Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Tennessee Williams Boyhood Home - Columbus, Mississippi

Tennessee Williams Birthplace & Boyhood Home
Columbus, Mississippi
The famed American writer Tennessee Williams was born in this Victorian home in Columbus, Mississippi. The house today serves as the city's official welcome center.

Tennessee Williams was born as Thomas Lanier Williams on October 26, 1911. His grandfather, Rev. Walter Dakin, was rector of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Columbus and his daughter and son-in-law were then living in the rectory as well. Thought to have been built in around 1875, the charming and colorful Victorian home served as home for the future playwright and writer for three years.

The Pulitzer Prize winning writer lived here for 3 years.
Adopting the name Tennessee, Williams of course went on to write two Pulitzer Prize winning plays, "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof" and "A Streetcar Named Desire." He noted in a letter to his grandfather once that much of his writing was based on Columbus, Mississippi. Scholars also agree that he relied heavily on his own family for the characters in his plays and books.

Columbus is unique in that it has had close associations with two Pulitzer Prize winners. Novelist Eudora Welty attended what is now Mississippi University for Women (lovingly called the "W") in Columbus. She received a Pulitzer in 1973 for The Optimist's Wife.

When the Tennessee Williams Birthplace was threatened with demolition in 1993, the community came together and the home was relocated to 300 Main Street in the city and beautifully restored to its 1911 appearance. It is now open to the public and has been designated a Literary Landmark by the Friends of Libraries, U.S.A.

To learn more, please visit www.exploresouthernhistory.com/tennesseewilliams.

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