Visiting literary places, especially locally |

Visiting literary places, especially locally

My husband Dave and I are travelers and readers, so visiting literary places has become a feature in our travels.

We don’t plan our trips specifically with authors or books in mind; however, if there is such a site in the vicinity we drop in.

For example, on the East Coast we’ve been guided through Mark Twain’s house in Hartford , Connecticut, and Ernest Hemingway’s Key West home.

California, too, has many literary homes: John Steinbeck’s in Salinas, Eugene O’Neill’s in Danville, Jack London’s in Glen Ellen and Robinson Jeffer’s Tor House in Carmel.

Whereas some people have life bird lists, we are building our literary house list.

Topping our list is one in our own neighborhood: The North Star House, which is both the home of Mary Hallock Foote, author of many stories of the West, including “A Victorian Gentlewoman in the Far West”; and also the fictional Zodiac House of “The Angle of Repose,” for which Wallace Stegner won the Pulitzer Prize.

Dave and I will be giving a tour of the house, which is in Grass Valley on Saturday from 9:30-11 a.m.

We’ll be talking also about Julia Morgan, the architect who designed the house. Call Peggy Levine at 272-1873 or me at 272-5144 to reserve your place on the tour and get directions to the house.

With gas prices so high, perhaps now is the time to visit local attractions more, starting with the North Star House.


Jean McKeen lives in Nevada City. She and her husband are North Star Historic Conservancy docents.

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