Bucket List: Literary Homes

Apart from my obvious love of travel and admitted love of movies, I’m also a huge bookworm. Because I always seem to have my nose stuck in a book, and have grown interested in the lives of the authors who have written some of the most famous books in history, I’ve made a point to include their homes in my travel bucket list. Since none of the below mentioned authors should need any introduction from me, I’m going to stray from the norm (as far as my bucket list posts are concerned) and only include titles, locations, and photos for each.

Agatha Christie

Greenway Estate – Greenway Rd, near Brixham, Devon TQ5 0ES, United Kingdom
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Flickr Photo: © Becks – Greenway

Alexandre Dumas

“Chateau de Monte Cristo” – Square des Ormes, 78560 Le Port-Marly, Yvelines, France

Anne Frank

Anne Frank House – Prinsengracht 263-267, 1016 GV Amsterdam, Netherlands
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Flickr Photo: © Chris Khamken – Anne Frank’s House

Edgar Allan Poe

Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum –  203 N Amity St., Baltimore, Maryland 21223, U.S.A.
flickr - edgar allan poe - darren and brad

Flickr Photo: © Darren and Brad – L1250692

Edith Warton

The Mount – 2 Plunkett St, Lenox, Massachusetts 01240, U.S.A.
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Flickr Photo: © David Dashiell – The Mount from the Flower Garden by David Dashiell.jpg

Emily Dickinson

Emily Dickinson Museum – 280 Main St, Amherst, Massachusetts 01002, U.S.A.
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Flick Photo: © peppergrasss – Emily Dickinson house

Ernest Hemingway

The Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum – 907 Whitehead St, Key West, Florida 33040, U.S.A. 
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flickr Photo: © annaspies – The Hemingway House

F. Scott Fitzgerald

F. Scott Fitzgerald House – 599 Summit Ave, St Paul, Minnesota 55102, U.S.A.
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Flickr Photo: © Holly Hayes – F. Scott Fitzgerald House

Henry David Thoreau

Replica House at Walden Pond State Reservation – 915 Walden St., Concord, Massachusetts 01742, U.S.A.
flickr - thoreau cabin - tracy lee carroll

Flickr Photo: © Tracy Lee Carroll – Thoreau’s Cabin and Statue

Herman Melville

Arrowhead – 780 Holmes Rd, Pittsfield, Massachusetts 01201, U.S.A.
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Flickr Photo: © Pablo Sanchez – Herman Melville’s Arrowhead, The Berkshires, MA

Jane Austen

Jane Austen’s House Museum –  Chawton, Alton, Hampshire GU34 1SD, United Kingdom
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Flickr Photo: © Jacqueline Poggi – Jane Austen’s House Museum, Chawton

John Keats

Keats House – 10 Keats Grove, London NW3 2RR, United Kingdom
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Flickr Photo: © Laura Nolte – Keats House

John Steinbeck

Steinbeck House and Restaurant – 132 Central Ave, Salinas, California 93901, U.S.A.
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Flickr Photo: © Ken Lund – John Steinbeck House, Salinas, California

Leo Tolstoy

Yasnaya Polyana – Yasnaya Polyana, Tula Oblast, Russia, 301214
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Flickr Photo: © khawkins33 – Tolstoy’s home

Louisa May Alcott

Orchard House – 399 Lexington Rd, Concord, Massachusetts 01742, U.S.A.
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Flickr Photo: © Massachusetts Office of Travel and Tourism – Orchard House, Home of Louisa May Alcott – Concord

Margaret Mitchell

Margaret Mitchell House and Museum – 990 Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30309, U.S.A.
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Flickr Photo: © Lars Juhl Jensen – The Margaret Mitchell House, Atlanta, Georgia

Mark Twain

Mark Twain House – 351 Farmington Ave, Hartford, Connecticut 06105, U.S.A.
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Flickr Photo: © Ken Zirkel – Mark Twain House

Oscar Wilde

The Oscar Wilde House – American College Dublin, 1 Merrion Square, Dublin 2, Ireland
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Flickr Photo: © William Murphy – Merrion Square – The Irish American University

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Ralph Waldo Emerson House – 28 Cambridge Turnpike, Concord, Massachusetts 01742, U.S.A.
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Flickr Photo: © Chris DiGiamo – The home of Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thomas Hardy

National Trust – Hardys Cottage, Dorchester, Dorset DT2 8QJ, United Kingdom
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Flickr Photo: © Phillip Capper – Thomas Hardy’s cottage, Dorset, England…

Victor Hugo

Maison de Victor Hugo – 6 Place des Vosges, 75004 Paris, France
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Flickr Photo: © Fofo Espínola – maison de victor hugo

Walt Whitman

Walt Whitman House – 330 Mickle Boulevard, Camden, New Jersey 08103, U.S.A.
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Flickr Photo: © Chris Hunkeler – Walt Whitman’s Home

William Shakespeare

Shakespeare’s Birthplace – Henley St., Stratford-upon-Avon CV37 6QW, United Kingdom
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Flickr Photo: © Peter Broster – Shakespeare’s Birthplace

Bucket List: Stonehenge & the American Replicas

bucketliststonehenge

Stonehenge

I was 17 years old the first time I traveled outside the country and visited England. The trip itself was a whirlwind of long bus rides and historically relevant sites that overtime have blurred into one another. Among the many stops was a lengthy visit to Stonehenge in Wiltshire. As one of the most famous prehistoric monuments in the world, there are more theories surrounding this circle of stones than I care to either think about or try to relate to you, so I’m not going to try.

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I remember the tour as boring, the French guide (really England?) as being rude, and the structure itself as being far less spiritual than I was lead to believe. Even so, I wasted rolls of film snapping photo after photo as I walked circles around the black ropes, and nearly missed my tour group leaving for the next location on our itinerary. Like the pyramids in Egypt or the Parthenon in Greece, Stonehenge deserves a visit not for the questions that surround it, but for the simple fact that man was able to create something awe-inspiring and seemingly otherworldly. So awe-inspiring in fact, that Americans have taken it upon themselves to create more replicas of this famous destination than you probably even know exist. Being a lover of all things strange, and never one to snub a roadside attraction, the following replicas are sure to be a part of my next road trip.

Carhenge

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Flickr Photo: © SortOfNatural – General Motors??

Built to match the proportions of Stonehenge in England, Carhenge in Alliance Nebraska was built using recycled cars from neighboring properties by Jim Reinders during a positively unforgettable family reunion. Constructed on his own property, all 38 of the cars that make up this iconic replica are classic American automobiles from the 50’s & 60’s, and are continuously painted a flat gray to ensure their preservation with the passing of time and to help them closer resemble the color of the stone used at the original “henge”. Once seen as an eyesore by the locals, Alliance has very much embraced Carhenge as being a part of their hometown, and voted to purchase the property back in 2013. The inventive replica now boasts its own visitors center/gift shop and even hosts a few other art installations at the nearby Car Art Reserve.

Truckhenge

Flickr - Truckhenge - Jake Bellucci

Flickr Photo: © Jake Bellucci – Rise Up

Located on the Lessman Farm in Topeka Kansas, this strange roadside attraction in America’s heartland was not actually inspired by the famous Stonehenge we all know and love, or even created to look like it. Instead it was conceived as an ode to Carhenge in Alliance Nebraska, and Cadillac Ranch in Amarillo Texas, although it doesn’t appear to resemble either. After having a disagreement with local government officials, owner Ron Lessman created Truckhenge in an unorthodox answer to being asked to pick his trucks up. He did one better. He buried each one in concrete and spray painted politically themed questions and phrases on their sides. The county officials didn’t find it very funny at the time, but in 2006 the installation was officially deemed an art park and seems to be secure for the foreseeable future. Today the farm also includes a pond stocked with fish, neighboring Beer City made of concrete and beer bottles, and even the Truckhenge musical festival.

Foamhenge

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Flickr Photo: © Steve Freeman – Foamhenge

Created by fiberglass sculptor Mark Cline in Natural Bridge Virginia, Foamhenge is said to be the only exact replica of Stonehenge that exists in the United States. Each large, yet light and easily sculptable piece of Styrofoam was shaped to match an original piece still standing at Stonehenge in England, before being placed in the correct astronomical location and set with concrete and steel pipes. Since Styrofoam isn’t biodegradable, it’s not likely that this replica is going to be disappearing anytime soon. Even so, there are signs posted around the replica to remind visitors that the material is in fact foam, and that messing with it will come at a cost.

Stonehenge II

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Flickr Photo: © Dr._Colleen_Morgan – DSC_0127.JPG

Although creator Al Shepperd and neighbor Doug Hill never made a Stonehenge I, they did create this near replica out of plaster and wire meshing in the middle of Shepperd’s field. The replica itself is hollow inside and just shy of the dimension of the original in England, but unlike Stonehenge, it comes equipped with its own Easter Island heads that were created after Shepperd visited the island on vacation. When the field was sold in 2010, the new owner wanted to nothing to do with Stonehenge II and almost knocked it down. Luckily the Visual Arts Center in nearby Ingram Texas purchased the art instillation and rebuilt Shepperd’s vision in town near a local baseball stadium.

Sam Hill’s Stonehenge

Flickr - Sam Hill Stonehenge - Great Beyond

Flickr Photo: © Great Beyond – Day 146/366 Stonehenge

Built not as a replica of Stonehenge, but as a memorial to the soldiers who died in World War I, Sam Hill’s Stonehenge was built by the railroad magnate of the same name in the early 20th Century. Having been misinformed about the original Stonehenge in England being used for sacrifice, Sam Hill decided it was the perfect structure to commemorate the sacrifice of soldiers overseas, and set out to construct the memorial where the small town of Maryhill, Washington once sat (now overlooking the town with the same name).

Although the monument is said to be astronomically aligned, Sam Hill wasn’t interested in building a replica, and set about to improve upon the famous structure with his modern technology. Made out of slabs of uniform concrete that were mortared into megaliths, Sam Hill created a conceptualized version of what he thought Stonehenge was intended to be, and filled in every broken or missing piece. Although the link between a war memorial and Stonehenge might leave you scratching your head (as it did me), the gumption required to build such a memorial in the first place is a good enough reason to visit if you happen to be in the area.

Disclaimer: These quirky options are only a small portion of the actual Stonehenge replicas that scatter the United States. I recommend visiting roadsideamerica.com for a comprehensive list of all the options my wacky country has to offer.