Emily Dickinson Museum - History and Ownership - Later History

Later History

The longest-lived member of the family was Lavinia, Emily’s younger sister, who lived on at the Homestead until she died in 1899. At that time, the Homestead was inherited by Austin’s daughter, Martha Dickinson Bianchi, and leased to tenants until 1916, when it was sold to the Parke family. In 1963, in response to the growing popularity of Emily Dickinson, the house was designated a National Historic Landmark. In 1965, the Parke family sold the house to the Trustees of Amherst College. It was made open to the public for tours and also served as faculty housing.

Next door, Austin and Susan Dickinson lived at The Evergreens until their respective deaths in 1895 and 1913. Their only surviving child, Martha Dickinson Bianchi, continued to live in the house, and preserved it, without change, until her own death in 1943. Her heirs – co-editor Alfred Leete Hampson, and later his widow, Mary Landis Hampson – continued to preserve the house as a “time capsule” of a prosperous nineteenth-century household in a New England town, recognizing the tremendous historical and literary significance of a site left completely intact. The Emily Dickinson Home was designated a U.S. National Historic Landmark in 1962. In 1991, The Evergreens passed to a private testamentary trust, the Martha Dickinson Bianchi Trust, which began developing the house as a museum.

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