DERRY — When Robert Frost walked the perimeter of his Derry farm or headed up the road to teach English at Pinkerton Academy, he was often inspired to put down what he witnessed into words and verse.
More than a century later, the poet and his homestead are as popular as ever.
The Robert Frost Farm on Route 28 is now open for the season, offering visitors a glimpse into the poet’s life in Derry and how the natural surroundings inspired some of his most famous poems.
Frost’s life in Derry also put the poet on the list of “603 Reasons” why New Hampshire is special.
People come to the farm from all over the world to learn about Frost and see what inspired him to write “Mending Wall,” or “Hyla Brook.”
Last year, visitors represented all 50 states and many countries, according to farm manager Bill Gleed.
In his 10th year at the Frost homestead, he said the property is very popular.
“The farm is in good shape,” Gleed said. “We’re going to be here for a long time.”
That’s a far cry from those years after Frost sold his Derry home and traveled abroad. The property became a wasteland for abandoned vehicles and fell into disrepair. Piles of rusted cars found their way onto the pastures and paths that once inspired Frost.
New Hampshire’s Division of Parks and Recreation bought the property shortly after Frost died in 1963 and made it an official state historical landmark.
Gleed, also a published poet, is a founding member of the Hyla Brook Poets group that meets regularly and offers writing workshops.
Local Rotarians often take on projects around the farm. Derry Garden Club members oversee a children’s garden there every year.
Self-guided nature trails give visitors a chance to roam the meadows and woods. A tour of the farmhouse is available and the barn holds special exhibits.