While searching out historic writer homes to satisfy my Pinterest addiction, I noticed some houses had a name. They did not need to be an estate, nor in England or France. Many were in America.
We’re used to fictive estate names, right? They conjure up powerful images: Tara, the Georgian plantation in Gone With the Wind, Mr. Darcy’s Pemberley in Pride and Prejudice, the shadow-filled Manderley of Rebecca, or the more recent Downton Abbey featured in the popular PBS mini-series.
Still, I was surprised to learn that Herman Melville’s home in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, where he created Moby Dick, was called Arrowhead. His sweeping view of grasses rippling in the breeze gave him a sense of the sea’s swells. In the distance, Melville pondered a scarred, massive mountain – Mt. Greylock – the archetype of the great, white whale. A house like that surely deserves a name of its own, even if it’s just a farmhouse. With the curious name of Arrowhead.
What about Emily Dickinson’s Amherst home – The Evergreens? Is there a name (or house) more charming? Or Beatrix Potter’s Hill Top – which looks out grandly from its hilltop perch onto the tangled gardens below? Charles Dickens’ Gad’s Hill House or Agatha Christie’s stunning Greenway?
I looked to my own community where no private abode appears to have a name. My modest ranch-style residence, while cute & cozy, is no Ponderosa. Or South Fork. There is no hill-top situation or Doric-columned façade. We are talking humble house here. Yet, as an author, my inner-Agatha longed to give my little dwelling a name, too. But what?
Obviously, some have considered the grounds for a clue. Though with my notion of lawn care, beige is the new green. Short grass on life-support is my goal. A goal I have met. So probably not The Evergreens II.
The Ever-beige? Nevergreens? Greenless?
I know! Little House on the Prairie. Uh, no. Fitting, but not very original.
I do have some amazing roses that survive in spite of little attention. Let’s see…Gnarly Rose Ranch?
This isn’t as easy as I thought. Maybe I better go water the lawn so I have more options.
For more about Writer’s Historic Houses, visit: Writer’s Houses: Where Stories Live