Before my wife and I were married, we went camping on Mt. Dessert Island in Maine. While checking the map, I saw that E. B. White’s farm was nearby in N. Brooklyn. I’m a huge fan of White’s writing and wanted to see the birthplace of such great prose and polished thought. On the map, it seemed only a few miles away and it was, as the crow flies. The crow may fly a straight line along coastal Maine, but a car on those winding roads takes a very long time.
When we found the farm, I pulled into the driveway and knocked on the farmhouse door. There were obvious signs and sounds of work being done. There was a small dumpster in the driveway and three old vintage bathtubs in the barn waiting to be hauled to the dump. White’s longtime overseer Henry Allen answered the door. He said the house had been sold, bought by a family in S. Carolina. I asked him what he thought of all the changes being made. "Southerners have their own way of doin' things," he said in his Maine accent. I so wanted to take one of those bathtubs home with me. I asked him if we could explore the property. He said it would be all right and thanked us for asking.
We walked through the field to the boathouse, the place White used as a writing study. I sat at his wooden table and mused out of the window while my wife looked through a cabinet on the wall. “Look at this,” she said. “E.B. White’s Correcto Type.” I put it in my shirt pocket and when I got home, I took it to my picture framer and asked him to frame it like it belonged in the Vatican. That was 30 years ago and it still hangs in my studio today. The farm is for sale again. Here’s information about it: