See Inside the Farmhouse That Inspired Charlotte's Web, Now for Sale for $3.7 Million
And it's just as idyllic as you'd imagine
E.B. White's Former Farmhouse
Wilbur the pig may be a fictional friend, but his barn (and the farmhouse that goes with it) are very real. They were inspired by the charming home of Charlotte's Web author E.B. White, and now they can be yours for not so humble price of $3.7 million. The author lived on the Maine estate until his death, and it was sold soon after to Robert and Mary Gallant, who after more than 30 years have decided to part ways with this idyllic piece of real estate. "This house, this barn, this property is very dear to our hearts," Robert tells Yankee magazine. "These have been the best summers of our lives."
The barn and sheds that once held White and his New Yorker editor wife Katharine's livestock remain in pristine condition - Fern's rope swing included - providing a nostalgic setting for any fan of the beloved children's book.
Farm Field Trips
Once a year, Mary welcomes students from a nearby school to visit, playing them a recording of Charlotte's Web. "They sit on hay bales in the barn," she says. "They swing on the same rope that they knew Fern had . . . I wanted them to grow up remembering this day."
The Gallants bought the estate from White's son, Joel. "I came up with a figure I was willing to pay. Joel quoted a price and it was almost the same, to the nickel," Robert recalls. "I took out a checkbook to leave a deposit. He said, 'We don't need that. We shook hands.'"
The boathouse is the epitome of a picture-perfect beach scene, and was reportedly where White could often be found writing.
The Gallants kept most of the 12-room, 3.5-bath house's original features, mostly making cosmetic changes like painting and planting trees.
Henry Allen, the caretaker for the property who worked for the Whites for 37 years, also stayed on during the Gallants tenure, until he retired in his late sixties. "He was the spirit of this place," Mary recalls.
On to the Next
White wanted the home to serve as a family retreat, not as a shrine, and the Gallants respected that vision. "I feel I'll always want to come back to Maine," Mary says. "But I will miss just settling in, the way you do when it's home."
For the full details, visit Yankee magazine.