I decided to visit Walt Whitman’s birthplace, located in Huntington Station, NY, for several reasons. I’ve been meaning to visit the house for a long time, even though it lies only 10 or so miles from my parents’ house. I also attempted to teach a few Whitman poems earlier this semester. In the past I would drive by the site all the time, frequent the nearby Walt Whitman Mall, and was aware of Long Islanders’ pride in their favorite poet’s origins. I suppose next I’m supposed to visit the home of Billy Joel, from a town known as Oyster Bay, Long Island.
I took a tour of the grounds and the house itself, where Walt Whitman Sr. practiced carpentry. I walked through the parlor, kitchen, master bedroom, spare bedroom, and servant’s quarters. As you can imagine, everything looks very old, and it would have been quite easy to hit my head on the low ceiling going up the steps. The Whitmans owned a host of useful tools that are no longer necessary anymore, such as a giant loom, bed rope stretcher stick (can’t remember what it is actually called, but apparently this is where the saying “sleep tight” comes from), and even a hoop and stick.
My visit to Walt Whitman’s birthplace was quite enjoyable. Many thanks to my father for joining me on his busy Sunday afternoon.
Note: I could not secure a more significant spot to place the QR Code, such as the statue, the house, ect., as I was being watched by the tour guide and did not want to get kicked out for vandalism. So the grass would have to do. For some reason the picture does not work when I try to scan it with my phone (bad resolution?), so I also included the original code file.