The Maine Farm That Inspired Charlotte’s Web Is Up for Sale

Mark Fleming, Yankee Magazine
Mark Fleming, Yankee Magazine / Mark Fleming, Yankee Magazine

Essayist, poet, and English professor to generations of writers, E.B. White is perhaps best known for penning the beloved children’s book Charlotte’s Web. Now, readers who grew up with the story have the chance to buy the home that inspired its setting. As the Associated Press reports, the Maine farm where White lived for the last 50 years of his life is on the market for $3.7 million.

White purchased the property with his wife Katharine in 1933, three years after publishing his first book of poems and nearly two decades before publishing Charlotte’s Web. The idea for the story was first planted in his head when he saw a spider fabricating an egg sac in the corner of his barn. He collected the sac and stored it inside an old candy box where it sat for weeks before erupting into a swarm of tiny spiders. Rather than reacting with terror, White was awestruck and got to work writing a novel about a literate spider and her pig friend.

The same barn that housed the original Charlotte is included in the listing for the 44-acre property. The North Brooklin farm also features ponds, an 18th-century farmhouse, a guesthouse, and the gardens Katharine White spent decades cultivating.

The farm served as White's home until his death in 1985, after which it was acquired by current owners Robert and Mary Gallant. Prospective buyers interested in owning a piece of literary history can contact real estate agent Martha Dischinger by email.

[h/t Associated Press]

All images courtesy of Mark Fleming, Yankee Magazine.