Rowan Oak: short video about Faulkner and Rowan Oak, with Close-Ups of a Novel Draft that Faulkner Wrote on His Office Wall
- A Photo Tour of Rowan Oak, With Commentary
- RowanOak.com - Picture gallery and visitor information
- William Faulkner on the Web - Includes detailed, interactive map of the grounds
- "Writings of William Faulkner", broadcast from Rowan Oak from C-SPAN's American Writers