Proposed House Tour Fee Increases at Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site

Flat Rock, NC — The National Park Service is seeking public comments for proposed increases to house tour fees of he Carl Sandburg home. The increases will be the first since 2004.

A 30-day public comment period regarding the proposed increases opens on July 1, 2019 and a public meeting will be held on July 17 from 5 – 7 p.m. at the Village of Flat Rock Meeting Room, 110 Village Center Drive, Flat Rock, N.C. If approved, the new house tour fee structure would begin on October 1, 2019.

The park currently charges $5 for adults; and $3 for adults aged 62 and older and all pass holders. Children 15 and under are free. As proposed, new house tour fees would be raised incrementally: For tours beginning on or after October 1, 2019, the new costs would be $8 for adults; $5 for adults 62 and older, including all pass holders; Children 15 and under, free. On October 1, 2020, the costs would be: $10, adults; $6 for adults 62 and older, including all pass holders; Children 15 and under, free. These costs are in line with what other national park units charge for historic house tours.

House tour fees fund interpretive and preservation efforts in the house, including house tours, school programs, and exhibits; as well as curatorial support for the 50,000 museum objects on display in the house. The park doesn’t charge an entrance fee. All other park features, including the goat barn, trails, special events, and performances are free and do not require tickets or reservations.

Connemara Farms Goat Dairy
Mrs. Sandburg owned and operated a premier goat dairy from 1935 to 1965. Here at Connemara the dairy became a Grade A operation, with milk being distributed to local dairies and sold in stores around the community. The park service raises goats that represent the three breeds of goats Mrs. Sandburg raised at Connemara. Rangers and volunteers are on hand to share this fascinating story about goats and Mrs. Sandburg’s dairy goat operation. Visits to the Goat Barn do not require tickets or reservations.

Comments concerning house tour fees can be also submitted: in person during business hours at the park bookstore in the Sandburg Home or at park headquarters; by mail, to CARL Proposed Fee Increase, c/o Superintendent, Carl Sandburg Home NHS, 81 Carl Sandburg Lane, Flat Rock, N.C. 28731; or by email to CARL_Administration@nps.gov with the subject line “CARL Proposed House Tour Fee Increase.”

Comments will not be accepted by FAX or in any manner other than those specified above. Bulk comments in any format (hard copy or electronic) submitted on behalf of others will not be accepted. Before including a personal address, phone number, email address, or other personal identifying information, anyone providing written comment should be aware their entire comment, including personal information, may be made publicly available at any time. While anyone wishing to comment may ask the National Park Service to withhold their personal identifying information from public review, the National Park Service cannot guarantee it will be able to do so. For more information please visit www.nps.gov/carl.

Additionally, to reduce crowding and to better protect park resources, the agency will adjust the house tour size from 15 visitors to 12. The change in tour size is due to visitor complaints about crowded tours and staff concerns about historic resources. To offset this change, the park will simultaneously implement recreation.gov, an online reservation system. These changes will begin on October 1, 2019.

Any tickets not sold in advance via recreation.gov will be available to walk-in visitors on a first come, first served basis. The online system will be the only way to make advanced house tour reservations. One dollar ($1) of each house tour ticket (walk-in or online) will go towards use of recreation.gov. The park will continue to offer eight tours per day, with additional tours added during periods of high visitation.

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2019 Calendar of Events

Fee Free Days 2019
Free entrance days to all national parks and free tours of the Sandburg Home in 2019.

  • Sunday, August 25 – National Park Service Anniversary
  • Saturday, September 28 – National Public Lands Day
  • Monday, November 11 – Veterans Day

May 13 through October 31
“Dressing for the Occasion: Mid-Century Sandburg as Celebrity and Family Man”
*Included with the house tour

The exhibit is part of the Sandburg Home tour and features clothing and accessories from both the park’s permanent collection and loaned items from the Sandburg family. “Dressing for the Occasion” offers visitors a window into the style, culture, and feel of mid-century America. The family’s clothing and accessories weave together the roles of Carl Sandburg as a prominent writer, celebrity, father, and husband. This temporary exhibit offers an exciting opportunity for the public to view objects that are normally in storage or in the possession of Sandburg family members. Tours of the Sandburg Home are offered daily from 9:30 am to 4:30 pm. Tickets are available first come, first served, each day from the visitor information area in the ground level of the Sandburg Home. Learn more about the exhibit here.

June 12 through August 10
*No Shows July 17-20
Sandburg Summer Plays
Every Wednesday through Saturday at 10:15 – 10:45 am

Rootabaga Express! and Spink, Skabootch and Swipes!
Wednesday through Saturday, apprentice actors from the Flat Rock Playhouse, will share performances at 10:15 a.m., at the new park amphitheater located near the front lake. Young visitors can earn the new “Rootabaga Ranger” badge by completing an acitivty sheet after the play. More information and a 2019 schedule is available here.

June 25, July 20 and August 11
Sandburg Sing-along

Sandburg Sing-along is a new series offered each month throughout the summer. Featuring music from Sandburg’s “The American Songbag,” musicians will lead the audience in singing along at the amphitheater. Song sheets will be available. The schedule is:

  • Tuesday, June 25 from 5:00 – 7:00 pm with the Geriatric Jukebox Band
  • Saturday, July 20 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm with Cindy Carpenter and Emily Reasoner
  • Sunday, August 11 from 3:00 to 5:00 pm with Lucy Allen and Marshall Goers

September (week of September 16)
Citizenship Day Naturalization Ceremony
New American citizens from western North Carolina will participate in a naturalization ceremony at the park. The public is welcome to attend this special event.

November 30 (Saturday) from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Christmas at Connemara

Musicians and storytellers, crafts and sing-a-longs, hot cider and cookies. This free festive celebration will honor Carl Sandburg and his family holiday traditions. Young visitors will find many opportunities for participation in storytelling, sing-a-longs and crafts. The house will be decorated in the simple style of the Sandburgs with poinsettias and a traditionally decorated Christmas tree throughout December until January 6th, 2020.

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