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Poetry Landmark: Emily Dickinson's Home in Amherst, MA


The Emily Dickinson Museum consists of two historical homes: the Homestead and the Evergreens. Constructed in 1813 for Dickinsonís grandparents, the Homestead is believed to be the first brick home built in Amherst and is the place where Dickinson spent the majority of her life. The Evergreens was built in 1856 for Dickinsonís brother Austin and his wife on the occasion of their marriage. It has been painstakingly preserved as an example of an eighteenth-century family home. It was designed by William Fenno Pratt, and is one of the best examples of Italianate domestic architecture in Amherst. Situated on a fourteen-acre plot, the two homes are surrounded by extensive gardens, proof of the deep love of nature held by the Dickinson family, especially Emily.

Emily Dickinson was born in 1830 at the Homestead and lived there for all but fifteen years of her life. While living at the Homestead, she composed almost 1,800 poems. In addition, she maintained a lively and inspired correspondence by mail with family and friends. After her death, her poetry and letters were made available to the wider public, first through the efforts of her sister, Lavinia, and her neighbor, Mabel Loomis Todd, and later by her niece, Martha Dickinson Bianchi, who is also responsible for turning the Evergreens into a memorial to her aunt and family.

The Emily Dickinson Museum is located at 280 Main Street in Amherst, Massachusetts. The surrounding grounds and gardens are open daily. Admission to the museum is by guided tours only, which are available March through December. Visit the website for hours, admission fees, and more information.

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