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Community Roots: Selections from the Local Legacies Project
Collage of Local Legacies
The Mark Twain House, Hartford, built 1874
The Mark Twain House, Hartford, built 1874. Photo courtesy The Mark Twain Memorial

The Mark Twain House

In 1873, Samuel L. Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, purchased land at the western edge of the City of Hartford, in an area known as Nook Farm. He engaged the New York architect, Edward Tuckerman Potter, to design the house. Mrs. Clemens had sketched a layout showing the relationship of the various rooms to views over the then open countryside. The house was completed in 1874, and the Clemens family moved in during September of that year.

In 1881, following the success of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and several lecture tours, the kitchen wing was enlarged, and the major rooms completely redecorated by "Associated Artists," a distinguished firm of interior designers, which included Louis Comfort Tiffany, Lockwood de Forest, Candace Thurber Wheeler, and Samuel Colman.

To Twain, this home was far more than shelter. In 1896 he wrote:

To us, our house was not insentient matter -- it had a heart, and a soul, and eyes to see us with; and approvals, and solicitudes, and deep sympathies; it was of us, and we were in the peace of its benediction. We never came home from an absence that its face did not light up and speak out its eloquent welcome -- and we could not enter it unmoved. 

Project documentation consists of a glossy booklet on the Mark Twain House and eight 8x10 black and white photos.

Originally submitted by: Christopher Dodd, Senator.

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The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.

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