Rowan Oak is a Historic Home located on Old Taylor Road, Oxford, Mississippi. The previous address of the house was 719 Garfield roads, in the 1980's the street names were changed. Rowan Oak is also known as William Faulkner House as it was the former home of William Faulkner. The house was built in the 1840's and purchased by Faulkner in the 1930's and completed the majority of renovations himself. He furnished the house antiques and created an office where he kept his writing tools.
The house is a large two storey white frame home on land that is a large 29 acres of wooded land known as Bailey's Woods, and the house occupies only four landscaped acres. The house received more renovations in the 1950's. The house is known for its famous features which is the outline of Faulkner's Pulitzer Prize winning novel A Fable.
The grounds and surrounding woods contain hundreds of native Mississippi plants; the driveway is lined with an alley of cedars which was common practice in the 1800's. Rowan Oak is a mythical tree which Faulkner used as inspiration for the multi layered time from Rowan Oak where the past and future seem to inhabit the presents. The studs of the house are hand-hewn square cypress.
The house was sold to the University of Mississippi in 1972 by William Faulkner's daughter, Jill Faulkner Summers. The home is used by the University to promote Faulkner's literary heritage and in 1968 was declared a National Historic Landmark. The house received some slight renovations that were funded by oxford resident John Grisham and was rededicated in May 2005.
Tours of the house show visitors behind the house where the stable and cooks house are located along with the smokehouse and the preserved gardens. The house has been visited by many accomplished writers over the years including Charles Wright, Alice Walker, Salman Rushdie and John Updike. When author Mark Richard visited Rowan Oak her repaired the faulty doorknob on the French door that led to Faulkner's Study.
The house is a must see destination when visitors are in Oxford, even if visitors are not interested in history it is a magnificent home with beautiful gardens. It is recommended that large tour groups, schools and handicapped persons pre arrange a visit to the house as due to fire regulations only 50 persons are allowed entry to the house at one time.