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Every home has a story and this Maine farmhouse, where author E.B. White lived until his death in 1985, has quite a popular one.
The barn that once housed E.B. and his wife, Katharine, also had pigs, sheep, geese, chickens and, yes, spiders, served as the inspiration and setting behind the beloved children’s book "Charlotte’s Web."
Yankee Magazine recently got a tour of the whole property, located in North Brooklin, Maine, that is now for sale by current owners Robert and Mary Gallant. The main house features 12 rooms, three-and-a-half bathrooms, six working fireplaces, 19th-century stenciling on the stairway walls and a wood cookstove in the kitchen. It’s just as charming as you’d imagine the home of the author to be.
The barn has features that fans will recognize from the novel, like a rope swing that is immortalized as the one from which Fern and her brother launched themselves. It's no wonder that school kids sometimes visit to get a deeper connection to the book.
For many years, a teacher would bring her class to visit the site, Mary Gallant told the magazine. The children would sit on bales of hay and listen to a recording of the author reading "Charlotte’s Web."
“They swing on the same rope swing that they knew Fern had, they sit on the milking stool where Fern had sat,” she said. “I wanted them to grow up remembering this day. I hoped one day they’d want to find Mr. White’s other writings.”
While the Gallants are sad about selling their historic home, they hope the new owner will make it their own. According to the article, E.B.’s granddaughter Martha White said she hopes it will forever be occupied since the author didn’t want it to become a shrine, museum or writers’ retreat.
“This house, this barn, this property is very dear to our hearts,” White said. “These have been the best summers of our lives.”
See more pictures of this gorgeous property here, and pick up the September/October issue of Yankee magazine out Sept. 1.