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Anne Spencer House

Historical Highway Marker

Virginia Landmarks Register
September 21, 1976

National Register of Historic Places
December 6, 1976

1313 Pierce Street
City of Lynchburg

Maintained today by the Anne Spencer House and Garden Museum, Inc., 1313 Pierce Street is almost exactly as the writer left it upon her death in 1975. Urged by James Weldon Johnson to actively seek publication of her poetry, Spencer got her work published in such venues as The Crisis and the Lyric. Spencer's poetry was not her only labor of love, the teacher and librarian was also a tireless gardener; the double-lot property features an extensive garden maintained as it was during Spencer's life, including even the water-spouting head of Prince Ebo, a gift from W.E.B. DuBois to the Spencers.

"This was the house of Edward Alexander and Anne Bannister Spencer from 1903 until her death on July 25, 1975. Born on February 6, 1882, in Henry County, Virginia, Anne Spencer was to receive national and international recognition as a poet. Published extensively between 1920 and 1935, she belonged to the Harlem Renaissance school of writers."

"During her long and active life, Anne Spencer (1882-1975) was recognized as a lyric poet of considerable talent. Given the climate of the times, it was a remarkable feat for a black woman to win recognition from her intellectual peers. Through quiet dedication to her craft and causes, she gained respect not only as a writer but as a humanitarian. Although she was a foe of bigotry, her poems dwell more on the universal themes of love, beauty, truth, nature, and the human spirit. Among the many visitors to her Lynchburg home were W.E.B. DuBois, Langston Hughes, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Thurgood Marshall. Mrs. Spencer's commodious but unpretentious Queen Anne-style house of 1903 remains unchanged since her death, preserved by the Friends of Anne Spencer Memorial Foundation, Inc. In the garden is Edenkraal, a one-room cottage where she wrote and thought."

Jerdone Castle Douglas Southall Freeman, Ph.D.

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