Historical Figures Homes You Could Actually Live In

Monica Gray - July 21, 2023
SF Gate

Jimi Hendrix

We heard about Thoreau’s yellow house, and now we’re hearing about Jimi Hendrix’s historical red house. For nearly $4 million, you could live in this home in San Francisco. This guitar genius lived here during the late 1960s, during the notorious hippie culture that inspired his music. After Hendrix’s song, realtors painted the house red and put the three-flat building on the market. And 1524 Haight attracts tons of tourists who stand in front and snap photos of the notorious home. You can admire the murals on the walls, but if you do visit, be mindful of the people that still live there (SF Travel).


Virginia Woolf

You’ve likely read some of Virginia Woolf’s books, like Mrs. Dalloway and To The Lighthouse. In 1915, Virginia and her husband moved into this London home and stayed for nine years. This is where they set up their very own printing company, called the Hogarth Press. In 2018, realtors put the house on the market for $4.55 million. Woolf found London inspiring for her writing, which is why she lived in various flats around the city for years. Frances Spalding exhibited Woolf. When asked what Woolf would think about modern-day London, he said, “I think she would be fascinated by two things. The way the old and new often jam together, as a result of new developments; and secondly the way modern consciousness is divided, attention to the mobile phone often makes us oblivious of our surroundings. I think that displacement would have intrigued her and might have stimulated ideas for fiction.” This home is where she completed The Voyage Out, though it left her with severe mental and emotional stress (Londonist).


George Eliot

For $3.44 million, you can live in historical figure George Eliot’s South London home. In 1859, he moved into this house on London’s Wimbledon Park Road. She’s formerly known as Mary Ann Evans, and this home is where she wrote her classic novel The Mill on the Floss. She eventually set up a home with a married man that went by the name of George Henry Lewes. Property agent Alex Howard Baker said,”This gorgeous period house has it all: period charm and features in abundance, light contemporary living space throughout, ample off-street parking and a wonderful garden and terrace.” (BBC).

Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton

The historical “Mount” mansion is located in Lenox, Massachusetts. This is where author Edith Wharton found her inspiration and eventually wrote books earning her a Pulitzer Prize. Since then, realtors restored the property and turned it into a museum and cultural center. Her property encapsulates the artistic, intellectual human that Edith once was, and still lives by through her writing (Edith Wharton).


Shel Silverstein

If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like living in a houseboat, then head to Shel Silverstein’s boat for a whopping $783,000. The historical author of The Giving Tree, and Where the Sidewalk Ends found his inspiration between these California walls. It was previously a balloon barge used to scout enemy aircraft. Talk about a change! In a 2007 biography A Boy Named Shel, he said, “In the beginning the houseboat community was essentially a community of squatters who had only salvage rights. […] The whole place was a bit like living in Never Never Land. Since Shel was a modern-day Peter Pan, the two fit together perfectly.” The home was christened Evil Eye, thanks to the stained-glass window you can see on the boat (Curbed).


Lizzie Borden

For two million dollars, you could live in a home with a tumultuous history. It’s the home where Lizzie murdered her father and stepmother. This house is in Fall River, MA. Lizzie’s parents were murdered in 1892, and in January 2021, the house went up for sale for $2 million. The home was a bed and breakfast for 15 years, and the owners selling the property hope the new owners will keep it that way. The furnishings are in the same place, the decor is a replica, and the original doors and hardware are still intact. The property even offers its guest ghost hunts (Lizzie Borden).


Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley, the iconic music star, had a love for his blue suede shoes, but there’s much more to his fascinating life. Hailing from Memphis, Tennessee, he later settled in Beverly Hills, California. The splendid three-bedroom French residency boasts floor-to-ceiling windows, offering breathtaking ocean views. The estate is complemented by a pool, spa, and a tennis court, along with a guesthouse that features seven bedrooms. Notably, Elvis cherished a serene Japanese teahouse, surrounded by a picturesque koi fish pond. It was within these walls that he once shared his life with his ex-wife Priscilla before their divorce in 1973. (Realtor).

Mark Twain House

Mark Twain

The American writer, comedian, publisher, and lecturer lived in a Victorian Gothic-style home, where he lived from 1874 to 1891. And if you have $4.2 million lying around, you can buy his bright yellow Redding House, where he lived until he died in 1910. His Stormfield Mansion was named after his short story, Captain Stormfield’s Visit to Heaven. The mansion itself sits on 28 acres and has a carriage house and a guest cottage. In a letter to Dorothy Quick, Twain revealed his thoughts about the house, and said, “It is charmingly quiet here. The house stands alone, with nothing in sight but woodsy hills and rolling country.” That sounds like an ideal place to write books, Twain (Lithub).

Andrew Jacksons Hermitage

Andrew Jackson

If you want to live in Nashville, Tennessee, head to The Hermitage Plantation, and former home of President Andrew Jackson. Land associated with the state has gone up for sale in the past. This is not only an important piece of Andrew Jackson’s life, but also an important piece of history for Nashville. You’ll get to wander the property, room by room, which tells stories of their own accord (The Hermitage).

Anne Frank

Anne Frank House

Refuge writers can live in the Anne Frank House for one year. The Dutch Foundation for Literature invites them. These writers are those who cannot work freely in their own countries and are thus invited to live in this historical house that holds a tumultuous history. Previously occupied by Anne Frank, this is the home she hid in during the Nazi persecution. It’s located in Amsterdam, and her entire experience living in the attic is documented in her diary. Ronald Leopold, the director of the Anne Frank House said, “We feel that this is an appropriate destination for Anne Frank’s former home. It is a place where freedom, tolerance, and free speech are given free rein. The 360-degree images allow us to share this special place with the public.” It is not open to the public (Anne Frank).

National Trust

Winston Churchill

Head to the country home of Winston Churchill in Kent, England. Even though the actual house is now a museum, there are nearby residential properties you can live in that’ll get you as close as possible to this historical figure’s home. He was formerly the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom. At Chartwell, you can take a look at the memorabilia on display, and relics associated with Churchill during his time occupying the home. This is also where you’ll find the largest collection of Churchill’s paintings. Who knows, maybe the work hanging in his home will inspire your creativity (House and Garden).