I am calling on you to help us Save Steepletop. We are in danger of closing our doors.
Trustees and staff are gearing up for what might be the last season of welcoming the public to visit Steepletop, a National Historic Landmark, where Edna St. Vincent Millay lived and wrote for the last 25 years of her life. After her death in 1950, the property was inherited by her sister Norma Millay Ellis, who went on to create The Millay Society in 1972. Upon her death in 1986, with no other family remaining, Norma passed the legacy of Steepletop on to her friend, and my mother, Elizabeth Barnett. Elizabeth served as Millay’s literary executor and was a founding trustee of The Millay Society, a nonprofit organization dedicated to sharing Millay’s writing and providing stewardship for Millay’s beloved home, extensive personal collection, gardens, and surrounding property. Because of this tight provenance, Steepletop has been uniquely preserved just as Millay left it in 1950—a time capsule of sorts.
The Society’s dedicated Board of Trustees has worked hard—albeit with no foundation of funding in place—to maintain, preserve, and share the historic homestead of one of America’s most notable poets—a woman far ahead of her time. Though Steepletop has made great progress in the past 10 years, we are currently facing a financial crisis. Our goal is to keep Steepletop alive so visitors can experience this unique glimpse into the life and work of Edna St. Vincent Millay, but without your help, Steepletop will close at the end of the 2018 season. The cost of operating the site, even with a small staff and an extremely tight budget, exceeds the money brought in each year from donations and visitor fees.
I am writing to ask for your help. To save Steepletop, we will need to raise $1 million—to sustain us in the short term and begin to build an endowment fund for the long term. We would also consider joining forces with another organization or educational institution to help amortize operating costs. We would be happy to work with the organization or institution to create a meaningful partnership.
If you love Millay and Steepletop and can provide support, now is the time! Here are the ways you can help:
Make a donation by mailing a check made out to The Millay Society, or by visiting our website at millay.org/donatenow.
If you would like to discuss making a major gift, Trustee Anina Rossen would be happy to speak with you. You can reach her at .
And if you have ideas relating to sustaining or partnering with Steepletop, please email and one of the Trustees will get back to you very soon.
Thank you for your past support and enthusiasm. I hope that we can count on your help and that together we can preserve Steepletop for the future.
Vincent Elizabeth Barnett President, Board of Trustees
The Society's mission is to illuminate the life and writings of Edna St. Vincent Millay and to preserve and interpret the character of Steepletop, her home and gardens, places where nature inspires the creative spirit.