THE LEGACY OF PEARL S. BUCK
The name Pearl S. Buck is often associated with the Hilltown Township, Perkasie area of Bucks County. This is mainly because her house, and final resting place, is a National Historic Landmark located at 520 Dublin Road, Perkasie, which is within Hilltown Township. The picturesque property, often used for weddings and other private parties, includes a museum with exhibits throughout the year, a gift shop, a cultural center, and gardens that had once been maintained by Buck. The property was purchased in 1933 by Buck and her husband, Richard Walsh. This deed can be found in book 628, on page 608 in our historic deed books.
Why is Pearl S. Buck significant enough for her property to be a historic landmark, not just for Bucks County, but nationally? Besides her humanitarian efforts, she also was the first American woman to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, which happened in 1938. Prior to that, in 1932, she won the Pulitzer Prize for her novel The Good Earth.
Buck’s humanitarian efforts centered around the importance of women’s rights, equality among races (specifically those of Asian descent), adoption, missionary work, and immigration. This came at a time when speaking out about these issues was not popular, but having spent much of her life in China, Buck saw the plight of those groups and felt the need to help if possible. One of the biggest issues that shocked Buck was the stance of adoption agencies in the United States that Asian and mixed-race children were unadoptable. It was this reason that she created the Pearl S. Buck Foundation in 1964, which helped the children deemed unadoptable. The foundation, now known as Pearl S. Buck International, still exists today and is headquartered on the Hilltown Township property.
There is much more to discover about Pearl, her family, her written works, and her many causes. If you’d like to learn more check out the website at https://pearlsbuck.org/.