Willow Shade

Willow Shade Historical Marker

Willow Shade was the childhood home of Willa Cather, who was renown for writing stories about life on the Great Plains. Willow Shade was actually mentioned in her last novel, Sapphira and the Slave Girl, which was written in 1940.

“The slats of the green window shutters rattled, the limp cordage of the great willow trees in the yard was whipped and tossed furiously by the wind. I had been put in my mother’s bed so that I could watch the turnpike, then a macadam road with a blue limestone facing.”

Cather wrote 12 novels, many works of nonfiction and 6 collections of short fiction. She died on April 24, 1947 in New York City.

Historical Marker Inscription

This house, built in 1858, was the childhood home of novelist Willa Cather from 1874 to 1883, when she moved with her family to Nebraska. It was the setting of the final chapters of her novel Sapphira and the Slave Girl. Willa Cather was born December 7, 1873, one mile south in the community of Gore then known as Back Creek Valley.

Location

39° 16.139′ N, 78° 18.535′ W, near Gore, Virginia