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Joel Chandler Harris House

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Title: Joel Chandler Harris House  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Joel Chandler Harris, Woodruff Park, 1280 West, One Park Tower (Atlanta), APEX Museum
Collection: Biographical Museums in Georgia (U.S. State), City of Atlanta-Designated Historic Sites, Historic American Buildings Survey in Georgia (U.S. State), Historic House Museums in Georgia (U.S. State), Houses Completed in 1870, Houses in Atlanta, Georgia, Houses on the National Register of Historic Places in Georgia (U.S. State), Literary Museums in the United States, Museums in Atlanta, Georgia, National Historic Landmarks in Georgia (U.S. State), National Register of Historic Places in Atlanta, Georgia
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Joel Chandler Harris House

Joel Chandler Harris
HABS photo from 1985
Joel Chandler Harris House
Location Ralph D. Abernathy Blvd., SW, Atlanta, Georgia
Area 3 acres (1.2 ha)[1]
Built 1870
Architect Unknown
Architectural style Late Victorian
Governing body Private
NRHP Reference # 66000281
Significant dates
Added to NRHP October 15, 1966[2]
Designated NHL December 19, 1962[3]

Joel Chandler Harris House, also known as The Wren's Nest or Snap Bean Farm, is a Joel Chandler Harris, editor of the Atlanta Constitution and author of the Uncle Remus Tales, from 1881 until his death in 1908.[3] He is most known as author of the "Uncle Remus" tales, based upon stories he heard slaves tell during his youth.[4]

The house is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is also designated as a historic building by the City of Atlanta.


  • Overview 1
  • Modern history 2
  • References 3
  • External links 4


The house was built circa 1868 in an area then known for its upper-class residents. Harris began renting the home in 1881 before buying it two years later thanks to earnings from his first book Uncle Remus: Songs and Sayings. He lived here until his death in 1908.[5] Harris had the home extended with six additional rooms and a new Queen Anne-style facade added in 1884. A furnace, indoor plumbing, and electricity were added circa 1900.[6]

Harris originally referred to the home as Snapbeam Farm, as a reference to fellow author Eugene Field's home Sabine Farm. The name "Wren's Nest" came from his discovery of a family of wrens living in the mailbox in the spring of 1895.[5]

After several years of correspondence, Indiana poet James Whitcomb Riley visited Harris at Wren's Nest in 1900. Harris's children were especially interested in Riley and nicknamed him Uncle Jeems.[6]

Ultimately, Harris wrote more than twenty books while living in the home as well as several editorials for the Atlanta Constitution and various articles for magazines and newspapers — including his own, The Uncle Remus Home Magazine.[7]

Modern history

The Wren's Nest in 2009

After Harris's death, businessman

  • Official website
  • Historic American Buildings Survey (HABS) No. GA-2182, "Joel Chandler Harris House, 1050 Gordon Street, Atlanta, Fulton County, GA", 12 photos, 2 data pages, 1 photo caption page
  • Travel ItineraryDiscover Our Shared HeritageAtlanta, Georgia, a National Park Service

Media related to at Wikimedia Commons

External links

  1. ^ a b Blanche Higgins Schroer (May 15, 1975) National Register of Historic Places Inventory-Nomination: Joel Chandler Harris House / The Wren's Nest; Snap Bean Farm, National Park Service and Accompanying one photo, front porch, from 1975
  2. ^ a b
  3. ^ a b c d
  4. ^
  5. ^ a b Burke, Michelle Prater. The Ideals Guide to Literary Places in the U.S. Nashville, TN: Ideals Publications Incorporated, 1998: 80. ISBN 0-8249-4093-8
  6. ^ a b c d Burke, Michelle Prater. The Ideals Guide to Literary Places in the U.S. Nashville, TN: Ideals Publications Incorporated, 1998: 81. ISBN 0-8249-4093-8
  7. ^ a b Burke, Michelle Prater. The Ideals Guide to Literary Places in the U.S. Nashville, TN: Ideals Publications Incorporated, 1998: 82. ISBN 0-8249-4093-8
  8. ^
  9. ^


It is located at 1050 Ralph D. Abernathy Blvd., SW, formerly named 1050 Gordon Street., SW.[3][2]

The organization that maintains the Wren's Nest offers tours and regular storytelling. The organization also has two writing programs for Atlanta area youth: KIPP Scribes, in partnership with APS charter school KIPP STRIVE Academy, and Wren's Nest Publishing Company, an entirely high school student run literary journal.[9]

The home still contains furnishings owned by Harris and utilizes the original paint colors. The house became known as Wren's Nest in 1900 after the Harris children found a wren had built a nest in the mail box; the family built a new mailbox in order to leave the nest undisturbed. The structure was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1962.[1][3][8] The original mailbox that housed the family of wrens and led to the home's name was recreated during a renovation in 1991.[6]


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