William Faulkner purchases 'Rowan Oak'
Rowan Oak, also known as William Faulkner House, is William Faulkner's former home in Oxford, Mississippi.
It is a primitive Greek Revival house built in the 1840s by Robert Sheegog. Faulkner purchased the house when it was in disrepair in the 1930s and did much of the renovations himself. Other renovations were done in the 1950s. The house sits on 4 landscaped and twenty nine acres of largely wooded property known as Bailey's Woods. One of its more famous features is the outline of Faulkner's Pulitzer-prize winning novel A Fable, penciled in graphite and red on the plaster wall of his study. Though the "rowan oak" is a mythical tree, the grounds and surrounding woods of Rowan Oak contain hundreds of species of native Mississippi plants, most of which date back to antebellum times. The alley of cedars that lines the driveway was common in the 1800s. The studs of the house are 4"x4" square cypress; they were hand-hewn. Faulkner drew much inspiration for his treatment of multi-layered Time from Rowan Oak, where past and future seemed to inhabit the present.
In 1930, William Faulkner purchased what was then known as 'The Bailey Place', a large primitive Greek Revival house that pre-dated the Civil War standing on four acres of cedars and hardwoods. He was fascinated with it's history, knowing it had been built by a Colonel Sheegog from Tennessee who settled in Oxford when is was a tiny frontier settlement in the 1840's. Faulkner renamed it Rowan Oak in 1931. He optioned the surrounding acreage and settled in with his wife, Estelle, and her two children from a previous marriage, Malcolm and Victoria.