Poorly restored and in poor shape, this was the place where starved children stood in the cold and stared at the stain glass windows in the novel My Antonia. The uncontrolled growth of Cyprus trees around the building made it difficult to photograph.
Located at the corner of 6th and Seward, Cather's parents lived here until her mother's death in 1931. Today, the home is converted to a B&B. Rooms are advertised to be remodeled back to authentic Cather epoch. Website link didn't work. If you want to stay here, call the Opera House for details.
Considering it's unique wood architecture, it's amazing how poorly kept the exterior is on this building. This was the church of Cather's childhood although she later converted to become Episcopalian toward the end of her life.
Harling House represents one of the more unusual architectural features in Red Cloud. Just a block off from the Cather home, it is easy to find. This is the home where Antonia worked in the novel My Antonia.
Across the Street from the Cather Childhood Home is the Rosen House, a significant home in the Cather literary world. It's one of the lesser home architecturally, but is easy to find relative to the Chather home.
Willa Cather's family already had six generations of farm experience on Virginia soil before the larger family moved to the deeper soils of the Platte River Valley in Red Cloud. Age nine at the time, Willa was very much impressed by the land, weather, and immigrants who were her neighbors. Her family stayed at this house for several years before moving to a larger one elsewhere in town. The other house is gone however.
The Will Cather tour begins at the Opera House on Webster Street downtown. There's a museum of artifacts, a book store and gift shop, and brochures about Will Cather. The free map provides excellent help in your walk around town. I arrived after the museum closed, but the brochure rack was still outside.
THE PHOTOS GIVE AN INDICATION of the Opera House as a Cather Center. Here is where you should go to learn about Cather. be sure to see the short video; it is very interesting.
Willa Cather wrote 12 novels, 6 short stories and other miscellaneous writings. Her novels include "O Pioneers" (1913), "A Lost Lady" (1923), and her most famous work, "My Antonia" (1918).
Catherland tours leave from the Opera House regularly at 9:30 am, 11 am, 1:30 pm and 3 pm. The Opera House/Willa Cather Center is open 8 to 5 M - Sat. and 1 to 5 Sundays (April thru October)
WILLA CATHER'S HOME is preserved and marked with an informational plaque. (Click on the plaque to enlarge the picture.)
Photo # 4 in this group shows a home located one block west of Cather's home, where a friend of Willa's lived.
Many homes in Red Cloud are nicely painted and landscaped. I found a house with plastic flamingoes in a flower bed. I thought those didn't exist anymore.
Though not especially rich in architecture, the pleasant neighborhood of quiet streets and sidewalks with expansive lawn areas is a reward for dog walkers.
Character Wick Cutter in My Antonia lived in this house surrounded by the privacy of Cedar trees.
Cather divided the town by social and geographical classes. These more affluent homes on 9th Avenue contrast sharply with the humble Cather first home, for example.
THESE OLD BUILDINGS USED TO BE THE CATHER CENTER, BUT IT has now been moved north a block or two to the Opera House.