Henry Wadsworth Longfellow: His Homes
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow lived in one of two houses for most of his life: the Wadsworth-Longfellow House on Congress Street in Portland, Maine, where he grew up; and Craigie House, the 1759 colonial mansion in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where he lived from 1837 until his death in 1882.
Both houses reflect the family's ties to the American Revolution. The house in Portland was built by the poet's grandfather, General Peleg Wadsworth, in 1785-1786. Craigie House served for a time as George Washington's Revolutionary War headquarters.
Longfellow's descendents occupied Craigie House until 1950. It became a National Historic Site in 1972, and is now known as the Longfellow National Historic Site. Learn more of the history of Craigie House, get information about visiting the house, and take a virtual tour at http://www.nps.gov/long/.
Anne Longfellow Pierce, the poet's sister, bequeathed the Wadsworth-Longfellow House to the Maine Historical Society upon her death in 1901; it opened as a museum later that year. The following pages give an overview of the 2001-2002 restoration of the Portland home and take you on a virtual tour of the "Old Original" as the family referred to it.
The information on the following pages was drawn largely from Laura Fecych Sprague's essay, "The Wadsworth-Longfellow House: Its History and Restoration" in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and His Portland Home. For more information on this and other sources, please see the bibliography.
In this section