MARY E. WILKINS FREEMAN

A Brattleboro Words Trail Site

Mary E. Wilkins Freeman:

West Brattleboro

A Mary E. Wilkins Freeman postcard from the Words Project’s October 2019 event series, “Something About Mary,” which began with the unveiling of a historic marker at the site of Mary’s historical West Brattleboro school.

Mary E. Wilkins Freeman, beloved 19th century American author and Brattleboro local, began her 50-year literary career in Brattleboro. She published over 250 short stories, 14 novels, and 3 plays. Freeman was quite an original. Strong and independent, she was a shrewd business woman as well as a talented writer. She made a fortune writing of New England life and its characters, many of whom rebelled against societal expectations and constraints.

Mary E. Wilkins Freeman was internationally known, and America’s most popular woman writer during the late nineteenth century and the first two decades of the twentieth century. She was the first recipient of the prestigious William Dean Howells Gold Medal for Fiction in 1926, was among the first three women elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters, and in 1938 was memorialized when the American Academy of Arts and Letters installed bronze doors inscribed, “Dedicated to the Memory of Mary E. Wilkins Freeman and the Women Writers of America.” Mary also won the admiration of America’s most celebrated literary figures, including Kipling and Twain.

Site research in progress. Check back soon for more of the story.

On The Map

The Mary E. Wilkins Freeman historical marker in West Brattleboro, VT.

Mary E. Wilkins Freeman Historical Marker

About the Research sites

The Brattleboro Words Project is working with the community to identify specific sites and themes significant to the study of words in Brattleboro and surrounding towns. Research Teams – classrooms/teachers, amateur historians, veterans, writers, artists and other community members — will produce audio segments and other work to be incorporated into audio walking, biking and driving tours tours.

Research Team Leader

Jen Austin

Jen Austin

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