University of Massachusetts to Spruce Up the Site of W.E.B. Du Bois’ Boyhood Home

The University of Massachusetts at Amherst owns a five-acre plot of land in Great Barrington that was the boyhood home of W.E.B. Du Bois. The farm, which was owned by the family of Du Bois’ mother, was immortalized in his 1928 essay, “The House of the Black Burghardts.”

The parcel of land was sold by Du Bois in 1954. Today there is only a foundation of what was the farmhouse that served as Du Bois’ boyhood home. The lot is overgrown with grass and weeds.

Now there are plans to restore the site. A trail will be created along with an information kiosk and commemorative markers. The university has allocated $50,000 to the restoration.

Rachel Fletcher, trustee of the Great Barrington Land Conservancy, told the Berkshire Eagle, “It’s considered by many to be a sacred place.”