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Greenfield, Indiana: Birth Home of James Whitcomb Riley

Greenfield, Indiana is the birthplace and boyhood home of the famed “Hoosier Poet,” James Whitcomb Riley. Riley wrote over 1000 poems during his extraordinary literary career, including “Little Orphan Annie” and “When the Frost is on the Pumpkin.” The Riley House, where James Whitcomb Riley spent his boyhood years, was built in 1850 by his father, Reuben, and is located at 250 West Main Street in Greenfield.

The city purchased this home in 1936 and the Riley Old Home Society was established. Today, The Riley Home is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is open to visitors April through November.

Greenfield celebrates James Whitcomb’s birth by hosting an annual James Witcomb Riley Festival in downtown Greenfield. Later in life, James Whitcomb Riley lived in the Lockerbie Square section of Indianapolis, at what is now the James Whitcomb Riley Museum Home.


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