The childhood homes of Maud Hart Lovelace and Frances Kenney Kirch (Betsy and Tacy) have been designated National Literary Landmarks. A dedication ceremony will take place Thursday, May 20, at 6:00 p.m. at the two houses which face each other at 332 and 333 Center Street in Mankato.
A literary landmark bronze plaque will be presented and installed at each house during the dedication ceremony followed by refreshments and tours of the Betsy-Tacy houses. They are owned by the Betsy-Tacy Society which has restored them to their Victorian charm. At 7:00 p.m., Dr. H. Roger Smith of the Mankato Heritage Preservation Commission will give a presentation on the history and development of Mankato. The event is free and open to the public.
The National Literary Landmark designation is awarded by the Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations. The only other designated National Literary Landmark in Minnesota is the home of author F. Scott Fitzgerald in St. Paul.
Maud Palmer Hart was born in 1892 and lived at 333 Center Street from 1892 to 1906. Her best friend Frances “Bick” Kenney moved into the house across the street in 1898. They became lifelong friends. The tales of their childhood became the inspiration and content of the Betsy-Tacy book series. Great River Regional Library owns this classic series and titles are available in multiple copies. Just do an author search for Maud Hart Lovelace to find all her books.