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VPR's coverage of arts and culture in the region.

Bennington College To Acquire Robert Frost's Shaftsbury Home

The poet Robert Frost lived at this stone house in Shaftsbury for nine years. Bennington College will acquire and manage the property.
The Friends Of Robert Frost, courtesy
The poet Robert Frost lived at this stone house in Shaftsbury for nine years. Bennington College will acquire and manage the property.

Bennington College will be taking over ownership of the Robert Frost Stone House Museum in Shaftsbury.

Robert Frost moved into the house in 1920, and the poet lived there for nine years.

The property was opened as a museum 15 years ago and it has been run by the nonprofit group The Friends of Robert Frost.

Carole Thompson, the group's founder and executive director, said the organization had always planned to turn the property over to a nearby institution that could care for and utilize the historic house.

"We identified the need for a succession plan many years ago ... We approached Bennington College with this idea in May, and have been very pleased with their enthusiasm," said Thompson in a press release issued by the college. "I'm sure Frost would approve"

Megan Mayhew Bergman, director of special programs at Bennington College, says the poet has a historic connection to the school.

"Robert Frost was actually living in the area when Bennington College was getting off the ground," says Mayhew Bergman. "So he was actually in conversation with the people that were launching the college."

Frost wrote "Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" at the house in June 1922, and he was also living there when he received his first Pulitzer Prize in 1924.

In addition to the house, the college will also receive 7 acres of property and two barns as part of the gift. Its location is nearby the Bennington College campus, as well as near Frost's grave at the Old First Church cemetery in Old Bennington.

Mayhew Bergman will lead a class at the house this fall, though the college is still working on how it will use the property. However the college says it is committed to making sure that the house remains open to the public

"It's pretty circuitous to bring his house back into the fold and think about how can we bring him into contemporary conversations," says Mayhew Bergman.

The museum will close for the season on Nov. 1 and re-open in the spring.

Howard Weiss-Tisman is Vermont Public’s southern Vermont reporter, but sometimes the story takes him to other parts of the state.
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