Walt Whitman Birthplace

Walt Whitman Birthplace The Walt Whitman Birthplace State Historic Site is a state historic site in West Hills, New York, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The site preserves the birthplace of American poet Walt Whitman.HistoryThe Whitman family's connection to Long Island dates back to the early 17th century and their property once covered 500 acres. Walter Whitman Sr., father of the poet, built this farmhouse in West Hills near Huntington, New York in 1816. The future poet was born here three years later in 1819. The Whitman family's other three children were born here as well. When Walt Jr. was five years old, the family moved to Brooklyn.Whitman worked at various times as a printer, a schoolteacher, a journalist, a volunteer nurse during the Civil War, and a newspaper publisher. He returned to Long Island at age 17 to teach at a local school and founded the Long Islander newspaper. He eventually authored a book of poetry, Leaves of Grass, which sold poorly when first published but has over time come to be considered a masterpiece of world literature. The museum's web site says: "By the end of his life, Whitman had become the first American poet to achieve international acclaim. Today his poetry is available in every major language and inspires people world wide who find in Whitman the voice and vision of a truly international humanist."Museum todayThe Walt Whitman Birthplace State Historic Site & Interpretive Center is operated by the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association, which was formed in 1949 to preserve the home. It was designated a New York State Historic Site in 1957 and in 1985 was added to both the New York State Register and National Register of Historic Places. It is run in collaboration with the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. The site consists of three structures: The historic Birthplace which is maintained as the Museum; the modern Interpretive Center which contains historic exhibits and a performance space; and the Gathering House which is used for exhibitions and a meeting space.

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Huntington Station, NY


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