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Willa Cather's Childhood Home


category : Famous Homes
Willa Cather's Childhood Home World Famous author, Willa Sibert Cather (1873-1947), moved with her family from Virginia to the Red Cloud area in 1883. Nebraska became what Cather later described as "the happiness and the curse of my life". The state's most celebrated novelist, Willa Cather wrote about the people and places she knew firsthand. In fact, she set numerous short stories and six of her twelve novels in her childhood home of Red Cloud and many of her acquaintances can be identified in her writings. With works including, O Pioneers!, A Lost Lady, and My Antonia , the writer poignantly recounted the struggles and the joys of life on the Great Plains, a land "as bare as a piece of sheet iron".

Restored to its early appearance, the Childhood Home, a National Historic Landmark, is the most notable of the collected properties. Willa Cather's room was upstairs on the north. The wallpaper of red and brown roses, put on the walls by Willa herself, is still there. The Cather children called this room "The Rose Bower". Many Cather family artifacts, including the family Bible in which Cather changed her birthdate, await the visitor's scrutiny.

A graduate of the University of Nebraska, she earned numerous accolades throughout her lifetime, including the Pulitzer Prize in 1923. The Cather House, in which she lived from 1884 to 1904, figures prominently in, The Song of the Lark:

"They turned into another street and saw before them lighted windows; a low story-and-a-half house, with a wing built on at the right and a kitchen addition at the back, everything a little on the slant - roofs, windows, and doors."

This house and each room can be found not only in The Song of the Lark , but also in "The Best Years", and "Old Mrs. Harris". This house is the most important Nebraska building associated with her literary career.


Address: 245 Cedar Street
Phone: 866-731-7304
Our Email: info@willacather.org
Our Website:www.WillaCather.org

Come visit us in Red Cloud, Nebraska

Attractions and Upcoming Events

Willa Cather Historic SitesTour

The Willa Cather Foundation proudly hosts town and country tours where visitors can view the childhood home of Willa Cather as well as experience other historic buildings related to her life and writing.

Red Cloud, NE Tours

Webster County Courthouse

Built in 1914, the Webster County Courthouse is a recent addition to sites already listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The building as distinctive ornamentation and is of the second Renaissance Rival stylistic influence. Located on the Courthouse Square is the 1887

Red Cloud, NE Historic Courthouses

The Red Cloud Opera House

The Red Cloud Opera House, 1885, stood for many years as the jewel in Main Street's crown. Here Blind Boone played, William Jennings Bryan spoke, and it was from this stage that Willa Cather graduated in 1890 and delivered her eloquent oration, "Superstition vs. Investigation"

Red Cloud, NE Historic Buildings

Red Cloud Golf Course

Red Cloud is proud of its professionally designed nine-hole golf course with watered greens, fairways and tee boxes. The course was designed by Harry Obitz, Golf Magazine'

Red Cloud, NE Golf Courses

Starke Round Barn

Nebraska's largest round barn and one of the nation's largest, was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in April 1972, and is still in use today. It was built in 1902-3

Red Cloud, NE Historic Buildings

Things to do Famous Homes near Red Cloud, NE