July 7, 2015
Walt Whitman’s family home in West Hills New York is on the market
by Claire Kelley
Want to live in a house on the property that “inspired Leaves of Grass” and was owned by Walt Whitman’s family? It will set you back $749,900, but it’s now possible—the 1697 house with “hand-honed wood floors and handmade nails” is on the market, according to Newsday.
Walt Whitman was born in a farmhouse in West Hills near where the property is located, but the house that’s being sold belonged to Walt Whitman’ great uncle. He sold the land in 1788 to Captain Timothy Carll, a Revolutionary soldier, according to William Walter, the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association’s president. While it is presumed that Whitman spent time in the house, given the family connections, there does not seem to be explicit evidence that Whitman ever set foot on the property.
While the house has modern plumbing and electrical wiring, there are leftover features from times past, according to Linda Wohl, who is selling the property for Daniel Gale Sotheby’s International Realty. Apparently, “the basement contains the old cistern, which was used to transport running water through the house, and the window frames are all original.”
Claire Kelley is the Director of Library and Academic Marketing at Melville House.