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The Elms - Stephen Longfellow's Gorham Farm

Front exterior of Longfellow Farm, Gorham, ca. 2005

Front exterior of Longfellow Farm, Gorham, ca. 2005 / Maine Historical Society

A resource developed through the Longfellow and the Forging of American Identity program

Author: Nancy A. Ponzetti, American History, Psychology,World Geography, Social Studies Dept. Chair, Catherine McAuley High School, Portland, Maine
Suggested Grade Level: 7-12
Subject Areas: Social Studies, English

Time Required:
Two class periods

Learning Objectives:
Students will discover some of the early childhood influences that may have affected the later work of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. They will explore Gorham's local history by viewing the Longfellow Farm as it stands today, and they may be encouraged to further explore the life of Judge Stephen Longfellow and his importance to Maine history.

On April 3, 1761 Stephen Longfellow II signed the deed for the first 100 acre purchase of land that he would own in Gorham, Maine. His son Stephen III (Judge Longfellow) would build a home on that property which still stands to this day. Judge Longfellow would become one of the most prominent citizens in Gorham’s history and one of the earliest influences on his grandson Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s work as a poet.

This exhibit examines why the Longfellows arrived in Gorham, Judge Longfellow’s role in the history of the town, Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s vacations in the country which may have influenced his greatest work, and the remains of the Longfellow estate still standing in Gorham today.

Historical Source Items to Accompany This Project