The Maine farm where author E.B. White wrote such classic stories as "Stuart Little," "Charlotte's Web" and "The Trumpet of the Swan" has hit the market.
The 44-acre idyllic spread, which White purchased with his wife Katharine in 1933, dates to the late 18th century and includes a large farmhouse, guest house, pond, a sweeping view of the bay and one very famous barn.
"The barn was very large. It was very old. It smelled of hay and it smelled of manure," White wrote in "Charlotte's Web". "It smelled of the perspiration of tired horses and the wonderful sweet breath of patient cows. It often had a sort of peaceful smell—as though nothing bad could happen ever again in the world."
After White passed away in 1985, the farm was purchased by Mary and Robert Gallant and maintained as a summer home. Over the last three decades, the couple has respectfully preserved the property's historic legacy while investing in subtle modern improvements.
"They have not gentrified it," Martha Dischinger of Downeast Properties in Blue Hill told the Press Herald. "They’ve not gone in and done weird things. They have made all the right improvements."
The Gallants also have made an effort to embrace the nearly universal love for "Charlotte's Web," going so far as to invite students from a local school each year to experience the barn made famous in the book.
"They sit on hay bales in the barn," Mary Gallant told Yankee Magazine, "and we play the recording of Mr. White reading 'Charlotte’s Web.' They swing on the same rope swing that they knew Fern had; they sit on the milking stool where Fern had sat. I wanted them to grow up remembering this day. I hoped one day they’d want to find Mr. White’s other writings.”
In a 1961 interview with The New York Times, White said that his work was simply a reflection of his great passion for the incredible beauty of life.
"All that I ever hope to say in books is that I love the world," he shared. "I guess you can find that in there, if you dig around. Animals are part of my world and I try to report them faithfully and with respect."
Whoever ends up purchasing the property — it's listed at $3.7 million — should be prepared to get used to the occasional slowly passing car or unexpected guest.
"E.B. White would turn over in his grave if he knew how many people stop here," Gallant told the Press Herald. "But to me, that’s absolutely wonderful that he is so alive to the world."