Willa Cather’s childhood home to be restored

Local4 News at 5
Published: Aug. 4, 2022 at 6:23 PM CDT
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RED CLOUD, Neb. (KSNB) - Willa Cather’s childhood home in Red Cloud is still standing and is due for a comprehensive restoration.

The Pulitzer Prize winning author used the Great Plains as well as Red Cloud as a setting and inspiration for some of her work. Today, she’s known as one of America’s greatest novelists.

“Here in Nebraska we certainly know and recognize her as sort of our, foremost author. She elevated the state and it’s people on a national level,” said the Executive Director of the National Willa Cather Center, Ashley Olson.

The house was built in 1879. It was initially restored by the organization in 1967.

“With normal wear and tear, the climate of Nebraska and honestly advances in the way we as museum professionals work to make these spaces more user friendly and accessible to the public and make them spaces that are conducive to good collections management, there are a number of upgrades that are needed in this space. We’re really enthusiastic about finally being able to make some of those things come to fruition,” Olson said.

The restoration is made possible by a grant through the National Parks Service called “Save America’s Treasures,” which the center matched dollar for dollar through a private fundraising initiative.

While the home is closed, visitors are encouraged to tour six other sites related to Cather’s life and writing. There is also a 30-minute narrated tour of the childhood home by downloading the National Willa Cather Center app on your mobile device. Donations to the project can be made online at this website, or by sending a check to the Willa Cather Foundation at 413 N. Webster St., Red Cloud, NE 68970.

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