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Rachel Carson Homestead facts for kids

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Rachel Carson Homestead
Location 613 Marion Avenue, Springdale, Pennsylvania
Built 1870
NRHP reference No. 76001601
Quick facts for kids
Significant dates
Added to NRHP October 22, 1976

Rachel Carson Homestead is a National Register of Historic Places site in Springdale, Pennsylvania, United States, 18 miles northeast of Pittsburgh along the Allegheny River.

The original four-room farmhouse was the birthplace and childhood home of Rachel Carson, whose 1962 book Silent Spring launched the modern environmentalist movement. The Carson family moved to this home in 1901 with plans to live in the home temporarily, and to sell lots from the 65-acre land to finance building a modern home. Rachel was born here in 1907. The house underwent few improvements during the Carson residence, as financial difficulties prevented the family from accomplishing their plan. Carson and her family remained in this home until she completed her studies at the Pennsylvania College for Women (now Chatham University) in 1929. She continued her studies in Baltimore at Johns Hopkins University. Her family soon followed her to Baltimore. The house was sold to a local high school English teacher who updated utilities and added rooms, extending the footprint of the original home. The original four rooms used by the Carsons remain substantially unchanged. The grounds are reduced to a little more than a half-acre, but a small hiking trail accesses adjoining municipal property. A springhouse, still standing, was the source of water for the Carsons.

The homestead is managed by the Rachel Carson Homestead Association, Inc. (RCHA), a nonprofit organization. Established in 1975, the RCHA maintains the home, and welcomes visitors to tours and events. The mission of the Rachel Carson Homestead Association is to preserve, restore, and interpret Rachel Carson's birthplace; to design and implement environmental education programs; and to educate the community, guided by her environmental ethics and sense of wonder.

The organization established the Rachel Carson Legacy Challenge, which challenges individuals, government, industry and institutions to lessen their ecological footprint. The challenge uses Carson's environmental ethic as the benchmark for permanent and measurable change.

The Rachel Carson Challenge, a 35-mile wilderness hike on the Saturday closest to the summer solstice, was established in honor of Rachel Carson's contribution to the environment and passes by the Homestead. The Rachel Carson Trail is managed by the Rachel Carson Trails Conservancy.

Rachel Carson wrote her influential book Silent Spring at Rachel Carson House (Colesville, Maryland).

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