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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


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?

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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

      Peggy Woods 16 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 16 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

      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

      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.

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