Day 20, Saturday, August 4, 2018
After I visited Knox College, I checked out another historic site in the small Illinois town of Galesburg. Carl Sandburg’s birthplace home has been preserved and is now operated by the State of Illinois as a State Historic site.
Sandburg was born in 1878, served in the Spanish-American War, and won three Pulitzer prizes (including one for his biography of Lincoln) and the Robert Frost medal for his writing. He left school at the age of 13 to perform manual labor jobs, driving a milk wagon, a bricklayer, farm laborer, hotel servant and coal heaver. He did attend West Point for two weeks, and attended Lombard College, but never earned a degree.
Sandburg also worked for a time as a reporter in Chicago, and his writing is often about Chicago. His poetry focuses on the common man and often features working class themes. This focus on the themes of the common man allowed much of the American public to relate to his writing.
He moved to his estate in North Carolina, named Connemara, in 1945, and lived there and wrote until his death in 1967. After his cremation, his ashes were interred underneath a granite boulder at his birthplace home – he remains there today. Connemara is a National Historic Site now and I would love to visit there too!
Even though the Sandburg home was not a place I had on my list, it was certainly a worthwhile stop. The guide was very enthusiastic about the poet and had a lot of knowledge to share. I was the only one there when I visited and got to take my time looking at the exhibits. I let him know when I was ready to visit the home, and he took me over; I got to spend as much time as I wanted looking at the little home.
I left Galesburg after my tour of the Sandburg home to drive even deeper into the Land of Lincoln. I stopped by a grocery store to replenish my supplies and then I was headed toward Springfield!