Mark Twain House & Museum: One of the 'Ten Best Historic Homes' in the world

By Calla Vassilopoulos - Staff Writer
Regional - posted Mon., Aug. 5, 2013
Diana Valenzuela, from North Carolina, stands by a small garden next to the Mark Twain House & Museum. Photos by Calla Vassilopoulos.
Diana Valenzuela, from North Carolina, stands by a small garden next to the Mark Twain House & Museum. Photos by Calla Vassilopoulos.

Living in Hartford was the happiest and most productive time of Mark Twain's life, according to Grace Belanger, assistant manager of visitor services at the Mark Twain House & Museum. During this time, he completed seven of his most famous works, including “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer,” “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn,” “The Prince and The Pauper” and “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.”

“This is where he became an international celebrity,” said Walter Johnson, a museum employee. “His career skyrocketed when he lived in Hartford.”

After Samuel Clemens (writing under the pen name Mark Twain) moved from his Hartford home in 1891, it became an apartment building and public library. In 1963, the house was designated a National Historical Landmark, and restoration efforts began. Since then, it has been named one of the “Ten Best Historic Homes” in the world by “National Geographic” and one of the “1,000 Places to See Before You Die,” according to Belanger.

The 19th century home, which was custom-designed for the writer and his family, is visited for a variety of reasons, according to Johnson. Some visit the site for historical value, while others want to see the Victorian Gothic architecture  - and then there are the ghost hunters, he said.

“Our October ghost tour is already selling out,” said Belanger. In addition to ghost tours, the Mark Twain House & Museum offers writing workshops, lecture series, an Oktoberfest event, and more. The house and museum, which is open Monday through Saturday, 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Sunday from noon to 5:30 p.m., is now offering tours of the Mark Twain and Harriet Beecher Stowe houses for the price of one admission.

For more information, visit www.marktwainhouse.org.


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