At Home With Virginia
Small, yes, but the little 1050 square foot Eifert house at 705 West Vine Street in Springfield Illinois was very large in many other ways. Virginia and Herman bought the house in 1942 just as Herman left for the war, and within a year the gardens were already taking on the look of a northern Canadian-shield forest mixed with the Great Smoky Mountains – and all with Herman overseas. This house was to become a center of Springfield art, culture, literary debates and music. A choir of 30 sang in front of that roaring wood fire, the entire Illinois State Museum staff arrived one night, there was an African violet garden in the basement. All of Virginia’s books were written here, with daily direct phone conversations to her editor in New York.