Inspiration and History: Robert Frost Farm

The Robert Frost Farm in Derry, NH is a historical hidden gem. While the famous poet lived in many other places, this farm is where much of the inspiration for his work came from. The farmhouse and grounds are now beautifully restored as a State Historic Site.

As I learned from the highly knowledgeable staff at the farm, the property was given to Frost by his grandfather with a set of agreements intended to keep Frost from spending all his time on things his grandfather didn’t agree with – including an ill-planned chicken business, and poetry. The agreement was that Frost had to live and work on the farm for ten years – with an assistant who actually knew how to be a farmer. In the end this meant that Robert Frost spent a long time staying up late writing while his assistant woke up early and did most of the farm work. When he was finally the actual owner of the farm, it was sold almost immediately and the Frost family went to England, where he was eventually noticed by famous writers. Frost became known, in no small part, because of the inspiration that this farm provided for many of his poems.

Visitors can take an awesome 45 minute guided tour of the farm house to learn all about the Frost family and their time at the farm, and how it influenced his work. The house and grounds have been restored to be as close as possible to how it was when the family lived there, down to the wallpaper patterns – which is actually amazing because the house has had multiple owners since the Frost family, and it most recently looked like this:

You’d never know that it ever looked like that now – the grounds are beautiful. Visitors can take a self-guided walking tour along a walking path around the grounds. Make sure to grab the pamphlet from the barn – there are markers on the path which correspond with detailed information on the pamphlet and help point out places and things which inspired some of Frost’s most famous work. The field and the woods that surround it are beautiful and might inspire you as well!

Also nearby is the historic Taylor Sawmill – a restored and functional water-powered up and down sawmill. While the sawmill is worth a quick visit if you’re in the area already, do check the hours here as they are very irregular.


Tom Howe

Tom Howe is a third year Div II at Hampshire College concentrating in graphic design. he lives in Goshen, NH and grew up in Anchorage, AK. He likes hiking, biking and cross country skiing, and just generally being outside.

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