Thursday, May 01, 2008

Sandburg expansion bill heads to president's desk

The home site of poet and author Carl Sandburg in Flat Rock is closer to being expanded. A bill authorizing the expansion of the Carl Sandburg Home Historic Site and a new visitor center there is headed to President Bush's desk after passing the House, according to the Hendersonville Times-News.

The Consolidated Natural Resources Act passed the House on Tuesday. The bill had previously cleared the Senate and now heads to President Bush's desk for approval.

"The Sandburg Home is an important part of both our heritage and our economy in Western North Carolina," said U.S. Rep. Heath Shuler, D-Waynesville, who co-sponsored the bill in the House. ...

The legislation authorizes the historic site to expand on its western boundary if land becomes available from willing sellers. The National Park Service supports the expansion, wanting to prevent development from encroaching on the park. The bill authorizes the acquisition of up to 115 acres. Up to five of the acres would be for the visitor's center and an expanded parking lot.

The land around Connemara, the name of Sandburg's home, is gorgeous, and the entire site is probably one of the least-known of the state historic sites. The home is left pretty much how Sandburg lived; it's a snapshot in time.

Sandburg won two Pulitzers, one for his Abraham Lincoln biography and one for The Complete Poems of Carl Sandburg.

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