Home of former poet laureate Donald Hall sold

  • Donald Hall, shown here at his Wilmot, N.H., home in 2006, decided to become a poet when he was 14. He died Saturday, June 23, 2018, at 89. (Valley News - Jennifer Hauck) Copyright Valley News. May not be reprinted or used online without permission. Send requests to permission@vnews.com. Jennifer Hauck

Monitor staff
Published: 5/14/2019 6:23:50 PM

The Wilmot home of former U.S. poet laureate Donald Hall has been sold.

Eagle Pond Farm, at 24 U.S. Route 4, was sold Tuesday to Kensington preservationists Frank Whittemore and Lynne Monroe for $395,000.

Monroe, who is principal at the New Hampshire consulting firm Preservation Company, said she hopes to protect the historic character of the farmhouse, which was purchased by Hall’s great-grandfather in 1865.

“It’s a national historic landmark in the making – which is exactly what we want,” Monroe said.

Plans are still being finalized for what will become of Eagle Pond Farm. A group of friends of admirers of Hall that Monroe and Whittemore have been working with, including Hall’s neighbor, children’s book author Mary Lyn Ray, also bought belongings of Hall’s and his wife Jane Keynon at auctions this past week.

Ray said the group’s goal is to turn those items into a collection that members of the public can view. She said she is not sure whether that collection will be held in the house or in another location.

Monroe, Whittemore and other admirers and friends of Hall heard that the farmhouse was going to be put on the market two weeks ago and worked quickly to contact the family’s realtor. Monroe said Hall’s family was excited at the prospect of it being sold to individuals who wanted to honor the family legacy.

Ray said she and other fellow preservationists were also able to purchase Hall’s blue writing chair, along with two leather satchels Hall used to carry his writing in. Additionally, they purchased Hall’s Glenwood kitchen and parlor stove and painted bed – items that appeared in his poetry, as well as many other belongings of significance.

Monroe said next steps will include working with the New Hampshire Preservation Alliance to obtain a historic preservation easement, or a legal agreement that permanently protects a significant historic property from substantial changes, for Eagle Pond Farm.

The 160 acres surrounding the farm is already under a conversation easement, Monroe said.

Monroe said she’s been touched by the many individuals who wanted to become part of the conservation process of Hall and Kenyon’s legacy in such a short time.

“The outpouring of love and caring and commitment to Don and Jane and the continuation for the farm has been absolutely astounding and heartwarming be yond any imagination,” she said.

Kenyon, also a famed poet, lived at Eagle Pond Farm with Hall until she died of leukemia in 1995. Hall died  there last June at age 89.

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