The Homestead, where poet Emily Dickinson was born and lived most of her life, and The Evergreens, home of the poet's brother and his family, share three beautiful acres of the original Dickinson property in the center of Amherst, Massachusetts.
During her adult years at the Homestead, Emily Dickinson began to write poetry in earnest. During her most productive period, 1858 to 1865, she compiled her poems into small packets now termed ''fascicles.'' Only ten of her poems are known to have been published in her lifetime, all anonymously and presumably without her permission.
Located just west of the Homestead, The Evergreens preserves an integral part of Emily Dickinson's private world. An impressive ''time capsule'' of a prosperous nineteenth-century household in a small New England town, the house remains as it was when the poet's brother and his family lived there.
Emily Dickinson loved and admired the natural world. At the Homestead, where she lived for all but fifteen years of her life, the poet was engrossed by ''the far theatricals of day'' that she observed throughout her father's fourteen acres. These observations were a rich source for her verse. While a student at Amherst Academy, Dickinson studied botany and compiled an herbarium, a ''scrapbook'' of plant specimens. As an adult, she cared for exotic plants in a conservatory (no longer extant) that was added to the Homestead in 1855.