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National Park Mystery Spot 27 Revealed: A Home for a Man Who Sure Could Write

You were given these clues to identify this month's mystery spot, which is located in a unit of the National Park System.

On a hill it stands, big and white.  Inside lived a man who sure could write.


Telling Lincoln's story won him everlasting glory.


Some dairy goats give more milk than others.


Not every flat rock you see is shale or slate.


The answer is Connemara, the historic house that is a focal attraction of Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site.

Kudos to GeorgeS, who was first to supply the correct answer, and Anon (6:09), who was not far behind. Also checking in with the correct answer were Eric, Brad, ed-123, atwillw, dleiaw, Joseph, and RoadRanger.

Here is how the clues lead you to the answer.

Established in 1968, Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site preserves the 240-acre Connemara Farm property in Flat Rock, North Carolina, where Sandburg resided the last 22 years of his life.

Carl Sandburg (1878-1967) was a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and biographer as well as a lecturer, newspaper columnist, author of American fairytales, and folksinger. He was known as “the Poet of the People” and called “the great voice of the American industrial age” because he employed his unique free verse form of poetry and prose to champion the everyday working person and provide broad insight into the circumstances, worth and spirit of the American people during the 20th century.  Most of his work was set in the context of the Midwest and urban America and dealt with the themes of bustling activity and can-do spirit.

"Telling Lincoln's story won him everlasting glory." Sandburg was fascinated with Abraham Lincoln and invested vast amounts of time and energy compiling information about Lincoln, sifting and analyzing it, and writing about this great man and his contributions. In 1926, Sandburg published his two-volume work Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years.  After publishing Mary Lincoln: Wife and Widow in 1932, he added his four-volume epic Abraham Lincoln: The War Years in 1939. Sandburg’s six-volume Lincoln biography, the product of two decades of research and writing, is considered to be the best biography written by any member of his generation. It is still considered to be the best Lincoln biography extant. In 1940 Sandburg was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for History in recognition of his remarkable contributions as a Lincoln scholar.

In the late fall of 1945 Sandburg moved his family, about 12,000 books, and wife Paula’s prize-winning herd of dairy goats to Connemara Farm in Flat Rock, North Carolina.  Situated about three miles south of Hendersonville in the mountains of western North Carolina, the quiet little community of Flat Rock offered the peace and privacy that Sandburg craved for his writing as well as a beautiful landscape and a four-season climate with mild winters.  Paula loved the farm (it was she who actually chose it) because it was a great place to raise goats.

Connemara Farm was an ideal choice for the family, which consisted of Carl and Paula, their two daughters (Margaret and Helga), and three grandchildren.  The farm had a rambling 22-room house with a great view, plenty of living space, and lots of room for Sandburg’s office and huge library.  A key feature was its ample pasture – more than 30 acres -- that provided forage and rambling room for Paula’s prize winning dairy goats. (One of Paula's champion Toggenburgs  set a world milk production record in 1960.) The children and grandchildren enjoyed an idyllic life centered on activities such as riding  horses, playing in the woods, and helping with the goats, cows, chickens, hogs, vegetable garden, apple orchard, and butter- and cheese-making.

Today, the farm house, goat barn, goat herd, and easy-walking trails are the focal attractions of Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site.  The historic house, called Connemara, is toured by thousands of visitors every year.  On a hill it stands, big and white.  Inside lived a man who sure could write.

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