One of America’s great historic homes awaits you just a bit more than a mile from your boutique guest room, suite, or duplex here at The Goodwin: the former abode of Samuel Clemens, aka Mark Twain.
The Mark Twain House & Museum (351 Farmington Avenue) is an absolute must-see in the Connecticut capital, and wonderfully easy to reach from your Goodwin home base!
A Literary Landmark on Farmington Avenue
Mark Twain and his wife, Olivia (“Livy”), moved to Hartford in 1871, a year after they were married. They initially lived on Forest Street in a house they rented from John and Isabella Beecher Hooker, friends of Livy’s, but soon purchased a lot on Farmington Avenue and commissioned the architect Edward Tuckerman Potter to design their home.
Ground broke on the Twains’ Farmington Avenue house in 1873, and the couple moved in the next year. They lived and raised three daughters here till 1891. “It is a home—& the word never had so much meaning before,” Twain wrote of the Hartford house. He and his family, according to the museum, “enjoyed what the author would later call the happiest and most productive years of his life” here.
For reference, many of Twain’s best-known works stem from these Hartford years, including The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court.
The Mark Twain House & Museum
Some decades after the Twains sold their Farmington Avenue home, the Friends of Hartford bought it. Restoration work began in the early 1960s when the property was classified as a National Historic Landmark; the museum opened in 1974, the 100th anniversary of the house’s construction.
Today you can explore the beautifully restored Twain House on a guided tour, generally offered on the half-hour and commencing from the Webster Bank Museum Center. The tours are on the order of 45 minutes or an hour long, but you should give yourself extra time to check out the Museum Center’s fascinating exhibits, and perhaps catch the Ken Burns documentary Mark Twain there.
The Mark Twain House & Museum also hosts a regular program of lectures and other events; check out the website to see what’s coming down the calendar!
The museum’s open from 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM, with the last guided tour of the house embarking at 4:30 PM.
Visit the Mark Twain House & Museum on Your Next Stay at The Goodwin
Be sure to check out the Mark Twain House & Museum when you next join us here in downtown Hartford at The Goodwin: Along with such sites as the Museum of Connecticut History and the Harrier Beecher Stowe House, it’s one of the city’s prime destinations for history (and architecture) buffs!