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Rowan Oak ~ Home of Published Author William Faulkner in Oxford, Ms

Updated on March 14, 2016

Rowan Oak (William Faulkner Home)

Rowan Oak (William Faulkner Home) in Oxford, Mississippi
Rowan Oak (William Faulkner Home) in Oxford, Mississippi | Source

Oxford, Mississippi


Oxford, Mississippi is not only the home to the University of Mississippi but also hosts the site of the famous published author William Faulkner's residence titled Rowen Oak.

The two sites are now interlinked by not only proximity but also ownership.

My mother, niece and I made that discovery some twenty years ago while traveling.

We had stopped in Oxford, Mississippi for a few days to visit my mother's dear friend dating back to their high school days. The friendships had been maintained ever since and as husbands and then children had been added to each family, each honorary "aunt and uncle" had even become godparents to one child from each family.

My youngest brother (my niece's father) had been the godchild to Aunt Lois and Uncle Jim.

Thus we were in for a few fun days of visiting, sightseeing and much laughter which was always a component of getting together with these dear folks.

Rowan Oak grounds

Magnificent grounds at Rowan Oak
Magnificent grounds at Rowan Oak | Source

Rowan Oak


While touring the town of Oxford, Mississippi one day, my aunt thought that we might like to see Rowan Oak which was the home of the famous author, William Faulkner for several decades. It is quite a site!

Rowan Oak in 1968 became a U.S. National Historic Landmark and is also on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places.

This sprawling plantation type home which was built in the primitive Greek Revival style in the 1840s by Robert Sheegog was purchased by William Faulkner in the 1930s.

It was not in the best of shape and necessitated renovations over the years, but the 32 acres of land afforded this famous author much space and privacy in which to craft his art...that of authoring novels, short stories and even screenplays for the movies. Faulkner lived there until his death in 1962.

William Faulkner named his home after a mythical rowan oak tree which supposedly would ward off malicious spirits also providing safety, protection, peace and refuge to occupants. It is a nice legend.

The four acres of grounds that are landscaped as well as the remaining ones left in a natural wooded state are magnificent!

Originally called Bailey's Woods, William Faulkner played in this wooded area as a boy and had come to love it.


Spend 8 minutes to see interior views as well as exterior views of the grounds surrounding Rowan Oak

Rowan Oak in Oxford, Mississippi / William Faulkner Home

My niece and me on left ~ Aunt Lois and my mother on the right
My niece and me on left ~ Aunt Lois and my mother on the right | Source

Rowan Oak grounds

My mother at Rowan Oak
My mother at Rowan Oak | Source

Absalom, Absalom!

Absalom, Absalom! The Corrected Text
Absalom, Absalom! The Corrected Text

Absalom, Absalom! is Faulkner’s epic tale of Thomas Sutpen, an enigmatic stranger who comes to Jefferson, Mississippi, in the early 1830s to wrest his mansion out of the muddy bottoms of the north Mississippi wilderness. He was a man, Faulkner said, “who wanted sons and the sons destroyed him.”

 

Faulkner Books


Inside of William Faulkner's study written in graphite and red on the plastered walls is an outline of one of his Pulitzer prize winning novels titled A Fable. This was completed in 1954 and the Pulitzer prize was awarded in 1955.

He would be awarded another Pulitzer prize posthumously in 1963 for The Reivers (1962).


Using the walls was not a usual writing practice.


The old Underwood typewriter still sits atop Faulkner's desk where he normally typed his novels and short stories after composing them with notations made on paper. However, it makes for an interesting and unique eyecatching artistic touch to the walls of the study and certainly a conversation piece! Did he run out of paper that particular day?


Some other books (novels) written by William Faulkner are the following just to give the reader a sampling of his works:

The Sound and the Fury published in 1929

Absalom, Absalom published in 1936

As I Lay Dying published in 1930

Light in August published in 1932


Much of what William Faulkner chose to make as subject matter for his books and other literature related to the "real" South as he saw it from history and in his mind.


Just as the homestead of Rowan Oak predated the Civil War, literature created by Faulkner can definitely be stamped by a certain time-frame of reference.


Rowan Oak in Oxford, Mississippi / Home of William Faulkner

Another view of Rowan Oak
Another view of Rowan Oak | Source

Creative Quotations from William Faulkner...

Servant's quarters at Rowan Oak

Old servant's quarters
Old servant's quarters | Source

Additions were made to Rowan Oak after being purchased by the Faulkner family.


Brick terraces were added as well as bannister's to existing parts of the house. An office was added adhering to William Faulkner's specifications after being awarded the Pulitzer Prize. Gardens and a privacy wall was another addition made to their home after he became better known as a recognized and reputed author and as the money for his efforts increased.


The day that we were wandering the grounds, the vines on the large old grape arbor were laden with fruit!


The Rowan Oak grounds are open from dawn to dusk daily and are well worth a stroll.


The home is open from 10 AM to 4 PM Tuesday - Saturday and from 1 PM to 4 PM on Sundays. In addition to Mondays, a few other holidays will also find the home closed to the public. To arrange special tours this number can be used: (662) 234-3284.

Stables on the grounds of Rowan Oak

The stables
The stables | Source

Cook's house on grounds of Rowan Oak

Cook's house and kitchen on the grounds of Rowan Oak
Cook's house and kitchen on the grounds of Rowan Oak | Source

Rose for Emily Lecture Part 1

"A Rose for Emily"



Short stories were also written by William Faulkner and here is a sampling (by no means inclusive) of other titles in addition to "A Rose for Emily"........


"Red Leaves"

"That Evening Sun"

"Dry September"

Interesting rendition of "The Life and Death of William Faulkner"

The Sound and the Fury (1959) Pt. 1 ~ Was made into a movie

Hollywood


Many artists and writers struggle for money and William Faulkner got a few breaks along the way. Being awarded a Pulitzer Prize helped and when he was contacted to start writing some screenplays for Hollywood, this greatly helped the finances.


Writer in Residence

Faulkner was a writer in residence at the University of Virginia from 1957 to 1962. Because of that relationship, most of his manuscripts reside now at that institution of higher learning.


Nobel Prize winner

William Faulkner was honored for his writing and picked up his Nobel prize in Stockholm in 1950 when he was 52 years old. He would only live another 10 years...


Postage Stamp

The U.S. Post Office issued a 22 cent stamp on August 3, 1987 in William Faulkner's honor.


The Sound and the Fury: The Corrected Text
The Sound and the Fury: The Corrected Text

"The Sound and the Fury is the tragedy of the Compson family, featuring some of the most memorable characters in literature: beautiful, rebellious Caddy; the manchild Benjy; haunted, neurotic Quentin; Jason, the brutal cynic; and Dilsey, their black servant. Their lives fragmented and harrowed by history and legacy, the character’s voices and actions mesh to create what is arguably Faulkner’s masterpiece and one of the greatest novels of the twentieth century."

 

Would visiting the Faulkner Home of Rowan Oak interest you?

See results

Some wrap up information...


William Faulkner married Estelle, his long time love, after she was divorced. She brought a daughter, Victoria, and a son, Malcolm into the marriage.


Estelle and William had two children...sadly one daughter survived only a few days. Their other child Jill got married in the parlor inside of Rowan Oak and became Mrs. Jill Faulkner Summers. The funeral service for William Faulkner would be held in that same parlor according to written accounts. The Faulkner family lived in their beloved home for over 40 years.


In 1973 the University of Mississippi acquired the property of Rowan Oak from Mrs. Summers and many of the original belongings are still inside of the house.


Located just south of the main square in Oxford, Mississippi, one can walk through the woods to enjoy the University Museums and Rowen Oak if one allots enough time. The University of Mississippi campus is also a lovely spot to visit.


Thanks to my Aunt Lois and also her daughter Julie who accompanied my mother, niece and me on this visit into Oxford, we came away from that sojourn with not only a feeling of the scenic beauty of the place but some history of one of its famous past residents.


Rowan Oak has about 23,000 visitors annually and I would heartily recommend a visit to the home of the published and well known author William Faulkner if your travels ever take you to the lovely town of Oxford, Mississippi.

Location of Rowan Oak in Oxford, Mississippi

A markerRowan Oak ~ William Faulkner Home -
Old Taylor Rd, Oxford, MS 38655, USA
get directions

© 2010 Peggy Woods

Comments are always welcomed.

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    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 18 months ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Susie,

      You can tell that it is not necessary to dress up like you mentioned from looking at how we were dressed. But I catch your meaning about it being a lovely place. Glad you enjoyed watching at least a part of the video.

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 18 months ago from Minnesota

      What a great old place. I watched part of the video to see the inside of the house and am impressed with the old furnishings. I would feel like I needed to wear a long fancy dress just to step foot in it. Its lovely, Peggy!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi pstraubie48,

      As a William Faulkner fan, you would truly enjoy seeing the home he lived in and did much of his work as well as the gorgeous grounds surrounding the house. Thanks for your comment and the vote.

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      .I felt almost as if I had made the trip. I am a Faulkner fan but have never visited this place. I am fascinated by such places as it gives me a closer look into the life of the writer. And how like him to name it as he did.

      Great hub, Peggy.

      Voted up

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Eddy,

      Getting to visit the home and beautiful extensive grounds of the author William Faulkner was a treat. Oxford, Mississippi is a pretty town as all of the University of Mississippi students and people living there know. I am so glad that we got to see it. Thanks for your comment and vote.

    • Eiddwen profile image

      Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

      Wow Peggy what a wonderful hub I am saving and voting up.

      Enjoy your day my friend.

      Eddy.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi unknown spy,

      Yes, William Faulkner's home is truly beautiful and he was certainly an interesting man and author. Now associated with the University of Mississippi campus, it is a great place for students to stroll and enjoy nature on these pretty grounds if they wish to do so. Thanks for your comment.

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      Wow!! this is an amazing hub. Rowan oak is a beautiful place!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Attikos,

      William Faulkner certainly was an interesting fellow who had his own personal demons. Your comment is interesting. I can understand why he might have wished to slip out the back door and into the trees depending up what he was working on or how he was feeling at the time of a visitor coming to his door. Thanks for your comment.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Gail,

      The University of Mississippi campus is gorgeous and having these William Faulkner grounds and Rowan Oak added to it makes it even more interesting and a great place for the students to walk and enjoy natural surroundings. Thanks for your comment and votes.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Randy,

      It truly was a special feeling being able to visit Faulkner's beloved Rowan Oak home in Oxford. Hope you get to see it for yourself someday! Enjoyed your comment.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 5 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Mary,

      I think that those things that appeared as "X's" on the cooks house at the Faulkner estate were pieces of wood. Have no idea why they were placed there. It was not added to the photo as it might appear. The grounds in Oxford, Mississippi are beautiful as is most of that area in general. Thanks for your comment, votes + the share.

    • Attikos profile image

      Attikos 5 years ago from East Cackalacky

      Faulkner certainly valued his privacy. Often, when a visitor would come to the front door, he would slip out the back and disappear into the trees.

    • Happyboomernurse profile image

      Gail Sobotkin 5 years ago from South Carolina

      I love big old southern plantation style homes and grounds and this one looks breathtaking.

      I enjoyed reading the history of the house and also the Faulkner family and also found the story about how the grounds and home became part of the University of Mississippi very interesting.

      Voted this hub up across the board except for funny.

    • Randy Godwin profile image

      Randy Godwin 5 years ago from Southern Georgia

      How could I not love an article about Faulkner's environs, Peggy. I'll bet you could almost sense him in the study where he spent so much time imagining his characters. I'd enjoy a visit there myself.

      Thanks for such a well detailed description Of Rowan Oak.

      Randy :)

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 5 years ago from Florida

      I enjoyed reading about one of my favorite authors, William Faulkner. I have never been to Miss., but if I ever do make it there, I will try and visit his home in Oxford. The house and grounds are very beautiful. I wonder what the X's mean on the cook's house above the windows??

      I voted this Hub UP, etc. and will share with followers and social sites, too.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi lori,

      Not sure what this has to do with Rowan Oak and William Faulkner, but thanks for your comment. You must be a stamp collector?

    • profile image

      lori 6 years ago

      hi my name is lori and i have one of williams stamps the gold coin stamp the 22. and the green stamp 22.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello joe w bennett,

      Thanks for the additional information about Ole Miss and its new mascot which is tied to "its most famous citizen" William Faulkner. I would imagine that the town really rocks when the football games are held in Oxford! Thanks for this informative comment.

    • joe w bennett profile image

      joe w bennett 6 years ago from Clinton, MS, US of A

      "The Bear" is another famous (and probably his best) short story by Faulkner...Ole Miss (University of Mississippi) recently adopted the Rebel Black Bear as its new mascot, partly as a nod to its most famous citizen. RBB received 62% of the vote from students and alumni, triumphing over other finalists the Rebel Land Shark and Hotty Toddy. I have relatives in Oxford and have spent much time there--should you ever have the opportunity to visit again, try to come when the Rebels are at home and experience The Grove on game day--nothing quite like it in college football...

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Micky Dee,

      Very happy to hear that you enjoyed this hub about William Faulkner and especially those quotes. I think that most people do not get out of this life without "a little trouble...frustration to sharpen the spirit..."...some of us just seem to be tested more than others! God bless you too Micky!

    • Micky Dee profile image

      Micky Dee 6 years ago

      I loved it all. I loved your videos- "your trip thru Faulkner-world.the Sound and the Fury", "Life and Death of William Faulkner". I loved the quotes- People need a little trouble...frustration to sharpen the spirit on, toughen it.

      And - I had that epiphany! I have to go through all your hubs! God bless Peggy!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello agusfanani,

      Thanks for reading this hub about William Faulkner and the location of his beautiful home, Rowan Oak, in Oxford, Mississippi. It was a pleasure to write and share with you and others. Thanks for the comment.

    • agusfanani profile image

      agusfanani 6 years ago from Indonesia

      The story describing your trip and the pictures accompanying it have made this hub very enjoyable to read.

      Thumbs up , I always like your wonderful stories and pictures.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello GodsAngel1,

      Thanks for reading and commenting so favorably on this Rowan Oak hub. Am sure that Author William Faulkner loved living here as it is to this day so beautiful and spacious.

    • GodsAngel1 profile image

      GodsAngel1 6 years ago

      What a beautiful home and grounds! This piece is stuffed full of information. Wow! The photos were great, and the videos were nice extras that were very educational. Great job, Peggy!

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi DjBryle,

      Thanks for the comment on Rowan Oak, the home of William Faulkner and glad that you liked the images.

    • DjBryle profile image

      DjBryle 6 years ago from Somewhere in the LINES of your MIND, and HOPEFULLY at the RIPPLES of your HEART. =)

      Great images and amusing info! Thanks for sharing! =)

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Prasetio,

      You are always so generous and kind with your remarks. Glad that I could introduce you to William Faulkner's home called Rowan Oak in Oxford, Mississippi. You can see from all of the tall trees that this is a beautifully wooded area. Faulkner certainly had a quiet place in which to do his writing.

    • prasetio30 profile image

      prasetio30 6 years ago from malang-indonesia

      That's why I always love to read all your hub. You describe everything in good manner. You are one of my favorite hubber who always provide us many beautiful places which I really never knew before. Include this place, beautiful. I always impress with all the pictures you gave to us. Good work, my friend. Vote Up again...

      Prasetio

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello Om Paramapoonya,

      You'd really enjoy visiting Rowan Oak since William Faulkner is one of your favorite authors. The home and surrounding area is very beautiful. Thanks for the comment.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Cheryl,

      I read some of William Faulkner's works about the same time. English-Literature teachers must have liked his works for teaching purposes. Glad that you found this hub informative. Thanks for the comment.

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 6 years ago

      Faulkner is one of my favorite writers. I'd love to visit this place some day. Thanks for sharing this. All your photos are very nice. :)

    • profile image

      Cheryl 6 years ago

      William Faulkner was indeed a giant writer and poet. I remember reading some of his short stories in high school. Your photos of the property are really beautiful. The videos are very enlightning and absolutely informative. Another great hub.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi sarovai,

      Supposedly the rowan oak was a mythical tree which referred to peace and security. William Faulkner must have felt that way about his home since he named his residence that particular name. Thanks for reading and leaving your comment.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 6 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Martha Castillo,

      So happy that you enjoyed these pictures of Rowan Oak...the home of William Faulkner. The grounds were absolutely beautiful. Thanks for the comment.

    • sarovai profile image

      sarovai 6 years ago

      I came to know about the mythical belief about rowan oak tree. I don't know whether this belief is there still. Anyway William Faulkner's nature loving is attracts me too. Thank u for sharing.

    • profile image

      Martha Castillo 6 years ago from San Diego CA

      These are just beautiful picures to wake up to. Nature is so beautiful and so different everywhere we go. Only though pictures like these can we visit even more places in our minds. Thank you so much.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Hello, hello,

      I could say the same about many authors although I like to read...so understandable. Yes, William Faulkner's home in Oxford, Mississippi is truly beautiful amidst its surroundings. Thanks for your comment.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 7 years ago from London, UK

      Sorry, but I never heard of Faulkner but will catch up on that. Thank you for showing this beautiful home. What an experience it must have been

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Pamela,

      I also had read some of Faulkner but a long time ago. I've read more John Grisham in later years than Faulkner. There must be something about Oxford, Mississippi that lures authors into living there. Perhaps the beauty and serenity...! Of course it is also a University town. Thanks for the comment.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hi Simone,

      Glad you liked this hub. When I found the videos about William Faulkner, I was delighted and also think that they add a lot to this hub. Thanks for the comment.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello dahoglund,

      William Faulkner was a well recognized author but apparently had his demon (alcohol) which took a toll on him and his family. Probably also influenced his choice of writing. He certainly had a beautiful home in Oxford, Mississippi. Thanks for the visit and comment.

    • Peggy W profile image
      Author

      Peggy Woods 7 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Hello images99,

      Glad that you liked these photos of Rowan Oak, the home of William Faulkner in Oxford, Mississippi. That entire town is gorgeous...so hard not to get good photos. Thanks for the comment.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 7 years ago from United States

      Peggy, I have read Faulkner but quite a while back. This is a nice over view of life withe the pictures. I liked the video also.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 7 years ago from San Francisco

      Great photos, and the video additions are great too. Very cool!

    • dahoglund profile image

      Don A. Hoglund 7 years ago from Wisconsin Rapids

      It's been a long time since I've read Faulkner.There is something about

      southern writers that escapes me which has to do with

      southern culture in general.

      An interesting tour.

    • profile image

      images99 7 years ago

      I love your photographs they are artistic creations.