Willa Cather at Monadnock

Willa Cather discovered the area around Mount Monadnock in the late summer of 1917, when she was invited by her friends the Hambourgs to stay with them in Jaffrey Center, New Hampshire. She found the atmosphere congenial for writing and over the years she completed large swaths of My Ántonia, Death Comes for the Archbishop, and Shadows on the Rock in Jaffrey and nearby Peterborough. She generally wrote in the mornings, and in the afternoons took long walks through the surrounding countryside and up Mount Monadnock. Cather's friend Edith Lewis remembered those days in her book Willa Cather Living:

The fresh, pine-scented woods and pastures with their multitudinous wild flowers, the gentle skies, the little enclosed fields, had in them nothing of the disturbing, exalting impelling memories and associations of the past — her own past. Each day there was like an empty canvas, a clean sheet of paper to be filled. She lived with a simple sense of physical well-being, of weather, and of country solitude.

As a fitting endnote to her life, Cather is buried in the town cemetery in Jaffrey Center, just east of Mount Monadnock.