Welcome back to National Parks and other public lands with T!
New England Road Trip➤
Patty and I hit the road again in April 2023. We planned to visit a friend in Rhode Island and attend a meetup of the National Park Travelers Club in Massachusetts. Along the way we hit several other National Park Units and historic sites. We stopped first at the Mark Twain House.
The Home of Samuel Clemens➤
Samuel Langhorne Clemens, also known as Mark Twain, lived in the Gothic-style home in Hartford, Connecticut with his family for 17 years. He wrote many of his best-known works while living there, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Prince and the Pauper, and more.
The family raised three daughters there. Our docent told us the years spent in this home were the happiest of the Clemens’ lives. Clemens told ad-libbed bedtime stories to his children in the parlor every night. The girls demanded that each night’s story be new and encompass some of the objects displayed on the room’s mantle. Clemens honed his skills as a storyteller in these sessions as he had a very discerning audience.
In 1891, Samuel Clemens, his wife and their daughter Clara moved to Europe due to financial troubles. Clemens traveled, taking paid speaking engagements to pay off his debts. They returned in 1896, but their daughter Susy, who had remained in the states, died of meningitis before they got back. The heartbroken family no longer wished to live in the house, so they sold it.
The building later functioned as a school, an apartment building, and a public library. The non-profit Mark Twain Memorial group rescued it from demolition in 1929. The building attained National Historic Landmark status in 1962. Restored, it opened as a house museum in 1974. In 2003, the group added a visitors’ center which includes a museum dedicated to showcasing Twain’s life and work. We watched the movie, perused the exhibits and took photos with Lego Mark Twain before our house tour began.
New England Posts➤
- Mark Twain
- Roger Williams
- Slater Mill
- New Bedford Whaling
- Cape Cod: Nauset Marsh Trail
- Cape Cod: Three Sisters Lights
- Cape Cod: Nauset Light
- Pilgrim Memorial State Park
- Minute Man: Hartwell
- Minute Man: Battle Road
- Springfield Armory
Location: 351 Farmington Ave, Hartford, CT
Designation: National Historic Landmark
Date designated/established: December 29, 1962
Date of my visit: April 12, 2023