Walt Whitman Birthplace
The focal point of this historic site is the Birthplace. Built circa 1816 by Walt Whitman’s father, the house was constructed with hand-hewn beams held together with wooden pegs. The home is two floors with an attic. Its unique features, such as the corbeled chimney and storage closets in the fireplace walls, add to this home’s extraordinary character.
In 1957, the Birthplace was deemed a New York State Historic Site. In 2001, the home was restored to its original state with its original floorboards on the second floor. Guests are welcomed by lilac bushes where photographs indicate they once grew and were referred to by Walt, himself. The home houses 350 artifacts typical of a 19th century Long Island family in 1821, specifically at the time of the birth of Walt’s younger sister Mary Elizabeth. Tour guides take guests throughout the home on informative tours that allow visitors to take a step back in time and imagine what life was like while Walt lived there.
At our Interpretive Center, visitors can delve deeply into Whitman’s life and poetry through a series of exhibits that allow you to follow through his boyhood on Long Island to his international prominence as one of our country’s greatest visionaries. The exhibits display over 130 portraits of Whitman as well as original letters and manuscripts. Walt’s writing desk that he used as a young teacher on Long Island is also on display. Visitors may hear a recording of Walt Whitman’s voice as recorded by Thomas Edison in 1890. Just across from the Interpretive Center is a beautiful panoramic view of the Birthplace, the Gathering House, and a bronze statue of Whitman.
Walt Whitman is one of the most photographed poets of all time as seen here in over 130 portraits.