When discussing his Hartford, Connecticut home, Samuel Langhorne Clemens once mused, “It is a home and the word never had so much meaning before.”
The acclaimed 19th century American writer and humorist, known to most as Mark Twain, first moved into the home he and his wife, Olivia “Livy,” commissioned in 1874 after a year of construction.
Today, guests can visit the nearly 12,000 square-foot structure now known as the Mark Twain House and Museum featuring more than 16,000 artifacts, including many items once owned by the Clemons family.
Twain is said to have noted that the years he spent at the home were some of his happiest and most productive. He lived when “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” was published in 1876.
Designed by architect Edward Tuckerman Potter, the home features 25 rooms and cost about $45,000 to build. The family spent nearly two decades living in the home before financial problems forced them to move to Europe in 1891. They never returned to the home, eventually selling it in 1903.
The house is only accessible to visitors via a guided tour. Purchase tickets ahead of time to get the date you prefer. Note that the home and museum are closed on Tuesdays.
No photography is allowed at the site as a way to preserve the artifacts.
The hour-long tour covers three floors and requires guests to walk up and down about 40 steps, as there is no elevator on site. The first floor is wheelchair accessible.
By Gina Gallucci-White