ART

UM students find their way to Rowan Oak

Allison Fazio
The Oxford Eagle

University of Mississippi junior Katie Cloonan recently toured Rowan Oak for the first time.

“I visited Rowan Oak last May,” Cloonan said. “It’s really cool how well the architecture is still preserved. I can’t believe Faulkner actually lived there. It’s unreal.”

Cloonan is just one of the UM students who has toured the home once owned by William Faulkner, a Noble Prize-winning novelist, who grew up in Oxford. He later purchased the home and named it Rowan Oak.

Located at 916 Old Taylor Rd., Rowan Oak is a white house sitting on 31 acres of land. Now owned by the University of Mississippi, Faulkner’s home is a museum open to the public.

20151012_172326Originally built in 1844, the home needed a facelift to  preserve the original architecture.

In 2004, a $300,000 grant was used to address the structural condition in areas of the house that were prone to high volumes of public traffic. Grant money was also spent to repair drainage problems and improve the building’s weather ability.

Recently, another restoration project took place to help repair the outside of Faulkner’s home. During the spring of 2015, a Mississippi Department of Archives and History grant was used for masonry restoration and cleaning, roof repair, and painting the exterior of the home and surrounding structures on the property.

A group of Faulkner fans created a foundation to help preserve the home. The Rowan Oak Society was established in 1999 under the University of Mississippi Foundation. This society’s goal is to help raise funds to continue preservation.

Rowan Oak also features Bailey’s Woods National Recreation Trail that connects Faulkner’s home to the University of Mississippi. This .60 mile trail takes an average 20 minutes to walk in one direction and is used by many students for exercise or pet walking.

Ole Miss senior Rylie Brackney has used the trail many times.

“I sometimes use this trail when I’m out on a run,” Brackney said. “The sightseeing on this trail is awesome. It’s one you definitely don’t want to miss out on.”

Rowan Oak also hosts events. Some that have taken place  include engagement and high school photography, wedding receptions, and other small gatherings.

Trip Advisor rates this location as one of the top five places to visit while in Oxford.

Rowan Oak tours are given Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. This museum is closed on Mondays and all major holidays.

Admission for in-house tours is $5 for the general public, and is free for any Ole Miss student that presents their student ID. The 31-acre property is free to the general public from dawn to dusk every day.

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