1873 Mark Twain House in Hartford, Connecticut
385 Farmington Avenue, Hartford, Connecticut, United States, 06105
Samuel Clemens, also known as Mark Twain, and his wife Olivia built this gorgeous Victorian Gothic Revival home in 1873 in the beautiful town of Hartford, Connecticut. The Mark Twain House has been impeccably restored over the decades and has operated as a museum since 1974. According to the museum’s website, the home “measures 11‚500 square feet‚ and has 25 rooms distributed through three floors. It displayed the latest in modern innovations when it was built in 1874. The couple spent $40‚000 to $45‚000 building their new home‚ so once they moved in they kept the interior simple. Mark Twain and his family enjoyed what the author would later call the happiest and most productive years of his life in their Hartford home. In 1881‚ they contracted with Louis C. Tiffany & Co.‚ Associated Artists‚ (Tiffany was the son of the founder of the famed jewelry store‚ Tiffany & Co.) to decorate the walls and ceilings of the public spaces in their home, particularly the newly enlarged entry hall. Associated Artists were members of the Aesthetic movement‚ and were known for their exotic interiors.”
“The same year they decorated the Mark Twain House interior they were hired by U.S. President Chester Arthur to redecorate the staterooms of the White House. The company was made up of four designers: Louis C. Tiffany‚ Candace Wheeler‚ Lockwood DeForest and Samuel Coleman. Each brought ideas from different parts of the world where they had traveled and studied‚ and each had a hand in the design of the Mark Twain House interior. The first floor of the house is filled with design motifs from Morocco‚ India‚ Japan‚ China and Turkey. Financial problems forced Sam and Livy to move the family to Europe in 1891. The family would never live in Hartford again. Susy’s death in 1896 made it too hard for Livy to return to their Hartford home‚ and the Clemenses sold the property in 1903. Sam’s mounting success as a writer and lecturer enabled the Clemenses to do up their new house in grand style.” Header photo taken by Flickr user fengtoutou. Learn more about the house by visiting the official website and please consider supporting the museum by making a donation to the Mark Twain House & Museum.