Even though it has been over 100 years since its most famous resident arrived by horse and wagon to manage a dual career as poet and poultry farmer on this small plot of New Hampshire land, the Derry home of Robert Frost continues to attract visitors from all over the world.
The historic marker on the edge of the property underlines its significance:
“Some of the best-loved poems in the English language are associated with this small farm owned by the poet from 1900-1911. Here Frost farmed, taught at nearby Pinkerton Academy and developed the poetic voice which later won him the Pulitzer Prize for poetry four times and world fame as one of our foremost poets.”
Indeed, many places are famous because of Robert Frost, but none played a more vital role in the poet’s life than this 30-acre farm with pasture, fields, woodlands, orchard and gentle spring.
Read more about Robert Frost at the Derry Farm.
The History of the Property
Nathaniel G. Head built the unassuming L-shaped farmhouse with its shed and attached barn at the time of his marriage in 1884.
By 1900, a good-sized apple orchard and several peach, pear and quince trees graced the property on the north side of the house while a long hayfield, behind and slightly to the east of the barn, adjoined a hardwood grove.
In 1900, Robert Frost's grandfather, William Prescott Frost, Sr., bought the farm for Robert and Elinor. The Frosts continued their residence on the farm until 1909, and sold the property in 1911.
Read more about the history of the property.
The House and its restoration
In 1965, the State of New Hampshire purchased the farmhouse buildings situated on 12.6 acres of land. An early board of governor-appointed trustees took immediate steps to secure the place, and decided to rent it out to a reputable family until major renovations could be undertaken.
With the help of Frost's eldest daughter, Lesley Frost Ballantine and a dedicated group of early trustees and state officials, the restoration process began in earnest in 1974. The property was opened for public visitation in 1975.
Currently under the direction and care of the State of New Hampshire, Division of Parks and Recreation, The Robert Frost Farm is a New Hampshire Historic Site, and listed on the National Registry for historic landmarks of national significance.
Read more about the house and its restoration.