(part one of a series)
By Barbara Butler And Cliff Aikens
BARNARD — In 1928 American author Sinclair Lewis purchased Twin Farms in Barnard for himself and his new wife, Dorothy Thompson. Sinclair was already well-known for his early novels, Main Street and Babbitt, and Thompson would soon become the first internationally syndicated female journalist.
The couple chose Barnard, Vermont and Twin Farms as their “home place,” though they both traveled extensively.
When writing — which Lewis did impulsively and abundantly — he always sought seclusion, and it’s said that at Twin Farms he would escape to an old sugar house where he could not be disturbed.
Unless one was born in Barnard and is old enough to remember Sinclair Lewis and Dorothy Thompson, residents may not know much about this. Nicknamed “Red” by his family friends, either because of his orange hair or the lesions left on his cheeks by acne, Harry Sinclair Lewis was born in Sauk Center, Minnesota, a small town of 2,807. It was to a small town to which he returned and bought the only home he knew — right here in Barnard, Vermont.
Barnard resident Mr. John Noffo-Kahn has generously pledged to match funds to create a museum on the
Barnard Commons for Sinclair Lewis, American’s first Nobel Prize winner in literature. The Sinclair Lewis Museum Committee hopes that anyone interested in the project will become a friend by donating a tax-deductible donation to Barnard Silver Lake Assoc./ Sinclair Lewis Museum Comm., P. O Box 124, Barnard, Vermont, 05031.
Part Two – Preserving Literary History: Sinclair Lewis At Twin Farms – Published November 22, 2011
Video – The moving of the Sugar House to the Dorothy Thompson Common, Barnard, Vt.