Life at Fort Juniper
In 1940 Robert Francis took up residence at Fort Juniper, his house in Cushman, a village of Amherst.
Francis built the one person home himself and its simple design reflects the way Francis lived his life. A frugal man, he re-used everything from advertisements in the mail to his own typewritten pages of essays. He was also very careful with his money and kept precise accounts of all his expenses.
Closely tied to his simple living was his love of nature. His poetry, especially his earlier works, as well as some of his essays show a clear respect and love for the natural world around him. This extends to some of the correspondence he had with friends, such as homemade Christmas cards and other letters with silhouettes of leaves or handpicked flowers attached to them.
Food, like poetry, was a creative outlet for Francis. Preferring healthful foods, he recorded many recipes that involved cheap and natural ingredients, such as the soybean. This interest in making his meals himself led him to grinding his own flour and making his own cordials, like dandelion wine.