You Can Now Buy and Live On the Farm from ‘Charlotte’s Web’
Children’s author E.B. White’s Maine farm, where he set his most beloved work, is up for sale
The Maine farm where E.B. White’s iconic spider character Charlotte spun her famous web is now for sale for a hefty $3.7 million. The author spent 50 years on the seaside property, where he wrote some of his most beloved works, including classics Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little.
White and his wife Katherine, the fiction editor at The New Yorker where White was a contributor, lived on the seaside property from the 1930’s until their deaths. The farm’s most notable feature is the barn in which a little pig named Wilbur met a spider named Charlotte. (That is, the barn in the novel is based on this barn. I’m pretty sure Charlotte’s Web is not based on a true story. We’d know by now, right?)
You know, this barn:
THE BARN was very large. It was very old. It smelled of hay and it smelled of manure. It smelled of the perspiration of tired horses and the wonderful sweet breath of patient cows. It often had a sort of peaceful smell—as though nothing bad could happen ever again in the world…The barn was pleasantly warm in winter when the animals spent most of their time indoors, and it was pleasantly cool in summer when the big doors stood wide open to the breeze. The bam had stalls on the main floor for the work horses, tie-ups on the main floor for the cows, a sheepfold down below for the sheep, a pigpen down below for Wilbur…
It’s so peaceful and warm and manure-smelling! Wilbur lived there, you guys! (Again: he didn’t.)
The inspiration for Charlotte’s Web came to White when he found an intricate spider web in this very barn, where he really did rais. Returning weeks later, he observed that the creature was spinning an egg sac. He never saw the spider again and decided to take the sac, place it in a candy box, and set it atop his bureau in New York. Some time later, the tiny spiders began to escape through the small holes in the box and thereafter, they spun webs all over White’s room and possessions. (Based on this story E.B. White does not seem to have been very protective of his local hygiene, but we’re sure the house is lovely.) His resulting meditation on life, mortality, and time—and his newfound affection for spiders—spurred the idea for Charlotte’s Web.
The current owners of the home, the Gallants, have been living on this historic property for the past 35 years, and they’ve meticulously preserved it—including the barn and White’s seaside writing shack. Now they’re ready to let someone else have a crack at it. If you’ve got access to a cool $4 mill, and the ability to either tolerate 24/7 crying or avoid thinking about the ending of Charlotte’s Web, it could be you.