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Cather Birthplace for Sale

March 24th, 2010 by Brendan Wolfe · 3 Comments

Willa Cather‘s birthplace, a tw0-story log house on Back Creek near Winchester, is for sale.

In 1950, Charles Brill’s parents bought the house, and he spent most of his life on the property. Now Brill is looking for a buyer who can maintain the house—perhaps even a member of Cather’s family.

Brill is committed to selling the home to “someone who is committed to preservation and not tearing it down,” he says. “The land itself has some value, but I would not want to see the old place torn down,” he says. The property was placed on the Virginia Landmarks Register in 1976 and the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.

About three years ago, Linda Cather and several other local descendents approached Brill, he says, “to sell it to them for the purpose of preservation.” Therefore, he hasn’t put the house on the real estate market. “They [Cather’s descendants] are the only ones I’ve spoken to seriously about selling. Nothing definite has been settled. If anyone appeared with a better offer, I would be agreeable,” Brill says.

Cather’s last novel, Sapphira and the Slave Girl (1940), was set in Back Creek. More on the house here.

Tags: Around the State · Virginia Literature

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Karen Grove // Sep 28, 2010 at 10:22 am

    I suggest contacting Gene Grove of Winchester. Willa Cather is related to our family by marriage. My uncle Gene dabbles quite a bit in real estate. Perhaps he would be interested in preserving the old house.

  • 2 Cheryl // Jun 11, 2011 at 9:05 pm

    Cost, amount of land, etc. Please. Thanks.

  • 3 Brendan Wolfe // Jun 12, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    Cheryl, I’m sure there’s a real estate agent in Winchester with those answers. Good luck.

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