Stephen Huneck's story is so inspiring to me. He's an hour away from me and I still haven't visited his 'Dog Chapel.' This video is inspiring me - I'll have to get over there asap. You should too, next time you're in the St. Johnsbury, Vermont area!
"Nature is a haunted house—but Art—is a house that tries to be haunted." -Emily Dickinson
As a student at Mount Holyoke College I enrolled in Martha Ackmann's class on the life and work of Emily Dickinson. The class was held in the home of Emily Dickinson in her parents' bedroom. On the last day, we moved to ED's bedroom. We sat on the floor and each took a turn reciting and discussing an ED poem we'd selected. All around it was a fascinating experience.
If you ever find yourself in the Amherst, Massachusetts area, I would highly recommend visiting Emily Dickinson's House. It's also a great place to take children from about the age of seven up. And while you're there, you won't want to miss "The Evergreens," her brother Austin's house. The eight dollar cost of admission covers tours of both houses, which together comprise the "Emily Dickinson Museum."
I found ED's house to have a sanitized feel-you can tell it's a museum. Much of its original furnishings are gone, as they were sold to Harvard by the last heirs of the house. It is my understanding that this has left a bone of contention between Harvard and Amherst College (the current owner of the museum).
Austin's house on the other hand, was more or less just as it had been when he and his family lived there; Worn velvet treads on the stairs, the children's nursery with original toys in place, and charming cut-outs pasted on the closet door, original fabric wall-paper, and a musty old-house smell in the air...
ED's niece Martha Dickinson Bianchi, was the last surviving Dickinson to live in the house. After her death, the house was inherited by Dickinson Bianchi's literary agents, a married couple who kept it largely intact while they lived there.
It is my understanding that there may be plans to "restore" The Evergreens. So if you want to experience this piece of 'living history," now is the time!